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  • Christ changes hearts

    My wife is black, I am white. We have been together for 36 years, going back to a time when interracial couples were not fashionable. We have experienced racism in most of its forms, although nothing quite as offensive, intrusive and painful as the Butler family did when a cross was burned on their lawn. Northern Virginia has been our home since 1982 and we have been parishioners of St. Timothy in Chantilly since 1988, raising three daughters and sending all of them through school there.

    While greatly saddened by the revelations of Father Aitcheson’s activities with the Klan, based upon the six years that we knew him at St. Timothy, we are confident that Father Aitcheson is a very different man today than he was in the 1970s. During his time at St. Timothy, we never saw or heard even a hint of racism from Father Aitcheson. He preached God’s love, Christ’s mercy, and our Christian duty to love all, frequently and without exception. While some are raising questions about the timing of Father Aitcheson’s revelation about his past, we do not think that the sincerity of his remorse or the depth of his conversion can be doubted. While it is true that his conduct in his younger days was inexcusable, he does not seek to excuse it but only asks forgiveness.

    As we all depend on the mercy of Christ, hopefully all will search their hearts carefully in considering Father Aitcheson’s story, for it is not only a story of repulsive deeds, but also one of the miracle that can occur in a life that Christ enters.