KKK priest: President Reagan comforted black family who had a cross burned on their lawn – The Washington Post


The Butlers had been newlyweds when they bought the house in 1976. They were the fifth black family to move into the neighborhood. They had lived there for five months when, on Jan. 30, 1977, the Klan burned the cross on their front lawn.

William Aitcheson, then a University of Maryland student and “exalted cyclops” of a Ku Klux Klan lodge, was charged with burning crosses at the Butlers and five other properties, including a synagogue, and sending a death threat to Coretta Scott King, the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

But by the time a federal judge ordered Aitcheson, who had been convicted and sentenced to 90 days of jail, to pay the Butlers $23,000 in civil damages, his whereabouts were unknown, according to the 1982 Post story that President Reagan read. President Reagan was so moved by the story that he and the First Lady went to visit the Butlers at home.

This week (August 2017), Aitcheson re-emerged in an astonishing way. Now a Catholic priest, he published a personal essay about his involvement with the Klan and the cross burnings, calling his own actions “despicable.”

The Catholic Church stood behind him saying, “There have been no accusations of racism or bigotry against Fr. Aitcheson throughout his time in the Diocese of Arlington.” But they are clear in not reporting, no reports of incidents since he was ordained (December 1988).

According to an investigation by journalist Nate Thayer Aitcheson’s truth and path to redemption isn’t as clean as it’s poytrayed. http://www.nate-thayer.com/kkk-terrorist-turned-priest-now-using-pulpit-political-extremism/

Thayer reports; Aitcheson and the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Virginia tried to craft a public relations portrait of a low profile pastor who had experienced a conversion after his youthful indiscretions in the KKK who had left his bigotry and political extremism in his past when he was welcomed into the priesthood.

But a closer examination of Aitcheson’s 29 years as a priest tells a different story–a story of a still high-profile priest-activist.

Diocesan and other records show that after his ordination as a priest, William “Father Bill”” Aitcheson remained an outspoken political activist on issues of abortion, homosexuality, and racial issues and has continued to promote the just cause of the confederacy during the civil war.

In May of 1992, when Los Angeles police officers were acquitted of the beating of Rodney King sparking widespread rioting, Aitcheson told his parishioners at St. Therese the Little Flower Church, according to the Reno Gazette Journal, “I can’t help think that the Rodney King verdict was motivated in some part because of the rise in crime, and most people want to see the police get tough.”

While a priest in Nevada Aitcheson was also on the board of and a spokesman for the Northern Nevada chapter of the Christian Action Council, a pro-life group then known for confrontational public demonstrations in front of clinics.

Records also show a string of incendiary letters from “Father Bill” Aitcheson to the editor published in the Reno Gazette Journal newspaper in 1992 and 1993 while he served as associate pastor at the St Therese Church of the Little Flower in Reno.

Aitcheson wrote that “the so-called ‘pro choice advocates’” were “callously forsaking human life” to “build their political power base on the corpses of America’s future,” adding to “kill one’s own pre born child by abortion is a political act…”

Also during 1992-93, that five year period after Aitcheson was ordained a catholic priest, he was accused of assault and battery charged and convicted of trespassing in Nevada while protesting at medical clinics that provide abortion services.
Aitcheson’s conduct at the West End abortion clinic so angered some residents in Reno that they held a highly publicized demonstration in front of his St Theresa of the Little Flower church in November 1992 while Aitcheson was awaiting trial. “It’s a very sad, feeble attempt at attacking the church. The Roman Catholic church supports the sanctity of life at all stages,” Aitcheson told reporters at the time.
Within months of Aitcheson’s conviction in Reno, he quietly was transferred to the Catholic diocese of Arlington Virginia. In August, the Diocese of Reno said it could not confirm whether the incident was why Aitcheson was moved to the Arlington, Va., diocese. “Nothing in his files explains the decision to move,” said Reno diocese spokesperson Rev. Robert W. Chorey. Chorey said in a later interview Aitcheson was transferred “at his request.”

Not surprising Aitcheson continue some of his previous questionable behaviors, sermons and idolatry in Virginia. Also as a footnote it should be mentioned that Aitcheson never apologized or paid restitution to the Butlers. Although payments where sent to the Butlers from the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. Aitcheson took a leave of absence but it is more than probable that he is still with the Catholic Church.


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