Click here to advertise on

another defeat for intolerance

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 21, 2005

That "heroic sense of integrity" runs up against rank bigotry when operating in Nevada, and triumphs. The Worcester Voice reports:

Fr. James Aquino, pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Parish and Director of the Permanent Diaconate Program (training for new deacons), is allowed to stay in ministry after an October 21, 2004 sexual incident.

On October 21, 2004, two undercover Las Vegas police officers, while in an adult book store and theater, observed one Larry xxxx and Fr. James Aquino engaging in lewd conduct in a place open to the public ... Both men were escorted outside. Aquino said he had no identification on him -- checks were run on a fake social security number furnished by Aquino, with negative results. After a few minutes he admitted he had identification in his shoe, a Massachusetts driver's license. ...

[In reply to inquiries, Aquino's] attorney states he can not divulge matter of confidential nature, which affects innocent, honest individuals. Further, the lawyer replies Fr. Aquino was not arrested but rather issued a citation. The lawyer projects that the charges were dismissed, by the Justice court of Las Vegas, however in review of actual court documents, a plea bargain was arranged with the court by Father Aquino's counsel.

Please, please don't rush to judgment. I can think of lots of good reasons for being in an adult bookstore in Las Vegas with your driver's license in your shoe.* And the allegations were quite obviously false. I'm sure, were Aquino guilty, his lawyer would say so clearly. Isn't that what they usually do?

*OK, here's just one of the many obvious innocent explanations: While in Vegas preaching the Gospel, Fr. Aquino met Larry XXXX, and quickly converted him (Larry was with the Nation of Islam, I imagine). Fired by zeal, the new convert immediately became a candidate for the Worcester permanent deaconate. But Father A, being pastorally prudent, had the foresight to check for paraphimosis (one of the leading causes of ministerial "burnout"). He was conducting the necessary examination when anti-Catholic bigots surprised him, violating his privacy and threatening the confessional seal.

The incident leaves me with just one question. Wouldn't the Vegas police have realized Aquino was a priest when they saw his Roman collar?

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our July expenses ($34,059 to go):
$35,000.00 $941.00
97% 3%
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Oct. 22, 2005 10:36 AM ET USA

    How dare anyone assert that he's other than a priest in good standing? His lawyer says the charge was dropped. I don't care what the police or the court records say. Move on, nothing to see here except the collection basket on the left.

  • Posted by: major - Oct. 22, 2005 9:59 AM ET USA

    Maybe Father was exploring other opportunities in ministry, or trying to find other spots to go and renew himself rather then a good retreat.

  • Posted by: Andy K - Oct. 21, 2005 7:36 PM ET USA

    While I can think of many reasons to have one's ID in one's shoe in LV, I cannot imagine why ne would feel compelled to be in an "adult bookstore" in the clerical state. Unless, of course, this is non-traditional ministry.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on

Recent Catholic Commentary

A Baptist leader with a message the Synod of Bishops should hear June 30
'Helpful' advice for social conservatives: ignore causes, deal with effects June 30
In the Aftermath of Obergefell June 30
The political outlook after Obergefell June 29
Good news/bad news on the Vatican PR overhaul June 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope approves process for holding bishops accountable in abuse cases CWN - June 10
Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical released (includes link to full text) CWN - June 18
US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage CWN - June 26
Archbishop Nienstedt, auxiliary bishop resign CWN - June 15
Cardinal Kasper: Pope never approved my proposal CWN - June 4