We earn 8% in referral fees when you shop Amazon through our link. We make it easy! Click to learn how.
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org


By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 28, 2003

Did your grandparents go down on a felony rap for setting up underage homosexual prostitutes in an out-of-state condo? Mine too. It's a failing that strikes many wonderful retired people in their "golden years," when they become prone to hearing loss, diminished visual acuity, and solicitation to sodomy. So I was glad to learn, when 76-year-old Father Daniel McBride pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution with a 17-year-old boy, that his lawyer spoke to the issue:

"Dan McBride did not use his status as a priest to facilitate this act. He did make a tragic mistake at the end of his wonderful career," said Brian Downey, McBride's attorney. "His vocation is ended. He cannot act as a priest."

I cried. Just one little slip -- a "tragic mistake," in Downey's words -- puts an end to 52 years of felony-free homilizing and wedding receptions! Of course there will be judgmental Catholics who pretend that they never made a mistake, never missed an exit on the interstate or wore mismatched socks or gave a teenager $120 for gay sex, but most of us are more humble and honest with ourselves. As my grandma said when the Jersey City vice squad were cuffing her during her bust for deviant sexual battery, "I just couldn't face another day of Petticoat Junction re-runs!"

Father McBride's pastor, the Rev. Charles Diedrick, was present in court at the time of the sentencing and helped put things in their true perspective:

Diedrick said he felt obligated to lend his support to McBride, who has been his friend for more than 20 years. "I think we need to show support for a man who has an unblemished record," Diedrick said.

And isn't this sensible? Alger Hiss's brilliant career was wrecked on a single conviction -- perjury -- but there was no reason to think he wasn't a dedicated civil servant and patriot otherwise. By the same token only a cynic could imagine that McBride's personal appetites may have been less-than-perfectly compartmentalized and so have affected his defense and exposition of Church teaching in the 50+ years of his ministry. Why, look at Andrew Sullivan on the doctrine of auricular confession!

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!

Progress toward our March expenses ($30,304 to go):
$35,000.00 $4,695.70
87% 13%
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 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jun. 30, 2003 5:36 PM ET USA

    The clergy decadents of Phoenix are now making a MARTYR of their former Ordinary, Bishop O'Brien. Little wonder that the stream of those leaving the R.C. Church in Arizona has become a torrent ! And so many of the decadents never had a good word to say about him BEFORE. What utter hypocrites ! And nearly everybody knows it. Some priests, instead of having their hands oiled, must have had their tongues forked at ordination !

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jun. 28, 2003 7:36 PM ET USA

    To translate from sarcasm-ese into English: the fact after conviction for a crime and a mortal sin that cries to heaven, this priest finds support, rather than condemnation from a another priest is a terrible and obvious sign that clericalism is still entrenched in the Church. They (i.e. the clergy) still don't get it.

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Social Media’s Vanity Fair: Danger on every side! 17 hours ago
The Ways of Evangelization March 3
Evangelization and the Gift of Meaning March 3
Two links - moral relativism in elementary schools and charges of "genocide" in the Old Testament March 3
Don’t touch that Smile! Helping CatholicCulture.org by shopping on Amazon. March 2

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis to address Congress in joint session in September CWN - February 5