He may or may not be guilty, but this we know, his church "vows to support him," according to the Charlotte Observer. According to the Observer, the girl, now 14 lives in another N.C. town, claims the abuse began in August 2006 and continued until March of this year. The Gaston County, North Carolina prosecutor has indicted the pastor.
The pastor's church held a rally for their spiritual leader on Tuesday. Michelle Brown, one of the pastor's parishioners is quoted as saying "I believe in his innocence, . . . I don't believe that he did this."
I got news for Ms. Brown and her fellow parishioners, get ready to be disappointed. At this Blawg, I"ve talked about my work with victims of clergy abuse, I deposed the Auxiliary Bishop in charge of investigating clergy sex abuse claims for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops focusing at one point on the issue of "false allegations" against priests. Bishop, A. James Quinn, the point man for the Catholic Church in America was no shrinking violet--he is a canon and civil lawyer. Quinn had been quoted in the press as threatening retaliation against lawyers and persons making false accusations against priests. So, how many cases of false charges had he encountered, . . . none.
There was a particularly vile priest who had molested many boys in his parish over decades--when I leveled charges against him he aggressively fought the allegations. Father's parish held support rallies, I was threatened, my house was vandalized. He was guilty. After a canonical trial, he was defrocked.