COVINGTON, Kentucky, January 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Amid mounting pressure, Bishop Roger Joseph Foys of the Diocese of Covington issued a new statement Friday apologizing to a group of pro-life students the Diocese initially condemned over a confusing video from the March for Life.
The Diocese was among those that condemned a group of Covington Catholic High School students after reports claimed a video showed them harassing an elderly Native American veteran at the March for Life last weekend. But additional extended video and firsthand accounts soon revealed the man, Nathan Phillips, was the one who waded into the group waiting for its bus and decided to beat a drum inches from student Nick Sandmann’s face, and other adults who accompanied Phillips shouted racial taunts at the kids. The kids had been performing school cheers in an attempt to drown out the harassment, and did not respond to adults’ insults and abuse in kind.
January - Covington - Diocese - School - Statement
On January 19, the Covington Diocese and the high school issued a joint statement that the students’ behavior was “opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person.” The statement also suggested the students faced expulsion. After the original narrative fell apart, Foys issued a new statement stating that an “independent, third-party investigation is planned to begin this week” and that it was “important for us to gather the facts that will allow us to determine what corrective actions, if any, are appropriate.”
Many have criticized the community’s Catholic authorities for condemning the boys in the first place and for not simply retracting and apologizing for the original statement. An attorney has threatened libel suits for any public figures that refuse to retract false statements, and a conservative group has targeted Foys in radio ads.
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