March 05, 2006

Removal of priest elicits cautious comments

The Joplin Globe

Dave Woods
Globe Internet Editor

There was a time in the not-so-distant-past when an allegation of sexual misconduct against a member of the clergy was shocking.

We, as a nation, were shocked at the notorious videotape of famed evangelist Jimmy Swaggert leaving a no-tell-motel after an encounter with a paid companion. We were shocked when TV preacher Jim Baker admitted that he had broken his marriage vow to wife and PTL partner, Tammy Faye Baker, with Jessica Hann, a member of his flock.

And, we were shocked the first dozen or so times we heard news of Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing young members of the church. So, this week, when it was learned a priest named Stephen Schneider had been removed from St. Peter the Apostle parish in Joplin due to an allegation of past sexual misconduct with a minor, I expected a wave of shock and disbelief to drive comments online at I was wrong. Instead, it seemed, online viewers took an uncharacteristically cautious approach to what they had to say.

Posted by kshaw at March 5, 2006 07:14 AM