Nov 21, 2005

Seminary rector responds to L.A. Times



November 21, 2005

Re "Trail of Abuse Leads to Seminary," Nov. 17

Your story implies that decades ago, St. John's Seminary in Camarillo may have been less thorough in preparing young men for the priesthood. But it ignores the fact that the vast majority of graduates have gone on to rich lives of service. Indeed, most of the extraordinary parish priests serving in Southern California today are graduates of St. John's. There is no mention of their tireless efforts to provide spiritual and physical sustenance to those in need or to provide leadership in addressing issues such as homelessness or poverty.

We have been humbled by this crisis and have worked diligently to make sure it won't happen again. Just as our churches are providing mandatory training, education and, yes, even screening to our thousands of priests, teachers and volunteers who work with children, we have instituted tough application and admission standards that include psychological testing and background checks.

In the last 20 years, we have ordained 155 priests for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Of those, two have been accused. Of course we are not happy with any number above zero, but this statistic reflects the success of our more informed approach to this problem.

The Times has an obligation to inform its readers of the reforms that have taken place as a result of lessons learned.

REV. MSGR. HELMUT A. HEFNER

Rector, St. John's Seminary

Camarillo

8 Comments:

Blogger C S said...

only 155 priests in the last 20 years? Wow :(

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Xochilt said...

Seeker-

Thanks for pointing that out!

7.75 per year in the largest AD in the richest nation on earth.

7:41 PM  
Blogger CS said...

Considering what they probably teach there, the low numbers may be for the better in a warped sort of way.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous barbara said...

Thanks for the info, Q. I was wondering what happened to Hugh Hefner's brother.

5:34 AM  
Anonymous joe said...

"In the last 20 years, we have ordained 155 priests for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Of those, two have been accused."

I get it. Cardinal Mahony was installed as arch-bishop 20 years ago. The spin is that under his watch we have improved.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Mahony's highly paid PR consultants, Sitrick and Co., are earning their keep. They are as slick as the Catholic Church's own "Slick Willy," "Slippery Roger."

But, wait a minute, only 2 have been accused over the last 20 years. That can't be right. It's more than that.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only 2 in 20 years? I thought I read there were over 500 cases pending????

Must have jsut been a bad dream.

Time to start over beginning at the top.

11:40 AM  
Blogger C S said...

Barbara,

Please tell me you're kidding about that being Hefner's brother. I know things are bad out there, but is it THAT bad?!?!

1:05 PM  

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