Saturday, December 1, 2018


Scene from Alfred Hitchcock's I Confess : News Photo
Save to Board

Scene from Alfred Hitchcock's I Confess

The courtroom scene from Alfred Hitchcock's 1953 film I Confess, starring Montgomery Clift as Michael Logan and Brian Aherne as Willy Robertson. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Don’t get me wrong, yes there should be sanctions of some type for sins against solemnly professed chastity. For a priest or religious it is adultery. But consensual adult adultery or fornication, while a mortal sin, similar to breaking the promise of obedience to his bishop, it is not a civil crime.

Why would you agree or disagree with this editorial?

Letter: Diocese unfairly groups bad behavior with abuse

No one denies that there have been issues of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. However, the diocese does Catholics a disservice when they lump inappropriate behavior by priests together with criminal behavior, such as pedophilia.
A homosexual priest making a pass at a 22 years old male, while inappropriate, is not criminal. Neither is a priest having a heterosexual affair with an adult female. Yet, for the most part, we are left guessing what the allegations against many of the priests are. We cannot separate true pedophiles from those who simply failed to live up to their vow of celibacy. That is wrong.
The diocese terms the allegations against the various priests, “credible,” but does not define what that means or how the determination was made. Who made that determination? Was it a priest with a degree in theology, or a trained criminal investigator? And if it was deemed credible and also criminal, why wasn’t it referred to the police? Moreover, how do you make a determination that something is credible when the person against whom the accusation is made is long dead and never had an opportunity to answer the allegation in the first place?
Seemingly in a panic over recent revelations on 60 Minutes, the Bishop threw the names of some good priests under the bus. One in particular, Monsignor William Stanton, served for many years as pastor at St. Ambrose Church without a hint of scandal. Malone needs to go, not only because he failed to act in certain cases, but because he has overreacted and desecrated the names of some good priests against whom no action was taken years ago because the allegations against them were “incredible.”
Anthony Hynes


TJM said...

But since the media LOVES AND ADORES GAYS, they had to create a false narrative. Sex with minors is a crime and should be punished and the miscreants removed from the priesthood. I agree, adult peccadilloes need to be handled differently. Some may result in expulsion, others not, if there is a renewed commitment to chastity

60's Survivor said...

I find it interesting that no one seems to remember that this is the very same bishop who was the "special guest" speaker of the Diocese of Savannah for the "One in the Spirit" conference held on November 1, 2008, when Malone was the Bishop of Portland, Maine.

Draw your own conclusions.

rcg said...

I don’t agree with the article at all. The archdiocese has expended a great deal of effort to correct the misunderstanding due to the fact that the names were the same. As this game advances the Church should develop processes to avoid these mistakes, but the effort to correct it is sufficient. I have been mistaken for a criminal for the same reason and the same process quickly corrected the problem. The author of the article also falls into the error of asuming that if something is not illegal then it is permissable. The law alone does not set our boundaries. Illicit sexual activity is a violation of trust and is a limit for many professions other than the Catholic priesthood.

Anonymous said...

I agree that criminal behavior ought to be distinguished from behavior that is immoral but that falls short of crime. Criminal clergy and unfaithful clergy are two different groups, even if both have committed grave sins.

Locally, there was a case in which the bishop suggested reporting an unfaithful priest to the police, but I think that really was overkill. The erring priest in question had only made sexual advances to a married woman. He didn't commit rape.

TJM, I think that superiors need to be exceptionally careful before retaining a priest who has broken his vows of celibacy with an adult. The same priest who came on to another man's wife already had a previous history of fornication. He was allowed to remain in the active priesthood, but how was it determined that he had renewed his commitment to chastity? It just looks like keeping the man as a priest only led to more sins.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Even with an adult sexual behavior with a client could be considered a crime in some states, particularly if there is a power differentiation. It is illegal in Georgia for a minister or priest to engage in sex with parishioners.

Anonymous said...

Fr. McDonald, I had no idea that Georgia law prohibits sexual relations between a minister or priest and parishioners. My word! Had that fornicating priest in Virginia been in Georgia at the time of his dirty deeds, he could very well have faced some jail time.