Columnist Bernadette Malone gets right to the point in questioning how Bishop John McCormack of Manchester, NH, could assign a priest to a parish who he knew had had a relationship with a teenage male hitchhiker.
- “You know, one is an activity where you have a trusted relationship with a parishioner. The other is an activity where you’re away from the parish and you’re off on your own,” McCormack reasoned.
As Malone points out, a priest is never off duty. Is the bishop saying that it is somehow less serious for the priest to break his vow, to have sex, in the first place, and homosexual sex, at that, if he does it with someone who doesn’t live in his parish? Maybe it would be even better if he does it with a non-Catholic.
I have to point out that Malone is a bit off in saying: “Because Cote’s teenage victim was not a member of Cote’s parish, that made it OK for McCormack to install Cote at St. Patrick, the reasoning being that Cote preferred sex with young boys who were non-parishioners to young boys who were parishioners?” The boy was 18 years old and there is no public evidence yet that Cote preferred young boys or had sex with any underage boys. I’m not making an excuse for him, but it does the cause of truth no good to let an error persist and make assertions based on false information. Plus I don’t think it undermines Malone’s main point.