Thursday, July 07, 2005

Deja Vu in Philadelphia

Again. Again. Again.

Courtesy of Dom Bettinelli, another dishonorably discharged priest of my hometown has found a home in the schoolhouse.

Dave Sicoli got the boot last year after 25 year-old allegations surfaced. (His church was two parishes over from my own. The people -- old-school Italians -- weren't so hot about his proclivity for inculturation.)

Sicoli has not been laicized as yet, but has found work teaching across the river in Jersey as an Ethics(?!) prof at Gloucester County College, about 18 minutes from town. This comes fresh off the heels of revelations that another priest on the lam -- who was just laicized -- spent three years after his suspension teaching middle schoolers at a tony suburban prep.

To be honest, though, I'm having a hard time thinking through where the blame lies in the former situation. It's isn't as if Dave pulled a Martin Satchell and was teaching middle school. But as he hasn't been laicized just yet and is, therefore, still bound by the promises of ordination, the archdiocese seems obligated to maintain some kind of oversight -- for liability purposes, if nothing else.

More than anything, I'm just baffled as to how these guys pad their resumes -- and the lack of background checking that the institutions which hire them engage in. Then again, when abuse news is sent to die on Page 8 of the archdiocesan newspaper (lest the fragile people be scandalized), it's tough to say that we're necessarily doing our part.

OK, goodnight for real now.



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