Remember Father Ysrael Bien, the Catholic priest who allegedly snuck a hidden video camera into the bathroom at St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood, Oregon?
A 15-year-old boy discovered the camera in an electrical socket earlier this year. When his parents contacted Bien, he told them he had already gone to the police (a lie) but they needed more evidence (also a lie). Turns out the church deacon wasn’t even made aware of the situation, much less local law enforcement officials.
The family later pressed Bien for a copy of the police report, saying they would ask the authorities for it directly if he didn’t comply. That’s when he confessed. Kind of.
According to Bien, he had taken the video camera out of the bathroom himself, discovered there was no memory card inside of it (sure…) and, oh, by the way, the camera was now missing.
The church put Bien on leave while the police conducted an actual investigation. That story went public in July.
Where are we now?
According to the Archdiocese of Portland:
Archbishop Alexander Sample stated: ‘It is gravely troubling to find out that one of our priests has been charged with criminal misconduct, but we appreciate the diligence of the Sherwood Police Department in pursuing its investigation of the incident. We will continue to cooperate with authorities in the resolution of this matter. Our prayers are with parishioners of Saint Francis Church, Sherwood, and all who have been affected.’
Archdiocesan officials learned only after he left the country that Fr. Bien had traveled to The Philippines to visit family. He was asked to return, but to their knowledge he has not yet come back to Oregon. Fr. Bien has been on administrative leave from his ministerial duties at St. Francis because of his involvement in the investigation of the hidden camera incident.”
I don’t know why they didn’t take away his passport the moment he was under investigation…
To their credit, the Church leaders appear to be handling this as best they can. They weren’t directly complicit in what happened and they seem to want justice as much as the police.
(Thanks to Janice and Robert for the link)