Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fr. Spaulding Mystery Unfolds ...

If the news story is true, it is shocking news indeed.

A Vatican court has recommended that a Phoenix cleric be removed from the priesthood.
The Rev. John Spaulding, a priest in the Diocese of Phoenix for 40 years, has been accused by four people of sexually abusing them decades ago when they were minors.
The judgment was reached by a special tribunal, an independent panel of three priests from across the U.S. who have doctorates in canon law. The panel was convened at the direction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a Vatican agency.
The special tribunal found Spaulding guilty of sins against the Sixth Commandment with a minor and recommended that he be dismissed from the clerical state, a process commonly known as “laicization” or defrocking. The commandment, commonly recounted as “You shall not commit adultery,” refers to all sexual sins, according to the Catholic Church. - Source

Fr. Spaulding was a well known supporter of Medjugorje and was pastor of the Church of St. Maria Goretti when similar apparitions/messages were transmitted there.  He is also well known for his ministry to the deaf and youth.  I've written about him in the past here.


  1. "Spoiled fruits of Medjugorje" indeed. How sad to have it end in such a manner for Fr. Spaulding. Boggles the mind how some folks can live a double life (if the accusations be true).

    I met him years ago in Scotsdale, Arizona when the supposed apparitions were all the rage here in So. Cal. and folks were going there. I went...remember the nice parish, the nice folks, prayer services.

    Sad...he seemed so sincere.

  2. Sure he’s sincere, as sincere as you and I when we make an act of contrition in the confessional and then go out and repeat our sins all over again. That’s also sad, but God is merciful and compassionate. Praise him!

  3. "Sure he’s sincere, as sincere as you and I when we make an act of contrition in the confessional and then go out and repeat our sins all over again."

    Meh...in our case, yeah, we will fall and get up again and keep trying and fall again...etc.

    In the case of a priest set aside for Christ to be at the service of others...not so easy. Said person has an even more serious obligation to be faithful, to represent the Lord, and to give us all an example of heroic fidelity.

    If the allegations be true, he, Fr. Spaulding, fell big time. The greater scandal? Falling and taking others with him.

    That is the one sad thing I cannot understand.

    I had a friendship with a certain bishop here in So.Calif. I knew him when he was a parish priest and we kept in touch as he rose through the ranks here in the L.A. archdiocese. He met my family, even counseled some of them, came to my home for several dinner parties.

    Anyway, one never knows...you think you know someone, you have nothing but respect, love and admiration for them and then...

    two years ago, he resigned as bishop for having fathered two now teenagers some 18 years ago.

    I was very upset by that news/betrayal. All those years...he called us all to repentance, conversion!

    Anyway, I hope the folks that Fr. Spaulding is said to have betrayed/abused are getting the support they so deserve.

  4. oh, Yaya, I'd be upset too! There are so many lovely priests and here, there are tons of accusations. So far I don't know any of the accused priests; I'm not counting Abp. who was accused of touching someone's bottom. I don't know him but he has put aside the hat and is not exercising public ministry during the investigation; beautiful witness to Christ's love, stepping aside from pubic ministry because it must be done.

    I would be horrified if any of the priests I know were found to be bad actors.


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