The following is a story of the local paper in Fr. Euteneur’s diocese. I read the letter written by Father and posted by many on January 31 and found him to be sincere and contrite for the sins he committed against Our Blessed Lord. Please keep in mind, however, a couple of things while you read this story, my comments on it and hopefully the statement written by Father:
- Men always fail. God does not.
- We should always give the person the benefit of the doubt especially when evidence to the contrary has not been historically provided. If this is good enough for God to do, then why not us?
- Father’s specialty is probably one of this most dangerous, spiritually speaking. Not only does he face the stresses of a diocesan priest but he is a chief exorcist and headed one of the premier pro-life organizations in the world. This makes him a prime target of the Enemy and his sympathizers.
- Violations of chastity, as Father said in his letter, do not need to consist of the sexual act. As Jesus Himself taught us, it can simply be thinking of committing a sin can convict you of that sin. Chastity is a party to celibacy but is not the same. I remain chaste to my vocation and state in life with respect to my wife but I am not celibate. Get it?
Okay, now that I got that stuff off my chest, I will provide some inline commentary with [my thoughts] on this report keeping in mind our call to Christian principles, which it seems many who are interviewed here forgot.
Thomas Euteneuer, a Catholic priest and exorcist who abruptly left a high-profile post in August, has confessed to “violations of chastity.” [The lead in here is seemingly intended to do two things. First, it appears that the author and/or editor wished to set up the reader to think that this violation is sexual in nature. Second, it sets up an attitude of skepticism in the reader, again, in preparation for the rest of the article.] Euteneuer said his actions involved “one person only, an adult woman under my spiritual care” and “did not involve the sexual act.” [Father, is attempting to make something very clear here. This violation of chastity was not homosexual in nature, did not involve underage persons and was not intercourse. This is different from the root cause of the sex abuse scandals, which was mostly homosexual in nature and the issue of that other priest who committed a similar sin but decided to remain apart from God as evidenced by his actions and present state in life. We all need to pray for these two men and all priests for sure.] In a memo to all priests of the Palm Beach Diocese, to which Euteneuer is assigned, Bishop Gerald Barbarito wrote Tuesday, “Father Euteneuer has been undergoing intensive evaluation and counseling to address admitted inappropriate crossing of adult heterosexual boundaries on the occasion of carrying out his priestly ministryI truly regret and apologize for the hurt and harm which his actions have caused.” Since 1999, when he fought a Fort Pierce abortion clinic, Euteneuer established himself as a fearless champion of the pro-life movement. In 2007, he famously told Fox News commentator Sean Hannity that he would refuse him communion because of his lax position on birth control. [This type of orthodoxy is something always required in the Church. But it makes those who express it a very tempting target.] “I’m sure this is going to create a firestorm,” said John Henry Westen, editor of LifeSiteNews, a pro-life news website that published Euteneuer’s statement on Tuesday. “And I think Father Tom knows that too.” [From his initial silence to the recently released letter, it would appear that Father tried, in some manner, to minimize this “firestorm” by allowing some time to pass. Controversy like this is only such because of Father’s high-profile position and apparent decision to man-up and publicly confess his sins while remaining a faithful Catholic priest (unlike the other guy) ready to face the consequences of his actions. This example of redemption should be applauded. Oh, and remember to take the log out of your eye before pointing out the speck in his.] From 2000 until August of this past year, Euteneuer was president of Human Life International, a prominent anti-abortion group. More recently he began conducting exorcisms. Though he traveled throughout the world, he was officially assigned to the Palm Beach Diocese, where he was ordained in 1988. “I take full responsibility for my own poor judgment, my weakness and my sinful conduct that resulted from it,” Euteneuer wrote. [It seems the world does not like it when someone takes full responsibility for sins and yet does not acquiesce to the world’s view that a celibate priesthood, let alone Christianity in its fullest sence (as found in the Church) is not denounced but maintained.] A Diocese spokeswoman said that Barbarito did not see Eutenuer’s statement