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Thursday, 28 June 2012

Annie Gowen at the Washington Post has written a lucid and troubling article about a lawsuit filed in Arlington this week against Human Life International. The lawsuit alleges that Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, a Catholic priest and former president of HLI, sexually abused a woman who had turned to him for counseling—and that he did so under the guise of performing an exorcism. (According to diocesan officials, Euteneuer was not authorized to perform exorcisms.) The lawsuit does not name Euteneuer as a defendant, but instead seeks damages from HLI which, according to the woman’s attorneys, knew about and permitted the exorcism. Euteneuer stepped down from his position as president of HLI in 2010....

A point of comparison might be the now-infamous Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia physician who allegedly performed abortions under fraudulent and negligently unsafe conditions, prescribed painkillers illegally, restrained patients against their will, and is now charged with 8 counts of murder based on accusations that he killed babies delivered alive. Not that it’s worthwhile to compare the men’s actions—for how does one tally up and weigh reports which, if true, reveal such deep cruelty?—but rather the reactions. When is an ethical position undermined by abominable behavior of those who espouse it?


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