New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 28, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
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Win or lose, the Schlitterbahn Invitational is much more than just a swim meet.
Readers sound off on drug legalization, old railroad bridge, and road widening projects. Page 4
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 154, No. 190 12 pages, 1 section
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9Suit alleges pastor sexually exploited woman
By Ron Maloney
SAN ANTONIO — A New Braunfels couple has filed a lawsuit against Tree of Life Church that alleges a former
pastor sexually exploited the woman when she sought marriage counseling.
Steve and Angela Benson allege that Pastor Mike Fehlauer took advantage of the Bensons in a relationship
that developed out of marriage counseling in 2003 and 2004.
The liaisons, rumored for weeks, surged into public in April when Ted Haggard of the National Association of Evangelicals told church members
in a Sunday sermon that Fehlauer had admitted to sexual misconduct and resigned. Court papers connected to the case allege the church “terminated” Fehlauer, who had been with the church since
2001. He is reportedly living in Colorado and could not be reached for this story.
Tree of Life Church Administrator LaMoyne Davis said Monday he could not comment on the pend
“I really have no information,” Davis said. “Our insurance company is handling this matter."
See LAWSUIT Page 5
City might raise taxes to hire officers
WELL DESERVED HONOR
By Leigh Jones
City council has room to play with this year’s budget, but not that much.
The $134,000 surplus in the budget proposed by city staff is enough for one new police officer, but council will have to raise tax-es if they want any more law enforcement officials on the street.
City Manager Chuck Pinto told council members Monday they could go up roughly three cents before
bumping into the 8 percent rollback ceiling set by the legislature. They can raise the
rate more than three cents, if they need to, but citizens could challenge the increase by petition and special election.
See COUNCIL Page 5
New Braunfels Surgical Center offers new cataract procedure.
Supreme Court splits verdict on displaying Ten Commandments
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court struggled in a pair of 5-4 rulings Monday to define how much blending of church and state is constitutionally permissible, allowing the Ten Commandments to be displayed outside the Texas state capitol but not inside Kentucky courthouses.
In its first rulings on the issue in a quar-ter-century, the high court said that displays of the Ten Commandments on government property are not inherently unconstitutional. But each exhibit demands scrutiny to determine whether it amounts to a governmental promotion of religion, the court said in a case involving Kentucky courthouse exhibits.
The court said it was taking the position that issues of Ten Commandments displays in courthouses should be resolved on a case-by-case basis.
In that ruling and another decision involving the positioning of a 6-foot granite monument of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Texas capitol, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was the swing vote.
Justice Antonin Scalia released a stinging dissent in the courthouse case, declaring, “What distinguishes the rule of law from the dictatorship of a shifting Supreme Court majority is the absolutely indispensable requirement that judicial opinions
See DISPLAY Page 5
O’Callaghan celebrates 50 years in ministry
Above, Monsignor Eugene O'Callaghan talks with parishioners as they leave the 50th Anniversary Ordination Mass held in his honor at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church Sunday afternoon.. Right, members of O'Callaghan's family, who traveled from Ireland, take part in the Mass.
Jury selection to enter
By Ron Maloney
Jury selection enters a second day this morning in the trial of the pair accused of trying to hire a “hit man” to kill a Houston woman in 2004.
District Attorney Dib Waldrip and defense attorneys Glen Peterson and Tony Cantrell worked eight hours Monday interviewing poten-
By Melissa Johnson
The smell of incense wafted through Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Sunday evening as the congregation gathered to honor Monsignor Eugene O’Calla-ghan’s golden lune in a celebratory Mass.
O’Callaghan’s 50 years in the cloth was commemorated with the help of 24 family members who came from the monsignors native Ireland and numerous visiting clergy, including five who entered the priesthood with O’Callaghan in 1955.
Highlights of the ceremony included solos and duets from O’Callaghan’s family members. Grandnephew David O’Connell sang the “Lord is My Shepard” and brother John O’Callaghan and niece Mairead O’Connell sang a surprise verse in Gaelic.
The Very Rev. Liam P. Brosnan gave the homily, which gave thanks that O’Callaghan has spent his last 20 years at Sts. Peter and Paul in New Braunfels.
“Let us consider for a moment
what we are truly celebrating,” Brosnan said. “Eugene could have gone to 80 countries around the world...but instead, he came to us.”
Brosnan was referring to the monsignors transatlantic journey, which took the 22-year-old O’Callaghan from St. Patrick’s College in Ireland to San Antonio at the request of a local bishop. The young priest began his life’s work at St. Mary Magdalene Parish in San Antonio, going on to serve at Our Lady of Victoria in Victoria; St. Anthony of Padua in Palacios; St. Rose of Lerna in Schulenburg; and St. Benedictin San Antonio.
Brosnan encouraged the congregation to appreciate the relative ease with which they may practice their religion in comparison to other countries and periods in time. He also asked O’Callaghan to reflect on all the lives he had touched through half a century’s in the priesthood.
“Whatever parish you have See MINISTRY Page 5
Photos by DAVID INGRAM Herald-Zeitung
Monsignor Eugene O'Callaghan, left, prepares communion with the help of Archbishop-emeritus Patrick Flores during a Mass honoring O'Callaghan for his 50 years in the priesthood held at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church Sunday evening.
See TRIAL Page 5
second day in killing for hire trial
rial jurors in the murder conspiracy trial of Samantha Kaderli Childs and Jonathan Benavides, and expect jury selection to continue at least until noontime.
Benavides, 31, and Childs, 24, are charged with criminal conspiracy to commit capital murder.
If proved in the trial that began Monday before 207th Judicial District Judge Jack Robison, the charge
is a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Cantrell and Waldrip, who is prosecuting Childs and Benavides with Assistant District Attorney Geoff Barr, had little to say at die conclusion of court proceedings Monday.
Samantha Kaderli Childs