FORT WORTH, Texas - A Southern Baptist leader is paying the price for a controversial comment.
Paige Patterson was removed from his role as the president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He now has the title of president emeritus.
He faced complaints over comments he made years ago about abused women that recently surfaced, such as counseling women who are abused to stay with their husbands.
“A just God is committed to set everything right he's going to make it right I can trust him with it I can be abused, I can be misrepresented, be taken advantage of I know you are going to make it right with wonderful rewards,” Patterson said in a 2013 sermon posted on Southwestern’s website.
Hundreds of women recently signed a petition to get Patterson removed.
Shelly Matthews, a professor at TCU’s Brite Divinity School, said the current #MeToo climate likely led to Patterson’s removal.
"It does seem that women have stepped forward to report their interactions with him in ways that in the past they would not,” Matthews said.
There are also allegations that Patterson counseled a rape victim against calling the police.
In a statement on Patterson's removal, the seminary said "...evidence exists that Dr. Patterson has complied with reporting laws regarding assault and abuse..."
The statement also said Patterson will remain as president emeritus and will live on the campus.
“Is this really the trustees of Southwestern taking seriously his views on women, his actions towards women or is this merely trying to placate the movement of women within the convention that have signed that petition,” Matthews said.
Patterson's views on women have been on people's radar for quite a while.
“I lived in South Carolina for 14 years taught at Furman University historically a Baptist university. Everyone there had an eye on Paige Patterson and what he said,” Matthews said.
Patterson is a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention and Criswell College in Dallas.