Nothing illegal here. Move along, move along… Part 2

From the AP via NBC 4 in Washington, D.C.: Judge To Hear Motion To Dismiss Charges Against Priest:

A Louisa County judge will hear arguments later this month on whether to dismiss 13 embezzlement charges against a priest accused of taking donation money from two Catholic churches where he served as pastor.

The hearing is set for Aug. 27.

The attorney for the Reverend Rodney Rodis claims in a court filing that Rodis should not be prosecuted in court if he mishandled money donated to the two parishes. Lawyer John Maus said the Catholic Diocese of Richmond should handle the case, due to the U.S. Constitution’s clause prohibiting government interference in church matters.

In Louisa County Circuit Court Wednesday, Maus discussed the possibility of calling in high-ranking church authorities to testify at the hearing.

Rodis is being held without bond in the Central Virginia Regional Jail in Orange after being accused of stealing up to $1 million. He’s scheduled to go to trial in October.

I must have missed the clause of the U.S. Constitution that “prohibit[s] government interference in church matters.” The First Amendment states the following:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; […]”

Is the embezzlement of one million dollars part of the free exercise of his religion now? Using this idiot lawyer’s rationale the government wouldn’t be able to prosecute a priest (or father, or reverend, or rabbi, or iman) accused of sexual misconduct with a minor or any other crime that occurred in a church, temple, synagogue, or mosque.

The previous post on this story received the following response from Phil Scoggin:

After hurricane Katrina “Father” Rodney Rodis made an impassioned plea from the pulpit for donations to help the “Katrina Victims”. I was so moved that I grabbed my wife’s checkbook and dashed off a $500 check for “Katrin Relief”. I noticed others taking similar actions. The collection was taken by the ushers. Over a year later we learned that the checks did not go to the Katrina victims but instead were deposited by Rodis in a secret account in the Heartland bank in Fredericksburg. The only signatory to that account was Rodis. The money has since disapeared from the Heartland bank in checks and with-drawalls written by Rodis.

What an upstanding individual there.

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