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July 26, 2005

Comments

Rick Lugari

...the bishop told a group of about 500 parishioners at a meeting Monday night in the Blessed Sacrament gymnasium.

Was that a Freudian slip or are they referring to another building?

Ian

Fantastic quotation:

One parishioner, who has three children attending Blessed Sacrament grade school, asked the bishop how parishioners could be sure the next appointed pastor wouldn't be a threat to their children. Another asked if any changes will be made to how priest's background checks are conducted.

Lucas said the diocese is looking into possible improvements; however, he emphasized that he can't guarantee the conduct of his priests.

"It's a constant battle," he said. "Priests are like us all with personal problems."

Tom McDonald

Sure, the bishop responded to this situation promptly, but I'm still waiting for him to apologize for Jar-Jar Binks.

Drake Tungsten

...the bishop told a group of about 500 parishioners at a meeting Monday night in the Blessed Sacrament gymnasium.

Was that a Freudian slip or are they referring to another building?

It's another building.
Blessed Sacrament's Church is really quite nice. Check out the images here:
www.bsps.org
The parish is currently celebrating Holy Mass in the parish's gymnasium while the restoration of the church is being completed.

Rick Lugari

Thanks Drake,

It does look like a lovely church.

tcreek

Shouldn't there be some compassion here. Maybe the man is ill. 96% of priests do not abuse children.
----

"Psychological problems and some personal issues," have led the Rev. Don Blickhan to resign from his recent appointment as pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Springfield, according to Bishop George Lucas.

Roberts, a former Sangamon County state's attorney and U.S. attorney, was hired by Springfield's Catholic Diocese in February to lead an investigation into allegations of priestly misconduct that have dogged the diocese for years.

Lucas said Roberts had determined that no illegal or harmful actions had taken place at Blessed Sacrament since Blickhan's arrival but that his problems prevent him from properly fulfilling his duties.
----

Judy

"Psychological problems and some personal issues,"

These are exactly the words used to describe the problems of a priest removed from our parish (Diocese of Yakima, WA). At the time, we were led to believe it was depression or a breakdown due to the stress of duties as pastor of a large parish when he had been a priest for only a few years.

Turns out, his computer had child pornography on it and a parish staffer who was called in to fix the printer saw it there.

This man was pastor only a few months. We thank God that this happened when it did because he could get help and our sons, who are altar servers, had minimal contact with him.

We pray for him daily, and for all priests in these types of situations.

Peggy

The church is beautiful. I don't remember driving/walking by it much when I lived in SPFLD. [I had visions of it being more modern, I guess, b/c the BL Sac parishes in both my hometown and here in NoVA are both rather modern structures.] I do remember the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, very traditional-looking, school yard attached, tall black iron fence surrounding the grounds. Makes me think of "Bells of St Mary's". My return to Rome began at a Mass I attended at the Cathedral.

lw

All lay people who rely heavily on criminal background checks as an indicator of whether or not their priests have been in trouble with the law should think again.

In the Toledo diocese (and I'm fairly certain in other dioceses too), it was uncommon for priests who committed crimes to ever get in trouble with the law. "Officer O'Malley" would make sure that an arrest record "got lost." Or "Honorable Judge Tellemini" would give no jail sentence to a priest who ever found his way into a court-room.

But in the few cases where there were convictions, it was common practice (and perfectly legal) for the defense attorney to petition the court to have the conviction erased from Father's record. If the prosecutor would agree to it then it would be expunged and no criminal background check would pick it up.

That was until 1995/96 when Megan's laws went into effect and expunging sexual convictions from anyone's record was not acceptable. So if a bishop claims that priests are passing background checks, be advised that in all likelihood, it only means that their record is clear for about the last ten years.

Nancy

As tcreek points out, this may not be a matter of sexual misbehavior at all.

One of the finest priests I ever knew was spirited away with similar non-information. It turned out that in the aftermath of an injury he had become addicted to painkillers. The whole thing precipitated a spiritual and psychological crisis for him, and it took a while for him to find his way out of it.

Patrick Sweeney

While the bishop had no obligation to do so, if "the problems" had nothing to do with sexual or financial misconduct, he could have disclosed that fact to reassure the parishoners without making a larger disclosure.

tcreek

This statement is good enough for me.
----
"Lucas said Roberts had determined that no illegal or harmful actions had taken place at Blessed Sacrament since Blickhan's arrival but that his problems prevent him from properly fulfilling his duties."

Septimus

I want to echo those who cautioning against any aspersions against, or hints about, this priest's character. Curiosity is natural, but really -- we don't know, and we have no reason not to be generous toward him.

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