Thursday, November 27, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Lessons learned from shameful behavior

By Rodney J. Beede

As a longtime attorney in criminal defense, a lifelong resident of Davis and as a practicing Catholic, it is unusual to see all of the important commitments of my life challenged and judged in one case and in one Yolo County courtroom. The principles upon which I have tried to live for 64 years to family, community and faith seem attacked by the behavior of Father Hector Coria Gonzalez in his actions with an underaged, impressionable teenager.

The girl apparently is a member of our parish and participates as an altar girl. Coria had an absolute and sacred duty to treat her with respect, care and to realize that the young and naive look to their mentors for guidance and safety. As a 45-year-old adult, given great responsibility and authority, he was absolutely obligated to guide this child’s wonder and youthful curiosity positively and in accordance with common sense and Catholic faith.

Any mature adult who interacts and leads the very young must be on constant watch that the hero worship of those so impressionable not be subjected to personal advantage and abuse. It matters not at all who, between the child and this priest, initiated what is now admitted to be full sexual relations, continually over a lengthy period of time in an automobile and a bedroom in the church rectory.

Children on the verge of adulthood are challenging, adventurous and far too often reckless, propensities that adults, hopefully wiser and more mature, need to oversee and protect. Only one failed here, and it wasn’t the child.

So to this child I say, move on. You’re apparently off to college, sp consider doing this for me, our community and ultimately for yourself. Get on campus, grab your roommate and other new friends and explore your campus and new community, experiencing freedom with all its joys and personal responsibilities. Leave this priest in the rear-view mirror of your life.

Sure, you made a mistake; welcome to Adult Decision Consequences 1A. Become wiser for it and seek your future unburdened by all of this. And please don’t even consider that this sordid betrayer of his sacred vows is, in any way, your future.

My journey to date through this life has taught me many things, among them that once a cheater always a cheater. Willing to abandon everything he promised himself, our church and God, he’ll cheat again, and he’s probably cheated before. Trust me on this one.

To Father Coria, shame on you, for so many reasons. Have the courage you haven’t shown yet and remove yourself from this child’s life unconditionally and permanently. Leave her to become herself, go on with your life and strive to be honorable.

To a few of our parish who apparently lobbied my friends in the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office to abandon this prosecution, shame on you, too. This was not only morally reprehensible but illegal, and the insistence of prosecutors that this priest take legal felony responsibility with strict probation terms seems exactly the right result.

Tonight, on the same weekend this priest accepted the legal consequences of his actions, my wife and I will have the pleasure of dining with two friends from high school. They’ve invited Father Dan Looney, our longtime former pastor. His company will be enjoyed thoroughly by all with a bit of Irish whisky and good California wine.

By his words, deeds and the way he has led his life and kept his sacred commitments Father Looney will remind us of the worth and gifts of keeping ours. And in that reminder, the hit that commitment took from this sordid episode will heal.

— Rodney J. Beede is a longtime Davis resident and attorney, and describes himself as a “husband, father, grandfather, Catholic and citizen.”

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Food fight … in a good way

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Fremont Weir parking lot remains closed

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1

    Occupy movement settles in at UC Davis

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Time to give thanks for nature’s beauty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Second cat-hoarding suspect arrested

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Guard reinforcements contain damage in Ferguson

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Weather affecting Thanksgiving travelers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Year-end films to see, or not, on KDRT

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    LCI marks 50 years with special service

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Happy Thanksgiving from The Enterprise

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Learn to use Skype at Connections Café

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Girls who volunteer may apply for grant

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Round up at the registers for Davis schools

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Davis Community Gift Project brightens holidays for children

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Speaker proposes changes in humanities doctorate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Senior Center hosts holiday sing-along

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Sutter sponsors qigong for holiday de-stress

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Boy Scouts start Christmas tree sales on Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Volunteers needed to grow plants for habitat restoration

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Rainbow City community meeting set Dec. 1

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

    She wants more from him

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Musings in the wake of Ferguson decision

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Rich Rifkin: Is it time to be a bear or a bull?

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

    Planting love at new home

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Innovation parks comparison

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Blue Devils prepare for a new season on the mat

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    No excuses, but there’s hope for UCD after 2-9 season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Joseph, Manzanares lead 10 All-Big Sky Aggie picks

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    DHS wrestling is not just for boys

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Let’s not lose another good DHS coach

    By Chris Saur | From Page: B1

     
    Davis Little League offers early sign-up discounts

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Kings get past Pelicans

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    .

    Features

    Salute to non-steamed broccoli

    By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    It really is ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’

    By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Elzyne Thompson

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Death notice: Buddy Ralph Mills

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Ready, Set, Shop!

    Shop locally: You can have your pie and eat it too

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: RSS1

    Santa’s little helper: secrets to happy holiday shopping

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: RSS2

    Make sure it gets there: deadlines for shopping and shipping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: RSS2

    Downtown lights up at holiday open house

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: RSS3

    Full of warm wishes and over-sharing, the holiday card lives on

    By The Associated Press | From Page: RSS4

    Shop smart: Protect your wallet and your identity this shopping season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RSS5

    Woodland celebrates the holidays downtown

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RSS5