I attended John F Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers, NY. I am a 1985 graduate. While there, I was, like many of my classmates, encouraged to receive the Sacraments. Mass was held daily; attendance was optional due to the long commute for most of the students in the 20-odd school districts the school served. Confession was available, and I went occasionally. I still do. One of the priests, Rev Francis Stinner, was a peculiar man. I went to confession once with him, and afterward he told me that he admired my scrappiness for the wrestling team and he encouraged me to try out for JV soccer, which he coached. So, sophomore year, I attended the first JV soccer practice. Father Stinner WATCHED us shower afterward, talking us through the damn thing in a Vince Lombardi tone.
Thus endeth my soccer career for the JFK Gaels. I stuck with wrestling and remained on the varsity for all 4 years. The coach my last three years was a guy named Bill Carney, one of the janitors working his way through college, and I and my teammates respect Bill to this day. He was a tremendous guy, and he wrote a letter of recommendation for me to Villanova that went above and beyond. He did nothing halfway.
Back to Stinner: He was defrocked for abuse recently. As this post in the local paper's discussion forum indicates, he has never served a day in jail. Nothing in the post, a blistering condemnation, surprises me. The man made me uncomfortable but it would have been too easy to label him as an abuser-I just thought he was weird. If you asked my classmates who would be voted "Most Likely to be a Pederast," it would be Father Stinner. They would have been right all along. I wonder, of all the guys who were MIA from the last reunion (and of those who attended), who was a victim of monsters like Stinner. He remains in Westchester County, living with his mother.
It is more than a little disconcerting, especially knowing how vulnerable I and the other guys were at ages 14-17, to know that leaders of the Church shielded this man from the law and put kids in harm's way. We were in the presence & care of a spiritual Jack the Ripper, and he was running the religion department.