January 13, 2005

Bishop talks with Costa's parishioners



SHERMAN - It is unlikely that Monsignor Eugene Costa will ever return to his ministry at St. John Vianney Church in Sherman and Holy Family Church in Athens, Bishop George Lucas told parishioners Wednesday night.

Costa, whom the diocese says was engaged in inappropriate and immoral behavior, resigned last week after being attacked Dec. 21 and found critically injured near the band shell in Douglas Park, 400 N. MacArthur Blvd., which has a longstanding reputation as a meeting spot for gay men.

Two teenagers, ages 15 and 17, were arrested Jan. 3 in the attack.

Nevertheless, church members expressed support and sympathy for the priest as they questioned Lucas after the regularly scheduled 5:30 p.m. Mass. One man stood up and told Lucas that parishioners had known about Costa's behavior for years but still supported him. Costa was ordained in the diocese in 1976 and has worked here ever since.

Posted by kshaw at January 13, 2005 07:29 AM