Not sure who the guy in the coffin is....What do you think?
If you haven't been following the saga up to now, go here and here.
The story continues and the diocese, as is so typical in these days of wagon-circling and stonewalling, gives out as little information as possible. If they can only hang on, the patsies in the pew will forget about it. Will Fr. Escalante return? So often they don't no matter how innocent and exonerated. Pray hard for Fr. Escalante.
This is so reminiscent of what happened to Fr. James Haley. The diocese, under Bishop Loverde, threatened the Washington Times with lawsuits and the paper stopped covering the story. Of course, a decade later, all the cover ups began unraveling and Fr. Haley is recognized as a prophet. Little good that did to his vocation as a priest which lies in shatters.
My suspicious self says the diocese's fear of bad publicity is less about fear of damage to the faith and more about the fear of losing the almighty dollar. What a disaster if the BLA and the parish collection basket come back empty.
But let's move on. I received an email this morning from a member of the parish who wrote to Fr. Scalia, Vicar for Clergy, particularly expressing concern about the theft from the parish and asking if the former DRE will be held accountable. Here's the response (or should I say non-response) the parishioner received from Fr. Scalia who, according to members of the parish is a personal friend of the alleged thief. By the way, the article is back up at the Blue Ridge Leader (Thank you, Valerie Cury!):
Please share these posts with everyone you know in the Diocese of Arlington. The bishops talk a lot about transparency but it's only when the laity demand it and expose the scandals that there will be any transparency at all. According to a member of the parish, the story going around is that Fr. Escalante was sent to a facility in Texas where he will be programmed to deal with these parish problems. Isn't it interesting that it's always the innocent who are seen to need treatment? The first thing that comes to my mind is the re-education camps and the gulags.Confidentiality and professional ethics keep the Diocese of Arlington from publicly disclosing all information related to allegations against Father Ron Escalante. This is done out of respect for alleged victims as well as for Father Escalante.The article titled “New Revelations in the Father Escalante Saga” by Valerie Cury that was previous published in the Blue Ridge Leader has been taken down. Unfortunately, it did cause confusion and concern among some of the faithful. Given that it negatively characterized an alleged victim, who is a minor, through information provided by a third-party source and utilized only unnamed sources, we agree that it was the right decision to unpublish the story.The Diocese of Arlington has provided parishioners of St. Francis de Sales Church as much information regarding Father Escalante’s status as confidentiality reasonably permits. As has been noted in past communications, there is an ongoing internal investigation of allegations and, out of respect for the reputation and good name of Father Escalante and individuals who have come forward, the Diocese of Arlington is limited in the amount of information it can provide publicly at this time.Finally, as regards the previous article’s unsubstantiated allegation of financial irregularities at St. Francis de Sales Parish, the Diocese of Arlington receives and thoroughly investigates any such reports, with due regard for those who report irregularities either anonymously or by identifying themselves to the Diocese.Be assured of my prayers during these sacred days.Sincerely in Christ,Fr. ScaliaReverend Paul ScaliaEpiscopal Vicar for ClergyDirector of the Permanent Diaconate Formation ProgramOffice of ClergyCatholic Diocese of Arlington200 North Glebe Road, Suite 901Arlington, VA 22203703-841-3809