Indianapolis priest charged with beating wife inside church

By Damien Fisher

The first married Roman Rite Catholic priest in the state of Indiana is facing prison time as he heads to trial on charges he kidnapped and assaulted his wife.

Rev. Luke W. Reese, 48, the parochial vicar at Holy Rosary parish in Indianapolis is charged with criminal confinement with bodily injury, criminal confinement where a vehicle is used, kidnapping, domestic battery, battery resulting in bodily injury, and intimidation following a Sept. 24 incident in which he allegedly beat his wife* inside his church, and then sexually assaulted her over the course of an 18-hour ordeal.

Reese is a married Anglican priest who entered the Catholic Church through the Personal Ordinariate established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. Reese and his wife have been married for 25 years and have seven children.

According to court documents, Reese’s superiors already knew that he reportedly provided alcohol to minors, got intoxicated with minors, and shared white supremacist material with young people. After seeing his wife’s bruised and swollen face, his superiors suspended him.

Reese did not respond to a request for comment. His lead criminal attorney, Jeffrey Baldwin, also did not respond to a request for comment.

Mary Panszi, the attorney representing the wife in the divorce case, declined to comment in detail about the case, which has not been reported on until now. Panszi speculated as to why the case has so far garnered no media attention.

“I think that’s because the Catholic Church is extremely powerful,” Panszi said.  

Panszi did not want to cooperate with our report, and did not want to have her client contact us, because Panszi deemed us too Catholic.

“I am truly trying to distance myself and my client from the Catholic Church and those who are beholden to their faith, as I believe that they will do anything within their power to silence this matter,” Panszi wrote.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed in the Marion County Court, on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 24, Reese, wearing clerical garb, confronted his wife while she was in the backseat of a car with another man, Jay Stanley. According to the affidavit, Stanley was engaged in a romantic relationship with the wife.

Reese angrily demanded that his wife come with him. She instead got into her own car and agreed to drive to a specific location with Reese so they could get out and talk, according to the affidavit, written by Indianapolis Police Detective Erroll Malone.

Before leaving with his wife, Reese opened the door to Stanley’s car and kicked him in the face. Stanley said Monday he’s not sure why he didn’t call police after he was assaulted and the wife went away with her angry and violent husband.

“I don’t know why. I think that I just didn’t,” Stanley said. “I didn’t think any of that other stuff would happen.”

Once the couple reached the location in their separate cars, the wife got into Reese’s car so they could talk, according to the affidavit. That’s when Reese locked the car so she could not get out, and began to drive. During the drive, Reese repeatedly assaulted his wife with “backhands” while demanding the password for her cell phone.

Reese drove to Holy Rosary church and forced his wife inside the building, according to the affidavit. He brought her to the altar, and forced her to kneel. Before the altar, he assaulted her, hitting her in the face, pulling her hair, putting his hands around her neck, and continuing to demand her password, according to the affidavit.

“(He) stated he could choke her,” the affidavit reads.

On their way out of Holy Rosary, Reese threw his wife into a wall, and then brought her back out to the car, Malone writes. There, Reese allegedly slammed his wife’s head into the car’s door frame. The wife then relented, and gave up her password. Reese started reading her texts to and from Stanley, continuing to interrogate and backhand her as he drove, according to the affidavit.

Reese drove his wife out of Indianapolis, and its “temptations,” to Auburn. He wanted his wife to explain to her 90-year-old grandmother about her relationship with Stanley, according to the affidavit.

Family members told police the wife was crying when she arrived at the house in Auburn, and her face was swollen and bruised. The wife told her grandmother she had been talking to another man.

“What in the world happened to your mouth and eye?” the grandmother asked.

“I hit her, that’s what’s wrong with her,” Reese reportedly responded.

“A priest, and you beat her?” the grandmother said.

“I could have killed her,” Reese reportedly responded.

“Well, you didn’t kill her. So do you feel like a hero now?” the grandmother asked.

That’s when Reese forced his wife back into the car and began driving home. At one point, they stopped for gas, but Reese locked and alarmed the car to keep his wife inside during the stop, according to the affidavit.

They drove back to their home, when Reese forced his wife to go to bed. A short time later, after reading texts on her phone, Reese came back into the bedroom and tore her clothes off her. He then went into her closet and began tearing up her clothes that he deemed “too slutty,” according to the affidavit.

He left her for a short time, while he reportedly downloaded the text messages between his wife and Stanley onto his computer, and she got dressed. He then came back into the bedroom, and again tore off her clothes, sexually assaulted her, and took nude photos of her that he threatened to use to shame her to people in the parish community, according to the affidavit.

“(Reese) then ordered her to lay down and he then had intercourse with her,” Malone writes. “(She) stated she did not wish to have intercourse. However, she did not say no.”

These incidents started the night of Sunday Sept. 24 and continued into Monday, Sept. 25, in what Panszi described as an 18-hour ordeal.

Sometime on Monday, Rev. Ryan McCarthy, the pastor at Holy Rosary, came to the Reese’s house and saw the wife’s injured face. We could find no record that McCarthy called police after seeing her injuries. He suggested the couple take some time apart.

“(McCarthy) recommended the couple go their separate ways for about a week,” the affidavit states.

Reese agreed to leave their house for a few days. The wife eventually went to the hospital. She reported the assault to police on Sept. 27.

According to information we have developed, McCarthy gave the wife a sum of money in excess of $1,000 and helped her set up a bank account following the Sept. 24 incident, to help her with living expenses. We have not verified the exact amount or where the money came from.

Reese was arrested soon after the report was made, and was charged with felonies. He is currently free after posting $2,495 on a $25,000 Corporate Surety bond. His trial is scheduled for May. In December, Reese filed for divorce from his wife.

Holy Rosary placed Reese on six months leave in October. The archdiocesan website says only that Reese was “granted a six-month leave of absence.”

According to the affidavit, Reese’s superiors were already aware of other issues concerning Reese. The wife told police Reese was already in “hot water” over two incidents: One in which he reportedly supplied alcohol to minors and got intoxicated with them, and another in which he shared white supremacist materials with young people. Those incidents were reported by parents to church officials, according to the affidavit.

The wife also told police that Reese had been abusive to the family for quite some time before the Sept. 24 incident.

Greg Otolski, communications director for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis declined numerous requests for comment. We also reached out to officials in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, based in Houston, Texas. Bishop Steven Lopes of Houston is Reese’s bishop. The communications director in Houston has not returned our calls.

UPDATE Feb. 27, 2018: The bulletin from Holy Rosary Church on October 1 contains “An important message about Fr. Reese” on page 4. In the message, the pastor, Fr. McCarthy, says that Fr. Freese has been granted a leave of absence. He warns parishioners that it would be a sin to speculate why Fr. Reese was gone, and says “he will be greatly missed” while he is on “leave of absence.” The message was written after Fr. McCarthy saw Reese’s wife’s facial injuries.

