Our justice system bases its treatment of alleged offenders on the maxim: "innocent until proven guilty". Father Lipinski is accused of making a good deal of cash off of Polish workers he brought to Alberta, while mistreating them and threatening them at the same time. He and his wife deny all allegations and are suing the workers who made the original allegations.
As an abolitionist, my radar is up and I must admit when I read about the amount of time, effort and research law enforcement put into this investigation — the charges being the first of its kind in Alberta — my mind saw one word: "Guilty". I became the reason for our entire rationale of holding the accused innocent until proven guilty because reactive responses are instantaneous and often irrational, regardless of whether or not they are correct.
As a Christian, how do I read this? A leader in the faith is being accused of heinous behaviour. 1) he is being brought to the account that is long overdue, knowing Christians are not immune to sin, or 2) as a leader, regardless of his faith tradition, his credibility truly is being dragged through the mud for reasons as yet to be revealed. I want to think that a godly man would never commit the crimes Father Lipinski is being accused of (in my region of the world too). How many innocent men and women have been victims of miscarried justice based of false accusations and trumped up charges? The other side of me counters with the thought: "if he was so innocent, why the suit for $10 mill?" How many other faith leaders have abused their positions and taken advantage of the people around them for personal and sinful gain?
God… grant us all wisdom and love. May we not give way to selfish anger or vindiction, but may we pursue justice with the desire for the truth. The part of me that wants to see only a hypocrite in the picture, take and soothe so that the mind, spirit and heart is clear with your intent. For those who are claiming to have been abused and beaten and hurt, continue to heal, help and restore.
And in all things, love and forgiveness… grace, love and forgiveness.