New allegations against USC's Father Messenger
One of the few nice things about doing this blog is that lots of people -- people whom I do not even know -- send me information and stories about people and events which are of interest to Catholics in L.A. (and beyond).
One of these sources has provided L.A. Catholic with the following BREAKING NEWS regarding former USC chaplain, FATHER WILLIAM MESSENGER ...
In late April of this year, it was revealed that an accusation had been filed against Father William Messenger by an adult student (the L.A. Times reported that the student was male). According to the reports, it is alleged that the priest, known as "Father Bill," had touched the student "inappropriately". Father Messenger vehemently denied the accusation but nonetheless resigned as pastor of Our Savior university parish in early June while the investigation proceeded.
It appears that shortly after the Archdiocese started its inquest, other allegations of "abusive conduct" on the part of Father Messenger surfaced. In an official Archdiocesan statement that was read at the Masses at Our Savior's last Sunday, the Archdiocese acknowledged that the most serious of the new "complaints" dates back to the late 1970's. (Messenger was ordained in 1977).
The statement reads:
"If this complaint is true, the person was a minor at the time of the alleged abuse. Please know that Father Messenger has very firmly denied any incidence of abusive conduct with a minor."THE TIDINGS offers this brief biographical sketch about Messenger and a list of the parishes at which he has served:
A native Angeleno, he was born in 1950 and attended elementary school at St. John of God, Norwalk. Father Messenger entered the high school seminary and finished his theological studies at St. John's. Before his appointment as pastor of Our Saviour University Church at USC in 1993, he served as associate pastor at All Souls, Alhambra; St. Matthew, Long Beach; and St. Eugene and St. Paul, L.A.When Messenger was still pastor of Our Savior, the USC Catholic Community website was replete with links to Messenger's homilies and essays which are unashamedly heterodox. Fortunately, these links have finally been removed by the new Catholic chaplain at USC. In one of the essays written in the early 1980's for the NCR, "Father Bill" wrote these eerily prescient words about celibacy and diocesan priests:
"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."