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News from the Church: Repression Breeds Shame, Sin, Crime

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Here are a few uplifting (not) stories off the wires:

A minister and former Christian college instructor in Canada was found guilty of sexually assaulting a young man who came to him for 'therapy': "In earlier testimony, the alleged victim, now 29, told court he started meeting Lewis for counselling sessions in early 2000 after his parents caught him viewing gay pornography on the family computer. Lewis — a family friend and minister — confided he had his own sexual identity issues and the two embarked on weekly counselling sessions designed to 'assist me to be straight and to live a straight life,' the man said. The man said Lewis started a program of 'touch therapy,' which included the two kissing and fondling each other and engaging in sexual roleplaying. 'He said I was to tell no one about it because no one would understand,' the man testified."

And in Texas a Catholic priest accused of sexually molesting children in two states is HIV-positive, officials say: "Last week, a leader in the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth heard someone mention that the Rev. Philip A. Magaldi has the virus that causes AIDS, said diocese spokesman Pat Svacina. The diocese leader then got verbal confirmation from Magaldi as well as a letter from his doctor who said he has HIV, Svacina said. Church officials said they believe he has been HIV positive since 2003. The diocese then alerted the alleged victims — at least five minors in two states — and the parishes where Magaldi served for nearly four decades, Svacina said."

A Methodist Church in DC has been criticized for recognizing committed gay relationships: "If they're not violating the letter, they're certainly violating the spirit of United Methodist standards...Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches."

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  1. For religion this is standard operational procedure: "Thou Shalt Not. . .Except with Me."

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Feb 15, 2008 12:45:17 PM


  2. The guy was 21 in 2000 and got "molested" by his college instructor? I would think after all the kissing and fondling, he would have been in the mood. Sounds like this guy wants a payout!

    Posted by: Mike | Feb 15, 2008 1:09:10 PM


  3. Beautiful picture from Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Not sure what it has to do with the story though. ;)

    Sadly, this story doesn't surprise me. Spreading AIDS at church is a new low....how horrible.

    Posted by: Steve | Feb 15, 2008 1:16:10 PM


  4. I'm suspicious about this case in Canada. Like Mike pointed out, this guy was 20-21 when the incident occurred. This is clearly old enough to know better.

    Posted by: Robbie | Feb 15, 2008 1:18:00 PM


  5. The Methodist church discussed which is now recognizing gay marriages (Foundry United Methodist in DC) is the church that Bill & Hillary Clinton attended regularly while Bill was President. I live near it and saw the Clintons go in there many times. I aso attended the church myself 8 years ago, and even then they celebrated gay & lesbian marriages, if not "officially" at the time. My first time there they had a lesbian couple that had just married stand up in church, and everyone cheered for them. Bravo to Foundry United Methodist Church in DC!

    Posted by: Hephaestion | Feb 15, 2008 7:38:52 PM


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