Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Funeral held for Owensboro man who took own life after Facebook post on church sex abuse

David M. Jarboe Jr.
"Fr. William Bear---you get no thanks. You are an evil man. Period." (sic) The correct spelling is "Baer"

"Fr. Freddie Byrd---I forgive you"

"But let my life be a testimony. The abuse of this church is real. Let it be known. It doesn't make you a non believer. It doesn't jeopardize your fate. It's the right thing to do."

"People will always hurt you. But the worst of all always goes unseen. The real sins of these times are behind closed doors."

"Religion is not a bad thing. But destroying free thought is. However, never once will I ever agree with the molestation of children. And never once will I agree with an institution that chooses to not acknowledge it."

"And I hope this message will save at least one child from the pain and torment that I have gone through. A child is precious to God, and using your authority as a church official to take advantage of someone is one of the foulest things imaginable."

"Perhaps your parents don't see, perhaps those you know don't see, know that God sees. And God never forgets."

"So farewell. I have loved, I have lived, I have finally forgiven, I have no regrets. I am finally at peace."

-David M Jarboe Jr. (Excerpts of a message left on his facebook page right before being found with a gunshot wound in front of the "Blessed Mother" Catholic Church in Owensboro, Ky)

Video of News Report from Kentucky


OWENSBORO, Ky. — From the beginning to the end of his funeral Mass on Monday, loved ones celebrated David Jarboe Jr.'s generosity and friendliness even as they mourned his suicide last week after he left a Facebook posting on the “pain and torment” of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

An overflow crowd of family, former classmates and friends bade farewell to Jarboe at Blessed Mother Catholic Church, where he had been a member. It was outside the church on Thursday that Jarboe took his life, leaving the Facebook posting, which prompted the Roman Catholic Diocese of Owensboro to launch an investigation.

The diocese on Monday released more details on its probe, saying Bishop William Medley would engage an independent investigator as recommended by the diocese's abuse review panel at a special meeting on Saturday.

The diocese indicated no priests identified in the posting would be on leave at this point. The diocese also referred the matter to the Daviess County Commonwealth's Attorney's office. Commonwealth's Attorney Bruce Kuegel said he has referred the matter to Owensboro police.

But at Blessed Mother on Monday, the focus was on Jarboe's life. Speakers described an ebullient young man who played football at Owensboro Catholic High School, urged people to reach outside their social circles to befriend others, and lived out that message with his own example.

A fellow Owensboro Catholic graduate recalled how they and other high school students organized a presentation to younger students at Blessed Mother School on the value of friendship called “Kick the Clique.”

A priest who had been Jarboe's mentor while Jarboe was attending St. John Vianney College Seminary, located on the campus of St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minn., gave the main homily at Jarboe's own request. Jarboe had attended the seminary for three semesters between 2006 and 2008 when considering the Roman Catholic priesthood before later transferring to Western Kentucky University.

The priest recalled Jarboe as making friends with everyone he met. Jarboe, concerned about the lax religious habits of some students at the St. Thomas campus, helped organize a “last chance Mass” at 9:30 p.m. on Sundays at a campus chapel. What originated with a small group now attracts large crowds.

The priest said Jarboe resembled the biblical character of Jacob, who is described as wrestling with an angelic spirit in the book of Genesis. Jarboe, too, had his spiritual struggles, the priest said.

He acknowledged the shock and grief Jarboe's loved ones feel, and urged them to understand they did all they could to help in those struggles. He cited a Scriptural passage on the difficulty of understanding the human heart.

Mourners filled the church sanctuary, and several sat in an overflow room in the school, where a live video of the service was shown. Numerous priests attended, including Bishop Medley.

The Rev. John Meredith, pastor of Blessed Mother, said at the start that the service would be a celebration of Jarboe's life. “We are resurrection people,” he said. The liturgy included multiple references to Jarboe's salvation by baptism. He was buried at Resurrection Cemetery.

Jarboe's note did not directly accuse any priests of abuse by name, but it did identify at least two by name elsewhere in the posting.
"Rev" William Baer
Jarboe referred to the former rector of St. John Vianney, the Rev. William Baer, as “evil.”

A University of St. Thomas spokesman said Baer had never been accused of sexual abuse, had had positive conversations with Jarboe and did not know what had prompted the post.

The spokesman for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Friday he knew of no investigation involving Baer, now a parish priest in Oakdale, Minn.

In Jarboe's note, he also said he forgave a parish priest in the Diocese of Owensboro. The note did not identify any specific offense. Jarboe was found with a gunshot wound on Thursday morning outside Blessed Mother and died later that day.

In a statement issued Monday afternoon, the diocese said the posting prompted the Saturday meeting of its 13-member review board, whose members include “lay psychologists, educators, law enforcement personnel, social workers, a practicing attorney, an Episcopalian priest, a woman religious and a canon (church) lawyer priest,” the statement said.

The board is chaired by Teresa Henry, a certified alcohol and drug counselor who works with juveniles, the statement said.

In the statement, the diocese pledged its cooperation.

Reporter Peter Smith can be reached at (502) 582-4469.

1 comment:

T said...

Comment from David's obituary: "cynthia Marquez wrote on Feb 7, 2011 6:43 PM:

"I weep for you are free now, no more pain form the abuse , I too told and it seemed no use , Now you are gone , you shall live forever in our hearts. Truth be told" (sic)"

http://www.messenger-inquirer.com/articles/2011/02/06/obituaries/18857540.txt