Sunday, April 03, 2011

"No greater love": A friend's statement for an Euteneuer victim

Reprinted on Spero News and RenewAmerica.
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven ... I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." --Mark 2:1-5,11
There is no greater love than this, than to lay down one's life for one's friend. --John 15:13
On the Feast of the Annunciation, I received from a young man, an e-mail about his long-time friend, the victim I've been writing about in this blog. Although he met her a good seven years ago (they had attended college together for a time) he had not stayed close enough to her to keep her from the abuse that she suffered at the hands of her former exorcist, Thomas Euteneuer. Still, when he found out about it, and found out she still suffered from the fact many in the public forum believed (and the diocese let them believe) Euteneuer's "self-championing, riddled-with-lies statement," he vowed to do something about it. He shares her very serious fear and worry that others, who have been or might become exposed to Euteneuer, are left vulnerable to manipulation and abuses. Since both those entrusted with her spiritual care and her doctors ordered her not to come out publicly about this (and to instead “focus on healing”), and he himself was strongly urged to not use his name at this time, he decided to set the record straight as best he could under the circumstances. "My statement may not be literature, or even coherent thought, but [it is] a heartfelt hodgepodge in service of a friend." I'd say that statement is an under-statement. It reads as follows:
I've been a friend of the victim for several years. I'm not surprised by the loyalty of many who would like to see names and faces before believing anything against a priest. I was raised to respect all priests as sons of Mary, and to never say or hear anything negative against them. As a son of Mother Church, though, if Church leadership will not lead the way, it is left to us friends and relatives to try to do something for our friend, to break a hole in the roof to get to Christ (Mark 2:4).

I am surprised at those who think that because Euteneuer made a public statement that everyone can now move on, before they make even one movement of the heart towards the victim.

A word about her. Anyone who has known my friend has been blessed by this acquaintance. You must imagine for yourself the woman from the Bible who was afflicted with hemorrhaging for twelve years, who went through all of her resources to find healing, at the hands of "experts" who only made her worse (Mark 5:26). The difference is that you must double that length of time, and appreciate what possession entails. Those who have seen a manifestation of a demonic spirit are seeing for a brief (if violent) second, what the possessed person has to live with for years on end. Worse, with the skepticism and isolation one contends with to convince or educate friends, family, “experts” and representatives of the Church that you are not imagining the situation, you grasp what a struggle this is. Then think of the hope, and level of trust and commitment a person would be brought to when meeting a friendly, smiling man, who on the surface was very Christ-like, that took us all into his confidence. But then, the horror, devastation and despair you feel when it later turned out that beneath the surface, he was anything but. And that Euteneuer personally proved quite un-Christ-like is something all must face, even at the surface level of his public statement. It is the devastating reality beneath the lines of this statement that I would like to speak of now.

Euteneuer stated that his "violations of chastity" were such that they "did not involve the sexual act." By legal definition, however, Euteneuer did engage in acts that constituted sexual intercourse; and not only sexual intercourse (which he denied), but rape. And he raped her not just once, but repeatedly over several years. Although sparing the graphic details, it is critical to clarify that his acts of assault went gravely beyond mere words, or kissing, or even touching. When justice is finally served, and this all comes to light, under the innocent sounding veneer of phrases like "violations of chastity," you will find that Euteneuer committed not just borderline but actual, definite sexual acts -- literally, acts of rape -- that anyone would call such. And these acts were a matter of rape, first on the grounds of her being, like a client to a therapist or a patient to a doctor, in dependency and obedience to him as her spiritual director and exorcist, and secondly, most heinously, due to the fact these acts of sexual abuse were performed immediately before, just after, and even during exorcism. And those who have witnessed demonic manifestations will testify that the victim before, during, and after, is clearly and definitively in the mental, physical, and emotional state of "duress" necessary to legally classify a sexual act against her during that period as rape.

If you have understood this, then you will begin to see not only what devastation Euteneuer caused his victim by his abuse, but how his self-championing, riddled-with-lies statement continues to add to her suffering. In fact, the statement is rife with falsehoods, including his claiming only one victim, denying his extensive financial impropriety (with several victims), and denying the possessed woman who lived in his parents' home, to name just three (all of which were testified to and verified by both dioceses and lawyers involved).

