Saturday, January 17, 2004

Mr. John Bertolucci

Of all the charismatic leaders of the 1980's, I liked Father John Bertolucci the best. He was a great preacher, had a great television program and was a remarkable evangelist.

He was largely responsible for keeping a segment of the Charismatic movement linked to a more conservative idealogy. I think he also was responsible for the bringing devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary into the movement--a move that split it to some degree.

I thought it was strange, how he just disappeared from sight in the 90's.

Sadly, he is an example that the sexual failings are not a liberal enterprise.

I pray for him and his victims, but at the same time give thanks for the ministry that he provided for the church at one time--a time I might add that was after his great fall (but of course no one knew it at the time).

He is still teaching us a lesson, even now. We are all sinners, we all have failed. We all need Christ. As the Psalmist says, "I have seen the cedars of Lebanon towering, I looked again and they were gone..."

From Albany, N.Y. -- timesunion.com:

"Bertolucci was among the first priests removed by the diocese when the sex abuse scandal erupted in 2002. He had retired before that, and had been a national leader of the charismatic Christian movement.

Bertolucci's appearance at the conference sparked controversy. Bertolucci wore a dark suit, like that worn by priests.
Aretakis and a victims' advocates group said such wearing of clerical garb was in violation of the church's rules on priests removed from ministry for sexual abuse of children.

Diocese spokesman Ken Goldfarb said there was no violation because Bertolucci was not wearing his white clerical collar. 'He was wearing the black suit, but maybe he has only one suit,' Goldfarb said.

The Capital Region Chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests fired off a letter to Bishop Howard Hubbard demanding an investigation.
'When Mr. Bertolucci was removed from active ministry, he should have been told by you, in no uncertain terms, that he is forbidden from presenting himself in any way, shape or form as a member of the clergy. This includes dressing as a priest,' wrote chapter leader Mark Furnish. "