By Michael Baumann
I received a comment to an older post about a week ago that had me a little baffled at first. The comment was from a “D. W. Downey” and it was intended to get me to wonder if Father Virgil Bradley Tetherow, formerly a priest in the Diocese of Scranton, was framed by Bishop Martino. It seems that Father Tetherow, who was ordered to refrain from acting as or presenting himself as a Catholic priest, has joined a “Catholic Mission” located within the Diocese of Harrisburg that is not recognized by that diocese. Father Tetherow is now at Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Mission. This is now a case of a rogue priest that has found sanctuary and acceptance in a rogue church.
To get you up to speed, Father Tetherow, who also goes by the name Father Gabriel, pleaded out to charges after child pornography was found on a computer he used. To quote from the database of accused priests in the Diocese of Scranton from Bishop Accountability:
Also known as “Father Gabriel.” Tetherow admitted in 2005 that he downloaded child porn while working at St. Ann’s Catholic Church rectory in Tobyhanna, Pa. in 01/05. He was arrested in West Orange NJ while staying at St. Anthony of Padua. Pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal use of a communication facility and was sentenced to two years probation. Case sent to Vatican for review. Privileges were removed when he was found celebrating mass in PA.
Note I said he pleaded guilty. That will be important in a moment.
The church in which he is now masquerading as a “holy man”, priest, shepherd, spiritual leader is mounting what looks to be a public relations campaign to rewrite Father Gabriel’s past. The Chairman of the church, Dr David M. Drew, O.D, has “looked into the 2005 police charges and found them meritless”. I wonder what kind of investigative credentials Dr. Drew possesses? His findings seem to be in direct contrast to the facts. I guess when you are the lay leader of a schismatic church you take what you can get when you are shopping for a priest. I wonder what the job requirements may be for this position. It seems that someone who pleaded guilty to a felony in connection to having downloaded child pornography is not disqualified. As long as the incumbent priest will stand in front of Planned Parenthood in full clerical garb, in direct defiance of an order from the Roman Catholic Church, actively intimidating, threatening and insulting the staff, volunteers and people coming to that office, the “Catholic Mission” thinks this “man” is qualified for the job.
While Planned Parenthood is not my favorite organization, I think that one can arrive at the conclusion that a priest with a criminal history that involves child pornography would be the least credible protest leader against abortion. One could make the leap that he supports saving those children so that fresh images of little boys could be available in 5 to 10 years for his perverse pleasure.
One may question the leadership of this church/cult in selecting this particular low-life as their priest. I, personally, would seriously question the judgment of Dr. Drew for choosing and defending a convicted felon. If the good doctor has children, I would be especially worried that he may have his head up his ass in standing by Father Gabriel. I wonder if the administration at Hanover Hospital would have some concerns about one of the doctors who has privileges at their hospital supporting a priest with a taste for child pornography? That kind of indirect association can’t be good for the reputation of the hospital. I am very happy that I do not live in the area where this guy practices medicine, I would definitely not want to seek any medical care from any organization that is comfortable with a person like this on the staff.
As I see it, the friend of my enemy is my enemy. Anyone that stands by a priest who, by his own admission, stands convicted in relation to crimes involving child pornography and allows him a position of trust with access to children is my enemy. They are the enemy of children and of decency. Despite what Dr. Drew and his followers at the rogue “Catholic Mission” may say, Tetherow pleaded guilty. If he was not guilty, he should have fought the charges and sought to have his name cleared. As much as I dislike the Diocese of Scranton, the actions of Bishop Martino and those who protect pedophiles, I loathe anyone that would consider allowing access to children to a subscriber of child pornography.
Any organization, Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Mission for example, that accepts this predator and reasons away his criminal behavior as being “without merit” poses a great danger to children. If you are a member of this congregation/cult you may want to consider joining another congregation/cult that, at a minimum, does not choose a felon with a penchant for child pornography as their spiritual leader.
I find Dr. Drew’s findings “without merit”. I find the total dismissal of facts to be a clear and present danger to children who live near the church in York, Pennsylvania. It is just a matter of time! Which one of the parishioners will sacrifice a child to Tetherow?
If you have a photograph of Father Tetherow, please send it along to me. I will be happy to get his mug out for the world to see and I would love to get it up on Bishop Accountability so that he can be identified and avoided by the people of York.
More information on Father Tetherow and his troubles at St Ann’s can be found at:
Scranton Times-Tribune article from February 12, 2005
Star-Ledger article from March 18,2005
Scranton Times-Tribune article from March 18, 2005