May 6, 2005

Cardinal Mahony and his Messenger

See His Eminence Cardinal Mahony and Father "Bill" Messenger at a 2002 event to kick off a major capital campaign to build a new Catholic Center at USC. Click here to see the video.

Messenger, who was recently accused by a male student of "inappropriate physical touching," once wrote:

"I, for one, did not choose celibacy. I chose priesthood and accepted celibacy because there was no choice. I do not consider myself to have been free. There was simply no other way to be ordained."

"We must face the truth that celibacy in the diocesan clergy is abnormal. As in any abnormal situation, the individual must seek compensation." See the complete article here.


Anonymous Glory said...

In his article on celibacy, I think that Fr.Bill is making it clear that today's priests such as himself have chosen the path of celibacy since it was imposed upon the clergy in the 12th century. Let it be known that some of Christ's twelve apostles may not have followed the same path of celibacy, since they were married with children. Hence, other Christian Churches or denominations have elected to allow their pastors to live happily married lives. Although some would like to conclude that Fr.Bill's article, on the topic of celibacy, is indicative of the nature of inappropriate physical contact asserted by the accusation, these speculations can only be regarded as dirty insuations in themselves. The juxtaposition of the news report and a brief citation from Fr.Bill's article on celibacy, does not shed any light on what may or may not have taken place between Fr.Bill and the anonymous, male accuser. What remains as fact, is that the LAPD cannot report of any crime committed; but former FBI officials are investigating the complaint. Also, Fr.Bill succeeded in serving the USC Catholic Community as the only priest assigned to Our Savior Chapel for 12 years.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Quintero said...

Fr. Messenger repeats the same old, tired line that celibacy was imposed on the clergy beginning in the 12th Century. It goes to prove that the more often a lie is repeated the lie comes to be regarded as truth.

I don’t have the space or the time to go into a lengthy explanation, but with a minimal of effort, if you’re really interested in the truth, you will discover that celibacy for priests goes all the way back to apostolic times. For a simple treatment of this subject, go to:

The brief article at the above link mentions a number of serious studies on the topic: Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy, by Fr. Christian Cochini, S.J.(Ignatius, San Francisco, 1990); The Case for Clerical Celibacy, by Alfons Maria Cardinal Stickler (Ignatius, San Francisco, 1995); Celibacy in the Early Church, by Fr. Stefan Heid, (Ignatius, San Francisco, 2000).

I hope this information is helpful.

As to Fr. Messenger's guilt or innocence with respect to the alleged misconduct, none of us can say and we should pray for him at what must be a difficult time for him. Judging from his writings found on the USC Catholic Community website, however, Fr. Messenger is at the very least a priest who is confused about what the Church teaches.

5:58 PM  

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