“What goes around, comes around,” they say. But usually not like this.
Chuck O’Neal, the
, pastor who has recently gained notoriety for suing a former parishioner for libel, has found himself on the receiving end of a law suit—for the very same reason. And while the defendants in O’Neal’s law suit have drawn considerable sympathy for being dragged into court by the pastor of a large church—presumably benefitting from the resources and good name of his congregation—O’Neal the defendant faces a significantly more formidable legal foe: The Vatican. Beaverton, Oregon
Pope Benedict XVI, acting through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has filed a $1 million law suit against Pastor O’Neal for defaming the Pontiff, the papacy as an institution, and the Roman Catholic Church as an ecclesiastical organization, in comments he made to his congregation in a series of sermons preached at Beaverton Grace Bible Church in April, 2005, following the death of Pope John Paul II. Particularly damning (no pun intended) were comments O’Neal made in an e-mail to a group of pastors, elders and layman just prior to these sermons: