Tuesday, May 6, 2014

THE ILLEGITIMATE REMOVAL OF FR. PAUL GOFIGAN - PART V: THE OFFENSE

It is time now to review the offense for which Father Paul is allegedly guilty. The name of the subject person, even though it is already known, is being withheld out of consideration for the the man's wife and his two young daughters who have nothing to do with this. 

Here are the Archbishop's exact words from the July 16, 2013 letter demanding his resignation:
You have allowed a registered sex offender, (name withheld), to return to work at the parish, even after you were warned by the Vicar General and the Attorney for the Archdiocese to release him. You disobeyed the order given by the Vicar General. By this action, you have in effect caused grave harm to the parish by allowing such an individual with a publicly known sex-offense record to work in the Church thus exposing him to your parishioners, especially the youth. By allowing him to work in the parish, you have exposed the children of the nearby school to a probable threat.
Let's stop here and discuss. Let's say, for the sake of the discussion, that everything the Archbishop accuses Fr. Paul of is true and that everything he says about the man is true. It's not, but we'll get to that. Now let's say the man, who committed his crime 33 years ago and was released from prison after a lengthy term, instead of going to Santa Barbara showed up at a catechesis for the Neocatechumenal Way. And let's say that the catechist or the responsible or whoever was in charge of that particular catechesis learned of the man's record and went to the Archbishop for counsel on how to handle the desire of a registered sex-offender to enter a community. 

How do you think the Archbishop would have responded? Would he have said what he said here to Fr. Paul? Note that the "great harm" noted by the Archbishop is not that the man worked in the parish but that he was "exposed to parishioners, especially the youth." Would he not be "exposed" to Neocatechumenal community members? Are there no "youth" in the Neocatechumenal Way? What do you do with a registered sex-offender who wants to join a Neocatechumenal community?

If the man was a danger simply by being around the parish, how much more dangerous would he be in a community where the exposure would be much more frequent and close? There is only one answer based on the Archbishop's own words: OUT! But then how does that comport with Kiko's words: 
"...we have always shown to the many brothers who have emerged from hell, full of wounds and of self-loathing, that in the Holy Eucharist the Lord makes present his love, dying and rising for them; and not only that, but prepares a table, an eschatological banquet, which makes Heaven present and where He himself, full of love, has them sit down and comes to serve them." - Letter from Kiko Arguello to Pope Benedict XVI, Jan. 17, 2006.
Let's go further. What if this man had shown up on your own door step, Archbishop? What if this man had asked to join your community? What if this man had asked for your spiritual guidance and assistance in healing the wounds of his own self-loathing? Is he not one of "the many brothers who have emerged from hell?" Would you not "prepare a table" for him? An eschatological banquet...full of love, and have him sit down with you?

Fr. Paul did exactly what you say you profess to do as one who is walking. Yet he is brutalized for his compassion and the ex-prisoner beaten and humiliated by your condemnation.  Do you see the problem?

We do.

Go here for Part VI


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