It sounds like the beginning of a joke or at the very least fake news but it’s actually true. Two Catholic priests from the Archdiocese of Chicago visiting South Beach in Miami were arrested for lewd and lascivious conduct in the middle of the afternoon on Labor Day.
They were so engrossed in what they were doing, Miami Beach officers had to knock on the window of the vehicle to let them know they were about to be arrested. This wasn’t something that happened in a secluded park in the middle of the night but on Miami Beach’s busiest street in the middle of the day on a holiday!
What were these priests thinking? Especially right now, with the Catholic Church embroiled in its most serious scandal since 2002, two priests, one of whom is a canon lawyer making decisions about who can re-marry or not, gets caught in a sexually compromising position with another priest! I think we have a problem.
Rod Dreher, who’s been covering the latest scandal closely, wrote,
“I don’t know why the Chicago media are reporting on this. Don’t they know that Cardinal Cupich of Chicago hath said that climate change and immigration are more important issues facing the Church than the sexual corruption of its clergy?
One of these accused priests, Father Berrio, is a judge on the marriage tribunal of the Archdiocese of Chicago. That’s right: this cannoli-rooting canonist sits in judgment over whether or not marriages were licit. The laity depend on his judgment to determine whether or not they can remarry in the Catholic Church. Think about it: even if these priests repent, who could possibly look up to them as spiritual fathers after this? What kind of archbishop could entrust the care of souls to this kind of man?”
Integrity in the Catholic Church? Not now at least.