October 12, 2005

Ronnie Polaneczky | Duped priest assails church leaders

Philadelphia Daily News

By Ronnie Polanczky

I'VE GOT good news and bad news for Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali.

The good news is that Mass attendance is way up at St. Basil the Great Roman Catholic Church, in Kimberton.

The bad news is that it most certainly isn't because of him.

That honor belongs to St. Basil's pastor, Father Bob McLaughlin, affectionately known as "Father Mac" - not just to the 1,200 families of his Chester County parish, but to me.

Father Mac is one of the "men of God" I was referring to in a column I wrote three weeks ago, about how I would not let the repulsive sex scandal in the Philadelphia Archdiocese tarnish my memories of the wonderful priests I knew growing up.

Shortly after the column ran, Father Mac contacted me, saying he'd read it and appreciated the vote of support. It had been nearly three decades since we last spoke, but his laugh was as recognizable to me as it was when I'd hear it roar infectiously through the church hall and rectory of my childhood parish.

Posted by kshaw at October 12, 2005 08:36 AM