There’s no good way to write about this. None.
Paul Valentine, my friend and brother in Christ, stands accused of sexual misconduct with one of the youth in his church. Paul has been the youth pastor at St. Paul’s down in Ocean Springs for a couple of years now.
I don’t want to sit in judgment of Paul … well, I do. However, I should only judge lest I be adjudged by that same standard.
All I know is that it’s very hard to know that a brother has somehow gotten into a situation where this is even possible to be accused, much less a truth in actual fact. I don’t want to believe it, but knowing how human we all are, I can believe it.
If Paul has not erred here, the accusations are false, and some sin needs reckoning. If Paul has erred here, the accusations are true, and some sin needs reckoning.
Either way, grace is needed upon this situation.
Oh, how it is needed … for Paul, for all of St. Paul’s, for the kid involved here.
UPDATE: I have removed a few of the comments here. If you want to make a comment, give me a legitimate address—it doesn’t get posted for others to see, but it does get sent to me. If you’re going to fling accusations, you might as well be above-board and honest.
Understand that I’ve not deleted these comments because I don’t believe them—actually, I very much do believe them. I just don’t believe in aiding and abetting anonymity in this case. Now, I understand where the child involved needs her anonymity–as much as she could have in this case, anyway. That’s more than understood and appreciated by me. I just don’t want this little node of the Internet to be a place where people come to smack each other around over what Paul is accused of doing [and, from all his reactions to it, quite likely has done].
If you don’t like that, you can feel free to email me: gfmorris AT gfmorris DOT com. As of now, comments are closed on this entry, and if you go seek out others to “make your case”, I’ll delete them, too.