..that last December the chancellor of the Springfield (IL) diocese was found in a park, beaten. The teens involved were sentenced, and we finally have details of the crime:
Gibson told police he and Boyle had cut through the park and stopped near a bench to smoke a cigarette and rest. An older man, later identified as Costa, walked up to them, started talking and eventually offered them $50 for sex acts, police said Gibson told them.
Gibson allegedly said the man rubbed up against him and touched his leg, causing him to step back. When the man did the same thing again, Gibson punched him, knocking him to the ground. Gibson and Boyle then started kicking him in the head, reports said.
The youths ran off after the beating, according to their statements.
Costa later resigned as chancellor of the Springfield Catholic Diocese and pastor of parishes in Sherman and Athens. He remains a priest.
The Springfield Catholic Diocese said in a written statement that Costa's resignation would allow him to deal with "previous instances of inappropriate and risky behavior that have come to light" since the beating incident. Costa now is at an out-of-state rehabilitation facility for priests, nuns and members of religious orders.
Welcome Andrew Sullivan readers:
Before you get going on this thread, please know that I run a fairly open place here, the comments fly fast and furious, and the ONLY comments that represent my views are those I post. I'm a little disturbed by some responses to this story. As I noted in a comment below, when two older teen males are in a public park known as a place for public sex in Illinois in late December, they are not there to have a quiet discussion about Thomas Hardy. I've taught teen males, many of whom are shockingly interested in general harassment as a hobby of sorts. Everyone here acted badly and even criminally. Thanks to all who are posting, but new readers please remember - views expressed are not necessarily those of the management.
A reader could get the impression from the way Andrew presents the quote that I'm endorsing gay-bashing. But as anyone who reads further in the thread can see, I did not such thing.
When a Welborn reader named Dave said, "I guess I don't associate feeling manly with knocking out a gay person," I responded in the comments box:
Dave, we're talking about an older person offering to pay minors for sex. If this were a man offering to pay two girls for same, I'd feel exactly the same way, except probably more strongly, because they wouldn't have been in a position to defend themselves if the older man had forced himself on them.
And that's what I really do believe. Dirty old men who come on to minors, male or female, deserve a pop in the nose because they're dirty old men, not because they're gay.