I find this immensely sad

vSister Jac saw this and sent me the link.

A Franciscan friar has a romantic relationship with a woman. They have a son together, and he stays in his order. She successfully petitions the Franciscans for child support, signs a confidentiality agreement, and she raises the son — and three children from a previous marriage.

And then she gets cancer, and the son — who has never called his father “Dad” — gets cancer, and the bills mount, and the mother has broken her silence in an attempt to get more financial help.

The priest insists he’s done no wrong. He says, in regard to himself and his church:’

“We’ve been very caring, very supportive, very generous over these 20-something years. It’s very tragic what’s going on with Nathan, but, you know?”

This is the order to which the father, who has suffered no punishment from his superiors, belongs. And this is the church where he is senior pastor.

UPDATE: The priest has been suspended.

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7 responses to “I find this immensely sad

  1. Here’s another link to a short video interview/story on this, too.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/10/15/us/priest/index.html#

    Thanks for the link to him church. Maybe I’ll write to him and suggest that now would be a really good time to be a parent…or something like that.
    I was also surprised by the estimate of 20% of priests are involved in relationships with women. I guess I’m more surprised that it’s been kept quiet. They should just let priests marry and be in adult relationships. (heterosexual and homosexual) This denial thing isn’t working.

  2. I read that last night … and was sure I would see the link here, today. An amazing story …

    And apparently not as uncommon as most would think.

  3. The RC church is really hard up for priests. So they’re just trying to keep quiet about situations like this.

  4. What surprises me is that this guy is a monastic priest, not a diocesan priest. Monks are supposed to live more closely supervised lives.

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