Full disclosure: Not a light-hearted blog.
I wrote on Friday about a Louisianna priest who was caught having after-hour sex with 2 trollops on the altar of his church. There was even a tripod-mounted camera present amongst all the scattered dildos to document the act for posterity.
The point of my blog was pretty straightforward, and you can read it here as you are getting ready for either Sunday mass or maybe some commandment-breaking NFL action... I don't judge.
And today I was awoken to this subsequent headline...
Archbishop Gregory Aymond says the altar used as the setting for the aforementioned tryst involving Rev. Travis Clark has been turned to ash.
Aymond made a statement condemning Clark's actions saying, “His obscene behavior was deplorable, and his desecration of the altar in Church was DEMONIC. I am infuriated by his actions. When the details became clear, we had the altar removed and burned. I will consecrate a new altar tomorrow.”
Say what you want, but that is a pretty quick turn around for a normally sluggish Catholic Church. Here's a timeline...
September 30 - Rev. Travis Clark gets caught half-naked having sex on an altar with a former pornstar and her dominatrix friend.
October 1 - Clark suspended from the ministry just one day after this arrest.
October 8 - Altar is incinerated to ash.
October 10 - Brand-new unsullied altar is installed and consecrated by the Archbishop.
October 11 - Sunday mass goes off without a hitch.
So within 2 weeks' time, this incident will be swept under the rug, and the church can move on.
EXCEPT there's not much room left under that rug.
People (like me) who didn't think this indiscretion was a huge deal in the first place (or who even blogged how refreshing it was to see an incident involving a wayward priest that didn't involve an abused child) would also be the first to point out that- If the church is looking to incinerate the sins of its past, it is gonna need a SHITLOAD more lighter fluid.
This might be a witty enough way to end a small blog following up on a now marginally interesting topic, but I couldn't help myself, and I had to dig deeper. I had to research this story, just to see if there is something I missed that might be important AND might impress Barstool's new editor with my AWESOME researching skills.
Sure enough, the hypocritical altar-incineration is even more hypocritical than I imagined.
Remember that guy, Archbishop Gregory Aymond, that I mentioned above?... The guy with some matches and God on his side?
Well... According to Wikipedia (which wound up being the extent of my AWESOME research):
On November 19, 1996, Gregory Aymond was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans and Titular Bishop of Acholla by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on January 10, 1997, from Archbishop Francis Bible Schulte, with Archbishops Philip Hannan and John Favalora serving as co-consecrators.
Except for the use of the word "titular", who cares, right?... HOWEVER, there's a little more...
As an Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans, one of Aymond's duties included the oversight of Catholic schools in the archdiocese. In 1998, Aymond allowed Brian Matherne, a coach at Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Norco, to remain in his post for several months after receiving information from an alleged abuse victim's father that Matherne had molested his son 13 years earlier. He dropped the matter without alerting police after unsuccessful attempts to speak to the alleged victim, then 24 years old, who later told the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office about the matter. Matherne was arrested and pleaded guilty to molesting 17 youths over a period of 15 years. He is serving 30 years in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
Now, I am just stating what happened in 1998 vs 2020 to show how the Archbishop's inaction back then probably spurred such a quick reaction this week.
I will also mention that the 1998 incident that Aymond failed to address properly involved a pedophilic coach, NOT a pedophilic priest (which doesn't make it any better, obviously).
Might also be worth mentioning that 1998 was before 2002, which was when the Boston Globe's "Spotlight" team first launched its investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests. Rumors and accusations had existed far earlier than '98 or '02, but I am just saying that the general public wasn't as privy to the sordid details until 2002-2003, and a good chunk of the public probably wasn't in on that sick joke until Spotlight (which expertly told the story of that Boston Globe team) won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2015.
And I say a "good chunk of the public" was made aware of this scandal by the movie Spotlight, but realistically, at the time of its win, the film had made only $39 million at the North American box office, which made it the second-lowest domestically grossing film to win Best Picture within the past four decades (after The Hurt Locker with only $17 million)... So it wasn't like this scandal was revealed by somebody important, like Tony Stark or John Wick.
Still, Aymond dropped the ball BIG TIME back in 1998 BUT it's not mentioned in any of the coverage of this recent altar burning, AND I felt like it was worth mentioning, SO I am telling you.
Enjoy the football... I like the Titans and the UNDER 2 COVID related deaths.
Take a report.
I hate to pepper you with facts, but I can't help myself… I mentioned the diddling coach back in 1998 was ultimately sent to Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola where I hope he is being physically abused as we speak. But I also wanted to mention, Angola is home to The Angola Prison Rodeo where inmates compete in traditional rodeo events to a crowd of 11,000 one weekend in April and every Sunday in October (before COVID).
You can hear all about prisons from all over the world on The Twisted History of Prisons.
Also, I mention 1998 being before 2002, and the public's reaction to pedo-priests not being cultured just yet… No better example is the-now-crazy-as-a-shithouse-rat Sinead O'Connor's appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1992.
O’Connor performed an a capella version of Bob Marley’s "War" and, unbeknownst to the cast and crew, she changed the lyrics to fit her cause of condemning the Catholic Church for physical and sexual misconduct of children.
She then held up a photo of Pope John Paul II and tore it in half in front of the camera, stating, “Fight the real enemy.”
The stunt shocked the cast and crew, and the director of the show, Dave Wilson, purposely failed to hit the "APPLAUSE” button when her song was over, leaving the audience to sit in silence.
Tim Robbins, who was the host for that episode and was raised as a devout Catholic, refused to acknowledge O'Connor at the end of the show.
But here’s the thing… She was right… But it wasn’t until a decade later before John Paul II (whose photo she ripped) acknowledged that the sexual abuse within the Church was "a profound contradiction of the teaching and witness of Jesus Christ”.
You can hear all about shit like this in The Twisted History of Saturday Night Live.
Go forth, and listen.