Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other because Jesus Christ has also forgiven you. St Paul
My goodness we’re all perfect and holy.
We’re also fragile. Oh, so fragile.
I went off-line for the Sabbath and when I come back, what do I find? A veritable meltdown of comments both here and on Facebook declaiming that, since I plan — and yes I do plan to do this — to
Accept Father Dan Letourneua and his new bride as my brother and sister in Christ and,
I absolutely wish them all the best and,
I hope that they have a long, holy, happy marriage with a great, big Catholic family,
I am … what? … failing at my job of hating sinners to death????
Let me tell you something folks, it is a fortunate thing that you are not God, because if you were, every single person on this earth would go straight to flaming hell for lack of forgiveness.
And frankly, I find the cries of how badly Father Dan has “hurt” the people of his parish to be a bit … ummm … what’s that word? Oh yes, the word is ridiculous.
The people of this parish are supposed to be irreparably hurt because they found out that priests are human beings who commit sins? They didn’t know this?
Father Dan did not rape a child. Father Dan did not use a woman as a concubine for years and refuse to marry her while he went around ripping off the priesthood. Father Dan fell in love and sneaked around and got married outside the Church. Then he spent a few months running and hiding and living a double life. The good people at St Joe’s found out that their priest had a big, fat secret life.
Is that a sin?
Is it our place to stone him for this? I don’t think so, or at least not most of us. There may be exceptions.
Here are the people who are qualified to attend the Father Dan Stoning Party:
1. Those people who never did anything stupid, sneaky, foolish or wrong because of falling in love
2. Those who also never told a lie
3. Those who also never tried to hide their sins
4. Those who also never spent months and years in fear that something they’d done would be found out
5. Those who also never went to a priest in confession expecting mercy and forgiveness and got mercy and forgiveness.
If you can tick off all these things, then you might have cause to go at Father Dan. However, you will be sinning — you know sin, like what Father Dan did — if you do.
There’s that Jesus guy and His admonitions about forgiveness, etc. You remember those words “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us?” Or, how about, “by what measure you judge, that measure shall be used to judge you?”
Think carefully before you pick up those stones, grab that hammer, erect that cross for Father Dan. The execution you’re planning may be your own.
How many of the people at St Joseph’s Old Cathedral in downtown Oklahoma City have gone to Father Dan in confession and received mercy and forgiveness from him? How many people at all the parishes where he’s been have gone to him in times of trouble or hurt and received support, love, mercy?
Now, the shoe is on the other foot. We have a priest who has sinned and then lied about it and got caught in his lie.
Let those holier-than-thous who never sinned go at him.
Everybody else needs to get real.