A Catholic church in Iowa is defending its decision to employ a priest who was arrested for trying to rape a parishioner in public, saying he has “recovered.”
Rev. Jeremy Wind was meeting with a member of his church in 2013 when he apparently began “behaving erratically.”
He eventually took off his pants, shoes and socks and chased the woman. She locked herself in her car while Wind pounded on her window. She eventually drove off.
Police arrested Wind at a mall after he punched an officer. Wind later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
Of course, the Diocese of Sioux City decided to minimize the entire event, saying it “never intended” to put out a statement on the priest’s employment because “there is nothing newsworthy to report.” They further claimed he was cured and is now providing “exemplary spiritual and priestly care to his parishioners” (whatever that means).
In 2013, Fr. Jeremy Wind, a priest of the Diocese of Sioux City received counseling and treatment following a public, mental-health episode, has recovered and has since provided exemplary spiritual and priestly care to his parishioners.
As part of the media scrutiny that the Diocese of Sioux City has been under, it has come to our attention that information regarding Fr. Wind’s incident is going to be made public. Just like any other type of illness, Fr. Wind sought and received medical treatment following this episode.
Threatening to rape a woman, then getting naked and chasing her, is not just like any other illness. Even if this priest has a legitimate and diagnosed mental health condition — which the Church never makes clear — then the general public and certainly the Church community should have a right to know if he’s capable of acting the same way again.
All of that is, indeed, “newsworthy”… unless you assume the Church is so full of priests acting badly that a pantsless clergyman chasing a victim is just par for the course.
There is no way it should be considered OK to put parishioners around someone who could have a mental breakdown at any moment and do serious damage to the people he’s seeing. It shouldn’t have taken an AP report on his actions for the Church to come clean about it.
(Screenshot via KCRG. Thanks to Jon for the link)