Is there anybody in this story who isn’t creepy? The priest accused by former Congressman Mark Foley of abusing him as a kid says he did nothing wrong. Mind you, he does admit to going into the sauna naked with the boy, but “everybody does that.” Eeew.
It was 1967, Foley was 13 and Fr. Anthony Mercieca was 33.
“We were friends and trusted each other as brothers and loved each other as brothers,” Mercieca said. Asked if their relationship was sexual in nature, the priest replied: “It wasn’t.”
A 33-year-old man who describes his relationship with a 13-year-old boy to whom he is not related as one of brotherhood, such that they spent time naked together is very sick. At the least it’s a sign of someone with a very warped sense of himself and who is extremely immature. Mercieca told a newspaper that he massaged Foley in the nude, skinny-dipped with him, and spent time naked on overnight trips. But “everybody does that.” No they don’t. Mercieca is now backing away from the story, saying it is exaggerated and that the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and Associated Press made it up. The reporters stand by their stories.
Of course, this all accomplishes exactly what Foley’s attorneys want to accomplish. They have turned the focus away from Foley’s behavior and turned him into a victim. Lest there be any doubt as to the grandstanding, the attorneys released the name to the prosecutor, despite the statute of limitations have expired, and the media, but not the Archdiocese of Miami. Mercieca currently lives in Malta.