Fr. Jim Kiffmeyer was reinstated to the priesthood yesterday after publication of a decree from the Vatican.
While I have only met Fr. Kiffmeyer occasionally, I know his legacy from when he was teaching at Elder, as I followed him there, with Fr. Anthony Brausch actually in between. Many of the students who had him in class respected him and spoke highly of him, so my hope is that he can pick up where he left off in his ministry as a priest. As much as I know that he enjoyed teaching High School, which I did as well, I do not think it would be appropriate to re-assign him to a High School, especially considering the directive from the Vatican.
One thing that tends to get lost in all of the talk around the issue of clerical sex abuse is forgiveness. There are some who would like to see any priest who committed such a crime hung right next to Saddam. I do not think that holding on to such anger is good, spiritually or psychologically. Now, I am not saying that a priest who has a credible allegation of child abuse should be allowed to do anything he wants as a priest, and with the current environment, they have to be removed from the priesthood. One thing that needs to be included is a dimension of forgiveness for these men. We are all on our journey to salvation, these men have made a horrible mistake, yes. But we all make mistakes, let's not forget that.