Monday, March 28, 2005

A Helper to Accused Priests

From MSNBC - Tending to Wayward Shepherds:

"Joe Maher never knows what to expect when he picks up the phone. Sometimes there's a trembling pause before a priest, choking back tears, tells him a disturbingly familiar tale: an accusation of sexual abuse, exile from his community. Other times, there's a caller screaming obscenities, furious that Maher would even speak to these 'sinners.' A mild-mannered, devout Roman Catholic, Maher is the founder of Opus Bono Sacerdotii--Latin for 'Work for the Good of the Priesthood'--the only lay advocacy group for priests accused of sexual misconduct. Some of the priests seeking help are likely innocent, others are not. But Maher believes in supporting them all. 'Priests are out there destitute, abandoned and desperate,' he says. 'And they need help.'"