When I first saw the AP report about Opus Bono, I thought the good folks at Church Militant would be hurt to hear these reports about Fr. Perrone whom they'd defended time and time again.
AP: "For 25 years, the Rev. Eduard Perrone presided there. Inside the church, commonly known as Assumption Grotto, glossy Opus Bono brochures tout the pastor’s role as the group’s co-founder and spiritual lifeblood. Stern and imposing, the 70-year-old Perrone is a staunch conservative; he refused to marry couples, for example, if he thought the bride’s dress was too revealing.
Earlier this month, his parishioners were shocked when Perrone was removed from ministry after a church review board decided there was a “semblance of truth” to allegations that he abused a child decades ago. Perrone told the AP that he “never would have done such a thing.”
In the years before Perrone helped start Opus Bono, he and Assumption Grotto took in at least two priests who had been accused of sexual misconduct at dioceses in other states. One of them later admitted to molesting as many as 50 children in the 1980s and ’90s, according to court documents in Texas. In 1999, Perrone welcomed the other priest — a West African clergyman named Komlan Dem Houndjame — to come work at Assumption Grotto. Two years later, Detroit Archdiocese officials say, they asked Houndjame to return to his home country, Togo, after learning of accusations of sexual misconduct against him in Detroit and at an earlier posting in Florida.
Instead he went to a treatment facility in St. Louis.I, in good faith to CM, assumed CM knew nothing of Perrone's involvement as they have written articles on Opus Bono over the years here in 2018 and here in 2019 without mentioning Perrone's involvement- particularly that Perrone is one for the founders of Opus Bono, at all. Either they didn't know or they hid that fact. I sincerely hope they did not know.
In 2002, Detroit police charged him with sexually assaulting a member of Assumption Grotto’s choir.
The 48-year-old parishioner who accused Houndjame of rape said Perrone’s response was to protect the church, testifying in court that he told her, “Just walk by him and ignore him.”
Perrone responded to the charges against Houndjame by asking the congregation to support the priest in his time of crisis. Joe Maher was among those who were moved by Perrone’s plea for help."
At this point, I honestly thought they would be feeling a terrible betrayal by a priest they trusted, believed in and supported. I know how betrayal feels, and it sucks.
But Church Militant doesn't appear to feel betrayed at all. Instead they are continuing to defend Fr. Perrone.
Perhaps this is all so unbelievable to them that they are in complete denial and refuse to even entertain the possibility that any of this could be true about Perrone. We've all been there when we hear something unpleasant about someone we care about and trust, our first instinct is "No way!". We don't want to believe someone we trust and look up to could be something other than what we believe them to be. (flashbacks of Fr. John Corapi for me)
Or maybe CM knows something we don't. That is a very good possibility because they have said time and again that they get information that they cannot publicly share.
Having just listened to Father Perrone talk about his involvement with Opus Bono (41:55 mark) on the recording mentioned in the AP article, he doesn't sound to me to be "kept in the dark" about all that Opus Bono was doing, though he admits that by 2013 (the time of this recording) he is less involved than when he first help found Opus Bono.
But then there are the tweets...
And then we are right back to the archdiocese removing Perrone for "a credible allegation of abuse of a minor".
This leaves me completely bewildered by CM's response in light of their quick decree of "guilty" in the Father McLucas case- declaring him a "sexual predator" and attacking the SSPX for "defending a sexual predator", which I talked about in my last blog post.
After seeing the AP report, I had honestly planned on writing an entirely different blog post. A post about not kicking Church Militant when they were down or gloating (thinking this betrayal would be a knife in the back). But CM is not down, they are still riding their steeds on the battlefield like knights defending Perrone to the end it seems.
Again, I am bewildered by this response after reading for so many years Church Militants amazing news reports exposing clergy abuse everywhere in the Church. They never held back...until now, or so it seems.
My last comment on this is to remind us all that the wolves in sheep's clothing (predator priests) are very good at deceiving the faithful. They live among us, they befriend us, they earn our trust all the while devouring the flock from within and working to destroy the Church anyway they can.
God bless and help us all to see the wolves among the shepherds.
Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner