Accused layman spooked from service


A dear friend of mine (layman) was removed from his professional position in a parish on accusations of sexual misconduct. He admitted he kissed a 17 year old girl while he was in the middle of a divorce. He admits it was a terrible mistake and wishes every single day he could have it back…but he can’t. What crushes me is that he is insanely talented and was well on his way to doing amazing things for the Church. The police refused to press charges, because what he did wasn’t illegal (at least not in this state), but the Archdiocese terminated him for “sexual misconduct with a minor”.

I’ve tried to encourage him try to contact the archdiocese and ask them to change the termination reasons, since there wasn’t any sexual contact. I just want him to get back to doing the work I know he’s called to do. He wants desperately to go back to the work he was doing, but is terrified that the one mistake he made would come out, then would become public, then cause scandal, then hurt more people than already have been hurt…so he’s basically written everything off, changed careers to doing something he’s miserable doing, and lives every day regretting what he did.

What can I do? What can he do? He didn’t do anything illegal…he made one mistake and he’s now been ruined. His faith is strong, but it’s certainly being tremendously tested.


Maybe he didnt do anything illegal, but he sure did do something immoral. It is right he is removed. He demonstrated a great lack of judgement and self control.

I would strongly suggest he look into other ways of being of service.


I hate to put it like this but it’s no one’s fault but his. Chances are, he’s done with that position. He just has to live and learn. His actions were indeed immoral


If he were a social worker or a teacher, he could probably use that defense. (For example a friend is a social worker and a coworker of hers kept her job after kids at the halfway house found pot in her car - maybe not the same but similar.) However, the Church rightly sets a higher standard.


I think with many of the scandals in the Church over the past decade, they really have no choice in this matter. Could you imagine if they hired him back and the press somehow got hold of the story?


I agree with those who support the decision of the diocese. I also think the title of this thread is somewhat misleading. The person involved was not simply “accused” of something–acording to the OP, he acknowledged that he had committed the offense.


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