WHEREIN I HAVE TO AGREE WITH THIS BUFFALO NEWS EDITORIAL
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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.
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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.”