Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Church Leadership Quick to Act Sometimes...

What a public relations nightmare...seems dealing with this silently would have made more sense.

From East Valley Tribune | Daily Arizona news for Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale:

"A marriage ceremony over the holidays, performed outside of the Catholic Church and without a priest, violated church law and has led to the firing of the diocese's Child and Youth Protection Advocate --the person responsible for ensuring sexual misconduct by church personnel doesn't occur again in the diocese.

Jenny O'Connor, 47, said she was dismissed Saturday after acknowledging to the Rev. Fred Adamson, a vicargeneral, that she and her boyfriend married without the sanctity of a Catholic wedding because he is dying from cancer and they did not believe there was time to plan for and hold a church wedding.

'They asked me to come in and just asked me why I got married, and I told them,' O'Connor said Tuesday from her Tempe home. 'They said it was outside the boundaries of being a good Catholic, and I explained all the reasons why.'

'They didn't seem to think that any of that is important, and that was it,' O'Connor said. She said she was first asked to resign, but when she declined, she was terminated. "


  1. Unfortunately, it's all too often the "Catholic" way - but then far too many clerics and nuns haven't a clue about the meaning of "pastoral sensitivity". You don't have to hang around Protestants and Orthodox persons too long to hear how many people have similar stories. Of course, the priests and nuns blame the victims. The tragedy is that so often they get away with it.

  2. Will pray they persevere and have their marriage convalidated (sic) in a parish with a priest that can help them- perhaps the required classes could get waived also, considering their situation. Criminally insane pedophiles were always treated sensitively, so what's with the attitude? This is a natural mistake, not an unnatural abomination.

  3. "This is a natural mistake, not an unnatural abomination."

    We don't know the inside story. We have to remember the recent history of this diocese. It is likely that many unsuitable people are employed there. Why and how was this publicized? How does someone get into a critical job like this who doesn't understand the most basic duties of a Catholic? Did the diocese suggest regularizing the situation immediately? Is there some impediment to their marrying? When a bishop is cleaning up a mess like Olmsted faces in Arizona there is bound to be negative publicity generated by those who oppose him.

  4. The woman's position is essentially that of social work administration. That her sensitive and difficult personal situation went under the radar of her supervisor and colleagues does not speak very well of what is supposed to be a ministry operation. Comments in the blogosphere about clergy having more lax limits on being fired indicates that dioceses have precious little equity with which to operate, even new bishops coming in to clean up the messes of others.

    My suspicion is that an irregular marriage situation is present, but it wouldn't be a shock to me the woman would just assume there was no pastoral way out, even if there wasn't a previous marriage hanging over someone's head.