Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart? Beautiful. Molesting Altar Boys? Not So Much.

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To celebrate Pope Benedict XVI’s historic U.S. visit, KHOU on Saturday reran its documentary on the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, “Building on Faith.” Doubling as a public relations agency, KHOU gave the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston what seminary student Juan Carlos Patino-Arango gave a few of the Archdiocese’s boys before church authorities facilitated his return to Colombia in 1996 – a big, fat, sloppy blowjob.

Included in the fawning report of the co-cathedral’s construction was its $44 million price tag. Evidently, the Archdiocese knows where its financial priorities lay; bills for a gigantic building with ornate marble and stained-glass fixtures (and gigantic bills for Vinson & Elkins) trump a few grand for counseling for the kids molested by Patino-Arango. (Thanks to the Archdiocese’s decision to send Patino-Arango home instead of HPD headquarters, Patino-Arango was able to continue his dream of working around adolescent boys; his last-known job was at a school in Medellin.)

The Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is a beautiful building and its presence in Houston should be dutifully reported and recognized. But was KHOU’s hagiography really the best way to do it? How much mouthwash does it take to get rid of that taste? – Craig Malisow

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