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the ministry of presence

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 04, 2008

Now here's a dim shaft of creativity. In 2003, Juan Gonzalez was dismissed from Mt. Angel Seminary in Oregon consequent to allegations that he was viewing kiddie porn. Though police were notified in 2003, a warrant for his arrest was not issued until 2005. In the interim he had been hired by the Diocese of Yakima, Washington, in some religious ed capacity. Finally arrested last month and facing extradition to Oregon, Gonzalez now asserts that he was innocent of the porn charge but confessed to it simply in order to escape from a seminary he found disappointing:

Juan Gonzalez believes he was called by God to be a priest. But what he saw at an Oregon seminary quickly disappointed him.

"How they relate to each other, how they treat each other, how they hate each other," he explained to Action News in an exclusive jailhouse interview.

Juan says he accepted allegations he looked at child porn just so he could get out of there.

Ah yes. He cracked under the pressure of unpleasing hospitality. Such a pity Gonzalez never discovered that the seminary doors, unlike those of his present domicile, were unlocked. He might have dealt with his disillusionment by simply walking away as free as air, and thus avoided the vexatious ruse of a false confession to a felony.

The journalists who rigged up and reported on this "exclusive interview" with Gonzalez deserve our hearty contempt for failing to ask the obvious follow-up questions (even if it were plausible that a seminarian would effect an exit by forcing his superiors to eject him, admitting to gender-exclusive language would work faster than cyber-porn). They obviously didn't want to spoil their scoop.

And to think that for five years the people of God were catechised by this man.

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  • Posted by: - Apr. 04, 2008 6:32 PM ET USA

    I remember asking a fellow we were looking to hire as a teacher what I call the "Big" Question: is there anything you'd like me to hear from you before I hear it from one of your referrals? He said, "would two convictions for indecent exposure be a problem?"

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