From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 05 May 1996 07:34:37


                      By Alicia C. Shepard 
                      Religion News Service 
WASHINGTON--The newly named chaplain of the U.S. Senate is being 
sued by a woman who claims he tried to talk her out of having an 
abortion and then refused to counsel her after she attempted 
    Elisabeth Saret, 29, filed a 16-page lawsuit in Los Angeles 
Superior Court against the Senate Chaplain-designate, the Rev. 
Lloyd John Ogilvie, 64, and his First Presbyterian Church of 
Hollywood, Calif. 
    The suit was filed Jan. 6, two weeks before the Senate chose 
Ogilvie to be its 61st chaplain, Saret's attorney, Nancy E. 
Fitzhugh, said Monday. An amended complaint was filed Jan. 23.   
    "Based on the interests of my client, we'd rather litigate this 
in the court and not the media," Fitzhugh said. She said the suit 
was not timed to Ogilvie's confirmation.  "I confess (the 
confirmation) took me by surprise," said Fitzhugh.  
    Saret claimed in the suit that she became pregnant as the 
result of an affair with a church elder, Clifford Woosley, 44, 
whose child she bore last February.  
    Ogilvie tried to talk her out of having an abortion and 
encouraged her to let Woosley and Woosley's wife raise the child, 
according to the complaint.  
    Ogilvie said he had not seen the complaint but denied advising 
Saret against an abortion.  The chaplain-designate also denied 
Saret's claim that he refused to continue counseling her after she 
became suicidal. 
    "I was deeply concerned that this person has these continuing 
problems and that she's using someone of a high national profile 
to gain attention,"  Ogilvie said in a telephone interview Monday 
from Nashville, Tenn. 
    "... True to my own faith and the church's policy, my practice 
is to encourage individuals to consider the strong option of 
keeping the child or placing the child for adoption," he said.  "My 
practice is not to advise individuals directly against abortion 
since doing so mitigates one's exercise of free choice."  Ogilvie 
said he spoke with Saret, a former law clerk at Woosley's firm, for 
one hour and never saw her again.  
    "... The relationship between Mr. Woosley and Ms. Saret 
originated in the workplace, not the church," Ogilvie added in a 
statement Monday.  "Mr. Woosley confided in me prior to my meeting 
with Ms. Saret that the two had had an intimate relationship.  
Believing his behavior was inconsistent with his role as elder in 
the church he offered his resignation.  I accepted."  
    Sen. Mark Hatfield (R-Ore.), a Presbyterian, sought out Ogilvie 
for the Senate chaplain's post.  For 23 years, Ogilvie has 
ministered to a celebrity-studded flock at the Hollywood church. 
He is the author of more than 40 books and has a nationally 
syndicated radio and television show, "Let God Love You."   
    "We are still trying to figure out what the heck this is all 
about," said Hatfield press aide Julie McGregor.   
    Ogilvie, who will replace retiring Senate Chaplain Richard C. 
Halverson, is slated to begin the $115,700 post March 11.  
                          # # # 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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