Rev. Curran May Face Long Road Back to Pulpit after Breaking Chastity Vow

By Manya Brachear Pashman
Chicago Tribune
May 4, 2015

When parishioners of St. Pius V Roman Catholic Church learned Sunday that their longtime pastor, the Rev. Brendan Curran, had broken his vows of chastity, prompting him to be removed from ministry, some priests in his religious order asked themselves if they had failed their brother.

After all, Dominican Friars are encouraged to confide in their best friends their brothers, in a sense and lean on the community in which they live.

"How did we let him down? Where were we when this was going on?" said the Rev. Andy McAlpin, vocation director for the Dominicans' local province. "That's the question we ask ourselves. Did I see something in the moment that I didn't call to question?"

Experts say it's a rare occurrence for a priest to break his vow of celibacy. There are often measures in place to help keep them faithful, starting with preparation in seminary and systems of support that endure long after their ordination. When a priest does go astray, it can be a slow and arduous climb back to ministry. First there must be penance and careful self-examination to make sure returning to ministry is the right path.

"The bar is being raised with priests today," said Monsignor Stephen Rossetti, president emeritus of St. Luke Institute, a nationally renowned psychological treatment facility for priests. "We're expected to live our lives with integrity. When we don't, it's possible we can lose the privilege of being in a ministry. Ministry is a privilege, not a right."








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