The entire message is as follows:

“Dear parishioners, This past Monday, Father Reese notified me that he was experiencing some personal and family issues which would require a greater amount of his attention. He let me know that he had asked for a leave of absence from Archbishop Thompson, and that he hoped it would be granted. I gave him the week off and, at the end of the week, the Archbishop informed me that he intended to grant Father Reese the leave of absence. As of the writing of this note, the length of the leave had not been fully determined, but it will be at least a few months. I expect it will extend past Christmas and into the new year. I ask that we all respect Father Reese’s and his family’s privacy to allow them to deal with these personal issues. I have made it clear to him that the parish and I will continue to pray for him and for his family during this time. Unless Father Reese happens to reach out to you, please do not interrupt this time allotted to him. Please do not ask me the details of Father Reese’s situation. As his pastor, I am privy to many of the details of his and his family’s personal life, as I am of most of my parishioners. I am not free to discuss these matters, just as I am not free to discuss your personal matters. If you do ask, I will politely but firmly tell you to “mind your own business.” Additionally, do not make Father Reese and his family the subject of speculation or gossip. This is a sin. Please do remember to pray for him and his family. I am very grateful for Father Reese’s service to our parish. He will be greatly missed during this leave. Quite obviously, without a second priest active at Holy Rosary, our Mass schedule and other events will be affected. Please be patient with me and the staff as we work to adjust to the current situation and attempt to accommodate, as much as possible, all of the many activities at our parish. Thank you in advance for all your prayerful support. God bless!”

*We have chosen not to use the name of Reese’s wife in this story.

Image: Holy Rosary Church in Indianapolis (Public Domain)

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146 thoughts on “Indianapolis priest charged with beating wife inside church”

  1. I was very interested to read this post that I happened upon, especially since I am agnostic and study groups like organized religion and churches to strengthen my position, but… after the hype died down, and after reading all of this and the comments, one thing is abundantly clear, this situation has absolutely zero to do with a church or it’s followers. This church, at the local, national or international level did not train or cover-up this one very new priest’s actions towards his wife. They helped the family and wife immediately. They were asked to respect the victims privacy, which they did. There is no tie and no culpability to anything reported here or in the court documents. This is a non-story other than this guy seemed to really believe his god would help him by taking his wife who was hiding information he is entitled to know, from him. You have a right to know if your spouse has broken their marriage/contract with you and your children as it will affect your future and all facets of your life. All this woman did was lie to all of them and cheat on them, shock him to extremes, cause him to be arrested, lose his job, no one will ever hire him, and now he cannot pay her child support or alimony. Brilliant actions there. As they say in the law, “But for her selfish actions in deciding to lie and cheat, none of this would have happened.” You should have has the integrity to tell the truth and make a decision to be with someone else honestly and out in the open. He shouldn’t have hit you, but you really caused all of this by sheer selfishness. This has nothing to do with the Catholic church, much to my chagrin, they are innocent in this and a jury is not going to be swayed.

  2. She has legal support whom you called a fool.

    You also said this “I’m waiting for the Fishers to remove his name from the story–and the false “respect” not to include the wife’s name is disingenuous, since she is all over any basic google search.”

  3. The pastor wasn’t trying to sweep it under the rug. He was trying to keep the kids and any other people from being objects of gossip and possible harassment until the facts could be obtained by the police.
    If the trial had been held on the first of March, his leave would have run out,and the story have emanated from the court as it should be. It is a terrible thing to happen but he should not be tried in the court of public opinion. There is a court case now apparently moved to May from March. Let the police do their job and leave the kids alone. Think of what they must be dealing with since this hit the streets..

    1. But you can see how the case will shape up. The lawyer will try to make the pastor into the cover-up guy for the archdiocese and will exploit all the anti-Catholic feeling generated by the clerical scandals. The pastor does not deserve this treatment — he is a very good priest, hardly trained to deal with such an extraordinary circumstance.

  4. I have a real suspicion that the Catholic Church was not dealt with honestly by the Episcopal Church when Fr. Reese applied to the Anglican Ordinariate. He probably had a shady history with them and they were only too happy to send him over the Tiber.

  5. From IndyStar at 9:11PM
    Because Reese’s archbishop is in Houston, Indianapolis Archbishop Charles C. Thompson cannot immediately make any official decisions regarding discipline and his status within the church, according to Greg Otolski, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

    Otolski said he had no knowledge of any of the incident taking place inside Holy Rosary Church. Placing Reese on leave was a decision mutually made by leadership in both Houston and Indianapolis after the allegations came to light.

    In a written statement, the ordinariate said Reese has been barred from performing any public ministry since he was placed on leave.

    “Bishop Steven J. Lopes of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter has pledged the diocese’s full cooperation with the civil authorities conducting the investigation,” the statement reads. “The Ordinariate is committed to collaborating with authorities to ensure justice is provided for all concerned, and affirms the Catholic Church’s clear teaching that domestic violence is never justified.”

    1. In charity, please remember our clergy and religious, lay faithful men and women, young and old, who will be deeply effected by these revelations. Rather than speculate on what is at best incomplete information, may I suggest we all turn away from the gadgets and pray for all involved?

      How well am I loving all those in this situation? Isn’t this really the fundamental question with which we should be concerned?

      1. I think it’s actually more important that we acknowledge the great abuse of power so many have taken so and the poor response on the pastors part to this priest’s disgusting actions.

        1. This blog broke the story by publishing 1st, and has the most detail, even if it is heavily weighted to one side (i.e. the PCA, but remember that anyone can say anything in that) and so far they have not received responses from the other side. There is an update from the spokesman for the Archdiocese, but they have not published it yet.

          If you really stop and think about it, a lot of this version of events is suspect. Thank you LamLawIndy for your well thought out responses and adding important and missing facts.

          What is without doubt is that this husband lost it and committed crimes by hitting his wife and keeping her in the car. Over 18 hours though, with a house full of children, she likely could have contacted someone or removed herself if she thought she was in immediate need of help. How come not a single driver reported seeing this attack continue for hours? Would anyone here really not call 911 if you saw this happening? Over the course of several hours, several people must have seen this car and driven by it. Hundreds perhaps.

          Father McCarthy spoke with the wife, she did not ask him to call the police, or ask for shelter away from her husband and to leave with him immediately, or ask that he be locked up. Father McCarthy suggested they stay apart for a week.

          Father McCarthy set-up and account to help her and the children since they would have no income while her husband was suspended. That was an act of kindness. He did not have to do that. Father Reese was the responsibility of his own Diocese based in Texas. Father McCarthy’s immediate actions were to help the victims!

