From COURTHOUSE NEWS SERVICE:
A would-be Roman Catholic priest wants court help after his seminary expelled him over a supposedly "credible accusation of homosexual activity." The seminarian in question filed the complaint anonymously as John Doe last week in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. He claims he has been a member of the Pontifical College Josephinum's "priestly formation program" since 2010. Though expected to graduate this May with a master's degree in theology, Doe says the Columbus, Ohio, school sent him packing after an ambush meeting on Oct. 10. The school's vice rector told Doe that his investigation found a "credible accusation of homosexual activity." The rector-president at the college, attended the meeting as well and voiced his disappointment in Doe.
"Where did it all go wrong," the monsignor asked, before telling the student to "get [his] life in order and to avail [himself] of the sacraments."
Doe was not even allowed to return to his room unescorted after the meeting and was told that the seminary would mail him his things.
In addition to concealing its investigation, the school has withheld the identity of Doe's accuser and never asked Doe whether the allegations are true. Doe denies that he violated church rules, and says the school nevertheless tainted his reputation by publicly posting a notice about his expulsion. Since the rector-president had access to Doe's "internal spiritual life" as his spiritual director, his participation in Doe's dismissal also "likely violated canon law." When the school finally provided Doe with his academic file last month, it withheld "any records related to the investigation of his alleged misconduct and his dismissal."
Alleging breach of contract, bad faith and other claims, Doe seeks an injunction to view his records under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, plus the return of tuition and fees he paid the seminary.
COMMENT: I hope this would-be priest is vindicated and compensated appropriately. However, I don't hold out much hope. The members of the hierarchies of our churches are past masters at the art of subterfuge behind the cloak of secrecy. It does not matter what your perceived sin is the way those in authority in our churches pack together to destroy the lives of those who fall out of their favour guarantees your defeat no matter how hard you fight..
The "scandal" that led to my eventual dismissal as a parish priest was being hospitalised with a very severe case of clinical depression. I recovered from it to the extent of being able to return to my parish but I was told that I had to retire (aged forty-one) by the diocesan bishop, backed up by his archdeacons. I argued and was eventually offered, not my old job back (they had already appointed my replacement while I was still poorly without telling me) but an assistant curate's job. But even this was provisional. I had to see "counsellors" appointed by the bishop who reported back to the bishop. I know that sounds like an unbelievable breach of confidentiality but it is one hundred percent true. Eventually, I was sacked anyway on the pretext that the diocese could not afford to pay for an assistant curate who was surplus to requirements.
It does not seem to matter whether it's the Roman Catholic Church in the United States or the Church of England in the United Kingdom, ministers, pastors, priests, we are all at the mercy of the whims of those who do things in secret and appear to be unaccountable for their actions no matter how cruel and unjust they may be.