The Missing Dallas Priest – Denison Forum
The Christian Mail
September 4, 2018
The Roman Catholic priest stands accused of financial theft and sexual abuse. Earlier this summer, his diocese reached a financial settlement with three males who accused him of molesting them when they were teenagers.
Paredes was suspended in June 2017. Earlier this year, church officials lost touch with him. They sent certified letters to him and went to his house but could not find him.
One church member said of the now-missing priest, “Let’s say he avoids man’s law. He can’t avoid God’s.”
Is the pope facing a “watershed moment”?
Father Paredes is just one example of the sexual abuse scandal enveloping the Roman Catholic Church. This morning’s Washington Post carries a headline asking if Pope Francis is facing a “watershed moment” for his handling of the crisis.
Princeton legal scholar Robert George, who is Catholic, asked recently in the Wall Street Journal, “Is it time for Pope Francis to resign?” The Journal reports that US bishops are deeply divided over the pope’s handling of the crisis.
Whatever our view of the pope’s response, we would all agree that abusing even one child is an unspeakable sin that deeply grieves the One who loves and welcomes children (Matthew 19:13-15) and denounces all who harm them (Matthew 18:5-6).
There is another issue at work here as well. To the degree that Catholic officials protected the institution of the church rather than those it is called to serve, they committed the sin of idolatry.
Tragically, they are not the first to commit this sin. Nor is this sin limited to Catholic officials.
“He burned the house of the Lord”
“In the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month–that was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon–Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who served the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. And he burned the house of the Lord, and the king’s house and all the houses…