          Father McCarthy had to tell his congregation something but not invade the privacy of the family involved, so he frankly said as much as he could about what seemed like a martial problem they were going to handle themselves and told the 500 families at the church to “mind their own business” (which was an unfortunate choice of words but I understand the intent). This was to prevent the sin of gossip but more importantly to protect them. Can you imagine how many people would have been calling or talking about this family without knowing all of the facts?

          Father McCarthy was put in a situation that did not seem like it was immediate danger and was being respectful of the wife’s wishes too. It appears that the story changed and became more severe, and embellished, likely by the attorney after they became involved.

          This seemed like one thing when it happened in the way it was told to him, then another entirely when reported yesterday. Think about it.

          It is clear that the wife’s attorney is only concerned with trying to create a controversy that does not exist in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. They did not suppress anything, the church did not silence the matter. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis is not responsible for Father Reese, his own Diocese in Texas has that responsibility. Her empty accusations were dispelled last night when the story went nationwide as soon as the first station reported it. This proves Mary Panzi’s statements to be, frankly, ridiculous… “I am truly trying to distance myself and my client from the Catholic Church and those who are beholden to their faith, as I believe that they will do anything within their power to silence this matter,” Panszi wrote.

          The wife waited 3 days to report this to the police.

          It took 19 days for the police to arrest him. Rape is not one of the charges.

          The attorney trying to say that the attack happened on church grounds is a pretty obvious grab for cash. The church had no way of knowing what this one husband was doing when he spotted his wife in a car with another man.

          Why would a priest bring his wife into a church just to attack her after driving around? If he simply wanted to keep attacking her, there were plenty of other places to do it. Remote places, unlike the close and populated neighborhood where Holy Rosary is located. Scary places where one could force a confession where there is immediate danger, like a bridge. This is suspect. A church is calm and peaceful place, where there are witnesses nearby and sometimes cameras. A priest would bring a person in front of an altar, where Catholics deeply believe there is the real presence, physical presence of God, to spark one’s own conscience. And evidently he tried this again in Auburn. Think about it. Only someone really pleading to God and asking for help would do this twice. There was a need to appeal to higher help and this priest sought this as he thought his world and that of his children’s was falling apart.

          Any attack on a person is horrific and inexcusable, but in this case, a lot of this simply does not make sense as told from one party only.

          Please really think about the facts rather than the sensationalism, and try to be discerning.

          May the God of the Universe, who knows all from the beginning of time, heal and minister to all involved and reading about this painful case.

          1. You have obviously never suffered abuse at the hands of your spouse.
            She was most likely fearful for her life and the lives of their children!
            That is why she didn’t “remove herself”.

          2. If the statement is true, the other priest saw the bruises on the victim. In such a case it is gravely wrong for him to suggest they stay apart “for a week.” A week? What’s going to happen in a week to turn a man who beats his wife into a man who’s safe to be around?

            And what kind of man deliberately brings his victim into a church to beat her? Maybe a man whose religious position has won him the respect and obedience of others. He counted on his status as a priest and the presence of God to make his victim ashamed and give in to his demands.

            As for the rest, it’s bunk. I’ve driven by lots of cars, but I don’t peer in the windows to see if the driver is backhanding the passenger. And as for calling 911, he took her phone away at the very beginning.

            And this has all been legal record for weeks, even though it wasn’t in the news. The other priest at the parish, the priest’s bishop, and the bishop of Indianopolis all could have looked it up. Presumably they did look it up. They chose not to believe it.

          3. Wow, you seem to know very little about what domestic abuse is really like and how victims of trauma respond. I think you ought to read up on it a bit before you continue speculating.

          4. Leah Joy, Shiela, KB – Actually, before all of you speculate, I have worked in Social Services for over 25 years and am currently an administrator for a series of shelters for victims of abuse. I have dedicated my life to helping victims and I do know how they respond. You would not want to see the things I and my co-workers live through every day. All tragic.

            What I write here is from that experience. What I have learned is that things are not always as they seem. Surely, you would concede that. I am not doubting that he abused her, but in years of being involved in these cases, often all is not as it first appears. I am just imploring you to think about it first, and weigh all of the facts when you finally have them. Right now you have only heard one side. Until you have testified and heard hundreds of cases where there are 2, or more, distinct versions of what happened, you really cannot be certain of what you contend. Two people running though the same door, both in a panic, no intentional shoving but I actually witnessed this and the jury believed that the woman hit the man. It did not look intentional to me, and others, but 2 people saw that differently and the jury sent her to jail just 2 weeks ago.

            That is one example. It happens often. You do not know if he returned to the home for weeks. You do not know if she did not ask him to leave or leave herself after this happened or in the years before. You don’t know if they tried to work it out. You cannot know what happened in any marriage really. I never said this was not an assault. It is, and the assault does stem from their marital problems. That is a fact. Have any of you ever been cheated on? Lied to or taken advantage of, for years? NO, this does not justify assault, but it does break your world, and people respond in different degrees. This response clearly appears to extreme and criminal. I am agreeing with you. The thought clearly sent him over the edge.

            Shiela, you do not know factually if he deliberately brought her into a church to beat her. YOU DO NOT KNOW! Whether he did this inside the church is her statement and we have not heard from the other party yet. You don’t know if he intended to beat her there or if he was trying to get her to tell him something and then lost it when she wouldn’t. He went to 2 churches and to her family. THINK about it. He was trying to get some response from her that he thought these three places would help to obtain. He went to the place he thought he could get the most help to obtain that answer. He did not avoid those places and just take her to a remote and unwitnessed place to beat it out of her, or threaten her, or commit the ultimate worst action. Don’t just react, honestly think about it and try to be fair.

            Shiela – No one tried to cover anything up. No one abused power except the husband. What did you honestly expect anyone to do? Do you think it is wise or warranted to what… hold a press conference? Make announcements? You don’t know if they looked it up or not; additionally, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis is not responsible for him, he is here from his Diocese in Texas. What about their children, still in their Indianapolis schools? Should the church tell the whole city that they live in just one side of this? Is it an organization’s responsibility to tell the world about this case before it has gone to court? You have condemned one side without hearing the other. We have a legal system for a reason. I have seen too much in all of these years: the guilty go free, the falsely accused horribly damaged for life, and cases where both parties truly both wrongly suffered.

            Lastly Shiela – I didn’t say she needed to call the police, we all know she didn’t have her phone. We have many, many calls that came in when witnesses driving by saw a person hitting another in a vehicle. Vehicles are made for clear views of the road, that also means that people can see activity inside without having to “peer inside.” We have many cases where witnesses in other vehicles called 911 to report assault against an adult or child. Ask a police officer if this is uncommon. It’s often how victims finally get help. Some concerned passerby called.

