Statement of Fr. Thomas Euteneuer: setting the record straight

by Fr. Tom Euteneuer

January 31, 2011

It is with great sadness, but also with a certain measure of relief, that I can now respond to the many inquiries about my departure as president of Human Life International (HLI) at the end of August 2010. It has been painful for me to remain silent in light of the ongoing speculation, particularly when much of it assigned blame to those who were, in fact, blameless.  I am thankful to be able to set the record straight so that speculation can stop and blame can be placed right where it belongs – with me.

The circumstances that led to my departure from HLI were related exclusively to my own decisions and conduct within the ministry of exorcism that I carried out independently from my responsibilities at HLI. The vast majority of my decisions and conduct, both personally and in this ministry, were morally sound and consistent with all standards of pastoral care of persons.  Moreover, they were all motivated exclusively by my desire to give priestly assistance to people in great spiritual distress. I must acknowledge, however, that one particularly complex situation clouded my judgment and led me to imprudent decisions with harmful consequences, the worst of which was violating the boundaries of chastity with an adult female who was under my spiritual care.

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Fr. Euteneuer to Return to Diocese

Dear Friends of Life,

Nearly ten years ago I answered the call of the Lord to come to Human Life International and work full-time in pro-life work with the permission of my bishop. I have been utterly privileged to serve this great mission for a decade, and now I am called back to my diocese to continue my priestly service in parish work, which was the original calling of my vocation. A priest is a soldier of Christ and the Church, and obedience is the primary virtue of his state in life, but for my part, my discernment about this decision tells me that this is the right thing for me to do and at the right time. I have great peace about the road that lies ahead and about all that has been accomplished up to this point.

Our international mission remains in good hands with my departure. HLI’s Board of Directors has asked Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro of our Rome office to assume my responsibilities until such a time as a permanent replacement is named. Our tremendously competent staff and generous supporters are looking to the future with great hope despite the many challenges of the death peddlers on a global scale which are only increasing. There is more need of our mission now than ever! HLI’s network of affiliates and associates is more than 100 countries strong, and our international leaders, so often highlighted in our publications, are literally the best in the world! Our dear founder, Fr. Paul Marx would be extremely proud of what we have accomplished in the past decade. I am sure he is smiling on us from where he is now.

I do not have a parish assignment in my diocese as of yet, but I hope to take some time out before I go back into full-time parish work. I expect that some time of rest and renewal will help me to make the transition. It has been 15 years since I last had any significant time for renewal, and after traveling more than 1.1 million miles, authoring two books, visiting 58 countries and making thousands of public appearances, I am ready for a break! I intend to continue to do pro-life work wherever I may be called to serve, and my bishop agrees that this is a vital charism of my priestly life. A true pro-lifer is not oriented to a job so much as to the daily task of fighting the culture of death and building the culture of life!

I ask for your kind prayers as I move forward and for your continued support of HLI and the new leadership that will come soon. I will not be a stranger to HLI’s mission or life but I promise that I will remember each of you every day in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, the font of all unity and LIFE!

Blessings in Christ,

Fr. Tom Signature

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer
President, Human Life International