Donations for Priests Not First Charitable Choice

Amarillo Globe News [Amarillo TX]
Downloaded June 1, 2004

There are all kinds of charities around Amarillo, many with worthy causes and outreaches that aid and benefit the community. However, there is one in particular that leaves a bad taste in our mouths.

Retired Catholic Bishop Leroy Matthiesen has sent letters throughout the Panhandle Diocese soliciting funds for three priests who were removed for sexual abuse allegations. One of the priests, John Salazar, is in jail in Dallas facing sexual assault charges. All were removed two years ago for sex-abuse allegations.

Matthiesen is soliciting money for the priests for support payments, which have dropped to $100 per month from $1,600.

Matthiesen told The Dallas Morning News that the three priests "are my friends" and "there's no way I would even consider the idea of not helping them."

Matthiesen's loyalty to his friends is admirable, and certainly in accordance with faith and forgiveness.

Still, it is difficult to justify making support payments to individuals who not only failed to uphold the beliefs and values of faith, but severely damaged and harmed others in the process.

Those who have or are considering donating money to this cause are free to do so, according to their own sense of right and wrong and forgiveness.

In this instance, it is not necessarily a case of right or wrong.

This cause just wouldn't be first on our list of charities.


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