            I agree assault is never acceptable.

          5. Think: You make even less sense now. Why are trying to cast doubt on the details of these assaults and saying “This is suspect” if not to attack Mrs. Reese’s credibility?

            Of course Father Reese or others may tell a different version of what happened–that’s what the police investigation is for, to try to verify the facts of the matter and gather evidence.

          6. Think, I feel so terribly sorry for the women you have “helped”.
            A person having the attitude you do and being in your profession is frightening to hear.

          7. Clarification: combined with her hitting him moments before when he said that about the children.

            This “hitting” him was not the core of the assault. This “hitting” action was a open hand across his forearm when he stated he would move the children constantly and she would never see them again.

            The assault accusation was that she hit him in the face causing a deep open gash and then struck him again with enough force to shatter an 8 foot pane of impact-resistant glass.

            As I stated, this is not how I and another shelter employee witnessed her actions. We saw an accident

          8. “Think” — what is your goal here?

            You say I don’t know what happened. But you also don’t know what happened. You agree that the accused probably did assault his wife. Given that, I don’t know why you’re so set on casting doubt on the rest of the story. Why would an abuse victim change details of her story if she knew she was telling the truth about the abuse? That seems a great way to get her testimony thrown out when it’s inevitably proven false. She wouldn’t bring the grandmother into the story if she expected the grandmother to say “that’s crazy, they never came here.”

            And as for the car thing — you generally are able to see any individual other driver for a second or less, and if you’re driving, you usually don’t even look because you’re watching the road and the other cars. If it was night, of course, the couple would have been virtually invisible. Occasionally one sees something odd inside another car — like if you’re going at a slow speed, or you’re stopped at a red light — but only a fraction of people would either be looking in the first place, or report it if they did. They might say, “Huh, those people are roughhousing/messing around” and not realize they were seeing a woman being battered.

        2. Really? More than prayer? Wow. You are making assumptions of the worst kind about the pastor and the parishoners in your comments. Believe it or not–this article did NOTHING to activate the Church–as the Church was already involved! Perhaps it will help the prosecution not want to settle and make the man walk….but cut it out with the tried and true line of “the Church covered it up.”

  6. “She stated that she did not wish to have intercourse. However she did not say no.”

    What the eff does that even mean?

    Anyway. How horrifying this story is! Lord, have mercy.

    1. Consent is a defense to a rape charge. In such a case, the State must negate the defense beyond a reasonable doubt. If Mrs. Reese didn’t inform Fr. Reese about her lack of consent, that could make it very difficult for the State to negate a consent defense.

    1. Obviously you didn’t read the full story. The pope made up a section of priest that could. Catholic priest used to marry at one time so whats the problem??

    2. The issue here is clearly not about if priests should be married or single. This man gravely abused his power, that is the actual issue at hand.

    3. Clergy from other churches, chiefly Episcopalians/Anglicans, have been able to seek ordination after their conversion to Catholicism via the Pastoral Provision, established in 1980 by Pope St. John Paul II. Many of these people have been married. As a former clergy family ourselves, we have a number of friends who are Catholic priests by way of either the Pastoral Provision or the Ordinariate, which was established in 2009 as a means for entire Anglican congregations to join the Catholic Church, retaining their clergy and their liturgy (in the form of the Book of Divine Worship, in which the Canon of the Mass is restored/corrected from its form in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer).

      We’re not talking about huge numbers of people here, but they do exist, and have been around for a long time. And again, whatever the whole truth is regarding this particular couple, I don’t think what’s represented here is any kind of statement about married Pastoral Provision or Ordinariate clergy. This is NOT what the Catholic church is “asking for,” in permitting the ordination of these men. Whatever is true about Fr. Reese, this is what the Church just *got* in ordaining Fr. Reese.

  7. In a statement released to FOX59, the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter said Reese “was placed on administrative leave on Sept. 27, 2017, when he disclosed actions that resulted in criminal charges related to domestic violence.” The Ordinariate also said “it is committed to collaborating with authorities to ensure justice is provided for all concerned, and affirms the Catholic Church’s clear teaching that domestic violence is never justified.”

  8. We are glad to see the local media is finally aware of this important story. WTHR news is now covering this story, as of six hours after this article was published. They also included the screenshot of the bulletin, published here first. The Indy Star has also become aware of this story about eight hours after we published.

    1. That’s actually not true–channel 13 called about this before you and Damien did. They just took more care in their reporting.

    2. And then there were those who knew about the story days ago directly from an inside source, complete with a detailed report sent to Bp. Lopes, screen shots of text messages, etc., and who chose not to report on it because it would have involved detraction, further turmoil for the family, and exposing a very ugly story with almost no good purpose.

      1. Are you serious CM News?

        “With almost no good purpose??”

        Tell me, was the Boston Globe wrong for exposing the priest abuse scandal with their Spotlight team? If not, how is this different. Are priest abusing children beyond the pale but married priest abusing their wives okay? Would the wife have been wrong to go to the police and bring him to trial where it would create “further turmoil for the family??”

        This is just the “Don’t talk bad about priests” rule (unless they are liberal).

        1. Nathan–these are ridiculous attacks on CM. News! They had the same information (even more, actually) but did due diligence and saw that the Church and civil authorities had taken proper action. As a Catholic news organization, there would be no good to report without spreading a wider arena of harm (such as, what kind of journalist includes the name of the other party involved?? ). This isn’t a “cover up so that a priest can get away with criminal behavior”–this is a case of prudentially caring for many, many people according to civil law and Church law. Not very one needs to know every scandal.

        2. This story involving Fr. Reese has zero relation to the Boston Globe sex abuse expose. The Globe was reporting systemic, widespread abuse involving cover-up at the highest levels and thousands of children harmed by priests shuffled around from parish to parish.

          This tragic story involves an isolated incident involving Fr. Reese & his wife, with no evidence of systemic or institutional abuse or cover-up in the archdiocese involving multiple abuse victims. It serves zero purpose except to expose the personal sins of a man and his wife for the world to know. When we turned down the story, we specifically said we did not want to commit detraction, which is exposing the grave private sins of others without sufficient justification; we did not want that on our conscience.

          From what we understand, the children did not know about the graphic details of their father’s crimes until this blog exposed them, and the family has been traumatized all over again by this blog post.

          1. Church Militant,

            One of your videos on Hell (the one condemning then Fr. Barron) was sent to me by an abusive person who knew I feared going into hell so much that I would have panic attacks all the time at Mass, reading the bible, praying the Rosary, and so on.

            Just go away. I don’t even feel like responding to your latest post. Just go away.

