Talking about the devil and acknowledging his influence has been politically incorrect since Peter Paul and Mary convinced the Woodstock generation that all the answers to life's questions were blowing in the wind of their weed.
The vacuum has left people with the belief that if they don't display symptoms of possession, the devil isn't influencing them. But 99.9% of the devil's influence actually takes place outside of a possession of a soul. He can sneak his counsel into the most innocuous statements, as he did when he used Peter's gripping fear and emotions to ask Christ to reject His impending Crucifixion.
Unrepentant sin turns your soul into a magnet for diabolical spirits. The Rosary, the Crucifix and a state of grace is the repellent.
Spiritual people can always see the devil's treachery with priests when a situation like Fr. Euteneuer's crops up.
Still, old habits die hard, and I grow suspicious when the stink of secrecy starts to permeate with Church officials. It would be consistent for Church bureaucrats to yank somebody who is describing abortion as being 'raped by the devil'. Definitely hysterical, but consistent. There was something troubling about their going to the bother of repossessing every copy of Fr. Euteneuer's book.
I heard the speculation about a woman/women but dismissed it as the fruit of speculation. Yesterday, I read Mary Ann Kreitzer's stop the speculation and agreed wholeheartedly with its premise - to quietly pray and ponder these things in our hearts.
I'm struggling with that today after reading THIS and THIS.
It goes without saying that this situation is in need of intense prayer for everyone involved in the matter. But if the allegation that the Sacrament and Exorcism was used to initiate a sexual relationship with hurting and vulnerable women, the situation calls for more than paying the women off and suggesting we sweep what happened under the carpet of unsubstantiated rumors and pray.
That's not good enough for me with these kinds of allegations out there.
In hindsight, we wouldn't say the same thing about Maciel, would we?
These allegations are explosive and Church bureaucrats are never going to tell us unless we demand answers. We don't have to know the details of somebody's personal sin, if that is all it was, but we certainly need to know whether the situation was abusive, what they knew and when they knew it and whether there is a woman holed up in his parents house where a situation is possibly ongoing.
I'm not up for dismissing these allegations. The red flag for me is Matt Abbott's column. Matt is not one to make premature judgments and his faith in Christ's Institution is not weak.
The bureaucrats have to be forced to either confirm or deny whether the context of 'abortion is rape by the devil' was baiting women who had abortions into contacting Fr. Euteneuer as the cure and numerous women were emotionally and sexually exploited.
If this is untrue, Fr. Euteneuer has the canonical right to clear his reputation.
Ordering silence and promoting the culture of silence from the pews when something this explosive gets on our radar is inexcusable. HLI and the Diocese of Palm Beach have to answer our questions - and we have to ask them.
UPDATE - A blogger who says that Fr. Euteneuer was Godfather to three of her children has blog posts up HERE and HERE that indicates she was told the story by an HLI Board member and she had a troubling experience (though not sexual) with him herself.
I am uncomfortable with the nuance and anonymity behind these allegations but my intuition about this is not good and the woman seems to be a faithful practicing Catholic. In December, Matt Abbott reports that he contacted the Palm Beach diocese and asked the simple question as to whether Fr. E was a priest in good standing and they would not respond.
Please also see comments in this post.
Matt C. Abbott said...
The reaction of those who are attacking the victims in this situation echo those who defended the late disgraced Marcial Maciel for so long.
Blaming the victim(s). Sickening.
Saturday, January 29, 2011 12:12:00 PM
Tom O'Toole said...
Peter -- There's a difference between "off the record" and "don't use my name." The article had to be written now (remember Watergate?) because while Fr. T gets due process, he is free to have sexual contact with disturbed women ... and by all accounts is.
I cannot let that go by without speaking up either as a journalist, a blogger, a Catholic, or just as a man.
God's grace & Mary's prayers,
Saturday, January 29, 2011 9:49:00 PM
The situation appears to be grave and ongoing.
What are your thoughts about a campaign upon the Palm Beach diocese?