Sep 27, 2005

'Bill (Messenger) had his understanding of the church, I have mine'

These are the words of the new pastor of the University Catholic Center at USC, Father Laurence Seyer. He is speaking about Father William Messenger who served as pastor of the university parish since 1993 until he recently resigned amid accusations of inappropriate conduct. Messenger firmly denies any wrongdoing.

On August 17, in an article published in the USC student newspaper, THE DAILY TROJAN, Steven Chen wrote:

Messenger was placed on administrative leave from the Catholic Center on April 29 because of an allegation that he engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with an adult. But, Messenger said the investigation into the allegation is now over.
That appears to be wishful thinking on Messenger's part in light of the statement that was made last Sunday from the pulpit formerly occupied by the controversial priest. The Archdiocesan spokesman stated that new allegations have surfaced and that the most serious of these dates back to the late 70s. What is more, that particular "complaint" involves an individual who was a minor at the time.

THE DAILY TROJAN continues ...

Messenger said his resignation was not related to the sexual misconduct allegation and was not an admission of guilt.

"The specific reason for my resignation was for the alcohol policy that I implemented at the Catholic Center that allowed students under 21 to drink," he said.

Messenger said authorities thought his policy was irresponsible, but, "I thought that if students were going to drink anyway, why not (drink) in a safe environment."
How Stupid.

According to THE DAILY TROJAN, the new pastor of the center is already bringing about significant changes.
[Father] Seyer said he knew Messenger by name but did not know him personally. Because of the circumstances surrounding his predecessor, Seyer said several new rules and regulations will be implemented at the Catholic Center. These include a change in the operating hours of the center.

Seyer also said the direction of the Catholic center would be steered toward a more mainstream stance.

"Bill (Messenger) had his understanding of the church, I have mine," Seyer said. "I am more mainstream in church politics and politics in general."

Messenger said, however, "I am more liberal than many people might be used to, but that does not place me outside the mainstream."

Actually, Father Bill, if you're in any stream at all, it's downstream.

Additionally, the Catholic Center is working to formulate a new alcohol policy, Seyer said.

Father Seyer sounds like a huge improvement over Messenger who once said:

"My standard homily on Ash Wednesday includes, 'I do not give up Scotch, so bring all your half-empty bottles to me.' " Go HERE.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been to the USC Catholic Center twice (I live in St. Louis, but my brother went to school there). It can only go to the better from where it was!

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when were Catholic centers able to institute their own drinking age? I mean, setting aside all that nonsense about how they're going to do it anyway, there's one word that occurs to me: ILLEGAL. Like, duh.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am a current parishioner at St. Barnabas, and was a parishioner when Fr. Seyer was associate here. He did a great job, and I can assure the moderator of this forum that his views are far more in line with those expressed here. Additionally, Fr. Seyer is a good choice for this assignment, for he is able to deal with teens and young people quite well without watering down the faith or the doctrine.

If you follow the situation further I trust you will be pleased.

5:32 PM  

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