Skip to comments.Pastor honored as ‘Man for All Seasons’
Posted on 10/30/2013 8:40:41 AM PDT by Welchie25
The first person Monsignor James P. Farmer defended when he served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate Generals Corps in the early 1970s was a man from Puerto Rico who spoke no English.
The future priest, then a young lawyer who knew no Spanish, received the case on appeal after his new client had already been convicted. The Puerto Rican had been previously represented by another man who also wasnt bilingual.
Remembering that a criminal law professor at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law had once told him that lawyers have a right not to defend someone, but no right to defend someone poorly, Monsignor Farmer informed his commander he couldnt defend a man with whom he couldnt communicate.
The commander balked, igniting a bold response from the future priest.
I said, Sir, either you get him a lawyer who speaks Spanish, or Ill call the Secretary of the Army and report you right now, Monsignor Farmer remembered telling his superior.
Hold on there, Farmer, the commander barked. Not so fast there.
Monsignor Farmer recounted the episode after receiving the Man for All Seasons Award Oct. 27 at the Catholic Center in Baltimore. The award is presented by the St. Thomas More Society to those who embody the examples and principles demonstrated by St. Thomas More, an English saint who was martyred rather than violate his conscience.
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicreview.org ...
What was a man who spoke no English doing serving in the US Army?
Well he was a US CItizen from a Spanish speaking part of the US. Still it could certainly be a safety issue in battle.
If it was before 1972, he was DRAFTED!
Welchie: Thank you for posting this article.
**The future priest, then a young lawyer who knew no Spanish**
Thanks for posting this article about Monsignor Farmer. He was my pastor at St Thomas Aquinas, and every homily was worthwhile and instructional. He leaned on the lectern as if he was addressing a jury, and trying to convince us of his argument/remarks. He knew the names of every member of the parish, and was important to the whole community of Hamden.
Being such a star, he was destined for larger assignments, so now his ministry is in a huge parish. He is still very involved with Pro-Life ministry.