          2. A crime is not a “private sin.” It is a public matter, and in fact has been a matter of public record for some time.

    3. I called the Indy Star months ago and spoke with a reporter. They chose to act on it after they saw the news was breaking. Looks like idiots are all around us. Thank you, Damien and Simcha!

  9. The events alleged regarding Father beating wife never happened either in church or elsewhere. The church was descecrated, by the two adulterers… But that was not covered by this article.

    1. Were you there?
      How can you claim Fr beating his wife did not happen when she has visible bruises and witnesses to those bruises?
      In his PCA Jay told police that he and G were not having an affair.

    2. Well, the police thought there was enough evidence to charge him with several crimes. I thought they were pretty reluctant to charge for domestic violence unless there was good evidence–the state won’t bring charges if there’s little or no chance of conviction. But you know better? The events “never happened”? What do you think happened, then, and why do you think so? You have better sources of info than the police?

      1. It’s not Fr. It’s a nun from the parish.
        She should have considered using a non-googleable name here that is the same as her email address.
        Unless Fr has decided to use the same name or something.

        1. Fr. Reese still meets with some and have lied to them about the truth. They will understand when the truth gets out. The Church has done nothing wrong–they Archdiocese of Indianapolis doesn’t owe the Fishers any information. Has anyone considered the families, the kids having to go to school with these issues smeared across the blogosphere? If Simcha and Damien really care about this woman–they will take this monetized blog and donate the proceeds to the family. And then they should pray for everyone.

          1. Yes, it must be awful for th children, but that is the fault of the man who beat their mother. Bringing it to light will protect them from future abuse, as well as hopefully protect other families when the church leadership finally gets it through their thick heads that they shouldn’t be protecting and sheltering abusers.

          2. Kate- is it not also the fault of their mother? Doesn’t she have to take some of the responsibility?

            And what good has it done to make this wretched story, in which both parents are at fault, public so that the children and their peers find out all the sad details?

            It does not appear to me that any Church officials are at fault at all.

  10. Canon Law (i.e., the 1983 Code) actually requires perpetual and perfect continence of ALL clerics, married or celibate. The law is based on the practice of the Church which goes back to the apostles.

    Dr. Edward Peters and others have written about this subject.

  11. There is a lot of misinformation regarding this article. I am a member of that church… The alleged incident as reported sounds like author is a writer seeking sensationalism and being fed intentionally to garner sympathy for an adulteress.

    1. I’ve read the Probable Cause Affidavit. Almost everything in this article was taken from it.
      Unless you are claiming Fr’s wife lied to police in the PCA?

    2. And, just because a woman is having an affair, it in no way excuses her husband to beat her and hold her captive! Police and Fr. McC and others saw her bruises and swelling. Those injuries are kind of difficult to fake.

    3. What? Trying to garner sympathy for an adulteress?? As opposed to your attempt to garner sympathy for a narcissistic, psychopathic abuser? This comment makes me nauseous.

      1. We have no knowledge that he was narcissistic and psychopathic. We know that his reaction to his wife’s betrayal was extreme, and not such as the law can allow.

        We should pray for them and their poor children. Seven children whose world has been destroyed, and likely their faith too.

        Why couldn’t this have been left to be handled in as much privacy as possible?

    4. Remember that time in the Gospel, when an adulteress was placed before Jesus, and He beat her black-and-blue?

      Yeah, me neither…

        1. Well, considering the trial is supposed to go on Thursday, we’ll get to see 12 ordinary, commonsense Hoosiers sift through the miasma of this case. The key issue will indeed be the complaining witness’s credibility: in cases involving the accusation of domestic violence, that’s usually the key issue.

  12. Another reason to not have married priests. Certainly married clergy have all the same issues as do the laity and all the same temptations.

    1. so it follows that celibate clergy do not have issues or temptations? This is a matter of evil, pride and most likely clinical narcissism. yes- it is extremely disheartening and embarrassing for clergy families to learn that ‘one of their own’ ha fallen into the depths of sin- but unfortunately- this can happen to anyone

      1. Priests aren’t supposed to be married. When you introduce a wife and children you introduce a whole host of potential issues.

  13. Anglican or Episcopalian? Curious, as the US church has recently split, and a fair few ex- Episcopals are now calling themselves Anglican to differentiate. Obviously the Anglican Church has a large global present, but the US branch until very recently was Episcopalian not Anglican.

    1. When Damien says he gave alcohol to minors, that is a reference to allowing his own 20 year old drinks….it’s not as if he was partying g with a bunch of little random kids…such sloppy sensationalist reporting.

      1. The sensationalism and leaving off of critical information is modus operandi for the Fishers. They judge assault and kidnapping to be a much worse crime than adultery, so they will disclose the name of the abusive husband but not the adulteress. They will sensationalize allowing a 20 year old to drink in the home as the “providing alcohol to minors” without clarification because it serves their agenda: to paint the woman as the victim and the man as the criminal. It’s black and white thinking with no room for nuance or grey.

        I doubt the children agree with the attitude the Fishers have taken. I’d be very curious to read the reactions of their adult children to this article. I doubt they find it neutral or helpful to their family’s situation. Taking into account the effects of reporting on the most vulnerable victims of this tragedy, and the only innocent ones, the children, would not serve the Fisher’s agenda.

  14. This is horrific. I have to take issue, however, with the lawyer’s suggestion that the case has not attracted much media attention because the Catholic Church is so powerful. If that were the case, then the coverage of the sex abuse scandal within the Church would not have been so widespread (especially compared to the limited media coverage that other denominations and other organizations received).

    1. I agree, Claire. The wife’s lawyer’s comments about the Church were gratuitous, inaccurate, and spiteful – way out of line. It certainly makes me less inclined to put stock in her case.

      I think the entire situation may have something to offer in terms of married priests. This particular priest was not formed in a Catholic seminary, where his personality flaws may have been picked up on. It also speaks of how a family, with all its duties and responsibilities and distractions, which rightly make demands on any man’s time, can affect his priestly vocation. That said, this particular man can seem to neither fulfill his duties as a priest nor as a husband and father if he resorts to violence and revenge. Not to mention the lack of commitment and integrity on the part of the woman to her vocation as a wife and mother.

      I have heard it said that no man should consider becoming a priest if he cannot imagine himself as a husband and father. Perhaps it may also be said that no man who cannot love his own family with the love Jesus has for us, with peace and mercy, should consider becoming a priest, a husband, or a father.

      This is all dreadfully sad.

    2. Have you seen Spotlight or read about the investigation into the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston? I think the lawyer’s opinion is perfectly well founded in many, many people’s experience of the Church or members of the hierarchy to suppress and discredit victims. Yes, eventually the scandal was very widely reported, but it took many dedicated reporters a lot of time and effort withstanding huge pushback from the Church in order to do so.

