According to a truly shocking story in the Chicago Tribune, two men recently walked into the sacristy of a Catholic church after Mass and demanded cash from a 73-year-old priest.
That alone is frightening enough. But what accompanied their demand should send chills through any decent person. One of the men ominously said to the priest:
"We'll say you touched us, read the paper, they'll believe us."Indeed, such words are the fear of every living cleric. It is open season on Catholic priests today. A mere suggestion, threat, or accusation is enough to vault a man out of the priesthood forever.
Even long-deceased priests with previously unblemished records are not immune from public accusations.
The wobbly standard of a "credible accusation" has been addressed in a number of places, most recently in an excellent article by Fr. Thomas G. Gaurino in First Things... (continued)