Furthermore, by remaining silent on this matter, the diocese and the bishop lend credence to his statement and add to the public perception that, far from the perpetrator he was in reality, maybe Euteneuer wasn't such a bad guy after all. Worse, even once he was finally removed from exorcism ministry, my friend has continually suffered the trauma of an unprepared diocesan response to her critically heightened state of demonic victimization. Not finding the help she needs continues to delay what she had sought to begin with and now needs more acutely than ever: freedom from possession. But for God’s mercy, all this has made her healing all but impossible.

Yes, everyone involved in this matter needs your prayers, including the man who damaged my friend so gravely it fills me with both anger and tears just to think about it. But know that, if Euteneuer (or the diocesan public response) has convinced you that he is the principal victim and not her, then the devil has won.
After reading (and re-reading) this friend's statement, the scripture John 15:13 kept coming to mind. May this man stay strong in Christ when he hears and reads the negative comments about his friend (and his chivalrous stand for her) and may the victim herself realize that even in her darkest hour, her few good friends are still stronger than the many who still doubt her.

18 comments :

Kathryn said...

Wow!! God bless the friend of the victim, and her too! Lord Jesus, please send her the help she needs soon, and true justice for that (hopefully former) priest. May he be fully illuminated in conscience as to what he has done, and may he spend the rest of his life in great penitence for the evil done. May those (like his former lovers) who so vociferously defend him /or others in positions of great authority and trust, who sexually, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually abuse "the little ones;" be they, teens, or children, or women, or men; be corrected in this life, so they may not have to suffer an eternity in Hell for being accessories to the destruction of souls and lives. It is not love or devotion to defend, remain silent, or otherwise enable a bad person; even if he is a priest, to continue in his evil life. Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy!

Ann said...

She should press charges. Rape is illegal. Enough of these protracted Diocesan investigations. Get some good Irish cops involved.

Anonymous said...

The coldness or (to be more politically correct) lack of proper responsiveness manifested, from at least one of the dioceses involved, is nothing short of retraumatizing for the victim. And this is putting it mildly.

Suffice it to say that, if what has happened had to occur in a regularly licenseable profession in this country, all (in power) involved would have long been booted out of said profession without hesitation.

Tom O'Toole said...

@Ann -- By the way, I have a brother who's a Chicago cop, and one who's a great orthodox Indiana priest. Perhaps if they worked as a team, a sort of real-life Fr. Dowling, leading the cops to the killer (of souls).

Debbie said...

"he had not stayed close enough to her to keep her from the abuse that she suffered at the hands of her former exorcist"

I'm not trying to downplay the friend's e-mail, but if he wasn't that close to the victim, how would he know so many of the very intimite details of the sexual abuse?

Anonymous said...

Excellent! I am glad more friends of the victim have come forward.I am also a friend to another friend of the victim and she thinks very highly of her.She made sure to link me to this post.
I can say with assuredy that my friend is above reproach ,I have known her for over fifteen years and she tells me this poor lady is suffering and Fr Eutenauer grossly violated her trust I believe her emphatically.
I also believe that this poor woman is searching but may not find the right priest amongst the modern clerics,given the neo fashionable "Ghost Hunter fame" of the new brand of exorcists. A priest or monk in a more obscure Eatern Rite may be her best choice.

Tom O'Toole said...

@Debbie -- He found them out as time went by, and those closer to her collaborated.

Anonymous said...

Weeeelll - I dont know. Do we know how old the "victim" is?

My understanding is she is an adult so Im not so sure about the propriety of continually calling her a victim.

That probably sounds harsh and I know someone is already responding with a - she was not of sound mental capacity defense and therefor was a victim, but we really don't know that either do we?

While Im being harsh - what about this statement "Anyone who has known my friend has been blessed by this acquaintance. " Thats a bit of a hyperbole I would suspect. In fact the irony of that remark is that it echo's the type of thing people used to say about FR E.

If we have been blessed we have been blessed by Christ not by our friends and or acquaintances.

These priest would not be getting away with things if we the laity were not so foolish. They are not gods. For the 2000 years since Judas there have been traitors to the priesthood. We need to pray for them and to receive the sacraments from them but we certainly do not need to be idolizing them.

