Why Wait to Fire Priest?
By Gazette Editorial
August 15, 2014
If you own a business and one of your employees is convicted of having sexual contact with a minor, the second that court case is over, that guy is fired.
But when you're the Catholic Church, which has a history of dragging its sandals in dealing with pedophile priests, you tend not to be as efficient.
And so the pattern is repeated with Father James Taylor, a 30-year-old local priest who pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor count of child endangerment for having sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl in his Clifton Park parish.
New Bishop Edward Scharfenberger says he has a zero-tolerance policy toward child abuse, and he has removed Taylor from all priestly duties, including contact with children. That's fine. But why wait until civil legal proceedings have been completed before holding a hearing, to then determine whether Taylor should remain a priest?
Isn't a confession and a conviction in the United States criminal justice system enough proof that this man is not worthy to serve the church anymore?
If the bishop really wanted to send a message about zero-tolerance, he would use the outcome of the criminal court case as the final arbiter and kick this guy to the curb now.