We trust certain people to be around our children. Teachers, clergy, and cops are among those we trust by the nature of their position.
When that trust is violated, it hurts in a bad way. We fear not just for the safety of our children but for all children.
How, we think, can we look after our children if the very people tasked with their well-being are untrustworthy?
I don’t know the answer to that but I’m sure all parents can understand the question.
We forget these folks are just humans like us. Humans with a role or job that should look out for the marginal and vulnerable, but still human and prone to human failings.
Oleh Zhownirovych, former priest at the Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Cathedral, was shopping at Wal-Mart.
When Quisha Hill joined him in line with her four-month-old child, she was thrown by what happened next. He was the sort of man she should be able to trust.
Zhownirovych grabbed the child by the neck and began choking the girl. He then threatened to take the child.
“I come in to grab couple items, and while I was at the counter top, speaking with the lady and bagging up my groceries, this random man comes out of nowhere and yanks the car seat out of the cart, has my baby, and he’s like ‘I’m taking the baby, I’m stealing her. I’m taking her. Call 911. Call 911,’” Hill said.
“He was always exceptionally good with children and young people when he was pastor,” Walter Mohuchy, the church council vice president of Holy Ascension, said of him.
Mohuchy added that this behavior was very out of the ordinary for his former priest.
Zhownirovych pleaded no contest.
He had been let go from ministry at Holy Ascension after telling members of the congregation he was going to Florida to deal with his drinking.
It was not clear if the attak was motivated by his addictions or not. He has been given 11 months in prison and 6 months in the county jail to be served consecutively.
The child was not severely hurt. As always, if you see someone hurting another person or putting a child in danger, please say something.
All of us with eyes looking out four the vulnerable around us can make a difference. Let’s take care of each other.
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