The church has offered a covenant of 17 conditions to Calvin Brugge, who says he will sign it. Among other restrictions, he can only attend the 7:30 a.m. Sunday service, and he’s barred from using the restroom or attending church-sponsored functions that include children.
Plans call for a support team to meet with him regularly and an accountability team to observe him while he’s on church property.
These are certainly the right steps for the church to take to protect children in their church and to minister to this man.
This is a tough one. I agree that church attendance is one of the best tools for this man to stay on the straight and narrow path. But I sympathize with the safety fears of parents in the church.
At the heart of it, though, I don’t think the church should have to be wrestling with this. A pedophile should be locked away for a long, LONG time; especially one who is a multiple offender who has violated his parole.
He was convicted in California in 1989 and 1997 for sex offenses involving children, according to the state’s sex offender registry. Brugge has been identified as a tier three sex offender who poses a high risk of recidivism and threat to public safety.
Brugge, 60, is on parole for five more months after serving eight months in a California prison for violating his parole in 2005.
I concur that this man needs spiritual redemption, but he could get that behind bars from a prison ministry without endangering the public.
I tend to use the word “pathetic” a lot–perhaps too much–when it comes to describing the current state of justice and the court system in our country today. But I just don’t know a better word to describe how unbelievably lame it is, and how terribly it is failing to punish wrongdoers and protect the innocent.
This church seems to be doing the best they can with a situation that our judicial system should never have put them into in the first place.