Apologies are, I think, in order

The other day I blogged on the Polish parish that was pooling resources so their priest could defend himself. I quoted the (apparently) damning remark “It’s besides the point whether he’s guilty or not.”

But as I think about it, I’ve decided I was too hasty in condemning these people. If you read the article, they’re not saying “We insist he’s innocent even if he’s guilty.” They are saying “He has a right to due process, even if he’s guilty.” I see no difference between that and how the rest of American jurisprudence operates: the accused–even if he’s guilty–has a right to due process. So it seems to me now that their attitude is one of generosity (“He is alone in this country, has no money, and is in a very difficult situation,” Kolakowski said. “If it was anyone else, we would be meeting here to help them in the same way. If the Poles don’t help this priest, nobody is going to help him. It’s besides the point whether he’s guilty or not.”) I regret my hasty assessment of this as “clannishness”.

This does not, by the way, get the pastor who chalks the whole thing up to conspiracy by a “tramp” off the hook. The priest has confessed and I think that settles the matter. But I can’t fault the parishioners for their generosity in seeing that he receives due process. I hope they also do as much for the girl, but not know the specifics of the situation I don’t know if they have tried or if, trying, they have been unable to for some reason.