      1. Also, if you consider the pastor’s statement in the bulletin and truly abysmal initial response when seeing the effects of the wife’s assault, I can totally understand why the wife’s lawyer wants nothing to do with Catholics.

        The Church has so much to repent of; Lent seems like a very good time to bring this to light.

      2. In this case I think it hasn’t come out until now because not many parishioners knew what really happened. And those that did know didn’t want to bring scandal to the parish or Fr. Reese’s children or the family of the other man.

        The local news media most likely didn’t realize that he was a Catholic priest when they scanned arrest records. Otherwise it most likely would have been public months ago.

      3. Of course I’ve read Spotlight–and in this situation it is markedly different than child sex abuse. She is an adult–she has to go to the police herself. If you understand anything about domestic violence, centers do not recommend reporting on someone else until they are clearly safe. If police show up with the couple there, it Ian unlikely the victim will tell all! You cannot imagine the time and patience it takes to get police involved. I think in this case, one should watch Hitchcock’s “I Confess”–as the Church and the good priests involved can’t say anything to defend themselves.

        1. But there’s nothing to suggest the seal of confession is involved here at all. There’s nothing to prevent the priest from defending himself.

          1. Actually, yes, the priest can’t defend himself if he’s asked to keep this in confidence. The parish is harboring the wounded in this case, both families, spouses…the Church is cooperating with civil authorities. Prosecutors have contacted the pastor and possibly Archdiocese NOT to get involved, call the victim or make statements, as ALL OF THIS CAN EFFECT THE SUCCESS of the VICTIM’S CASE. The victim herself, asked for privacy. Ask yourselves the question: do I need to know this information (and ALL the details, including the full name of the man she was in a car with) to be a better Christian? will this “reporting” improve this woman’s situation? No.

      4. In this case, the reporters have done absolutely nothing to assist this case. It was already being handled! Civilly, criminally and within the Church! So–the entire blogosphere had to know? That’s just voyeurism.

        1. Yes, how terrible of reporters for writing reports of events that happened.

          And as for it being handled, did you read the letter placed in the bulletin. Sick! These things are rarely handled correctly unless the dark filth gets brought out into the light by reporters.

          1. Actually. the issue was being handled for months before the breaking of the story, or before any journalist knew about it. This is a case of a bunch of journalists walking into the clean up part after a storm. Just because YOU didn’t know didn’t mean it wasn’t being dealt with.

          2. Stan,

            If it was being handled, why was he still in his position at the parish until this website broke the story?

          3. “If it was being handled, why was he still in his position at the parish until this website broke the story?”

            He wasn’t. He has been invisible to the community since last fall.

          4. The Indy Star was called. The atchdiocese was called. His vicariate in Texas was called. Months ago. Major kudos to Damien and Simcha. I guess it takes laymen to do the dirty work. Bring it to the light. Voyeurism, my foot.

    3. If it weren’t for this blog post about it nothing would have happened. The Church is actively silencing victims and covering up sex crimes all over the world. The only appropriate response to it all is outrage, especially if it happens
      to you.

      1. I disagree, Colleen. You claim that “nothing would have happened” were it not for Simcha’s post, but that’s incorrect: Fr. Reese was charged with felonies months ago, way before Simcha’s post. The PCA & charges were available to view at the City County Building since the date the case was filed in 2017. Simcha & Damien may have brought the story to the media’s attention — they are both excellent writers — but to say that “nothing” has been done ignores the work of IMPD, the Marion County Prosecutor, and Fr. Reese’s attorneys.

        1. Fair point—something would still have happened to Fr. Reese, because the police officers and prosecutors involved seem to be doing their jobs, but *no one would have known about it*, and that would be wrong. Or perhaps just a very small group of people would know. If a priest in my diocese or at my parish is accused of abusing someone, I want to know. That information should be public. Parents have a right and a responsibility to protect their children, for example, and they can’t do that well when the diocese and pastor are not transparent about the truth.

          Thank you for the excellent reporting, Damien and Simcha.

          1. Rebecca–I understand your thoughts on this, and the parish would definitely have been informed once the trial was complete. To assume that fellow parishioners wouldn’t disclose the information personally (rather than this salacious, indelicate manner for teens to find–that has been a nightmare!) is to assume bad faith. We indeed would share the information with the rest of the parish. The trial has moved several times and the wait has been difficult. This reporting on it has the grave possibility of harming her case–no one’s children are in danger, that wasn’t the issue here. Even the “minors” mentioned in the article above actually only refer to his own children. There was no reason to alarm parents unnecessarily and possibly threaten the case. Damage done.

          2. That assumes that the church would have been silent after a court had rendered judgment. Sometimes, it is better to let legal authorities handle cases than to publish one-sided accounts before the conclusion of a trial: accounts like this which often contain distortions and misinformation.

            Unless everyone in this thread thinks an adulteress is above lying to make herself out to be the victim.

        2. And the parishioners, school faculties and clergy who have been taking care of her for the past several months….by not gossiping about it to people who can’t make a difference. How does this help her case? This pretend outrage is maddening.

          1. The outrage isn’t “pretend”. Telling people who asked questions to “mind their own business” is outrageous. Priests are public figures. If a priest suddenly goes away somewhere and you’re told not to ask questions all people think is “he’s touching kids”.

            The fact that people don’t get speedy trials anymore and cases can be affected is a failure of the justice system not reporters.

        3. I meant the public wouldn’t have known and the Church could have quietly settled it according to their own desires. The only thing the Church is afraid of is their disgusting deeds getting made public enough that lay people won’t let it rest until justice is served. The more media attention these kinds of things get the stronger the response will be from the public.
          The Church just lovvvves a good quiet laity who sweep their deeds under the rug AND pay all the legal bills.

          1. Lamlawindy I’m not an idiot I know it’s a criminal matter. My point about the Church is they hate bad press and I cheer whenever they get it.
            -Married priests are a gawd awful idea.
            -this particular priest is a disgrace
            -the “Church” (clergy, hierarchy et al) wanted this to stay quiet and if it wasn’t for the Fishers “scoop” of the story, it would have stayed quiet.

          2. the “Church” (clergy, hierarchy et al) wanted this to stay quiet and if it wasn’t for the Fishers “scoop” of the story, it would have stayed quiet.

            There is no proof that the clergy or hierarchy “wanted this to stay quiet.” Asking one’s flock to not speculate or gossip is not an attempt to hide anything but advice from a pastor for good conduct. This is particularly so when the facts are in the public record (again, any member of Holy Rosary — or any person in America — could go to the City County Building and view the charges and PCA). There is NO record of clergy intimidating, bribing or instructing witnesses to not cooperate with IMPD or the Marion County Prosecutor.

            this particular priest is a disgrace

            He may or may not be. We’ll see what the State can prove in court and what witnesses reveal under cross-examination. I cannot state that you’re wrong but neither can I agree at this time.

