Thursday, March 10, 2011

Former Jesuit Cleared In Canonical Trial

St. John's in Bangor, Maine
The retired priest who oversaw the $2 million renovation of St. John Catholic Church in Bangor between 1986 and 1991 has been reinstated to public ministry, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland has announced.The Rev. Maurice T. Lebel, 78, was removed temporarily from ministry in June 2007 after a complaint of sexual abuse of a minor in Massachusetts during the early 1980s was made.
At the time of the alleged complaint, Lebel was a Jesuit — a member of the Society of Jesus — ministering in Massachusetts. “The allegation was thoroughly investigated, a canonical trial was held, and a three-judge panel of canon lawyers from outside the Diocese of Portland has determined the allegation was unproven,” 
Bishop Richard J. Malone said in a letter dated Feb. 26  that was made available to parishioners in churches where Lebel served. “Therefore, I have lifted all restrictions previously placed on Father Lebel. This has been a long and arduous process and I thank you for your prayers.”
Link (here)  to read the full story at Bangor Daily News


TonyD said...

The standards of proof should be lower. Yes, priest's careers and lives will be destroyed, but that is part of the price that must be paid.

Nothing is being asked for that hasn't already been given.

Norah said...

The standards of proof of a priest's guilt should be no lower and no higher than the standard of proof of the guilt of anyone in the community accused of a crime.

This man has been in limbo for four years! What must the uncertainty have done to him physically and psychologically.

TonyD said...

So we return to the topic of faith.

Real faith is not always associated with good, fair, honest, or happy. Again, we see the cost of the "simple message" and "happy stories" that are emphasized by so many Catholics in an effort to gain more members. More Church members is not the real goal.

And real faith rarely looks like the values of society.