SARASOTA, Florida (AP) -- A Roman Catholic priest said he had an inappropriate two-year relationship with former Rep. Mark Foley in the 1960's that included massaging the boy in the nude, but he did not specifically remember having sex, a newspaper reported Thursday.
The Rev. Anthony Mercieca, 72, described several encounters that he said Foley might perceive as sexually inappropriate, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported. They include massaging Foley while the boy was naked, skinny-dipping together at a secluded lake in Lake Worth and being nude in the same room on overnight trips.
Mercieca said there was one night when he was in a drug-induced stupor and there was an incident but he couldn't clearly remember, the newspaper reported.
As far as I'm concerned, consenting adults can do what they want, but a middle-aged priest hopped up on pills giving nude massages to a 13 year-old boy is just wrong.
Is this supposed to make me feel sorry for Foley? Probably, and it worked. I feel sorry for Foley. This Catholic priest fondled Foley and probably did worse but claims not to remember. Foley is a victim too.
I'll add him to the list.
But let us not be distracted by this sordid picture of a young Mark Foley being victimized by a man of authority. This isn't about what happened to Foley 40-plus years ago. And this isn't just about the many young Congressional pages approached by Foley over the years. This is about the failure of the Republican leadership to appropriately protect the pages in their charge. This is about the Republican leadership choosing politics over ethics. This is about the Speaker of the House and others covering up the disgraceful behavior of a fellow Republican so as not to lose his seat in the upcoming election.
So, read the story. Have a moment of pity for Mark Foley. Then remember that regardless of the abuse that Foley may have suffered as a child, it does not excuse Speaker Hastert and the others for their complicity in a cover-up that put children at risk from a pederast. Dennis Hastert looked the other way because it was in the best interest of his party to do so and for that, he and his party should be punished on election day.
Priest tells paper of inappropriate behavior with Foley
Thanks to my friend Carl for the tip!