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Priest Admitted He Was KKK Member After Journalist Contacted Church Officials

Priest Admitted He Was KKK Member After Journalist Contacted Church Officials
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 23 August 2017 09:51 PM

A Catholic priest in Arlington, Virginia, who revealed he was a former Ku Klux Klan member in an editorial published Monday only did so after a journalist contacted church officials about his past, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

In an editorial for the Arlington Catholic Herald titled, "Moving from hate to love with God's grace," Reverend William Aitcheson, 62, said he was the leader of a KKK lodge in Maryland in his early 20's and burned crosses before joining ministry and apologized for his racist past.

But that only happened after a freelance journalist told the diocese she found an arrest record for Aitcheson under his legal name. The Post said he was charged with making bomb threats, manufacturing pipe bombs and threatening to kill Coretta Scott King. He also burned a cross in the front yard of a black couple's home – Barbara and Phillip Butler – in 1977.

"Fr. Aitcheson was approached about this, he acknowledged his past and saw the opportunity to tell his story in the hopes that others would see the possibility of conversion and repentance, especially given the context of what occurred in Charlottesville," the Diocese of Arlington said in a statement.

The Butlers on Wednesday told the Post they never received an apology.

"You did know what you did... you changed our lives a lot," said Barbara Butler as if she was speaking to Aitcheson.

"It was a lot of trauma. It really, really was," she said. "I will never, ever forget. We didn't deserve this. No one deserved this."

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A Catholic priest in Arlington, Virginia, who revealed he was a former Ku Klux Klan member in an editorial published Monday only did so after a journalist contacted church officials about his past, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
priest, kkk, journalist, catholic, church
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2017-51-23
Wednesday, 23 August 2017 09:51 PM
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