Last August, Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, the president of Human Life International, warned that failure to stop gay marriage would lead to the end of civilization:
While we respect all people as they are, we don’t have to respect such a wholesale assault on everything that is sacred to us and good for our society; no, in fact, we must fight against it with our very lives. The question is not whether or not we can win the battle; the question is whether we will join it. Will we accept the challenge to defend the sacred or not? We are called to be faithful and obedient to the Plan of God for our world, and within that, God will bring forth the victory. There is no doubt that, if it is not already there, gay marriage will be coming to your state soon. If we don’t fight it, our souls, our families and basically, our very civilization, will find themselves at “the end” of the line in very short order.
Shortly thereafter, Euteneuer resigned from his position at Human Life International, claiming that he needed a “break.”
That, as it turns out, was not true.
Euteneuer really resigned because he violated “the boundaries of chastity with an adult female” who was under his care as he carried out his “ministry of exorcism,” as he admits in a new statement:
The circumstances that led to my departure from HLI were related exclusively to my own decisions and conduct within the ministry of exorcism that I carried out independently from my responsibilities at HLI. The vast majority of my decisions and conduct, both personally and in this ministry, were morally sound and consistent with all standards of pastoral care of persons. Moreover, they were all motivated exclusively by my desire to give priestly assistance to people in great spiritual distress. I must acknowledge, however, that one particularly complex situation clouded my judgment and led me to imprudent decisions with harmful consequences, the worst of which was violating the boundaries of chastity with an adult female who was under my spiritual care.
I take full responsibility for my own poor judgment, my weakness and my sinful conduct that resulted from it. I offer no excuse for my professional or moral failures, nor do I shift the blame to anyone else. I state without reserve that I am deeply sorry for my actions. I have personally apologized, where possible, to anyone I have harmed.
I therefore affirm and will never deviate from my affirmation that the following are true:
- My violations of chastity were limited to one person only, an adult woman;
- The violations of chastity happened due to human weakness but did not involve the sexual act;
- The accusation that I “targeted” vulnerable women or otherwise sought them out for spiritual direction is utterly false and a serious defamation of my character and ministry;
- With rare exceptions, my exorcism/prayer ministry was always conducted with prayer helpers (third parties) present; situations where prayer or pastoral care occurred without helpers present were exceptional situations where I believed it was necessary for me to act quickly in order to help the afflicted person; while not proper protocol, these departures from the norm were never done with a motive to be alone with vulnerable women;
- I repudiate any allegations of financial impropriety in conducting my prayer/exorcism ministry; I never, under any circumstances, solicited money for the ministry other than travel-related reimbursements, nor did I use HLI donor funds to carry out this work; any gifts offered to me were unsolicited and only accepted so as not to offend the giver and in most cases immediately given to those more needy than myself;
- I have no knowledge of any persons who received any financial settlement in this matter, nor have I asked for that to be given.