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Kevin ClarkeFebruary 16, 2011

Over at Politics Daily, Dave Gibson tries to unravel, with as straight a face as he can manage, the sorry tale of Father Thomas Euteneuer, the charismatic leader of Human Life International whose fall from grace has been rapid and spectacular. Father Tom's side gig as roving exorcist apparently got the better of him. When he admitted as much, a good-sized web war erupted between those who are pretty much done with him and those willing to overlook a lapse or two (or more? We may know soon.) It didn't help much that Father Tom devoted much of his energy to pretty hard-knuckled handling of any he deemed insufficiently faithful, including Gibson, a good friend to this house and, most memorably, Sean Hannity. Really.

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Beth Cioffoletti
12 years 7 months ago
Oh my, this is serious.  When the conservative Catholics on Fox News start sounding like liberals.

Interestingly, I knew Fr. Tom 25 or more years ago, back from before he was ordained, and watched with dismay as he rose among the ranks.
ed gleason
12 years 7 months ago
I think I remember all Brett's posts about Clinton and Edwards and  admonishing us all not to be judgemental. NOT
12 years 7 months ago
Vince, we both know that Media Matters is a spin site for the far left.

For an academic discussion on the sting (both pro and con) try Public Discourse:

"In Defense of Live Action"

"Why lying is always wrong"

PS - the fight for life is a certainly Catholic matter - it is not just internal matters/scandal/fighting that we should look at.
12 years 7 months ago
Is there a scandal that Kevin does not delight in posting on? 

Oh...I found one: the recent expose on Planned Parenthood and their assistance to sex traffickers and facilitation of abortion at all costs. 

Perhaps only scandals involving political opponents are of interest this blog?
david power
12 years 7 months ago

Do you have German blood? This is what is called "schadenfreude". Not a very christian thing to have reeking from your post.You could ask the editors to pull it from the site and I am sure that Brett and Beth will not complain.
I saw this live and thought that Fr Tom both truly felt what he was saying and did not have a clue about Christianity(clever me!).It is sad. Now he will go off to some monastery and do some meaningless penances and feel even more guilt ,then reach a critical mass of that before speaking a lot about grace and well in the end he will have learned the wisdom of Pope John Paul the first. The late Pope said that we have "reduced the encounter with Christ to a set of rules". Fr Tom had his moralist script ready ,but somebody on the level of Hannity can only pretend to be a "bravo raggazzo" for so long. 
I hope that Fr Tom has a good spiritual director and one that can help him find Christ in a more human way this time.   
12 years 7 months ago
I agree with David on the nature of the post.

As for PP videos, you could even discuss the ethics of deception to counter a moral evil - i.e. no need to agree with the tactics.  It is simply the radio silence that is deafening.
Kang Dole
12 years 7 months ago
I, for one, have a well-honed sense of schaudenfruede and am happy to confess that I enjoy it when the gatekeepers of righteousness get shown out as liars.

12 years 7 months ago
"gatekeepers of righteousness get shown out as liars."

The point is that David Gibson and Kevin Clarke are also a "gatekeepers of righteousness," in their own way - we all are due to the nature of sin and pride and the distortions they produce.

Kang Dole
12 years 7 months ago
"Now he will go off to some monastery and do some meaningless penances and feel even more guilt"

Maybe he can enter into a herd of swine instead!

12 years 7 months ago
I have never written anything personal about you Kevin - I have simply commented on your posting patterns, no need for the vitriol.

Considering that all of the Catholic blogosphere is commenting on the Live Action sting on Planned Parenthood, one would think that your focus on scandal would include this interesting story and it's connection to the Church's pro-life agenda.
Vince Killoran
12 years 7 months ago
Re. Planned Parenthood: Some bloggers insist on bringing it up as some kind of counter-example to absolve our fellow Catholics of blame (as in, "Oh yeah, you think that's bad wait until you hear about those evil people at Planned Parenthood!?).

At least get the story correct.  Media Matters has provided a comphrensive examination of the debacle (http://mediamatters.org/blog/201102040026).
Vince Killoran
12 years 7 months ago
I don't know that Media Matters is a "spin site" for the Left.  I do know that they posted the full video which makes their take on it convincing.

