Oh...oh yeah, that request!
The following announcement, in its entirety, appears in the Texas Catholic newspaper of the Diocese of Dallas:
FROM BISHOP CHARLES V. GRAHMANN
May 31, 2003
Father Ernie Villaroya visited with me. Because of the situation which has developed, he feels in conscience that he needs to remove himself from St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Frisco. He has asked for an extended leave of absence to think and pray about this experience. His request has been granted.
You remember Monsignor Villaroya: he's the beauty who isn't sure whether he fathered the child of a Filipina nun, isn't sure whether his relations with the mother were consensual, and, besides, doesn't see why we're slow to forgive him for an understandably human slip that didn't happen and was 20 years ago anyway.
But in the present case it's the bishop's language that rouses our interest. The link on the Texas Catholic homepage says "Bishop accepts Villaroya's leave request" -- somewhat odd phrasing, considering that this request was not reported earlier and is not "in play," so to speak. By the same token it's curious that such unnecessary pains should be taken to make clear to us that there's no question of the bishop's knuckling under to pressure here:
Father Ernie Villaroya visited with me [HIS initiative, got it?]. Because of the situation which has developed, HE feels in conscience that HE needs to remove HIMSELF from St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Frisco. HE has asked for an extended leave of absence to think and pray about this experience. HIS request has been granted.
I don't know about you folks, but if I learned one thing from this announcement it's that Bishop Grahmann never, never, never got on the phone and told Villaroya that if he wasn't out of town in eight hours there'd be hell to pay.
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