A reader just pointed out discrepancies in data released by the Archdiocese regarding Msgr. Francis Feret. I got a strong whiff of public relations spin. Feret is identified as as priest “found unsuitable for ministry” because of “boundary violations.” However, immediately after the announcement, the Philadelphia Inquirer published an article referencing an interview with the lawyer who represented a man who was anally and orally raped. If his abuse was unsubstantiated and some other offense a substantiated boundary violation, shouldn’t we have been told that?
The reader asked, “Are they just saying “Boundary Violation” to minimize the outcry?
Short answer? In my opinion, yes. During his press conference, Archbishop Chaput declined to discuss specifics in regard to individual priests. Also, it is my understanding from a source that at least one of the five priests removed from ministry for boundary violations is still under investigation by the District Attorney’s office for more serious offenses. It would appear this was another calculated move to control headlines and press coverage. Far better to announce removal for boundary violations. It smells a lot like Brian Tierney, public relations pro hired on Cardinal Bevilaqua, is still on the job. Of course, I could be wrong.