Tom O'Toole said...

From our email (slightly edited for length), 4-4-11:

I'm a mother of 3 & a grandmother of 7 & I'm married going on 39 yrs. I just read your recent article written by the friend of one of these victims. It was heart wrenching to read and tears welled up as I could only imagine what this poor woman has gone through! The truth MUST
come out if healing not only for her & the other victims can begin, but for the Church to be cleansed & healing to continue for Her as well! Thank you for letting us all know what is going on, so we can pray for everyone including our Church and Her Bishops, Priests and Authorities. One can really see all too clearly now that God is cleansing the World and He has started with His own Church!

I will keep this woman, the other victims, Fr. Euteneuer and Our Church in my prayers. God CAN bring incredible GOOD even out of such terrible Evil! For NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE with GOD!!

In the Peace, Love and Mercy of Christ,
Barb

Anonymous said...

So much for the "he's a good man who fell, we are all sinners, who are we to judge, those women must have thrown themselves at the poor holy priest, the devil always attacks the good men so much more" interpretations by so many Fr. E supporters on the blogosphere.

Good men do not rape. This is criminal behavior, and as such, society should definitely judge it and condemn it as unacceptable on any level. And if committing rape and other heinous acts is evidence of how much holier a man is than the rest of us, the prisons must be full of saints.

Yes, we are all sinners, but we are not all criminals who take sexual advantage of the vulnerable. That kind of behavior take a certain kind of evil and depravity most of the people I know would never participate in. The kind of man who gets sexually excited by the idea of having sex with a woman unable to consent to it on any level is the kind of man who belongs behind bars. And he is definitely the kind of man who should never be allowed to function as a priest again. A rapist priest in simply an abomination.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that the woman involved is being painted as the innocent victim?

Why does this have to be the story of a Priest who took advantage of an innocent hoodwinked victim other than a story of two sinners sinning? Surely if the story is true than the Priest has fallen further perhaps and has the greater sin (if one is inclined to make comparisons).

Lets say the girl was indeed possessed or even "suffering" from some other mental or spiritual condition. That does not make her innocent.

We should pray for both.

Just as there are some who want to take the Priests side no matter what and excuse him where possible it seems there are others who want to take the womans side and excuse as much as possible. Indeed she has become the victim yet we really have no evidence to that effect. Just because she was seeking advice and help from Fr E does not make her innocent. He may have taken advantage of her weakness (indeed does not all sin take advantage of weakness?) however that does not excuse her.

Tom O'Toole said...

@Anon 4-4-11, 9:49 PM and 4-5-11, 6:57 PM -- It is the Church, not I, who judges a person undergoing exorcism (not to mention during the exorcism itself!) to be the victim in this and like cases.

Fiello said...

It is good to see additional support for the victims. However, the essential fact many seem to be missing is that Fr. Tom used the rites of exorcism to call forth the demon/demons present placing the victims in a sub-conscious or unconscious state at which time he committed the most heinous acts. This is enough to classify Fr. Tom as a Satanist. That is what Satanists do. They use demonic power to assist them in gaining power over people, money, sex, etc... This goes way beyond rape or other transgressions. More than one victim described the fact that he took them to cemeteries and funeral homes during the late hours of night to perform his own self defined prayers of deliverance. These victims did not, as far as we can know, have had full control over their use of reason and will and for this reason their innocence should be presumed.

HLI has denied that they or anyone employed by them had hired a detective. - this is a most deceptive statement. The fact is a detective did uncover much of what was first discovered and known in the beginning. The detective's data was released to the HLI board members and the lawyers used much of that data to file their complaints with the diocese of West Palm Beach. - Now I don't know if the detective was actually hired or he did pro-bono work. I do not know if the detective was hired by HLI or someone else with interest in the case but he existed and so does his findings. What I do know is that HLI to come out and deny that they hired a detective was deceptive in that they tried to give the appearance that no detective ever existed in this regard.

This is not too encouraging especially in the light of understanding that Fr. Tom had a sound proof room constructed that could only be entered by entering a code. Fr. Tom was the only person with the code, no one else could enter. It was in this room that many of his transactions took place. One victim passed out shortly after midnight only to wake up the next day at the local hospital having no memory of what had transpired throughout the night.

