The Boston Globe | Abuse in the Catholic Church


He tried 'to be another Christ for them'

By Globe Staff, 12/4/2002

The following are quotes from a Globe interview with the Rev. Robert V. Meffan.

On whether he thought molesting teenage girls was wrong:

''I really didn't, because I had developed a wonderful relationship of love with these people, a real solid relationship of love, and I had no intentions of ever hurting anybody and ever causing any problems. They were youngsters who were daily communicants. That's the thing: They were kind of close to God, and I was trying to get them to love Christ even more intimately and even more closely. They were wonderful girls. I have no hatred toward them, no animosity toward them or anything like that. To me they were just wonderful, wonderful young people. It was a very beautiful, I thought, beautiful, spiritual relationship that was physical and sexual.''

On why he did it:

''What I was trying to show them is that Christ is human and you should love him as a human being. Don't think he's up there and he's spiritual and he's not human and physical. He's human, he's physical. That's what I was trying to point out to them. I felt that by having this little bit of intimacy with them that this is what it would be like with Christ. The other side of the coin is I know people feel that we were taught to be another Christ for them. We're taught at the seminary to be another Christ, and that's what I based my whole priesthood on: trying to be like Christ.''

On whether he violated his vow of celibacy:''I didn't think that was destroyed because I always felt that to destroy celibacy you really had to have intercourse; you'd have to be a father.''

This story ran on page A27 of the Boston Globe on 12/4/2002.
© Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.

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