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Bishop O'Brien of Phoenix

By Fr. Wilson (articles ) | Jun 16, 2003

The first thought that struck me when I heard of the arrest of O'Brien regarding a hit-and-run incident was something Steve Brady of The Roman Catholic Faithful wrote to two top priest aides to Bishop Ryan of Springfield after his removal:

In fact, I feel very sorry for the bishop who had no priest in his chancery who loved him enough to help protect him from his own self-destructive behavior. I know for a fact that you& were informed of Bishop Ryans sexual involvement with fellow clergy and suspect that your involvement went beyond mere knowledge& I cannot imagine the loneliness, shame and despair Ryan must have felt  knowing those with whom he surrounded himself cared so little for his soul. What greater denial of Christ can there be? Is it any wonder the poor man turned to alcohol for an escape? As hard as it may be for you to believe, I have shed more than a few tears for that poor man. You betrayed him, you betrayed the Church, and, most importantly, you betrayed Christ. May God have mercy on you.

If it proves to be the case that O'Brien is guilty, likely it'll turn out that he was deeply troubled in other areas of his life as well, and likely too someone knew something was wrong but did nothing.

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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jun. 17, 2003 6:18 PM ET USA

    You hit the nail right on the head, Father, "...and did nothing." What are we willing to do now, and are we willing to count the cost???

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