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Catholic Culture Resources

tiny, tiny, tiny mortal sins

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Dec 10, 2003

Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk said mass at the parish of the Rev. Thomas Feldhaus and addressed the parishioners about the charges that their pastor inappropriately touched a boy on two occasions in 1979.

“As you all know by now, accusations of misbehavior have been brought forward against your pastor,” Pilarczyk told parishioners. “These accusations are about things that allegedly happened nearly twenty-five years ago.”

Feldhaus denies the charges, and deserves a full and fair hearing, and Abp. Pilarczyk is right to make it clear that the accusations are yet to be investigated. That said, he does the Archdiocese no favors in trivializing the alleged incident by the term "misbehavior" -- which suggests that the charge is much ado about nothing. The alleged victim refuses to speak at any time with anyone connected with the Church, indicating that he, at any rate, feels the damage was serious.

Nor do I see why the archbishop should think that mention of the time factor ("nearly twenty-five years ago ") is relevant. Even if he privately believes the victim is a coward for not speaking up sooner, he should communicate to the faithful not skepticism or peevishness directed at the complainant but resolve to get at the facts. Should the allegations prove true, the point at issue is not why the victim waited to so long to protest, but why the priest let two decades go by without finding the guts to get help for his victim and for himself.

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