Sin and misconduct

Sin and misconduct

Amy Welborn posts links to a series of articles out of Seattle regarding a Jesuit, Fr. Anton Harris, accused of sexually harassing a seminarian in the mid-90s.From one article:

“Jesuit Father Anton T. Harris resigned Oct. 12 as Seattle University’s vice president for mission and ministry after local news media reported that he was accused of sexually harassing a 25-year-old Jesuit seminarian in the mid-1990s.”

Amy says that this relates to an older case of 3 Jesuits from a Catholic high school in San Francisco accused of sexually harassing a student then. This Jesuit was one of them. In all the articles and all the quotes from spokesmen from the schools and the Jesuits, we hear that this wasn’t criminal and it wasn’t harassment because the priest had no authority over the seminarian and that there was no sexual activity. Apparently Harris sent some sexually suggestive greeting cards to the man, an act that Seattle University called “old news” and that the superior of the Jesuits’ Oregon province called “simply a matter of poor judgment or bad taste,” while adding that Harris is “an exemplary Jesuit.”

In all of this, not one person connected to the school or order brings up the fact that while this behavior might have been criminal or civilly actionable, if true, it was certainly sinful. Have we set out standards according to the world or according to the Gospel?

Commit a crime and go to jail for some years. Commit a mortal sin and go to hell for eternity. Shouldn’t we adjust our perspective?

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