Lookit that smile! Those chompers! Those crinkly eyes! That soft auburn hair! What woman wouldn't fall for Thomas Euteneuer?
Lots, apparently, which didn't stop Thomas from falling for them. Which is why the Catholic priest, exorcist, and pro-life activist is now unemployed and disgraced. Last week, we all learned that Euteneuer resigned from the presidency of the anti-abortion Human Life International last summer, under pressure from that organization's board of directors, because he'd engaged in inappropriate sexual relations with a client, or whatever you call somebody who consults an exorcist. (Exorcee? Easy mark?) In a personal statement, Euteneuer was quick to emphasize that he'd liaised with only one woman -- in other words, that even if he's a bad priest, at least he's not a playa. Hogwash, says Human Life International. In a cruel twist of the screw, they now publicly insist that Eutenuer had inappropriate sexual liaisons with several clients -- while exorcising them! Could that mean Father Euteneuer's got the Devil in his drawers?
I wrote to HLI earlier today, asking them that very question -- whether, given Euteneuer's line of work, his former employers might be willing to chalk the priest's alleged misdeeds up to demonic possession of the genitals. They haven't responded, which suggests that their faith in demonic possession goes only so far. This is good. But if I'm right about their healthy skepticism, then I'm doubly confused on another issue: Why, in a society run by smart, skeptical grownups, are we putting exorcists in positions of power and granting them access to deranged women during moments of crisis? I don't want to be stuck in a room with some atavistic shaman who claims to cavort with spirits, and I'm an adult male in full command of my faculties. Why are we so consistently surprised by the acting-out of self-professed virgins who make their livings speaking to invisible entities? Anybody have a clue?
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