Most people deserve a second chance, especially when they repent their wrongs and vow to be better, but I don’t think that applies to priests who are caught with a collection of kiddy porn though. Pastor Dominique Donders from Veldhoven in the Netherlands, is getting a second shot at being a priest though, after his 2013 conviction on child pornography charges was overturned.
Two years ago, the priest was arrested and charged with possessing child pornography after he downloaded images of young girls online. He was found guilty of the charges, but later this was overturned when the courts decided that because the images only appeared to be of underage girls and they could not determine who these girls actually were to find out if they were actually underage, Father Donders would get off on a technicality. The ultimate fault is with the prosecution, which destroyed many of the original images which could have led back to the identities of the nude children in question.
But the Catholic Church, rather than play it safe and assume that their pedophile priest actually intended to peruse pictures of naked children, they’re putting him back to work at Mary Mother of the Church in the Sint Anthonis municipality in Brabant where he will soon be presiding over funerals and other religious celebrations and, let’s be honest, be in close contact with children. What could go wrong, right?
The parish has said, “Comments can certainly be made on his behavior in a moral sense, but his pastoral integrity is not fundamentally at stake.” Well I’m sorry, but I certainly disagree. There is no moral question that what he did was fundamentally wrong, the police wouldn’t have been at his door if there was. That speaks directly to his pastoral integrity and his general trustworthiness, both as a man of God and as a human being. Anyone downloading naked pictures of children has something wrong with them, whether the courts actually sentence them in that regard or not. To put them back into position, just because they got away with it, that’s reprehensible.
But this is religion, we can’t be too surprised. So welcome to Horror Show Wednesday, Pastor Donders. Keep your hands off the kids, if you please or maybe next time the prosecution won’t be so incompetent.