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By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jan 30, 2004

Fr. Richard Poster, director of liturgy for the Diocese of Davenport, has pleaded guilty to downloading hard-core child porn. The judge gave him a year in prison.

Poster told the judge he would not return to the priesthood and has come to terms with his sexual identity after years of struggling to balance desire with the clergy's vow of celibacy and the Roman Catholic church's opposition to homosexuality.

This particular balancing act seems commonplace in the liturgy business -- as do the falls from the wire. One thinks of Fr. Michael Spillane, director of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) for sixteen years, who was defrocked for molesting six boys; or of Spillane's successor, Fr. Kenneth Martin, who crashed and burned for molesting a male high school student; or again of the famous John Huels, a Servite priest and influential liturgical canonist in Ottawa, who likewise was forced to resign for abusing a male, and is now seeking laicization.

Oh, they have one more thing in common. In each case it was the pressure of external constraint -- law enforcement or the media -- that forced their ecclesial superiors to act.

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