Sharing his gifts
By Diogenes ( articles ) | Feb 23, 2004
I admit to verging on the censorious in earlier posts regarding the conduct of former Phoenix Bishop Thomas O'Brien. By way of restoring balance, I recommend a perusal of this judicious assessment by Andrew Peyton Thomas.
O'Brien was driving home from a church function when an intoxicated pedestrian jaywalked in front of his vehicle. O'Brien's vehicle struck the victim, Jim Reed, with such force that Reed's body left an enormous crater in the right side of the windshield. Reed died at the scene. Had O'Brien stopped to render assistance, he almost certainly would not have faced any legal repercussions. But he did not. Instead, by his own account, O'Brien sped on home, ate some leftover pizza, and went to bed. ...
I think it's important to remember his contributions to the renewal of dance ministry.
O'Brien plainly equated accusations of pedophilia with gay bashing. As a result, he felt obliged to chastise the accusers: Their complaints, by his standards, were evidence of bigotry. This view was symptomatic of his broader disconnect with Catholic doctrine, a schism that rendered O'Brien's diocese one of the most liberal in the country. O'Brien's top lieutenants reflected this tilt. In 1999, the monsignor who served as O'Brien's top lobbyist at the legislature worked to torpedo a piece of anti-abortion legislation by convincing two Senate Democrats to withdraw their support of the bill unless the Republican leadership agreed to repeal welfare reform (this writer was witness to those machinations, which became well-known in the Arizona right-to-life community).
And let's not forget his many years of generous support of the Arts in the greater metropolitan area.
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