Now that the Bakersfield Police Department found no allegations of criminal behavior with corroborative evidence against Monsignor Craig Harrison, how does the Catholic Church, the congregation from St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and a true Catholic/Christian respond?

This puts every Christian to the test. If you think he’s lying, should you forgive him? “If there is repentance, you must forgive” (Luke 17:30). That’s my answer. Anything else is between him and God. Judging someone and not forgiving them creates a heavy burden on one’s soul, like carrying hate around with you.

Growing up in a local Protestant Church in Bakersfield, it always troubled me that one parishioner was kicked out of the church for propositioning a prostitute who was really an undercover police officer on Union Avenue in the 1970s. The message “Everybody’s welcome” didn’t seem right in that instance. Church politics are the worst. I’m better off joining a social club.

Mike Francel, Bakersfield

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