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...and nothing but the truth

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 24, 2004

Remember former Phoenix Bishop Thomas "Bat Phone" O'Brien, who bunted a 250 pound pedestrian to death with his Buick and thought he might have hit a cat? Well it turns out he intended to call the police but, um, the dog ate his phone book:

Testimony from two key witnesses Thursday revealed that Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien knew authorities wanted to question him about a fatal hit-and-run accident but he never called police, in part, because he didn't know how to get the number. "I wouldn't know how to call the police, except 911," O'Brien told Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Fullerton. "I wouldn't know how to call the police, what the number is, so I wouldn't know where to start."

Happens to the best of us. Well, it turns out that the police were somewhat more adept at finding their way around a telephone directory, and eventually got hold of O'Brien's vicar Msgr. Dale Fushek to tell him why they wanted to speak to his boss. Fushek phoned O'Brien and informed him about the cops' interest in the hit-and-run:

In answer to a question from prosecutor Anthony Novitsky, Fushek said the bishop was "not very forthcoming" during their conversation. But Fushek said O'Brien gradually acknowledged he "might have been" driving in the vicinity of the accident and said his windshield was damaged.

Hey, let's give O'Brien the benefit of the doubt. If any of us had been kamikaze'd on our drive home by a flying cat the size of a middle linebacker we might well be reluctant to talk about it. Cynics may harbor suspicions about the tactically expedient vagueness of the bishop's account, but to my way of thinking: it is as it was.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jan. 26, 2004 8:36 AM ET USA

    Umm, 911 would have done the job. He didn't need a phone book. Or am I slow and you guys have all figured out the obvious?

  • Posted by: AveMaria580 - Jan. 24, 2004 2:35 PM ET USA

    If some of our bishops are really this helpless that they can't look up a phone number in the phone book, it certainly helps explain the state of affairs in the Church today. And, it indicates that things are even worse than they appear with such helpless incompetence at the helm. It is also a sign of hope. Maybe all we need to do is get the bishops together and have someone teach them how to look things up in the Catechism.

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