Bishop Slams Leftist Priest Arrested for Child Porn

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by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  February 15, 2018   

Diocese calls his crimes "betrayal," tries to evict him, makes him pay his own attorney fees

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BOISE, Idaho (ChurchMilitant.com) - A dissident retired priest is in hot water after being caught with child porn and a stash of illegal drugs.

On February 5, Fr. Thomas Faucher came to court in a wheelchair for his arraignment on a total of 14 charges — 12 of which were felonies related to child pornography. The two remaining charges were drug misdemeanors.

The 72-year-old retired priest was arrested February 2 after law enforcement searched his home on a warrant. Father Faucher (pronounced foh-SHAY) was renting a home owned by the parish of St. Mary Catholic Church in Boise, Idaho. The police search uncovered hundreds of pornographic images portraying exploited and tortured children. Law enforcement also found a diverse stash of drugs, including marijuana, LSD and ecstasy.

Just this week, one anonymous person has come forward claiming to be a past victim of Faucher's abuse. The sexual abuse is said to have occurred 40 years ago.

 

The diocese of Boise has been severing ties with the retired priest. Under the leadership of Bp. Peter F. Christensen, the Boise diocese has condemned Faucher's alleged behavior.

Bishop Christensen said in a February 6 statement, "When I first heard of these allegations, I was absolutely stunned."

The bishop also warned, "There are no excuses for such behavior by any one of our clergy."

A day later, a diocesan follow-up statement explained, "In response to questions, the diocese would like to make clear that it is not paying for Fr. Faucher's legal defense, nor will it contribute toward a bond for his release."

There are no excuses for such behavior by any one of our clergy.

Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Kassandra Slaven spoke with the press on February 5. She said the exploited children in the pictures were shockingly young, including toddlers and even infants.

Faucher has been known for his support for leftist talking points. Last year, he was part of an interfaith coalition supporting Muslim immigration. Called the Interfaith Equality Coalition of Idaho, the group signed a letter to Idaho's governor criticizing his support for Trump's temporary travel ban on Muslims immigrating from Muslim-majority countries.

In 2010, Faucher criticized Pope Benedict XVI's handling of the priestly sex abuse. He insisted that the pope was failing to address the "mess" and needed to resign.

Faucher is a self-published author, having written a couple novels. But he also authored a guide to "children's liturgy" titled Touching God

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The New York Post reports Faucher is a sworn pro-gay dissident, claiming, "He has spoken out against the death penalty, supported same-sex marriage and urged for greater recognition of women in the church."

The Idaho Attorney's General Office told the media that the investigation into Faucher began with a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The diocese issued Faucher an eviction notice on February 9, commanding him to leave the church property he was paying rent to inhabit. The eviction notice came after pressure from Faucher's neighbors, who expressed concern about the safety of their children.

Diocese Communications Director Gene Fadness said local Catholics were devastated by the news of Faucher's arrest, especially members of St. Mary's Catholic Church, where the retired priest was most recently stationed. 

Fadness claimed parishioners were "stunned, deeply saddened, shocked; sad for not only children who are exploited like this but sad for the many faithful priests, deacons, religious sisters, lay people who every day without fanfare do the work of the church, [and] the way this kind of reflects on them."

The 72-year-old dissident priest was put on $250,000 bail bond. He posted the bond and was let out of custody on the night of February 6. A judge forbade him from being in the presence of children or accessing the internet until his next court date. Faucher's next court date is Thursday.

Faucher's attorney, Mark Manweiler, asked that the retired priest be given a much lower bail bond. He argued this on the grounds of the priest's previously good reputation.

 

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