Lutheran Church - Canada (LCC) has announced that Todd Guggenmos has resigned from the ministry after an investigation into allegations that he harassed people online using anonymous Twitter accounts.
The church launched an independent investigation in September after several people said they had learned that Guggenmos was behind an anonymous account that had been harassing, insulting and demeaning people online. At the time, Guggenmos was the pastor of the Triune Lutheran Parish located in Langenburg, Landestreu and MacNutt, Sask.
In a media release Thursday, church officials said the investigation had found:
Guggenmos used an anonymous Twitter account he created to post thousands of tweets, many of which "belittled, mocked and devalued others and involved the use of foul and demeaning language."
Guggenmos targeted specific people repeatedly over nearly two years.
While targeting both men and women, Guggenmos used language specifically demeaning to women.
The church said it finds this conduct "unbecoming of a spiritual leader as it fails to conform to the holy life which Scripture and LCC requires of its pastors."
CBC has reached out to Guggenmos for comment. He has not responded.
The church said the investigator specifically looked into allegations that Guggenmos was the author of a tweet that seemed to condone sexual relations between adults and minors.
"The investigator utilized forensic analysis and concluded that this tweet could not be traced to the account of Guggenmos and therefore the author of this tweet has not been proven or disproven."
The LCC thanked the complainants who worked with the investigator, praising their "strength and courage."
"We express our sincere sorrow and pray for all who have been affected by this unacceptable situation," the statement says.
Some of those targeted by the harassment weighed in on the news of Guggenmos's resignation Thursday.
Tammy Robert, a communications consultant and political commentator, dismissed the church's statement.
"There is nothing good here, at all," she wrote on Twitter.
Guggenmos had harassed Robert for years.
"I didn't need a f---ing email from Canadian Lutheran Church telling me what I already knew. The only people I see declaring this a win are people whose name was not attached to that filth for f---ing years. Changes nothing," she posted.
One of the other complainants, Tenille Lafontaine, a blogger and media spokesperson, expressed gratitude.
"When you speak the truth, and trust in the process, sometimes it all works out," she wrote on Twitter. "Todd Guggenmos was the evil behind years of harassment and it's official. Thank you to everyone who has spoken up and supported myself and others in this process."