This Preacher Compared Pedophile Priests To Adulterous Women In A School Newsletter, And It’s Not Okay


Many of the priest-related stories that hit the internet revolve around bizarre stories like hoverboard discipline or a raging gambling addiction. But what one priest did was so shocking that no chuckles occur, simply disbelief.

Catholic priest, the Rev. Bill Edebohls, is one of the first married priests in Melbourne, Australia. Neither that tidbit nor his previous move from the Anglican church have anything to do with an unsavory sentiment tucked into a newsletter. He compared the crimes of pedophile priests to adulterous women and said both should be shown the same level of mercy. And he said this in an elementary-school newsletter:

“Maybe to get the real drama and effect of the story we ought to replace the adulterous woman with a pedophile priest,” he wrote, after recounting the gospel tale of Jesus showing mercy toward an adulterous woman, telling the baying mob “he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. That does not mean there is no condemnation of the sin, no punishment or consequences for the perpetrator or an institution that protected him. But it does mean justice with mercy.”

Edebohls reportedly made these remarks in an effort to allow victims to heal without the spotlight of a media firestorm. This logic makes little sense, but he seems to be saying that public outrage doesn’t help victims. (Why is he saying this?) Edebohls believes justice should be “drenched in mercy,” but no good can come of this comparison. Naturally, parents denounced the priest’s “shocking” words to Australian newspaper The Age. And folks are pointing out how Edebohls is downplaying a crime and echoing what many see as the Church’s tolerance (or willful blindness) toward pedophile priests.

What Edobohls does not seem to understand is consent. Presumably, an adulterous woman and her partner are both into their indiscretions, whereas pedophile priests abuse their power over children, who have no choice in the matter. This seems like common sense, but Edebohls doesn’t get it.

(Via The Age)