Action Alert!

man to man

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Dec 09, 2004

Tasmanian Father Green availed himself of the St. Poelten Protocol in reaching out to a young man during grief counseling. The young man failed to see it as innocent horseplay, and 30 years later found a judge to agree with him.

Justice Underwood said a significant aggravating feature of the crime was that it was committed while Green was ministering to the man and his family, all traumatised by the death.

"You, as an ordained priest of the Catholic Church, held yourself out to this young man and his family as a custodian of moral values and a person in whom trust could be placed when in need," he said.

"Your public humiliation is complete for your former high standing has been transformed to disgrace and odium from which you are unlikely to recover."

Sleazy as the situation is, it's almost bracing to read words -- words aimed at the chest -- that state the simple moral facts about sexual abuse. No palaver about Father's alcohol dependency or his "regrettable mistake" or his many years of effective ministry sadly impaired by illness. Instead, we have one adult talking to another adult as if they were both free and rational beings capable of morally significant choices for good or ill. You'd almost think it mattered.

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