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Saturday, July 29, 2006


Today I get news that an old friend of mine, and choir director and organist at our church back home has been arrested and put it jail for having touched a sixteen year old music student of his in an inappropriate manner on two occasions following the lessons. He also is said to have furnished alcohol to the teenager.


ccheryl said...

That is not a very good report to receive about a dear old friend.
Are the allegations true, though?

Here in Boston, another priest was sentenced yesterday for the exact same thing. 4 yrs jail/5 yrs prob.

Jesus tells us to be Wise & shrewd as serpents/harmless as doves.
When in certain situations, even when our motives are pure, it is good to ask ourselves,"Could this situation be a lawsuit waiting to happen?"(teachers,Eucharistic home ministers,chaplains,etc) and then make adjustments to close 'windows' which would allow such catastrophies.

Just this year a friend of mine on visa from Japan was giving a music lesson to a girl who hated the instrument, and was being forced by her parent to continue the lessons. The girl lied to her mother that my friend hit her during the lesson. There was an inquiry, the girl confessed to fabricating the whole thing just to get out of the lessons, and my friend was spared public embarrassment and endangering his visa status because the incident was taken care of quickly and wisely with the 'possibility' that he was innocent until proven guilty. But the pain and stress he went through in his visit to the US was traumatic.

We never know what may be in the works behind the scenes in our lives, but Jesus has given us the warning to be aware and on the lookout.

Sorry to be so long in posting, but this subject hits very close to home.

forget me not said...

It hits home very close to me too. News like this can cause a wave of emotional responses which may make matters worse. What Ccheryl says is very wise for the many honest people who are called to work in one on one conditions. But at the same time, more often than not, such stories are true.
One of the dilemmas which should be addressed by the media is whether it is prudent to emphasize such news. On the one hand, it is right to bring such crimes to the light of day, but on the other, I believe that until a person has been condemned in a court of law, there are two lives that need to be protected: that of the alleged victim and that of the alleged perpetrator. The alleged victim is safe once the perpetrator has been arrested and perhaps it is detrimental to her/him to be exposed to the attention of the media, which hammer the news into readers' and viewers' heads as long as they see an interest, denoted by increased sales or audience. Victims will have a hard enough time having to tell their stories in a court of law, in front of many people (many of whom are hostile-and here my heart cringes at certain accounts of interrogations by the Church's lawyers). Perpetrators will go through much of the same.
There is a morbid curiosity generated by such stories, which in turn may generate the desire to emulate. If the media would keep to the news, avoid going too much into detail (again, there are some very morbid minds out there) and update only when there is real news to be reported, it would be a very wise thing in my opinion. I apologize too, but as I said, the topic hits home and it isn't easy being so objective and 'reasonable'. But the truth has to be said sometimes.

Honora said...

Well, without a doubt, sexual feelings are strong and can be overwhelming, and unfortunately, overpowering. What we need to do is pull them out of the groin area (where every animal feels them) and into our sentient heads where we can encounter them logically and rationally. Our common humanity, the human law, will answer the basic questions right away: Is this allowed? Should this other person in my sexual scenario be consulted? Our other laws will ask the rest: How can I stop this moment from happening? That's where thinking comes in, and if thinking isn't in your sex life, it's not human intimacy, but something that rats and cattle do. We must find the way to shut down whatever our flesh screams for.. even those people who KNOW they are of spirit, not just flesh, face the battles of the flesh. And even a drunken teen must think beforehand, How can I shut this moment down? Well, we can't spend time on the how at that moment, we just need to get the hell out of there. But we need to have a "how to not harm / undervalue others or self" firmly in place for the next time. For us Catholics, we are to avoid occasions of sin. What a trite statement that might seem to today's folks, but it's not. It is often the means to our holiness, and if nothing else, it is a moment in which God won, with our help. If one is vulnerable to wrong attractions, don't be there. Don't even risk it.

Oh gosh, I'm rambling, I'm sorry..

Your friend is human, as are we all. I hope he is not guilty, but if he is, I hope the teen is alright, and I hope your friend will not pull a Judas, and will simply turn to the Lord with all his guilt before him and seek every ounce of help there can be so that it never happens again.