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father john

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 30, 2005

This wyf was nat afered nor affrayed,
But boldely she seyde, and that anon:
Marie, I deffie the false monk, daun John!
I kepe nat of his tokenes never a deel;
He took me certeyn gold, that woot I weel,
What! Yvel thedam on his monkes snowte!

Geoffrey Chaucer would find a familiar, if unsympathetic, character in this Davenport clergyman who has spent his retirement collecting the kind of wounds that will allow him to become a wounded healer.

A retired Davenport priest pleaded guilty Friday to his fourth count of prostitution since 1998, court documents show. Monsignor Robert John Walter, 84, was arrested in the early morning hours of May 23, records state. The judge gave him a $1,000 fine and one year of unsupervised probation. ...

His first arrest came in July 1998, one of 33 arrested during a police sting near downtown Davenport. ... He received a deferred sentence for that charge, documents state. His second arrest came in August 2000, court records show. He was fined $500 and given one year of probation, which he completed successfully. He was charged for a third time in November 2003 when he was fined $750 and placed on probation for one year. This time, Walter and a female were discovered by police in a car at 1:20 a.m., records state.

Let me guess: he's in a program of monitored care and there's no reason to think minors are at risk. And besides, we have to balance his shortcomings against the many positive aspects of his generous life of ministry. Right, Geoff?

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