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The Rights of the Accused: Innocent Priests

tom

This is an insightful article that every priest AND BISHOP should read from my old friend Fr. Tom Guarino.

Rolling Stone, Alan Dershowitz and Catholic Priests by Thomas Guarino

The Conspiracy:  An Innocent Priest by Msgr. William McCarthy

Sacrificing Priests on the Altar of Insurance by D. Shaneyfelt & J. Maher

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One Response

  1. Like so many things in the mass media/social media culture we now live in, absence of guilt is hard to prove by the time the “news” has rapidly made its way around the country. Add to that the fact that in an expanding cultural of secularism it makes it all the more difficult to find fairness. Lastly, now retired from 30 years in various forms of the insurance world, wins and losses are all too often decided by cost, not by guilt or innocence. Sadly, and often unjustly, this is true in almost all forms of liability claims.

    Over the years, I have interacted in some way with four priests that were accused of sexual misconduct while being educated at a Catholic middle, high school and college. I believe that the evidence was possibly strong in two of the cases. The third case involved a priest where I was an alter boy for four years. He was somewhat effeminate which I believe was the reason he was possibly a target. However, I had been alone with him many times as had a number of good friends. None of us ever experienced a problem. The fourth priest was a very close friend and largely responsible for my return to the Church. Without getting into the specifics of the case, the charges were well beyond reason but occurred at the height of the scandal. My point is that in my personal experience, there is a strong possibility that at least two of these four priests were innocent. Yet, all four were ruined. I cannot imagine how disheartening it must be for all priests to live under this shadow. My wife and I pray for priests, bishops and the Holy Father daily. This situation is, in my opinion, part of the larger, and possibly climactic, war between good and evil. My hope is that our bishops will remain strong in the Lord and that our priests will continue to fight the good fight knowing that the overall victory has been already won. We American Catholics have become “comfortable” in society over the past several decades forgetting our history. The days of comfort, I believe are on the way out. We have entered into a new time for religious and the committed laity alike. There are clearly some priests that are unsure (and rightly so) of the support from their particular bishop, but they should know that there are many of us in parishes across the country that are quietly praying feverishly for our priests. Peace!

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