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5/14/2009

Kecharitomene - Conclusion

"You wanted to see me, Bishop?"

The young man stood in the doorway to the Bishop' office, nervously swaying back and forth as his weight shifted from one foot to the other.

"Yes. Come in. Sit down, please."

The young man walked into the office and sat down in the dark leather chair facing the Bishop's large mahogany desk. It was still in the office. One felt that sound was unwelcome here, the silence so strong it was palpable.

"Thank you for coming in. I have just a few questions, if that's okay?"

"Yessir."

"Did you know ... are you aware they've found Father Stavros, dead?"

"No, Your Excellency, I was not. I can't say I'm sorry to hear it though."

"Yes. Well, anyway, I just need to cover a few things before this goes to settlement - a simple review of the facts as stated in your deposition."

With that, the Bishop launched into a recap of the young man's deposition, detailing the sexual abuse of the boy by the priest, in the year of the boy's graduation from elementary school, now six years in the past.

"Does that accurately detail your testimony?"

"Yes, Bishop, it does. So when do I get my settlement?"

"Oh, I don't think you shall, my son. No, I don't think you shall, at all. In fact, I believe we intend to bring charges against you for perjury, among other things."

"Perjury??? What are you talking about? He raped me! He sodomized me! Someone must pay! I can't believe you!!"

The young man now stood at the desk, his face red with anger, his body shaking in rage.

"Are you done?"

The Bishop calmly sat in his chair, staring up at the trembling young man.

'No! I am NOT done."

The Bishop stood up, suddenly, a sheaf of papers in his hand.

"Yes, you are. I have a report here from the Medical Examiner's Office. A report that states that Father Stavros had prostate surgery in which certain nerves were cut. He was incapable of the act you describe. I have an affidavit here from a Doctor that states he had this operation ten years ago. He did NOT rape and sodomize you. What I would like to be able to figure out is why he never defended himself - and why you lied."

The young man turned and stormed out of the office.

The Bishop sat down in his chair and let the silence of the room wash over him. He closed his eyes and said a silent prayer for the soul of the poor priest he had allowed to be driven out.

And he read again, the top page of the report. Found on St. Luke Drive. Pronounced dead at 1:28pm. The implications stung like the lash of a whip, and fueled his feelings of guilt. He should have supported his priest. He should have presumed him innocent.

His bible lay on the sideboy, open to Luke, 1:28. "Hail, full of grace." Or in the original Greek, "Chaire, Kecharitomene". The greeting of the angel, where he called Mary "Kecharitomene", "One who has been graced by God".

The Bishop knelt on his kneeler, bowed his head in prayer.

"Forgive me, Stavros. Stavros kecharitomene. Amen."

16 comments:

Jientje said...

I love how you write. Every word of it.

Shadow said...

how sad... your writing is gripping though!

Nicole said...

Whow,..., a tough one.

LceeL said...

Jientje: Thank you, Jientje. But I am not happy with the "Conclusion". It feels incomplete to me. I may have to rewrite it.

Shadow: Thank you, Shadow. But I need a better grip on the back half of the story.

Nicole: Thank you, Nicole. Yes. Tough. And tougher still because I didn't get it right. Not yet.

Joyce-Anne said...

That was very well written. I know you feel it's incomplete, but I enjoyed the story.

Patsy said...

Wow -- didn't see that coming. I wonder why he didn't defend himself, what about the young man kept him (the priest) quiet, let his own life be ruined?

After writing that I went back and read comments -- I see you are wondering the same things. Your stories always leave room for more -- leave the reader (and evidently the writer) wanting more.

Loraine said...

Definitely a twist to that tale! Sad... very well written and thoughtful.

LceeL said...

Joyce-Anne: Thank you, Joyce-Anne. But sometimes I think I don't explain enough when I write - and people miss things or don't understand.

Patsy: The lie was confessed to him. by the liar, tying his hands. A priest cannot EVER reveal what is told to him in the Confessional.

Loraine: Thank you, Loraine. A twist, yes, but a cautionary tale about jumping to conclusions, after all.

Indigo said...

In light of all the accusations that have come and gone among the churches...one must wonder how easily mistakes could of been made condemning a man. We strive to do the right thing, sometimes our minds don't allow for the truth to be heard. (Hugs)Indigo

Employee No. 3699 said...

Wow.

Please tell me that after the young man stormed out of the office he got hit by a car.

Oops, did I just type that out loud?

Cat said...

I like it - but if a re write is in order in your mind then do it - I find that re-writing refines the pieces I work on and while its difficult and sometimes frustrating it sure can be worth it when you feel complete at the end!

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

As it is, I love the conclusion. It definitely has a twist, and that has to be one of my favorite literary devices. If you do choose to re-write it, I hope you'll share that one with us too!

Momisodes said...

Wow. That was an unexpected twist. Tragic, but very well told. You have a way of keeping us hanging on every word.

Hyphen Mama said...

I agree with whoever said that we see so much abuse coming to light, that it's difficult to see the side that some of these accusations could be false.

Very well done.

Ree said...

Oh mah holy hell. And I don't think that phrase has ever been more appropriate.

XX

Tara R. said...

Every word you write is a gift. Thank you so much for sharing with us.