Saturday, July 22, 2017


Posted by Tim

This is an article I have mixed feelings about. While some may see the priest-perpetrator as courageous and give him credit for contrition, I have questions about his choosing to remain in the clerical state, which permits him to continue to receive financial support from the diocese in which his crimes were committed, while meanwhile, his diocese, meaning the lay people who support the diocese, eventually suffered greatly due to the lawsuits brought against their diocese, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The priest was young enough at the time of his conviction and release to have started a new life and could have found a way to make a living. (Actually, so was Louis Brouillard at the time Archbishop Flores got rid of him in 1981.)

My main concern in this story, however, is the issue of the confessional seal. The priest states:
"By the time I was ordained, that attraction (to young boys) hadn't changed. I had not acted on it, but it was certainly in my fantasy life. It was a deep, dark secret that — aside from confession — I would have never admitted to anyone."
The priest(s) who heard his confession did not have to break the seal by telling on the confess-ee, but the confessor(s) certainly could have directed him to tell his superiors about the problem or even advise him that the life of a priest was not the place for someone with same-sex attraction, especially an attraction to young boys. Maybe the confessor(s) did. But it does not appear to have been the case. But then this was the post-Vatican II 60's and 70's, when seminaries were purging their candidates of "straight men."

Eventually, lives were ruined, and this priest's primary victim died of HIV. Here's the story. (And unlike NCR, I will permit comments.)

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