06 April, 2010

Memo From Rome - Sexual Abuse Crisis Puts Strain on Vatican Management - NYTimes.com

Memo From Rome - Sexual Abuse Crisis Puts Strain on Vatican Management - NYTimes.com


  1. In my parish, St. John the Evangelist in Goshen, NY, the first major pedophile scandal materialized in the early nineties. The priest in question, "Father Ed" had been molesting boys in their early teens. To say that the parishioners were traumatized by this would be an understatement. They were devastated. Then something wondrous happened....

    Father Ed was eventually replaced by Father Trevor Nichols. Father Trevor had been an Anglican in merrie old England when he converted to Catholicism. On becoming a Catholic was transferred to Saint John's - WITH HIS WIFE AND TWO DAUGHTERS! A married priest! WITH TWO KIDS!

    You want to hear the punch line? Our little parish did not implode. The sun did not fall from the sky. Huge cracks did not appear in the earth's surface. In fact, it was nice having them. They were - and are to this day - deeply beloved by the people of St. John's.

    Allowing priests to marry would transform the Catholic Church. Having a married priest and his lovely family in our midst certainly transformed the people of St. John's.


    Tom Degan

  2. Tom: Thanks for the post. I was ordained with two married men in my class (1989); one was a widower and the other a minister who converted. I understand that married men are as effective as celibates - in fact there are rites within the RCC with married priests.

    This being said, celibacy is not forced on anyone. It is freely chosen. Priests who do so must be faithful to their vows, just as anyone who is married must do the same.

    Maybe some day the teaching on celibacy will change, but until that day, I have no problem with a celibate priesthood.

    One last point: I'm glad your parish has the means to pay a salary sufficient to support a family. That is certainly not the case in the french/bilingual parishes where I serve.

    Fr. Tim

  3. Father Tim:

    The widower was I believe, Father Al Kerckhaert, who subsequently died of cancer.

    He was a wonderful man, and for whatever time he was a priest, a faith filled and faithful priest.

    In the times that I met him, he was an inspiration.

  4. That part about Catholics having a lot to learn from Judaism is hilarious. I know a lot of proud Jews. Some are observant, some are not. Some are Zionist, some are not. Not one of them believes in God.

    Go for it!


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