- Disgraced pastor Haggard facing new sex allegations
By Eric Marrapodi and Jim Spellman
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (CNN) -- A megachurch paid a 20-year-old man to keep silent about a sexual relationship he had with disgraced evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, a senior church pastor said.
Haggard, who was fired amid allegations that he used drugs and patronized a male prostitute in 2006, had a sexual relationship with a second man -- a 20-year-old volunteer at his megachurch, the Rev. Brady Boyd, a senior pastor at the church, said Monday.
The church agreed to pay the man in exchange for his pledges not to talk publicly about the relationship, Boyd said, referring to a settlement reached by the man's lawyer and the church's insurance company. Under the settlement, the church provided the man money to pay his college tuition, moving expenses and counseling, Boyd said.
Here's my favorite part:
- "This was compassionate assistance. It was to help him move forward, not a settlement to keep him quiet," said Boyd, senior pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Oh, uh-huh. First the church "agreed to pay the man in exchange for his pledges not to talk publicly about the relationship," but then it's "compassionate assistance" and certainly not "a settlement to keep him quiet"--no, no, nothing like that! Where would you get such an idea?
So. A sex scandal. Embarrassment. The church, imbued as it is with Christ's message of compassion and forgiveness, kicks Haggard--its founder!--to the curb (he evidently got to keep his six-figure salary for a year, though, but--get this!--Haggard's settlement with the church included his agreeing to "leave the Colorado Springs area"...that is, they not only don't want him in their church anymore, they don't want him around town!). The church starts spreading money around to keep everything hush-hush (Haggard's settlement included his agreeing to not speak publicly about the event for one year, according to CNN)--"compassionate assistance" indeed!
And I thought my church had the market cornered on that sort of stuff!
One might think that the problems of guys like Ted Haggard et al. would lay to rest the bizarre notion that somehow the Catholic Church's adherence to celebacy for its priests is to blame for sexual misconduct in its ranks. But of course it won't.