Black collar crime

I just subscribed to  Freethought Today, the newspaper of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. One very prominent feature is a litany of abuses and crimes committed in the name of religion.

And then there are stories like this one.

About 30 minutes after Rafael Padilla checked into the San Antonio relax Inn, hotel staff got a call from him asking for an ambulance. Padilla, 42, pastor of Ascension Catholic Church in Bastrop, TX, had cuts and bruises and was wearing only underwear when police responded.

The police report noted the room content included a cold, unopened beer, condoms and lubricating jelly.

When asked how he was hurt, Padilla told police “he thought he was dreaming and didn’t know what was going on.


There are various Catholic Church officials, priests, and others named.

Michael Fugee, 52, a priest in the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ, resigned from the ministry but remains a priest after a public furor arose when Catholics found out he was working around children at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Colts Neck. He was convicted in 2003 of twice fondling a teen boy’s genitals, but an appeals court vacated the verdict

Fuguee underwent counseling for sex offenders and signed an agreement not to engage in youth group activities.

Thomas Triggs, St. Mary’s pastor, has also resigned, as have youth ministers Michael and Amy Lenehan, who had invited Fugee to take part in youth activities.


I think my favorite blue collar criminal is this last story.

James Bertand of Westlake, Louisiana was arrested of possession and distribution of crack cocaine. This was the 5th arrest in the last 8 months for Bertand, founder of the “Just for Jesus” rallies. A notice on the door of his “No Fear Auto” car dealership said the business was closed and its inventory had been seized.

Jaimi Hansen, a Just for Jesus volunteer who bought a car from Bertand, said that six months later the car started smoking so she took it back and paid $400 to get it fixed.

“I haven’t gotten my title back from him, even after my paid my car off. I’m beginning to rethink my faith because of some of these pastors. They just want money.”





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