Group Urges Church Not to Make Sex Offender Minister

by ekramer on September 10, 2009

Advocates for survivors of the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal are now asking a local church to reconsider ordaining a minister who is a registered sex offender. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

A few local members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests — or SNAP — stood outside Louisville’s City of Refuge Worship Center Thursday. They were there to request the church reconsider its plans to ordain Mark Hourigan to the position of minister this Sunday. He was convicted 10 years ago of sex abuse involving an 11-year-old boy.

Cal Pfeiffer was one SNAP member at the church.

“We’re asking them to consider the risks that they’re going to take if they’re going to go ahead in it,” Pfeifer says. “We’re asking them to not rush into it. We’ve only been aware of this for only two weeks. They should hold off on this, discuss this more, get more information. ”

Rochelle Fournier is another SNAP member who voiced concern about the church’s plans.

“Mr. Hourigan is in a situation where he can be appointed to a position of great trust and great power,” she says. “And to be in this position also allows him to be in a situation where he can abuse that power and abuse that trust.”

Hourigan could become the first-known sex offender to become an ordained minister. He and Pastor Randy Meadows appeared on CNN earlier this week to discuss the issue. Meadows did not return calls to WFPL.

Pfeiffer says the church should look at what has happened in other communities of faith that have already had to face sex abuse issues.

“They should take some example from the Catholic Church,” Pfeiffer says, “who have had to deal with over 5,000 of these type of individuals, paid out over $2 billion, so far. And they’ve created policies for someone like this who has been convicted to be pulled out of ministry.”

Comments Closed


david clohessy September 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Let’s not forget that Hourigan, by his own admission, told only one person at the church about his criminal past. That alone is a disturbing sign.

David Clohessy, National Director, SNAP-Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 7234 Arsenal Street, St. Louis MO 63143 (314 566 9790 cell),

Kay Goodnow September 10, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Great response, David.

I centainly have no problem with a Gay and Lesbian ministry, but I do have a problem with allowing access to children (after signing a piece of paper, no less.)

Kay Goodnow
8938 Cottonwood, Unit 1
Lenexa, KS 66215
(913) 851-1702
Female Survivor of RC priest
1952, Diocese of Kansas City, MO

“We are the ones we have been waiting for…” And they are NOT those who abuse children in God’s name!

Jane C September 11, 2009 at 7:51 pm

While I understand and sympathize with the people from SNAP , they have suffered at the hands of clergy. But I want to point out that in God’s eyes all of us have sinned and no one is worthy of heaven without the covering of Jesus’ blood, which He shed for all. Who are you to judge any man’s sin? Remember the parable about the man who pointed out the mote (speck) in one man’s eye while ignoring the log in his own? This person has sinned and asked God for forgiveness and if God can forgive him, why can’t we? This situation is up to the church body to decide on not people outside the congregation. The bible tells us to seek forgiveness and then to go and sin no more. Let this man go and sin no more.

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