adagio ma non troppo

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 21, 2003

The saga of the Erie Times-News, Erie Bishop Donald Trautman, and The Scandal takes us yet deeper into the tar pits. In his December 14 letter to the editor, Trautman complained of an article in which a corrections official deplored the diocese's lack of accountability:

On September 14th, the Times published a story headlined "Former Prison Warden Gets Tough with Church Leaders." The man interviewed questioned the appointment of a priest whom he said was a pedophile. No priest with that background was ever sent to him or appointed by me. The charge was not true, but no one from the Times bothered to verify it with me, no one asked my side of the story. An untruth was reported as fact. Why didn't the reporter contact me to verify the situation?

Trautman's letter prompted the following response (December 16):

My name is Edward Brennan and I'm the "man" the Bishop refers to in his recent letter in Sunday's paper Dec. 14. Obviously, I'm disturbed at being called a liar and frankly I have no desire to get into the proverbial "contest" with Bishop Trautman but I cannot stand by and see him blatantly claim he, and or the Diocese, were not involved in referring an alleged pedophile as a prison chaplain in the late 90's -- a priest who was serving as chaplain of another county facility at the time.

In October, Trautman called me after the article was published and asked "inquisitively," if I would tell him who the priest was that I referred to in the article. I told him, and without hesitation he stated, "Oh, I checked my files and I cannot find where we referred him..." I responded that he needed to check further as the priest in question in fact applied at the prison and when we found out about his checkered past, through our criminal justice sources, we called the Diocese officials to find out more information.

We were told by the official that they would not comment and that it was up to us if we chose to select him or not. We could do as we wished. The Bishop continued to claim his committee had not referred the priest and I reminded him no priest appointments were ever made at the prison without Diocesan approval and if the priest was not referred by the Diocese then why did his (the Bishop's) official representative respond that the "option to take him was ours."

I received no response to that query. Trautman then asked me who we talked to and I told him. He then stated "thank you, you have been very helpful" and hung up.

In other news, the Chicago Cubs signed left-hander Kent Mercker to a one-year contract.

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  • Posted by: Fr. William - Dec. 26, 2003 2:56 PM ET USA

    A question for any orthodox priest who has uquestioned love for and obedience to Holy Mother Church, the Holy Father, and the Magisterium: Does the behavior and language of his Excellency, Bishop Trautman, surprise you? Just watch his behavior at a USCCB meeting, listen to his language, read his writings... his agenda is clear, is it not?

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Dec. 22, 2003 12:50 PM ET USA

    Obviously, Trautman never considered the possibility that a man like Brennan would have the integrity and commitment to truth to respond to the charge of being called a liar. I wonder if stories like this affect the fundraising ability of the Church.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 21, 2003 9:51 PM ET USA

    "In other news, the Chicago Cubs signed left-hander Kent Mercker to a one-year contract." Ah yes, but do they shift him from farm team to farm team if his stats don't measure up?