July 15, 2005


Spirit Daily

By Michael H. Brown

Many years ago I was speaking at a church in Seattle and the priest impressed me as a very devout man. He also seemed very "with it." Did I have issues with him? I had issues with him. I never did get expense money to get back to the airport, or any form of compensation, and most egregiously of all, he pulled me out of a restaurant when I was only halfway through one of the best steaks of my life.

I'm only kidding, of course, although what I write about today, and about him, is not a laughing matter. The other day I was looking through something called the "clergy abuse tracker," and there he was, in articles saying that due to allegations of abuse, he was now banned, at age 72, from ministry.

He is certainly not the only priest I've met who has been charged with sexual misconduct. I have spoken at other parishes where clerics have been accused; I had one bless my own home; another was a house guest; I have run across them at various conferences.

Are they all guilty? I'm sure many are. Perhaps the majority. There is little doubt that a satanic spirit swept over the priesthood and caused dastardly temptation. We're always amazed at the extent of the sex-abuse crisis. It is a low point in the entire history of the Church. To compromise the innocence of a youngster is all but unforgivable, and there is no downplaying it.

But I started having second thoughts about that one in Seattle.

Posted by kshaw at July 15, 2005 10:15 AM