no sweat – the saga continues.
As it happens, a Scripps Howard story reports that Whipkey has been noticed before. Some eight years ago, Fr. Bob was investigated by the Archdiocese for an unspecified "inappropriate personal behavior", and underwent “several years of therapy concerning unspecified "personal issues." (Emphasis added.) The story continues:
Independent medical (sic) health professionals evaluated Father Whipkey as part of his therapy but determined he was not a danger to others and that he should not be removed from the ministry...don't you just love that term, Independent.
The archdiocese also mobilized its conduct response team, which went to Sterling (Colorado) to investigate (Whipkey) and interview people who had raised concerns about Father Whipkey's conduct...don't you just love that term, mobilized.
However, Father Whipkey's conduct did not involve any physical or sexual contact with another person…
All this is according to Monsignor Thomas Fryar, moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese.
Hey folks, we got it covered! He's just an exhibitionist. Feel better now?
Archdiocesan spokeswoman Jeanette De Melo declined to clarify any statements made by Fryar, saying, "The story's over."
Well, Jen, News Channel 7 in Denver doesn’t think the story is over:
Details were not released by the archdiocese, but a 7NEWS viewer said six families left St. Anthony's in Sterling after Whipkey allegedly gave nude "sex talks" to 11-year-old boys while on a three-day camping trip... we think that it was Whipkey in the buff, and not the sex talks or the boys.
Robyn Ciaravola, who lives across the street from Whipkey’s home at the St. Theresa rectory in Frederick, told the Longmnt (sic) Times-Call that she has often seen Whipkey walking around naked through a window of his home during the three years she’s lived in the house.
The Archdiocese of Denver acknowledges that Fr. Bob was tagged by the laity at least once eight years ago; it does not acknowledge whether he was playing boy games at the time. It seems to be an application of the Rev Larry Gibbs musical chairs rules for exhibitionists: the Archdiocese of Denver transferred the perp to another assignment in rural Colorado. Whipkey was deemed not dangerous by the psychiatric team, but was, nevertheless, sick enough to be undergoing psychotherapy while pastor of three churches in three towns and evidently with limited supervision--quite a hat trick! The Archdiocese did not acknowledge whether current parishioners had been briefed on Fr. Bob's education methodology--so expertly practiced in Sterling--where he taught those 11-year-old boys a spiritual lesson for life. But hey, the story's over! No crime, no suit, no foul. Millstone? What millstone?
We're not sure how this attitude of diocesan officials squares with Archbishop Chaput's own statement on the problems of homosexuality and pornography, but we find it more than a stretch to believe that the Archbishop finds that smut in the home is a problem, but smut in the rectory is just fine.
Remaining questions: 1) What else did the Archdiocese know about Fr. Bob before 1997? Did the Archdiocese or the seminary bury complaints by fellow seminarians and priests about his seminary record and previous assignments? Chalk it up to intuition, but something tells your Uncle Di that playing boy games in the buff eight years ago (at 45 years of age) was not Fr. Bob's first trip into homoterritory. 2) Do you think the Archbishop, in his article on pornography, considered appending the term "rectories" to the following statement? "But we can do a lot about the (sexual) poison in our homes and local communities." Most assuredly he can do something about the poison among his priests, but whether he will, absent coercion, remains an open question; unannounced visits and porn audits of rectories would be a promising start.
In the mean time, the lesson learned is: One more bishop kicks the homosexual clergy can down the road. (Upon further review, we add 50 more PQ points to the Denver tally. Restart the clock.)
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Posted by: -
Aug. 22, 2007 2:47 PM ET USA
The priest should plead "Not Guilty" to the charge citing lack of sufficient evidence.
Posted by: -
Aug. 15, 2007 6:30 PM ET USA
In my old profession, law enforcement, if a cop were caught doing what this "Priest" did s/he'd be GONE. Crimes of moral turpitude are enough in the lay world to remove someone from employment. In the Church world that ought to be more than enough. I agree with others, priest shortage or not, we don't need this type. The Church needs to stand for quality not quantity. Right now, at least in the USA, it has neither.
Posted by: -
Aug. 14, 2007 6:05 PM ET USA
What about the 6th commandment? What about the 9th commandment? What about the vice of immodesty. What about the vice of impudence? It would seem there enough reasons to suspend him from ministry. The church needs holy priests what necessity could he possibly fill? He should be given 2 options: 1) Live in a carthusian monastery doing penence or 2) Fend for himself in the big bad world using his own marketable skills to make his way.
Posted by: -
Aug. 14, 2007 11:18 AM ET USA
By any sane standard, Rev. Mr. Robert Whipkey has a severe mental disorder. One that should preclude him from serving as a priest. And yet what keeps him there in part is that we have lost our standards. If the Rev. Whipkey marched nude on any weekend in a June Gay Pride (sic) parade day in any major city, he would be applauded by liberal politicians and religious and an adulatory media. Rev. Whipkey is the poster boy for a society that has come unhinged including large parts of the Church.
Posted by: -
Aug. 14, 2007 10:37 AM ET USA
What is this nude talk in the buff to 11yr old boys? If this is true, this priest better be put out to pasture for the rest of his days. By pasture, I mean locked-up somewhere in a convent. He needs a lot of help. Only Jesus can help him, but it is obvious, that he is failing to call on Him. Why is this so hard for the Bishop, not to know, that a "sick" priest does not belong in a parish setting?
Posted by: -
Aug. 14, 2007 10:33 AM ET USA
Select the most appropriate answer: (A) Spirit of Vatican II (B) Smoke of Satan (C) One sick puppy (D) All of the above.