Our Boosters are matching gifts up to $45,000. We have $32,467 to go. Your gift today will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

no contest

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 10, 2008

A Diocese of Monterey priest pleaded no contest yesterday to playing pirates with a sheriff's deputy.

A Nipomo priest was sentenced to three years probation this morning after he pleaded no contest to committing sex crimes near the Pirates Cove nude beach.

The Rev. Geronimo Enrique Cuevas, 52, must also complete 40 hours of community work service and an AIDS education class, Deputy District Attorney Craig VanRooyen said. He must also stay away from Pirates Cove.

What's the story with the AIDS education class? I can see his 40 hours service work as a reasonable punishment, and the reason for keeping Father out of Pirates Cove is clear, but what's the point of the HIV workshop? For the state to coach its convicts in the ethics of "if you can't be good, be careful" is a roundabout endorsement of the behavior it ostensibly prohibits -- doubly so when you consider the unlikelihood that Cuevas will learn from the workshop anything he didn't know already. The only possible value is that, by treating Cuevas as just another unsanitary public health menace, rubbing his nose in the mandatory lessons on the use of Clorox and dental dams might bring home to him the disgrace he visited on his priesthood.

As it stands, the news story is mercifully incomplete. We are not told what business the assaulted sheriff's deputy had at Pirates Cove nude beach, and all the obvious answers lend themselves to puns too horrible to contemplate. And while we're on the subject, perhaps a reminder is in order that many enlightened clergymen believe the Holy See's understanding of spiritual paternity to be insufficiently nuanced.

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!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($117,141 to go):
$150,000.00 $32,858.98
78% 22%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org 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: - Jun. 11, 2008 1:05 PM ET USA

    The naked truth is surely too much to bare.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 10, 2008 9:00 PM ET USA

    The punishment handed down, including the AIDS education class, is standard and mandated under California laws which prohibit soliciting the sort of acts to which he pled guilty. The Sheriff's Deputy was at that location in the role of potential victim due to it being a known location for that sort of behavior. In short, Cuevas was caught in a sting.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 10, 2008 8:54 AM ET USA

    The cops may be bustin' these guys, but its the LAT-NYT-Demo prosecutors and judges that have to hammer home the conviction. Lets just say that their nails are a bit of a splintered shard.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Contentious Spirits, Beware! 6 hours ago
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28
Clarifying what it might mean for a pope to wish to change Catholic doctrine October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6