Les FemmesFROM THE PRESIDENT'S KITCHEN TABLE

Dear Readers,
      The first item in The Twilight Zone is so serious, it needs additional explanation. If we were dealing solely with one priestís scandalous behavior, we would never mention it again. Heís gone, what would be the point except to spread gossip? But there are a few other problems. The betrayed husband contacted the diocese over and over to no avail. The philandering pastor continued to scandalize his parishioners, the schoolchildren, and the community at large for over a year as the affair become more and more public. Diocesan officials acted more like bureaucrats than defenders of the Bride of Christ. Itís questionable whether they followed their own policy on prevention of sexual misconduct.

The second big problem is Fr. Stephen Levaís testimony at the custody hearing for the four children. Anyone "happy" over adultery and desecration of vows shows little evidence of faith in Church doctrine on the dignity and indissolubility of marriage. Les Femmes wasnít surprised at Fr. Levaís deplorable behavior considering his past support for CTA, a dissent group of unfaithful Catholics who advocate abortion, contraception, divorce and remarriage, sodomy, etc. At a CTA meeting hosted in his former parish where he led the opening prayer, brochures were available for Promises (a support group for women having affairs with men in the active priesthood) and Rent-a-Priest (which hires out unfaithful priests to do baptisms, invalid marriages, etc.). Ironic isnít it? What kind of stewardship occurs in a parish with such a leader?

We call our shepherds "Father." That tender term implies a relationship of filial care and trust. Our priests, whether they serve at the parish level or in the chancery, have an awesome responsibility. When they betray that trust, the consequences are grave. Catholics, especially parents, have a right to know when their pastor is a wolf in sheepís clothing. Weíre sounding the warning. And once again we exhort our readers to pray and fast for priests, especially the philandering padre and those who abetted his scandal — Fr. Leva by affirming it and diocesan officials by their inaction. Pray for our bishop who arrived in the middle of the mess. Pray for the betrayed husband and his adulterous wife. Above all pray for the poor innocents — the new baby and the husbandís four children. May Jesus protect them. "Oh, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."

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