Priest of Porn Draws Bishop's Ire

By William Hanson
United Press International 1985
May 30, 1985

Catholic Bishop Elden Curtiss of the Helena Diocese Thursday complained about a wave of news media coverage recently of a former priest of the diocese, John Bauer, who now owns a chain of stores selling hard-core pornography.

The bishop called attention to Bauer's admission that he is no longer a Catholic priest because he is no longer a Catholic and no longer believes in God. "His words and actions make this assessment quite accurate," Curtiss said.

Bauer, 48, started his chain of stores, called Ms. Kitty's, in Bozeman, Mont., in 1981, and now has stores in Helena and in Spokane, Wash.

Diocesan officials previously tried unsuccessfully to have Bauer defrocked formally. "There was an attempt, but Rome did not respond," said the Rev. Robert J. Beaulieu, director of the pastoral office.

Bauer now wears a clerical collar to get free publicity, Bishop Curtiss complained. "It is regrettable that the news media allows him to belittle the church and its priesthood with such tactics," he added.

"It is painful for us to see Bauer repudiate his background and training and his former position of leadership in the church," the bishop said. "We are saddened by his increasingly irreverent attacks on basic Christian values.

"We are confused by a news media which gives extensive publicity to a promoter of pornography because he has repudiated his Catholic background. We are dismayed by a clientele that supports a growing pornography industry which makes sexual immorality a lucrative business," Curtiss concluded.


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