Priest admits fondling young Foley:[1 FIRST Edition]
Herald Sun. Melbourne, Vic.:Oct 21, 2006. p. 26
MIAMI -- A Roman Catholic priest has admitted having an intimate relationship
with Mark Foley when the now disgraced Republican politician was about 12 years
The fondling confession came amid an explosive scandal over revelations that,
while he represented Florida in Washington, Mr Foley had sent sexually
suggestive messages to teenage congressional aides.
After Mr Foley resigned last month, his lawyer said the prominent Republican
was a gay alcoholic and had been molested as a boy by a priest.
Catholic priest Anthony Mercieca, 72, admitted to a newspaper and a television
station that he had a series of encounters with Mr Foley that might be
perceived as inappropriate, but denied he had raped the boy about four decades
"I was down, I was taking pills, tranquillisers . . . then once maybe I touched
him or so. But it's not something you call rape or penetration or anything like
that, it was fondling," Mr Mercieca said.
Mr Mercieca said he had taught Foley "some wrong things".
He said he had massaged Mr Foley while the boy was naked, skinny- dipped with
him at a secluded lake and was naked in the same room on overnight trips, the
Mr Mercieca said he and Mr Foley had become friends and "loved each other like
Mr Foley would have been 12 or 13 at the time.
The priest said he didn't understand why Mr Foley had decided to come forward
after almost 40 years.
"Why does he want to destroy me in my old age?" Mr Mercieca said. "I would say
that if I offended him, I am sorry. But remember the good times we had together
and how we enjoyed each other's company, and let bygones be bygones.
for a listing of alternate locations.