Man Uses Knoxville Priest's Cross to Assault a Woman

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Should we be issuing carry permits for this, the latest weapon in the anti-abortion protesters arsenal?
  • Should we be issuing carry permits for this, the latest weapon in the anti-abortion protester's arsenal?
I don't know how I missed this last week, but it is too bizarre let pass without comment. On Friday, the Rev. Richard Armstrong brought a large cross to a protest at the Volunteer Women's Medical Clinic in Knoxville and placed it in a grassy area on the clinic's grounds. The owner and director of the clinic, Deborah Walsh, brought out a copy of her federal injunction against protestors. Then protester William Gogar took Armstrong's cross and used it to push Walsh down, in a manner that left her scraped and bruised.

So, it would seem that the gentlemen involved are having a little trouble telling WWJD from WWE, but here's the strangest part. Armstrong is a Catholic priest, employed by the Diocese of Knoxville, and yet, when the diocese was contacted by the media, its comment was this:

Fr. Armstrong is not a Roman Catholic priest, but a priest of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. He is affiliated with the Eparchy of Parma, Ohio. He is employed by the Diocese of Knoxville to perform some duties. His activities on Thursday, however, were not as an employee of the Diocese, but as a Ukrainian Catholic priest.

Lord Almighty, when was the last time you've heard something so hilariously insincere? The Ukrainian Catholic Church is in full communion with the rest of the Catholic church, and it is under the leadership of the pope, same as the Roman Catholic Church. Reverend Armstrong works for the Knoxville diocese. So, he's close enough to count when it comes to being bossed around by the pope or when they need him for something, but the second he might be involved with something a tad unseemly — like a woman being assaulted with his cross — now he's not really their kind of Catholic?

Nice.

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