Reading UVIC's student paper, the Martlet, is always fun. Especially fun if you're like me, a person who likes to read writing as poor as his own.
But this week's edition carried a special treat: A flagship column 'detailing' the Holy Cross parish scandal.
Scandals bring out the best in Catholics. You can be assured, o ye of other faiths, that whenever a scandal breaks in the Church, it only brings out the best in people. Consider, for example, the following statements:
'It was actually illogical and disrespectful way to be here tonight. He sat there and said he couldn't answer any of our questions? So my question is, why did he come here?' Holy Cross parishoner and ex-UVIC Catholic chaplain Kate Fagan Taylor, in response to the Bishops inability to answer some questions because of confidentiality.
'[The timeline] is the truth as we know it has Fr. Mike has told us.' UVIC Student, Stefan Jonsson, in response to the Bishop's challenge that parishoners did not know all the facts and therefore should not be creating speculative 'timelines of events'.
'Both John Oetter and Fr. Mike were lovely people. The students are sad that they are no longer a part of the parish.' Claire Allen, UVIC Student.
And the best for last:
'This parish knows there's a God because can see his divine goodness shining through Fr. Michael.' John Lucas, a very sentimental man.
'Fr. Mike is just the most - and I've thought about this- I think he's the holiest man I've ever met.' Stefan Jonsson, again.
'They were almost unanimous in their support for Fr. Mike and John.' Jean Forest, Holy Cross parishoner, speaking of his fellow parishoners.
Now consider the facts of the case as reported by the mainstream media. Fr. Mike Favero approached Bishop Gagnon last Spring to resign from Holy Cross, but the Bishop persuaded him to stay on. Sometime around Christmas, a group of parishoners made what appears to be one of several complaints about Fr. Mike and the parish secretary, John Oetter. At the end of December, John Oetter accepted a severance package and resigned from his position at Holy Cross. A week or so after Oetter's resignation, Fr. Mike abruptly leaves without explanation. It is later revealed that he decided tender his resignation after all. After this, all heck breaks lose as several parishoners go immediately to the press with the 'bad Church hates gays' story.
If I were an alien reading this story, I would be amazed that a seemingly large number of people chose to give the man who fled his position and the man who flagrantly lived against Catholic Church teachings the benefit of the doubt. I'm sure they were 'wonderful people'. So wonderful in fact, they singlehandly dragged an entire diocese into division and scandal by their actions.