Remember Msgr. Costa, the chancellor of the Springfield, Illinois, diocese who was found after dark, beaten up in a park known as a homosexual hangout? Remember that the police arrested two juvenile males in the attack? He has now resigned as a pastor and chancellor.

Now you’d expect the reason is to recover from his injuries, and the diocese does say that, but it also adds that he’s also going to deal with “what the diocese calls instances of ‘inappropriate’ behavior”? How much do you want to bet that the inappropriate behavior is not public drunkenness or embezzling funds? Let’s be honest: He was probably soliciting homosexual sex and if we can connect the dots, he might have solicited it from the two teen boys who attacked him. (Or they could have just been straight boys on the hunt for homosexuals in a known gay hangout.)

What’s maddening is the euphemisms employed by the diocese. Everyone knows what the problem is. And if they wanted to deny it, they would have just said he was resigning to recover from his wounds. Yet, they didn’t. But by throwing in “inappropriate” behavior, they water down the seriousness of Costa’s actions. Is it a sin or not? Okay, so we don’t want to call it sin because that would imply judging the soul. How about sinful behavior? Objectively immoral behavior? Grave matter? A child interrupting adults who are speaking is inappropriate behavior.

Call a spade a spade and stop watering down the sense of sin and morality.

  • How about saying he was soliciting sex, if that is what he told the diocese? That he is taking a leave to reinvigorate his commitment to his vow of chastity?
    Is soliciting a sin and a scandal? Yes, particularly when it is by a consecrated individual who has taken a vow.

  • The diocese believes that it can get away with minimizing the gravity of the sin, crime, and scandal.  They probably will.

    “Inappropriate” refers to some act that would be “appropriate” if the time, place, and circumstances were different.  It is a “weasel word”.