Friday, March 4, 2011

Fired Gay Priest's Criminal Past Comes Back To Haunt Him...

The flap over the ouster of a gay priest from a teaching post at Chestnut Hill College, a Roman Catholic institution, is getting uglier.

The lawyer for Father Jim St. George - an openly gay priest in an independent Catholic denomination that ordains gays and women - said that someone is trying to smear his client by circulating information about a 19-year-old felony conviction.

"It's sad that certain people out there would try to dredge up things from 20 years ago, when someone was a youngster and in a difficult family situation, to try to destroy a person who for the last 20 years has been but a godsend to his parishioners, to those around him and to his students," said George Bochetto, St. George's attorney.

In 1992, St. George - who was running a fifth-generation family funeral home in Erie - pleaded no contest to three federal felony counts of mail fraud on charges he had misused money from prepaid funeral accounts.

St. George reportedly served a 10-month sentence in the federal prison in Morgantown, W. Va., and said that he also fulfilled a court order to pay more than $90,000 in restitution fees.

In 1997, he told a funeral-industry trade publication, Death Care Business Advisor: "I paid for my mistake both financially and with a portion of my life. I'm not proud of what happened, but I'm also not ashamed of it anymore either. I would love to go back in history and correct it, but I can't.  deets here

20 years ago, he did his time, paid the fine and has not been charged with anything else since. Get over it. Everybody has a past...


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