Caught Sexting

I can think of one reaction to this priest.


Empowering that objects of the cleric’s sexual scrutiny were actually setting up a sting that resulted in his departure from ministry.

Stephen Webster, a former seminarian, stalked from age 18:

He would say, “Pray for me,” but then he would text me when he was doing it, how he was doing it and when he was done. It was twisted.

As a priest, you represent the Catholic Church. You represent Christ. You hear confessions. And then you’re sexting over Facebook. It’s a disgrace.

In 2011, the response of the diocese was a bit timid. The priest told his young friends he was “teaching sex education to middle school-age children.”

He would say how physically mature they were for their ages and how some even had facial hair. It raised alarm bells.

That would be alarming to me. Good that the sexting sting worked to get a predator out of ministry. New Jersey chanceries have had a tough time as of late dealing with stalkers. Newark might have provided some impetus.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Caught Sexting

  1. FrMichael says:

    Obviously the removal to a treatment center was a mere slap in the hand. I would say it violates the spirit of the Dallas Charter, if not’s its letter. IIRC texting did not exist or wasn’t a widely used technology in 2001, much less this loathsome “sexting.” I wonder if explicit references to it should be included in the Charter.

    In the meantime, yet another white-washed-tomb bishop covering for a pervert priest. Add O’Connell to the episcopal hall of shame.

  2. Todd says:

    David O’Connell was the prez of CU, and relatively new on the job, if I recall. I’ve met the man, briefly, and I’m not sure if he’s ready for that wall yet. Certainly merits watching, especially since he had to be pushed into responding.

  3. FrMichael says:

    I don’t trust priests and bishops who don’t have visceral reactions to sexual perverts in the priesthood. This whole bloodless response to these guys being found out freaks me out a bit, I must admit. They treat this as some sort of case study in ecclesiology or moral theology class instead of feeling repugnance in the face of gross sin.

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