Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Father Jim Has A Lawyer

Super-lawyer George Bochetto has been hired as the fired priest's "special counsel."

Father Jim Has A Lawyer

Maybe the lawyers can straighten out this mess.

That's what George Bochetto thinks. The Philadelphia super-lawyer has been retained by Father Jim St. George, pastor of St. Miriam Old Catholic Apostolic Church, who was fired on Feb. 18th by Chestnut Hill
Colllege.

(Read my column about it.)

Father Jim had taught theology courses there as an adjunct professor
before the school revoked his contract offer because, according to a statement by college president Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, the college learned that he's openly gay in a long-term relationship.

"We are looking at all the legal options," said Bochetto, who wouldn't
elaborate what those options would be - though I think we can imagine,
given Bochetto's penchant for going nuclear in high-profile cases.

Still, he stressed, "Father Jim is very hopeful that we can reach a
sensible resolution to this problem."

My hope is that Chestnut Hill College sees the light on this train-wreck
of a mess they created for a very, very good man. (As for the PR mess the school is perpetuating for itself  - who IS Chestnut Hill's PR advisor, anyway? ). By all measures, Father Jim did an exemplary job attempting to inspire Chestnut Hill students how to try to be thoughtful students as well as God's hands and feet in the world.

This is not a probelm to be resolved in a courtroom. It should be settled quickly outside of it, by decent people, on all sides.

Stay tuned.

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.


Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at polaner@phillynews.com.

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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