Another Legion of Christ sex scandal, SNAP responds
Our hearts go out to this woman and her child, and to everyone who has been hurt by the reckless, callous, secretive and cult-like Legion of Christ. We know that there are many other cases like this, in which a powerful priest has manipulated a vulnerable parishioner. (see Fr. Henry Willenborg on BishopAccountability.org)
We also suspect that neither Fr. Williams nor the Legion have adequately taken care of this woman or the child, as is so often the case when clerics father children. Such secrecy and insensitivity is hurtful to everyone involved.
Genuine sexual consent between a parishioner and a priest is extremely unlikely if not impossible. Catholics are taught, essentially from birth, that priests are God's representatives on earth, able to forgive sins and turn bread into Christ's body and wine into Christ's blood.
This kind of experience is almost always harmful to the women who are exploited by powerful, popular, charismatic and well educated clerics.
We call on Vatican and Legion officials to publicly discipline Fr. Williams. (He claims he's taking a year off to "reflect" on what he's done.) As long as priests who engage in sexual misdeeds get to determine their own consequences for their misconduct, little will change in the church and vulnerable adults will remain vulnerable.