I knew of this information last summer and said very little. However, Fr. Tom's "Mea Culpa" is so disingenuous and misleading. Additionally, the dioceses let that printed statement go unchallenged as if it reflected the truth. This cannot be left unchallenged. I know the investigation process can be long and tiresome and that the Diocese must be careful to protect fr. Tom's rights but if this does not conclude with his expulsion from the priesthood and an appropriate amount of information as to why then I and a few other informed people intimate with the facts will come forward in name and make an appeal to the appropriate authorities - both civil and religious.

Anonymous said...

Fiello,

I ask you for the love of God to go straight to the authorities with any information you have. HLI's board of Directors were criminally negligent if it is indeed true that they did not pass along all the information they had to local police authorities. When I went to the Prosecutor for Front Royal, VA with the information I had, it sounded as though I was the first person who had done so.

It is very wrong of you to hold onto any information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of that man. You and whomever else must step forward now. No more waiting. The longer you wait, the less evidence remanins.

This is Brian Madden's contact information. He is the Commonwealth Attorney for Front Royal, VA.

Phone: (540) 635-5441
Brian M. Madden
1 East Main Street
Front Royal, Virginia 22630
There is a link where you can email him all you have here:

http://www.warrencountyva.net/index.php?option=com_workforce&view=employee&id=81&Itemid=101

If you need any other information, please do contact me through Tom O'Toole.

Kathryn (pseudonym).

Fiello said...

Dear Kathryn,
There may be more information forthcoming over time either from the Arlington Diocese as they make progress in trying to rectify the mess Fr. Tom left in regard to his victims suffering from demonic oppression, obsession, and/or possession or from West Palm Beach if they are in fact conducting a more serious investigation of Fr. Tom that should lead to his full suspension of priestly faculties.

I will speak out and contact the appropriate authorities should the time come and it is evident that I need to do so. This is not the time.

More disheartening news is the evident fall from grace of Fr. Corapi the supposed spiritual director of Fr. Tom.

One question I would like to see answered is who recommended Fr. Tom for his position at HLI and who on the board pressed for his hiring? It seems to me that the fact he had been transferred 17 times while in West Palm Beach and filled the role of secretary to the bishop at the time, whom was removed after admission of guilt in regard to acts of pedophilia - should have been warning enough to anyone seriously reviewing his record.

Fighting Irish Thomas said...

Anonymous commentary on this post (July 7) was deleted upon the author's request.

Anonymous said...

What is very sickening/ maddening is the silence and evident "approval" of palm beach diocese of Euteneuer's "public statement" which is so far from the actual truth of his abuse. Perhaps because he is still protected/ under lock and key by the Church, they refuse to release any of the true details which they know and have documented. Maybe Corapi's superiors felt they had more license since corapi just up and left the priesthood altogether.

Anonymous said...

In response to the April 5 comment: "Just because she was seeking advice and help from Fr E does not make her innocent. He may have taken advantage of her weakness however that does not excuse her." This statement is, i'm sorry, ridiculous and self-contradictory. Taking advantage of someone means you are victimizing them, and yes, that does excuse the victim. Your statement would never hold up in a court of law! Even worse, you say, "Why does this have to be the story of a Priest who took advantage of an innocent hoodwinked victim other than a story of two sinners sinning?" um, hello, it just ISN'T. It has nothing to do with a story of two sinners sinning. This is a priest gravely violating his role to someone expecting (and having a right to) spiritual assistance to be FREE of demons (not further attacked by demons through his freely opened door!). Same thing as a doctor or employer, it's illegal and evil of the worst kind. It doesn't matter that the girl is a sinner, that every human being is a sinner, that no human being is entirely innocent before God. Any sin on a victim's part in such situations (rape victims included) would never be the grave type! Same as a telling a little child they have sinned by letting Daddy touch them and by enjoying it. LUDICROUS! This whole particular situation is objectively and gravely evil. This is not an affair of two people sinning, never could be. This is unequivocal clerical abuse... and worse, it is "ritual" abuse. As others have noted: it is satanic!