THIS MEDDLESOME PRIEST (i of iv)

Mark, I’m standing in front of one of the oldest churches in Cambridge.

It’s true, she is.

On this street, just a few hours ago, the peace of this church was shattered by an act of tragic violence.

Camera pulls back. There are still two radio cars on the street. Flashers are on; no sirens. She’s holding the mic about level with the caution tape in the background.

On this street, in broad daylight, a young man shot and killed a priest.

Camera pulls back far enough that the church is in frame with the caution tape.

A young and troubled man, who eyewitnesses confirm as Timothy Donegal of South Boston, came to this street looking for – I don’t know, Mark. Vengeance? Justice?

She shakes her head. Her eyes stay open.

He loitered on the streets for over an hour, pacing back and forth just up the street from the church. Witnesses report that he appeared highly agitated. Nobody thought to call the police. Nobody thought to talk to him.

Pause for emphasis – too soon for another head shake.

At around six fifteen this afternoon, Vicar Thomas Clement Sullivan came out of the Church of Saint Pancras, first church of the Fifth Vicariate of the Archdiocese of Boston. Vicar Sullivan has been serving here since 1978 – more than thirty years.

Studio splashes up an image on the screen – stock photo, smiling, smiling perhaps too much.

He made it to his car, just up the street –

She nods her head just a hint to indicate the scene behind her.

when Timothy Donegal, nineteen, drew a gun, and shot him.

She steps to the side, showing an empty space between two police cars.

The ambulance came for him, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead at Saint Elizabeth’s at ten to seven.

Pause. Screen splits: Studio now talking to On-Scene.

That’s terrible, Janine. Do the police have any idea why this young man-

Yes, Mark, they do.

Studio looks ruffled for a moment. Doesn’t like getting upstaged by someone who’s offstage.

What is it, Janine?

She shakes her head.

Mark, it’s too soon to tell, but it seems that the gunman, rather than fleeing the scene of the crime or resisting arrest, threw down his gun and then sank to the ground right beside his victim. Neighbors called the police, who arrived to find him sobbing into the sidewalk. Witnesses overheard him crying, crying to anyone who would listen, that the Vicar…

She shakes her head.

What is it, Janine?

Mark, it seems that Timothy Donegal is accusing Vicar Sullivan of having molested him as a child.

Pause. Studio doesn’t have a quick response.

Well, ah, Janine, that’s a terrible – if true, that’s a terrible thing to happen to a boy. It, ah, it still doesn’t excuse-

No, Mark, absolutely not. The police have placed Timmy Donegal under arrest. But I have been told by an officer on condition of anonymity that Timmy Donegal is being treated as a victim himself.

Studio adopts avuncular skepticism – which is why he got to be Studio.

How is that, Janine? Didn’t he kill a priest?

It’s true, Mark. But as you know, those who suffered years of sexual abuse are not always in their right minds – and they are always in need of someone to talk to. Timmy Donegal is currently being given counseling by a police psychologist. I do not believe he has yet been charged with a crime.

Studio shakes his head.

Do you think he will be, Janine?

I expect he will, Mark. He committed a crime. He committed murder. But-

Has there been any reaction yet from the Church?

She smiles grimly – either at the situation or at getting cut off.

No, Mark. No statement yet from the Archdiocese. As you know, the Catholic Church, on both sides of the Charles, has been shocked these last years with scandal. Accusations of child abuse, of sexual predators living within the Church, have shaken the faith of many Catholics. This is not the first killing by a victim of his – alleged – molester.

Mark nods soberly.

You’re right, Janine. This is a tragedy.

It is, Mark. It surely is.

Studio takes over the screen.

Thank you, Janine. This is a sad day for all Bostonians. When we come back, Jay Galen will tell us about the upcoming demolition of the Fort Point Channel Tunnel. Stay tuned.

Theme music; studio shuffles papers; camera swings out in a dynamic curl.

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~ by davekov on 24 May 2011.

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