Archive for 4 August 2011

Watters and Wine

Remember the Catholic Priest, Fr. Pete Watters, who was featured in the article about Toronto AA’s removing the agnostic groups from the roster (“Does Religion Belong at AA? Fight over ‘God’ Splits Toronto AA Groups“)? He was quoted in that article:

“People and agencies can help,” Watters says, “but the only one who can restore that person to permanent sobriety is God. But that’s the God of your understanding — that can be anything you want.”

How does a Catholic priest reconcile advising others to believe in whatever conception of God they want? Can God be whatever you want if you’re a Catholic? Do false gods work just as well in AA as Catholic God? According to his faith, isn’t Watters condemning people to both disease and damnation by encouraging them to pick any conception of God they want?

Is Watters really a Catholic?

The Toronto Star recently wrote an article commemorating Watters for his 50 years of sobriety in AA (“Priest Calls on His Own Demons to Help Others with Theirs“), and includes this detail:

And then, at 50, he felt a calling that rekindled youthful dreams of joining the priesthood that booze interrupted.

“So I went to the bishop and I asked him, ‘Are you taking any old men these days?’ The next thing I knew I was in the seminary,” he said.

He was ordained a few years later and even received dispensation from the Vatican to celebrate communion with grape juice, so he doesn’t have to sip sacramental wine, because “it’s pretty good stuff,” he laughed.

It seems that this priest has more faith in the tenets of AA than he does in Catholicism, though which the substance of the wine is transformed into the blood of Christ. Despite all appearances to the contrary, the truth — according to Catholic faith — is that the wine is no longer wine.  But it is for this priest.  It seems that he has more faith in AA’s disease model than he does in transubstantiation.

What’s his real religion?

Bonus Quote of the Day

An AA member responds to the Watters article:

I am writing to express my deep disappointment that the Star continues to provide a platform for this priest to dishonour the fellowship that helped save his life. AA is called Alcoholics Anonymous for a reason — we have a long tradition of anonymity expected of our members at the level of press, radio and films.

This is not because we are ashamed of being alcoholics. It is to ensure our humility and to enforce the fact that no one person has the right to represent AA to the world at large. Glory and grandiosity are very dangerous for recovering alcoholics, who are egomaniacs at the best of times.

By continuing to publish this priest’s full name and photo while associating him with AA, you are hurting his sobriety. I am very sorry to see a second article of this nature in three months.

Andrea O, Strathroy

 

Some Must Die


The characters of AA can make up  some interesting cocktails when they mix together. Here is a story out of Minnesota that took a tragic turn when Shannon Gura, an AA who was being 13th-stepped by Don Kreye, another stepper; decided (along with a couple of accomplices) to extort some big money from him:

Woman sentenced to 90 days in coercion plot; extortion victim killed himself

Gura, who now lives in Alabama, had pleaded guilty in October to a single count of coercion in a plot to extort $500,000 from Dan Kreye, one of the founders of High Five Erectors Inc., a steel-construction company in Shakopee.

She had met Kreye through Alcoholics Anonymous, and Gura said he had expressed an interest in helping her and had even given her money to help her buy a Jeep. She testified at an earlier hearing that when she told a friend of hers, Rickey Pouncil, of Rosemount, about Kreye, Pouncil figured the businessman was wealthy and came up with a scheme to extort money from him.

At Pouncil’s direction, Gura sent sexually explicit texts to Kreye in August 2009. The businessman replied in kind, even sending her a graphic sexual photo of himself. Later, over a steak dinner, Gura presented Kreye with printouts of his texts and photo and told him that she’d give them to his wife and kids unless he paid $65,000.

Pouncil and another woman allegedly continued the extortion over the next few months. On May 10, 2010, Kreye, 57, took his life in the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

Police found a note in his car that read, “I am being extorted over $500,000. Best for my family and friends.”

Heartwarming, isn’t it?

McAsshole


Albert Birmingham is accused of getting liquored up and killing Aloha Adams with his car in a McDonald-s drive-thru Nanakuli, Hawaii:

Driver indicted in Nānākuli death

Witnesses told police that Birmingham was honking his SUV’s horn at the vehicle carrying Adams and others, which was in front of Birmingham in the drive-through lane at McDonald’s.

Adams and a 15-year-old girl got out of their car after Adams’ boyfriend became involved in a confrontation with Birmingham, police said.

Birmingham’s car allegedly accelerated and struck Adams and the girl, according to police reports.

Adams was run over by the front and rear tires of the SUV, according to Kapp.

This week, he got arrested for impaired driving and driving without a license. Of course, there is no need to worry, because Albert B. is a member of AA. His lawyer used the “I’m in Alcoholics Anonymous” card to try and spring his client from the joint. You know…because it’s worked so well for him up to now:

Grieving mom sounds off on killer’s new DUI arrest
“The defense argued that Birmingham was attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and was no longer driving.”

The judge, who is apparently ignorant of how rigorous honesty™ is supposed to work*, denied this assclown bail (yea, judge!).

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*It’s the truth if you really want it to be the truth, and if it is convenient at the time.