What's Never Mentioned in the Sex Scandal Cases

By Kevin O'brien
Waiting for Godot to Leave
August 12, 2014

Has anyone ever commented on the fact that, not only is it shocking that bishops have been covering for, lying for, and enabling abusive priests - but that when a priest is sexually active at all (even with consenting adults), this seems to be no big deal to bishops?

In the case of Fr. LaVan in St. Paul, who was kept in ministry until very recently (in violation of the Dallas Charter), not only was he (by the admission of the archdiocese) "credibly accused" of raping two teenage girls and yet allowed to serve in parishes for 25 years after these rapes, but over that period of time, he also had a series of affairs with adults - who were married parishioners.  

As early as 1986, LaVan admitted to having affairs with at least four married women (up to that time) who were parishioners of his.  He bragged to the woman whose husband he threatened to murder that he had several "woman lovers" from his parishes that he kept in contact with even after he would be sent to a new parish.

Now, it's bad enough that LaVan was allowed to continue to function as a priest, even after the archdiocese was convinced he had raped two teenage girls.

But put that horror aside for a moment.  Why on earth did the bishops of St. Paul, from the mid-1980's until December of 2013 allow a priest to continue to function when this priest was destroying the sanctity of marriage by committing adultery with the women who called him "Father"?  Yes, the girls LaVan raped have suffered tremendously, I'm sure.  But what of the husbands and children of the wives who consented to allow LaVan to have sex them?  What about the women themselves?

And yet a priest engaging in consensual sex with an adult, even if such sex constitutes adultery and destroys entire families is never an issue.  And when we hear about priests like Fr. Wehmeyer, who molested two boys on church property, we find that his bishops had long known that he was an active homosexual, cruising and picking up young men.  But this was apparently simply winked at.

So how is it that these men are allowed to put themselves forth as spiritual leaders?  And when the truth begins to come out, bishops simply lie and advise one another to lie so that parishioners don't find out what's really going on and so that things don't "blow up".

Why on earth should we listen to anyone who's trying to sleep with our wives or pick up men and have anonymous sex with them on the weekends?  An adulterous priest can administer valid sacraments, but an adulterous priest has no moral authority and should be removed from any parish work before he does unimaginable harm.  Especially in a Church that preaches about the "sanctity of marriage"!

Why do we allow this to go on?

In my home town of St. Louis, riots are breaking out because of perceived police brutality.  This is a terrible thing, but the rioters are at least (from their point of view) getting noticed.  Meanwhile, Catholics pray, pay and obey while bishops allow some of their priests to do untold damage in their parishes - and then boldly lie to us about it.

Again, why do we allow this to go on?


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