All who loved priest are seeking answers
There are always two sides to every story. This is no less true with the recent death of Father Joe Moreno. An Oct. 25 letter was written by a priest who obviously believes all he had been told by the diocese and chancery concerning Father Joe to be the full story. However, it is the parishioners who knew him as a person and his recent relationship with the church better than anyone, other than possibly close friends. I find it hard to believe these parishioners, many of whom were angry enough about the recent diocesan treatment of Father Joe to write petitions and letters to the bishop, were so incorrect in how they viewed him and his successful, albeit unofficial, actions as their pastor.
None of the traits implied by recent articles were seen during his residency at St. Lawrence, but Father Joe personally reported them to parish leaders prior to his arrival there. We have all made mistakes in our lives and, as taught by Christ, the leaders there chose to give him another chance. The question is why his superiors, if they knew of any behaviors serious enough to warrant blocking him from becoming pastor, did not demand that he get help or be removed from the priesthood? Why now bring up issues of years ago, when his recent behavior involved nothing but doing good works that, due to taking place in several locations, kept him constantly busy and in the public eye? Aren’t we all allowed to change and be forgiven?
I believe the church has been dealt a black eye in regard to how it treated “one of its own” and it would like this to just go away. For people who loved Father Joe, that can’t happen without answers.
Elisse Marie Antczak