Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fr. Ratigan Story and a Clarification on St. Pat’s Principal

My article on the Fr. Shawn Ratigan story is here - Diocese faulted for handling of accused priest – on the Catholic Key website.

This post does not concern that, but rather some speculation out there, spurred by the omnipresent, though by no means omniscient, David Clohessy of SNAP, that the diocese is going to make St. Patrick Principal Julie Hess the fall guy in this story. This nonsense was actually egged on this morning over at NCReporter by Jamie Mason, who weekly provides NCR readers a demonstration of the value of an M.Div from Yale. There is even a petition to “save Julie Hess’ job”.

Read my story above. This rumor is complete nonsense. Why in the world would the diocese fire a principal for filing a report that the diocese says it wished it had acted upon more thoroughly? It doesn’t even make sense from a PR standpoint. It is pure, malicious rabble-rousing.

But I’m only the newspaper guy – maybe they keep me in the dark. So, I walked down the hall to ask the school office.

Pat Burbach, associate superintendent of schools, told me that Julie Hess did the right thing in turning in the report. She said Julie Hess is well-respected throughout the diocese as an excellent educator and administrator. Burbach said Hess was an integral part of the school department recently earning diocese-wide accreditation.

“We love Julie,” Burbach said.

There are plenty of reasons for frustration and anger. This phantom isn’t one of them.