when is a sin not a sin?
The documents are among the most remarkable in the 2,200 pages of once-secret church files released yesterday: allegations that a priest had initiated sexual acts with teenagers preparing to become nuns by encouraging them to believe they were making love to Jesus Christ Himself.
Last night, the Rev. Robert V. Meffan admitted it was true, and said he still believes his sexual relationships with teenage girls were ''beautiful, spiritual'' experiences intended to bring young people closer to God.
''What I was trying to show them is that Christ is human and you should love him as a human being,'' said Meffan, 73, reached by phone at his Carver home. ''Don't think he's up there and he's spiritual and he's not human and physical. He's human, he's physical. That's what I was trying to point out to them. I felt that by having this little bit of intimacy with them that this is what it would be like with Christ.''
''I had developed a wonderful relationship of love with these people, a real solid relationship of love, and I had no intentions of ever hurting anybody and ever causing any problems,'' added Meffan, who was placed on leave by the Boston Archdiocese in 1993 and granted retirement in 1996. ''I was trying to get them to love Christ even more intimately and even more closely .... To me they were just wonderful, wonderful young people. It was a very beautiful, I thought, beautiful, spiritual relationship that was physical and sexual.
So, this Reverend was passing himself off as a secondary Jesus Christ in order to bring underage girls closer to Jesus himself. Wouldn't that in and of itself be an offense to the Catholic Church? And I thought that's what communion was for; to bring worshipers closer to Christ as they take of his body and blood.
I guess the good Reverend thought that the spiritual version of the body and blood of Christ was just not enough and that young girls must consumate their relationships with Jesus with the Reverend's sperm as sort of a conduit.
The allegations came in the late 80's. The Reverend retired in 1996, with these words from Cardinal Law:
''Without doubt over these years of generous care, the lives and hearts of many people have been touched by your sharing of the Lord's Spirit. We are truly grateful.''.In June 1996, Meffan was granted ''senior priest/retirement status'' but with restrictions on his role as a priest. The following month, Meffan sent Law an essay in which he lamented his removal from public ministry, calling himself ''a prisoner of love in a cell of allegations.''
In a reply letter, Law called Meffan's essay ''a beautiful testament to the depth of your faith and the courage of your heart .... You have touched me deeply, Bob
Which makes Cardinal Law complicit in all this, as his words practically gave the Reverend absolution for his criminal acts against other human beings.
Apparently the church is just as lax in their punishment of pedophiles who prey on females as well as males. And, accordingly, this should make the church think twice about their position that pedophile priests is a "homosexual" problem. Then again, I don't see them calling to keep heterosexual priests out of the priesthood they way they call for gay men to be kept out.
Until the Catholic Church comes out with a zero tolerance policy for sexual abuse of any kind, this will continue. And the church, of course, will continue to whitewash the stories and move the abusive priests around from parish to parish like a game of criminally evasive chess.
link via Improved Clinch