Quick review: A Chanhassen Catholic priest had been leading St. Hubert's for some years, to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. Then--on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010--St. Paul police set up a sting at a public park 'in response to citizen complaints.'
A well-informed cop knows where prostitution and drug-dealing are happening before the citizen complaints begin arriving at HQ. Even without citizen complaints, cops know where they can score many easy arrests.
Making many arrests is good for a cop's status. It is tempting for police departments to set up sting-op's even when no citizen complaints happen. 'Citizen complaints' can be produced quite easily--and are likely often fictional.
Further, we should assume that the park where Fr. Krenik was arrested is large and woodsy with numerous secluded nooks that reduce the possibility of being observed--to one seeking privacy--nearly to zero. (In the absence of any factual information to the contrary, we're obligated to give Fr. Krenik the benefit of the doubt.)
It is therefore prudent to think that Fr. Krenik's 'crime' entailed bothering no one, respecting the rights of other park users and considering the feelings of his fellow citizens. (The suggestion that Fr. Krenik must now endure some multi-year moral re-education program is idiotic, in other words.)
As a practical matter, people in these parts do not process Fr. Krenik-like social disjunctures via thoughtful, informed conversation with other sane, good-willed people. This is particularly the case within a Catholic parish--where supine submission to the dog collar is respectability's ne plus ultra.
Catholic clergy today walk on eggshells: A community-wide psychic blurring occurs: Priest and sex and indecent exposure and children get mixed up, even though such imagery does not correspond to Fr. Krenik's alleged offense.
Psychic imagery bleeds and morphs, particularly when unchallenged by informed, rational, frank discussion--a problem much exacerbated by the prevalence of cowardice.
While the local 'Church' is congratulating itself on the high-minded manner in which it has handled L'Affaire Krenik--and media and public join in, as the odor of Fr. Krenik's charred reputational corpse disperses into the distance--let us not lose sight of the fact that a McCarthyite travesty has occurred, before our noses:
A decent, caring person has been vaporized out of the community with no discussion, with no evidence and without a peep of objection--with the connivance of many who should know better.
A Good Thing it would be were one St. Hubert's parishioner to stand up and say, 'I am disgusted!'