            Married priests are a gawd awful idea.

            There are drawbacks to a married clergy, that’s true, both in terms of cost and availability of the priest to devote himself fully to the Church. However, the Church in the East — both Orthodox and Uniates — have had married men ordained for centuries. St. Peter was married — though we don’t know if he was a widower or whether his wife was still alive at the time of the Gospels — so we know that Christ himself wasn’t opposed to married men (or at least widowers) being ordained. On balance, I think our discipline here in the West is sound, though allowing married clergy who come from Eastern or Anglican traditions may be a wise way to encourage the reunification of the Church that we all pray for.

            My point about the Church is they hate bad press and I cheer whenever they get it.

            To paraphrase a favorite fictional character of mine, “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

            1. LamLawIndy, thank you for your well-considered, sensible response to Colleen. Some may think of this as a witch hunt on the Church, and rejoice in it. It is not, and crowing about the Church being humiliated and punished is not Catholic nor Christian.

              This situation is a dreadful, horrible thing. Like you, I believe the proper response was given by the pastor of the parish affected, the Diocese, the Ordinariate, and the local civil authorities.

              We worship God, not people. It is not the imitation of Jesus to celebrate His Church being hurt, nor to accuse it of unfounded faults. We are called to mercy and justice. The individuals in this crime will receive both, on earth and in heaven.

              God bless all here.

          3. I cheer because bad press has proven to be the only thing that has led to any attempt by the Church at systemic change.

            1. I stand by my comments, Colleen.

              The Church did not compel this priest to harm anyone. Nor did it compel anyone to act with dishonor and violence. The Church is not promoting immoral behavior, and it is not shielding anyone from their responsibilities under civil law. These people are responsible for their own actions. No one is covering up anything, certainly not the Church.

              You are entitled to your opinions, as am I. But it is not Catholic nor Christian to take pleasure in the misfortunes of others, and to rejoice in humiliation and pain inflicted on Jesus’s Church. Respectfully, your comments are way out of line and uncharitable.

              God bless and protect you.

      2. Colleen–you have no idea what you are talking about. Action was already being taken–everyone that needed to know already knew. The parish at large, did not. Why is this a problem for you? Other media outlets were actively contacting people “in the know” (her attorney, parishioners, priest) before the Fishers jumped on board—they merely ran to the presses and threw it out there first! And so you know, the victim is horrified by this–as are all her children. The Fishers knew this, and didn’t care. This has more to do with “click bait” and getting monetization for the blog than anything.

        1. Yes, the Church will be on the hook for the alimony and child support. Anyone who still thinks “married clergy” is a fantastic idea step right up and tithe.

          1. First, alimony is VERY rare in Indiana because of our property division laws. Second, no employer is legally obligated to pay an employee’s alimony or child support.

          2. I will not use terms such as “moron” to describe you out of charity.

            Note that in your original post you stated that “the Church will be on the hook for the alimony and child support,” both of which are terms used in American jurisprudence but NOT canon law. As I stated before, alimony in Indiana (we call is spousal support) is very rare because we’re a quasi-community property state. A child support action is an action established in Indiana by Indiana Code Title 31, and the person responsible for said support is typically a parent or guardian.

            Canon 281 may indeed be viewed as requiring the Church to provide “food, shelter, and adequate medical care” for the cleric and his family. However, enforcing Canon 281 in an Indiana court would be impossible due to the religious question doctrine. Simply put, having an Indiana judge decide the meaning and applicability of canon law would arguably be a violation of the First/Fourteenth Amendments, not to mention Article I, section 4 of the Indiana Constitution.

      3. Way out of line? Really?

        Married priests are an absolute liability in practical terms and a scandal and contradiction in theological terms.

        The diocese hired the most powerful law firm to represent this man. Who do you think is paying the bills?

        1. Again, Eastern Christianity has had a married clergy for over 1000 years. While the bishops are drawn from the monastic ranks and — accordingly — are not married by definition, I respectfully disagree that such an arrangement is a “scandal and contradiction in theological terms.” The existence of the Eastern Uniates and Orthodoxy as a whole seem to dispel any view that a married clergy is somehow “scandalous.”

          Furthermore, there’s no evidence at all that the Archdiocese hired Mr. Baldwin to defend Fr. Reese. The arrangements between client and attorney regarding fees are part of the attorney-client privilege; even attempts by bankruptcy trustees to “claw back” money paid to attorneys defending a person in a criminal case have come to nothing.

          1. The Church will have to be involved as to how his wife and children are cared for going forward. Things like this were never supposed to be something the Church would be involved in. The introduction of a married clergy is why they have to be now.

            As stated in other articles, Fr. Reese is technically part of the diocese of Houston so Texas laws will be applicable if there is a divorce.

            A married priest is a divided man who must serve the Church first. Jesus Christ introduced no such division of identity or vocation. St. Peter and others continence is well established in Church historical records.

        2. Colleen, you seem convulsed by hate. This is a sad situation which is really not public business. You are entitled to your opinion anout married priests, of course. But the unmarried ones who abused male teens have cost the church way more than married ones have so far. Employers generally do have responsibility for what their employees do on the job. So the Church is taking legal responsibility for this priest.

          It is not a “cover up” if matters which ought to be kept private are not exposed to the blogosphere. It is just common decency and kindness.

      4. I cannot understand why anyone thinks it is good for this i happy situation to be made public. No wrong has been done by the Church as an institution. Sin has invaded and destroyed a family, which is only different from other families because the husband and father is clergy. What the law can address the law is addressing. I imagine that counseling is happening, and I hope both parties have gone to confession. We should not have known about them at all. It was wrong to write about this and I am horrified that anyone thinks that is a good thing. The only good which might come of it would be if we all pray for them. Please pray for them. Both of them, and their children.

  15. Well, this is horrific. My husband and I are Catholic converts; my husband is a former Anglican priest who, as it happens, has not sought ordination via the Pastoral Provision or the Ordinariate (we’re not Ordinariate Catholics, having converted before there was an Ordinariate, so at this late date we’re just regular old Latin-Rite Catholics who happen to have this history. ).

    It’s hard to know how to parse my thoughts. On the one hand, I have been a clergy spouse, and I have seen a lot of clergy couples. I have seen a lot of clergy marriages disintegrate. It’s tempting to say that this is because the married clergy I’ve known by and large were not Catholic, had the theological latitude to subscribe to any number of irregular beliefs, and didn’t necessarily hold to anything like a Catholic view of marriage and divorce. But really, I don’t know that there’s any discernible rule or principle to be reasoned from this. To paraphrase Tolstoy, every unhappy clergy marriage is unhappy in its own way.

