April 01, 2006

Adversity has drawn community together

Mercury News

By Kim Vo and HongDao Nguyen
Mercury News
Faith and forgiveness. That's what members of Sacred Heart Parish in Saratoga say they're leaning on after another sex allegation surfaced against a priest within their tight-knit community.

The Rev. Randy Benas is accused of raping an Oregon woman who was seeking spiritual counseling. His arrest comes more than a year after a monsignor was placed on leave, then resigned as church pastor, amid accusations that he molested altar boys in the late 1970s when he was at another congregation.

``Does it feel like a punch in the stomach?'' said Ron Lewis, a church member for three decades. ``Yeah, we're human. But you're going to hear that, `My heart goes out to him.' ''

Parishioners say they banded together after allegations surfaced against Monsignor Alexander Larkin, and they expect to do so again with these new charges.

Posted by kshaw at April 1, 2006 10:03 AM