Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Bishop Burbidge, Where is Fr. Escalante?

The more things change, the more they stay the same. One more good priest, Fr. Ronald Escalante, is being smeared and the Arlington Diocese appears to be an enabler under the guise of confidentiality. Goodness, we've heard that before. The "confidentiality" never seems to assist the falsely accused. I recently wrote an article for the Les Femmes newsletter about Fr. Christopher Buckner who was exonerated of an abuse allegation, but was still included on the list of "credibly accused" without acknowledgement of his exoneration. Shall we talk about sins against the eighth commandment?

Here's the original story I put on my Les Femmes blog about this disgraceful episode:

"Credibly Accused" but Innocent Priests
And here's the follow up published by the local paper.
This is How You Smear a Good Priest! Bring Back Fr. Escalante!
To say the least, I'm not buying the diocese's response to the story with their statement attacking the professionalism of the Blue Ridge Leader.

The Diocese of Arlington criticizes "lapse of journalistic standards" over Fr. Escalante article."

The paper did nothing in defiance of journalistic standards. This was a CYA response after an apparent attempt to intimidate the Blue Ridge Leader failed. And, in view of the fact that it appears the associate pastor, the DRE, and the mother of the girl were all involved, I want to know whether they are being investigated. The second victim in this (after Fr. Escalante), is the poor child who appears to have been an unwilling pawn. It reminds me of girls I saw being dragged into abortion mills by parents and/or boyfriends. Who is guilty of the greater sin?

There's one more actor in the story according to a source at the parish, a protestant minister. The girl who made the accusation under duress told several friends because she was so upset. (That information was in the article.) What wasn't in the article is that one of the girls who heard the story went to her pastor for advice and he told her she had a moral obligation to tell the truth. Thank God it is all coming out! And isn't it sad that we don't have more clergy doing the same. Could Theodore McCarrick have perpetrated his evil for so long if ANYONE had acted on his moral obligation to tell the truth?

But the truth won't necessarily bring Fr. Escalante back. In these situations, the innocent often suffer while the guilty go free. I hope Fr. Escalante sues the parents and the DRE for defamation, but I doubt he will. The rumor is that when he heard about the article in the Blue Ridge Leader his immediate response was concern for the poor child who accused him. That doesn't surprise me at all.

Please pray for Fr. Escalante and for the parish which is being ripped apart by this scandal.

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