    And of course, I’ve seen Catholic marriages fall apart. So I don’t know that these sets of anecdata add up to anything at all, except that marriage is hard, whoever you are, and that a bad marriage is its own particular version of hell on earth. This one just happens to have made the news.

    1. This is not to ignore all the various horrible details of this particular case. It is horrible. I do wonder how exactly candidates for ordination in the Ordinariate are vetted. I also can’t help wondering just how much time the vetters spend talking to wives, and how seriously they take what the wife might say — if the wife is honest in her responses. I can see how, for various reasons, she might not be.

      When I think about the level of formation that permanent deacons **and their wives** go through prior to ordination, this all seems crazy. Again, though, I have some personal experience with married clergy in both the Anglican Use and Byzantine Rite traditions, and I don’t think the couple in this story are exemplary of married Catholic clergy generally. I just wonder how they got through the process.

      1. Well said, Allyse. I was under the impression that, in the wake of the priest scandals of almost 20 years ago, priest candidates, deacons, and anyone else who was preparing for ministry is more thoroughly investigated psychologically before being cleared for ordination. Surely the same standards should exist for the Personal Ordinariate. For myself, I most certainly would not want to be counselled or left alone with any man who is so violent, unforgiving, and hateful toward those he most loves, or even go to Confession to him.

        1. I know that in the Episcopal Church, at any rate, candidates for ordination undergo extensive psychological testing. I don’t know what the process is like for ordination candidates in the Anglican “continuing” churches in America, though at least initially most of their clergy were former Episcopalians. I can see how a candidate in the Ordinariate might be viewed as already thoroughly vetted, by virtue of his prior ordination and the processes attached to his conversion and reception into the Catholic Church under the Ordinariate (about which I don’t know much, because, again, we didn’t come into the Church that way).

          Also, perfectly decent people can implode. Midlife is notorious as a time when men and women fall apart in various ways. I suspect, though I don’t know, that it’s a time when many men may be attracted to things like the Men’s Movement/MRA/Redpill, and on top of depression or other issues, being sucked into something like that can change a person’s entire character. It’s a vulnerable and difficult time for women, too.

          So it is entirely plausible that nobody could have seen something like this coming, until it was happening. I don’t mean to suggest, above, that I suspect malfeasance on the part of Ordinariate officials who were handling these ordinations. I am curious about the process, but I don’t mean to put those people on trial.

    2. I am sorry for your your situation. Clergy however should never be in marriages, they will constantly be divided which leads to abundant stress on the marriage and increases the likelihood of divorce.

      1. I can’t believe you find it suitable to call the very measured and informative LamLawIndy a moron…wow.

    3. A very common sense and decent comment. I also became Catholic long before there was an Ordinariate, but I have now joined it, which you are welcome to do also. Please do not let this story discourage you from that. I can see why it might discourage anyone from wanting to be a Catholic clergy couple!

      I do think the story suggests that we should make sure to offer every possible support to those who are.

  16. Is it entirely necessary to include all the gorey details? I understand they are useful for description and help to make a spicier story but it seems a little excessive and unnecessary…

    1. Yes, I think it is absolutely necessary. Language matters. If the Fishers just wrote, “he assaulted his wife,” we don’t have to come to terms with how he actually degraded and abused his wife; it’s much easier to dismiss and forget about watered-down descriptions. This story *should* stick with us, it should haunt us.

      I am so sorry that this woman underwent this degradation and abuse at the hands of her husband, and I am shocked and angered at his pastor’s attempt to sweep it under the rug. That is evil.

      1. I would caution against assuming that Fr. McArthy was attempting to “sweep it under the rug.” It is very possible that one or both of these persons came to Fr. McArthy in a priest-penitent capacity: canon law would prohibit Fr. McArthy from divulging anything. Indeed, the fact that Det. Malone did not even mention speaking with Fr. McArthy in the PCA (Fr. McArthy is mentioned because Mrs. Reese told Det. Malone about him) makes me think this is likely, as detectives routinely attempt to speak to all possible witnesses who may have spoken to a defendant. If Det. Malone interviewed Fr. McArthy and the latter interposed the priest-penitent relationship, then Det. Malone would immediately cease questioning, as the law views the priest-penitent relationship as sacrosanct as the atty-client privilege.

        Fr. McArthy was placed in a very difficult position: he had to help a couple in crisis while at the same time having to consider the ramifications on the couple’s children & Jay Stanley’s family. Perhaps I would’ve acted differently; as a former prosecutor & (now) defense atty, I prefer to have as much of the story “out there” so that facts are known. However, given Fr. McArthy’s obligations, I cannot say that he acted incorrectly. Indeed, he may not have had a choice, given canon law.

      2. Just out of curiosity–do you think that including the name of the man in the car was also necessary? I noticed that even the secular media stories had the sensitivity not to do so. I’m waiting for the Fishers to remove his name from the story–and the false “respect” not to include the wife’s name is disingenuous, since she is all over any basic google search.

      3. Do you think it was good reporting to include the name of the man involved? Will that help bring the Church down?

  17. This is horrific. Not just the events — though they are terrible enough — but also the response of individuals in the Church.

    Is there a GoFundme or the like for her?

    1. No GFM or anything to my knowledge. She and the kids have seemingly dropped off the face of the planet since this happened.

      His lawyer group for the assault and kidnapping charges is the same group that’s represented Mike Tyson, Jim Irsay, the Colts NFL team owner, and the like. No idea where he’s getting that kind of money.

      1. I would like to remind everyone that Fr. Reese does enjoy the presumption of innocence in our system, just like any of us would if accused of a crime. Also remember that a probable cause affidavit (PCA) is used to establish probable cause, which is a WAY lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt. I’m not claiming that the charges are baseless, only that we cannot assume that something happened JUST because it’s in a PCA: our system requires more than that.

        1. He’s been charged, so a jury may be determining what has and hasn’t been proved against him before long. May the truth come out and justice prevail.

          1. Goodness gracious, no! Why would you ever think that? What a terrible thing to say. I just don’t think her attorney is handling these statements well, perhaps she is new to the limelight and is trying to make a name for herself. My understanding is that her client is still a practicing Catholic.

          2. I was being sarcastic. The collective attempt to pile on the victim and her attempt at justice really bothers me.

        1. SM, her attorney isn’t a fool. Perhaps the attorney’s language is intemperate — and, to me, insulting — but IMHO the attorney is just zealously representing her client. Sometimes, what we say when representing a client is done for dramatic effect. Counsel should be given wide latitude when representing a client lest we “rein in” our attempts to do our job.

          1. Colleen, I realize you were being sarcastic. How on earth does the comment that she is alone without parental support suggest “piling on the victim”? If anything, she needs a go fund me account for legal support.

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