Now if you'll excuse me there's some Gramsci I've been meaning to read before I call it a night.
Vince Killoran
12 years 7 months ago
Ah Michael, you've done it again.  I'm going to go burn my eyeballs out now.
Colleen Baker
12 years 7 months ago
Mr. Brooks you apparently do not know the entire story.  Fr. Eutenuer was outed by his own pro life followers.  HLI and his home diocese only spoke after they were forced too. The 'handsome straight' priest was enjoying the exact same kind of protection as the his brother priests in Philadelphia.  Which proves that the clerical church is an equal opportunity protector.
12 years 7 months ago
I'd respond to those who've addressed me, but someone "accidentally" deleted my comment.  Ah, the censors; I think I'm starting to understand the criticisms of the hiearchy: "It's good to be da king."
Anne Chapman
12 years 7 months ago
Brett, your repeated references to Planned Parenthood appear to be attempts to set up a strawman.  PP is not an organization that many Catholics support, even ''progressive'' Catholics. PP is also not an organization that claims to be God's representative on earth. PP does not claim as does the RCC, that it speaks for God, nor does it tell people that they ''must obey'' everything the leadership proclaims or risk their eternal soulsl, while the same leadership is dishonestly working to protect sexual abusers from coming to the attention of the legal authorities.

PP's sins are totally irrelevant to discussions about the repeated, global instances of the church's dishonesty and abuse of authority, misused to protect sexual predators wearing Roman collars who stand on altars every day and utter the words of consecration.  Why does this depravity, dishonesty, and blasphemy not upset you?  Why the kneejerk defense of every ''conservative'' Catholic priest who turns out to be just one more wolf in sheep's clothing?  When it comes to the sins of priests like Weakland, you instantly jump on the condemnatory bandwagon, yet bristle when the truth about people like this priest comes out.

I do not watch these televison shows, and did not watch this video.  Television is almost totally uncivilized these days, and most likely this show lived up that lack of standards. However, the fact that the show may represent the lowest common denoninator in broadcasting does not explain why you consistently feel the need to 1) attack the messengers 2) defend the guilty if they are ''conservative'' and 3) try to create totally irrelevant comparisons, such as the one to PP.
William Kurtz
12 years 7 months ago
Thanks for the in-depth report on this Raymond Burke-Thomas Olmsted wannabe (and I don't mean that as a compliment.) I'm curious if he was active at HLI in the late 1980s, when the organization defended apartheid in South Africa. (I saw that in one of their newsletters.) 
12 years 7 months ago
Hey Jim -

Perhaps "refreshing" was a bad choice of word, but I didn't see anything in the article that said that the act was not consensual; in the current climate we all assume a breach of fiduciary duty and victimhood, but I don't see my comment offensive merely because I made an assumption in the other direction. 

And as I have made clear throughout my postings here, I think defendants get short shrift in all of these cases.  If the policy of America is that  comments shall comply with the mental assumptions of the editorial staff, or if there is clear and compelling evidence that makes my assumption untenable, then I apologize.  Otherwise, I request that you put my post back, and let the readers have at me.
12 years 7 months ago
Father Keane:

Wouldn't we all do well to try to remember: charity first, then truth?

"Second feature of Peter Canisius: In order to convert people and there were millions to convert in his day, to convert people from error to the truth, it is not enough to preach to them, you must first practice charity towards them. In other words, you will win over those who have been mislead by error only if you practice charity. Charity first and then, proclaim the truth.

John Hardon SJ

12 years 7 months ago
I just want to interrupt.  How about some poetry to cool things down.  Here's a poem by Mary Oliver.
   When the Roses Speak, I Pay Attention
     ''As long as we are able to
     be extravagant we will be
     hugely and damply
     extravagant.  Then we will drop
     foil by foil to the ground.  This
     is our unalterable task, and we do it

     And they went on. ''Listen,
     the heart-shackles, are not, as you think,
     death, illness, pain,
     unrequited hope, not loneliness, but

     lassitude, rue, vainglory, fear, anxiety,

     Their fragrance all the while rising
      from their blind bodies, making me
     spin with joy.

And here's another line.
      God, once he is in your heart,
         is everywhere-
       so even here
          among the weeds
             and the brisk trees.
Vince Killoran
12 years 7 months ago
Re. Maria's "charity" comment: there was noting to merit charity in Michael's crude and totally irrelevant comment from last evening. 
William Kurtz
12 years 7 months ago
Yes, charity, as exemplified by HLI, Burke, Olmsted, Tobin, etc.? 
12 years 7 months ago
Scadenfraude has bewcome a new mantra of the right, including the usual suspects here, who want to minimize the damage done by one of theirs.
I heard it parroted about the Philadelphia "bloodbath" to use Rocco's phrase.
I think it's really tedious that  we continue posts from  the same ideologues who don't want to deal with the issue here, viz. a criminal action  by a highly ranked clergy member taking advantage of his position.
12 years 7 months ago
I thought Christ was our standard...
Jim McCrea
12 years 7 months ago
The idea of this priesty boy criticizing Sean Handout (normally I use another faux name but I know it would cause this posting to be deleted) for being a bad Catholic reminds me of the Church Lady:  Isn't this so very precious?

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