in advance or collaborate in writing it. The head of a victims’ organization expressed skepticism about Euteneuer’s confession. [Already, this sentence lends some type of false legitimacy to a group which made and is making millions by presenting fraudulent cases of sex abuse against Catholic priests. But you don’t see that story in the newspapers do you?] “We hope Father Euteneuer is telling the truth, but we suspect he’s not,” said Barbara Dorris, outreach director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “Rarely do clerics who abuse their power do so only once.” [Well, SNAP’s records certainly attest to that. However, there is no evidence provided anywhere, whether it be subconsciously in Father’s letter or even in legitimate claims that substantiate this accusation. It would do well for SNAP, like every one of us, to reserve judgement ,”lest we be judged.” Remember, we are innocent until proven guilty. Again, if this is good enough for God, it is good enough for us.] In addressing rumors, which he described as “malicious falsehoods,” Euteneuer raised as many questions as he answered. [This appears to be the opinion of the author and/or editor and should not appear in a news article. Save it for an opinion peice…like this one that I am writing.] He condemned “malicious efforts by supposedly faithful Catholics to destroy a priest who has served the Church faithfully for 22 years,” including calling his family and soliciting accusations from co-workers and others. “Some have even claimed falsely and maliciously that there is a possessed person living in my family’s home,” he wrote. He denied that he “targeted vulnerable women.” He said that he conducted exorcisms on women with witnesses, except for occasional emergency sessions . He denied soliciting money, other than to cover his travel. He wrote two books in 2010, Exorcism and the Church Militant and Demonic Abortion. HLI published the exorcism book in June and Euteneuer was giving talks on exorcism during the summer. But by fall, the books were no longer available and Euteneuer’s speaking engagements were canceled. Earlier this year, Euteneuer wrote that in 10 years with HLI he traveled more than 1.1 million miles, visited 58 countries and made thousands of public appearances. “I’m disappointed that HLI apparently didn’t monitor the activities of Father Euteneuer very closely,” said Matt Abbott, a blogger for RenewAmerica.com, a Catholic website. “Some of these so-called exorcisms reportedly occurred at HLI’s headquarters, which is disturbing.” [First, Renew America may have some Catholics on board but it is most certainly not a Catholic website, blog or anything else. This is the type of false, lazy reporting that passes for news today. Renew America is first and foremost a ultra-rightie website that, in my quick browse, does not even mention the word Catholic as part of its mission or origin. Second, why does everyone expect every single organization to “monitor” the actions of every person under their umbrella “very closely?” It seems that is a call for a communist management style by self-proclaimed advocates of the US Constitution. Thirdly, Mr. Abbott continues to stir the rumor-mill by stating that some of these “so-called exorcisms” occurred at HLI HQ. Last time I checked all exorcisms must be approved by the bishop of the diocese so rest assured that every exorcism performed by Father was/is legit and in full communion with the Church. As for location, I have no idea concerning what is licit here except that it would not surprise me that minor or ongoing deliverance prayers n(or even exorcisms) would occur at his office. Hey the Devil knows no bounds.] For Abbott and others who esteemed Euteneuer as a hero of the pro-life movement, his fall from grace has been a personal disappointment. [Yeah, me too. Get over it! Christ most certainly has. Besides, aren’t all our sins a personal disappointment to the One Person (or Trinity thereof) whose opinion truly matters – God?] “While I’ve lost my trust in Father Euteneuer, HLI and Church officials, I haven’t lost my faith in God and will remain a practicing Catholic,” Abbott said. [Good to hear that Abbott will remain a Catholic. With Abbott remaining a practicing Catholic, we know the Church will never fail – yeah right. If one loses their faith in Church officials, then they already lost their faith in God because the Church is not only the BRide of Christ but also His Mystical Body – so despite the failings of those within her ranks, she remains a divine institution and in whose leaders we should always trust and remain faithful to.This is how Jesus Himself designed it. And again (today’s phrase) if it is good enough for God, it is good enough for me.] To read the complete statement, visithttp://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2011_docs/Statement_Euteneuer_31Ja