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Angels with dirty faces

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. (articles ) | Sep 09, 2003

A third Maine priest has been identified for his participation in the St. Sebastian's Angels web site. The other two had been known for years, but this one was identified by a member of, surprisingly, Voice of the Faithful who compared a list of email addresses of Maine priests with email addresses on an archived copy of the web site. (Pretty stupid of the priest to keep the same email address after all this time.)

(Also, the newspaper is wrong. It's not the "Roman Catholic Foundation," but Stephen Brady's "Roman Catholic Faithful.")

The Maine VOTF guys are demanding the diocese remove Fr. Normand Richard as pastor of a parish in Old Town, Maine. (Obviously these guys did not get the memo from VOTF headquarters in Boston that gay priests are not the problem.) The diocese says it's not going to take any further action because it says Richard was disciplined in 2000 and while his involvement was a sin, it was not a crime.

So a gross violation of chastity and joining a group of priests who are deeply rebellious and dismissive of the Church's teachings are not reasons for a priest to be considered unfit to be a pastor of souls. I can't overstate how evil the website was. For the gory details read about it on the Roman Catholic Faithful web page. (Warning: For mature adults only.) Also read the Catholic World Report story.

Meanwhile this group has its core group of founders in the Diocese of Portland, Maine. Where there's smoke, there's fire. There must have been an environment that made them feel safe doing this.

I also find ironic the defense of one of the other two priests against charges that he abused a 13-year-old girl. He says he couldn't have done it because he is gay. Nice.

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