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Not guilty, your honor

By Diogenes (articles ) | Aug 20, 2004

Ed Peters-- a very solid canon lawyer whose blog is ordinarily quite reliable, takes me to task for a recent comment about an annulment granted to the notorious Rudy Kos, enabling him to enter the Dallas seminary and begin preying on boys. Maybe I skipped over the point too quickly, but I did not intend to suggest that the Kos marriage was valid.

No one disputes the fact that Kos's union was never a marriage or that the declaration of nullity wasn't appropriate--in fact, it seems an open and shut case. But my understanding is that the grounds on which the marriage is declared null are part of the tribunal's decision. Now if the judgment of the tribunal was based on ANY grounds other than those of Kos's grotesque psychopathology, it would be tantamount to a fraud.

Yet how could Kos have been permitted to enter the seminary unless the grounds given for his annulment were not prejudicial to his character? My (admittedly elliptical) point is that, since Kos's wife's explanations were known, and since Kos entered the seminary, Archbishop Kelly must have framed the declaration of nullity in such a way as to launder Kos's reputation.

If there was collusion between Kelly and the Dallas gang, this is villainy on Kelly's part; if there was no collusion, it is gross pastoral negligence. Pick one.

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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Aug. 21, 2004 8:44 PM ET USA

    It would seem to me that this Canon lawyer may discreetly be trying to divert attention from the bishop involved by changing the focus.

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