Matt C. Abbott
I read with interest an April 21 news story from the Chicago Sun-Times, excerpted below:
Father Sullivan denies that any physical attack took place but does admit to “unwelcome verbal comments.”
He released the following statement to parishioners, which has been published by wgntv.com:
I’ve never met Father Sullivan, nor have I communicated with him. But my hope is that if no physical attack occurred as alleged by his accuser, Father Sullivan’s priesthood is not ruined.
I recall, and am haunted by, incidents during my high school years – I graduated in 1994 – when I made unwelcome comments and behaved inappropriately toward certain people, especially some female schoolmates. No, the police were never involved and I did not get in trouble with the school. Nonetheless, I, like Father Sullivan, deeply regret the way I behaved. While the incidents were not malicious on my part, they were foolish, hurtful and worthy of my shame. (Of course, I also regret the sins committed after my teenage years.)
Years later, I did attempt to reach out to more than one individual to apologize for my behavior. It felt like the right thing to do. And whenever I see a teenager behaving badly, I try not to be overly critical.
Ultimately, it’s a bit scary to think that if I had decided to pursue the priesthood – or politics, for that matter – I could very well be “canceled” by the sins and mistakes of my teenage years.
There but for the grace of God go I.
Pray for Father Sullivan, his accuser, and for me, for I am a sinner.
Update as of May 15, 2021: Father Sullivan has been reinstated by Cardinal Blase Cupich. Click here to read the cardinal’s letter to parishioners.© Matt C. Abbott
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