Saturday, February 05, 2011


One more bad-priest scandal in a world too full of them.

In 2007, Sean Hannity hosted a segment with a Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, who ran an organization called Human Life International. It seems that Euteneuer somehow managed to stand to right of Hannity -- Hannity! They differed on the always-difficult matter of just how evil abortion really is. Euteneuer accused Hannity of being soft on the baby-killers, and when asked affirmed that he would indeed deny Hannity Holy Comunion.

To which the host answered, "Wow."

The confrontation even provoked a little online apology from CNN's priest-in-residence, Fr. Jonathan. (The next day, he also apologized, almost, to Euteneuer's fans for seeming to dismiss their hero. A profile in courage, that guy.)

A little background: Euteneuer is a well-known figure in the world of abortion opponents and also, perhaps more idiosyncratically, in the world of exorcists.

The ministry of deliverance is customarily been, um, exercised with the utmost stealth, as far under the radar as the practitioners and authorizing bishops could keep it. People need to know that it exists, of course; but they don't need to know too much else about it. This strikes us as generally wise. But is it our imagination, or have exorcists been coming out of the closet lately, speaking more and more freely about their work?

Euteneuer cetainly does. First he wrote a book called Exorcism and the Church Militant, which won a blurb from no less than EWTN's own Benedict Groeschel, and moved one Amazon reviewer to exclaim that "Father Tom is the faithful of the faithful." He went on to made a strong connection between his two ministries in a book called Demonic Abortion.

Flashing forward a couple of years from the Hannity brouhaha, it seems the Euteneuer is in big trouble. Not for threatening to deny the sacrament to public figures, mind you -- that remains a popular tactic among the Papist right. No, Euteneuer has quit/been fired by HLI for "violating the boundaries of chastity with an adult female who was under [his] spiritual care." His former employer suggests that there was more to it than just this. (His statement is here. HLI's statement is here.)

The details are murky, and apparently there have been a lot of whoppers floating around on the interwbs. The "violation" apparently did not include "the sexual act," for example, and no demonically-possessed persons are living in the home of Euteneuer's parents. Not that we thought they were.

But it does seem that "spiritual care" here means, specifically, that he performed an exorcism on on her, and perhaps more than one. So, um, sexually abusing the possessed -- just how demonic is that? We're saying pretty darn demonic.



Pastor Joelle said...

Okay now my mind is polluted with imagining ways exorcisms can be done on women that "do not involve the sexual act" but "violate the bounds of chastity"

I wish they made a mind wash...

Father Anonymous said...

Had the same thought. It's going to take a lot of comic books to clean this one out of my brain.

Anonymous said...

"Papist"? Seriously? In 2011? Do you also say "Hebrew" or "Mohammadan"?
Clergy tend to be freaks anyway; at least he was with an adult female.

Father Anonymous said...

First off, we covered this already in Magdalene's Egg 101. Do your homework, lazybones!

But second, and on an ad hominem note: A little irony-deprived, are we? Tone deaf to rhetorical devices? You do understand that's a symptom of Asperger's Syndrome. As, I believe, is staying up late at night sending repetitious bulk comments to a blog you don't really like.

That said, I kind of agree with your second remark.

Pastor Joelle said...

Oh. Nixon is angry at the church. Not just homely women clergy who get paid for doing nothing.

Father Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm not sure. He (or, conceivably, she) seems to know Lutheranism pretty well -- well enough to drop Piepkorn into a stray comment. The rage against mainline Protestantism is intense, but I detect a certain sensitivity when our Romish cousins are teased. I wonder whether we aren't talking about one of our own who has wandered from the flock, and been seduced (as Hunwicke put it today) by the Scarlet Woman.

Anonymous said...

Seduced? Not being an altar boy, that's unlikely.
And it's not the lack of irony-appreciation on my part; it's the painful inter-church bitchiness on the part of over-dressed Protestants that sounds like nails dragged down a chalk board.
You and the catholics and the orthodox and the fundiegelicals are always preaching love, always claiming that church will help you get there and you never seem to get any closer than we atheists.
Any doctor whose patients showed no improvement over so many years, in so many cases, would have been barred from the profession long ago.