Priest outs adulterer and loses French parish

13th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 13 (AFP) - A Dutch-born priest who tended a little parish in southern France near the Spanish border has been yanked from his post - for outing one of his flock as an adulterer during Sunday mass.

PARIS, Dec 13 (AFP) - A Dutch-born priest who tended a little parish in southern France near the Spanish border has been yanked from his post - for outing one of his flock as an adulterer during Sunday mass.

Father Theo, 58, made the unorthodox public revelation from the pulpit on November 21, after being repeatedly browbeaten over months by the retired notary's clerk, a religious traditionalist who opposed the priest's views, according to French press reports.

With an exasperated tone - and apparently fully aware the deed would put an end to his 24-year tenure as parish priest for the town of Collioure - the normally polite Father Theo castigated his nemesis for seeing a mistress.

Although the liaison between the man in question and the local fruit seller was well-known to many in the town, the priest's public condemnation quickly took on the dimensions of a scandal and, after the adulterer lodged a complaint with church authorities, Father Theo was sent on retreat to a monastery.

The incident generated amused articles in the French press.

Daily newspaper Liberation interviewed town residents who said the cheating pensioner deserved a come-uppance, but that Father Theo had perhaps gone too far.

"He just lost his marbles," it quoted one man named Maxou as saying.

"If all those who cheated on their wives were excommunicated, there would be no-one left to go to church."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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