Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More Bad News

The Shreveport Times reports yet another accusation of a priest sexually abusing minors. What makes this significant to me is that I know this priest. He was the chaplain at RAF Mildenhall during my time in England, and he is presently assigned as the chaplain at my current post, Barksdale AFB, LA. This marks the second acquaintance of mine to be credibly accused of abusing children. The first was a good friend and he is now behind bars. I’ve never heard a bad thing about Father Gary, and would never have thought him capable of doing such a thing. I hate to admit it, but I’ve been surprised before.

Father Gary is accused of abusing two boys while serving in his home diocese of Tucson. Arizona does not have a good track record for sexual abuse. The Arizona Republic reported on 2/26/2004, “More than 50 Catholic priests in Arizona have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of children since 1950.” That’s a sobering statistic to consider. Fortunately, the bishops in Arizona seem to be getting their houses in order. I have great respect for Bishop Olmstead of Phoenix.

I am skeptical of accusations that surface over 20 years after the fact. I hope the charges against Father Gary are false and that this matter will be resolved quickly and justly. Pray for Father Gary and pray for the victims of sexual abuse.

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