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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A priest accused...

Last night, I was shocked to here the story of the priest being removed from St. John HC because of sexual allegations.  Shocked because he was the former priest at my old Church, St. Louis Besancon.  Shocked because that makes it hit a little too close to home.

I basically grew up at SLB.  It was a 2 minute walk from my home.  I went to the school there for 8 years, and that means I went to church every morning.  I knew the priests and the nuns.  I served as an Altar boy, and was a teacher of same (and don't let me get into the story right now of what happens when you put 14 year old boys in charge of 12 year old boys in an empty church!).  Father Lombardi was after my time- I had become born-again and that led me away from the Catholic world at the time- but I had met him through funerals and the like.

I told myself last night, wait and get more of the story.  Today, we got SOME more:

No investigation underway in priest abuse case

Police can't conduct investigation without victim

Updated: Wednesday, 07 Dec 2011, 6:10 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 07 Dec 2011, 5:14 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - The Allen County Sheriff’s Department has information about accusations against 62-year-old Thomas Lombardi, but there is no detective on the case because no victim has ever come forward to officers.
A lawyer for the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese was the one to report the alleged abuse on behalf of an anonymous victim. SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) lashed out at the diocese in a release about it withholding information.
According to the information police have, the alleged abuse happened in New Haven prior to July of 1997 when the victim was on or about 16 years old. According to an online parish history, Lombardi was the priest at St. Louis Besancon from 1986 to July 1997.
In the report the police have, the alleged victim was in a room lifting weights when he supposedly asked Lombardi about how the workout would affect his or her muscles. Then, according to the report, Lombardi asked the victim to remove his or her shirt and pants. No physical contact was made, according to the report.
Because the victim didn’t go to police, officers can’t conduct an investigation. Bishop Kevin Rhoades issued a letter to the parishioners at St. Joseph Hessen Cassel over the weekend which stated Lombardi has been removed from his pastoral duties while the diocese conducts its own investigation.

This does not sound much like actual sexual misconduct to me, so I'm glad I held my peace.  But it brings up a very important point.  Our religious leaders are under constant assault from Satan- whether it be sexual or whatever.  Some people will accuse the vetting process.  Others will deride the Catholic church's policy of celibacy.  Both valid points to me.  Sometimes we need a body in a hole and are happy to proclaim the first one through the door as God's pick.  And I don't believe that the admonition that Elders and Deacons be "the husband of one wife" has any thing to do with "not getting re-married after divorce"  as I was once told when I was the first warm body through the door.  I believe it means you NEED the support, the completion that a partner in life brings you.  Being celebate (by choice) or single( by "fate") doesn't disqualify you, but it sure doesn't help.

However, I think that the biggest problem doesn't lie with the spiritual leaders, but with his congregation.  Are you praying for the man?  He has needs as a Christian leader that you don't even think of.  He faces an enemy far more dedicated to destroying him than the one you face.  Because if he goes down, you are vulnerable, neophytes are shaken and discouraged, and outsiders "shake their heads as they pass".  Nothing overjoys Satan and his little atheist puppets more than a good man going down.  Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Bakker.  Is it our fault they fell?  No, they made their choices.  They allowed themselves weakness.   But did we do what we could to strengthen them?  Did we build a "hedge of prayer" about them?  Many of us do just that for loved ones in the army in Iraq or Afghanistan- are we forgetting those on our spiritual front lines?


  1. I am pleased to read that you didn't jump to the conclusion that he was guilty which so many will do without know all the facts only after a full investigation can someone judge him and when it comes right down to in there is only one real judge........

  2. CWM:
    From what I'm finding out abouyt this case, the allegations are stretched REALLY thin, given the circumstances.

    That's not to say that improprieties happen with a few DOES.
    And THOSE are the ones worth removing from the cloth (and fold).

    Let's not jump at every "cry wolf" tactic used by someone for some fast money, though.
    Let's deal with the TRUTH...and the FACTS.

    Good post.

    Stay safe up there.