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Protesters fighting abuse within the church gather outside a Southern Baptist Convention meeting in June 2018, Dallas, Texas. Photo: Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee resigned Thursday night amid a scandal over the denomination's handling of sexual abuse cases.

Driving the news: Ronnie Floyd's resignation comes after weeks of internal division have rocked the SBC, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.

  • A letter — written by Russell Moore, former head of the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission — revealing accusations that SBC leaders dismissed sexual abuse victims and allegations was leaked this summer.
  • Victims allege that the SBC has not done enough to investigate and prevent abuse within the denomination.

Catch up quick: Earlier this month, the Executive Committee voted to waive attorney-client privilege related to an independent investigation looking into the committee's handling of sexual abuse cases.

  • In doing so, they are allowing investigators to access legal records of conversations among committee members, per the Washington Post.
  • Of note: The investigators were hired by the Executive Committee. Some SBC pastors have criticized the move, noting that they "don’t trust the committee to oversee an investigation of itself," AP reports.

What he's saying: "The decisions made on Tuesday afternoon, October 5, in response to the 2021 Convention now place our missionary enterprise as Southern Baptists into uncertain, unknown, unprecedented and uncharted waters," Floyd said in his resignation letter, referring to the decision to waive attorney-client privilege, per the Baptist Press.

  • "Due to my personal integrity and the leadership responsibility entrusted to me, I will not and cannot any longer fulfill the duties placed upon me as the leader of the executive, fiscal, and fiduciary entity of the SBC," he added.
  • "In the midst of deep disappointment and discouragement, we have to make this decision by our own choice and do so willingly, because there is no other decision for me to make."
  • Floyd is not the first committee member to resign over the issue, according to the Tennessean.

Go deeper:

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Jan. 6 panel warns Meadows may face contempt

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Jan 6. select committee investigating the deadly Capitol riot warned former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows Thursday that it may seek criminal contempt charges if he fails to show for his upcoming deposition.

Why it matters: This is the third contempt threat Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the Jan. 6 panel chair, has made in recent weeks to compel those subpoenaed to appear at depositions.

Updated 12 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

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Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

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The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.