Some may remember this story from last winter:
A grand oratory, seven Catholic institutes, a retreat center, residences, multilevel educational programs: These are among the ambitious projects about to launch in the bucolic east Texas countryside of Winona, outside of Tyler. Called Veritatis Splendor (The Splendor of Truth), after the encyclical by Pope St. John Paul II on the Church’s moral teaching, the center will bring together a community of believers whose goal is to safeguard the deposit of faith through uncompromising fidelity to sacred Scripture and sacred Tradition. Now in the planning stages, Veritatis Splendor will be a spiritual home where Christians can develop, nurture and preserve all of the chief truths and teachings of Christendom.
… [Diocese of Tyler] Bishop Joseph Strickland will serve as spiritual adviser to the community and enthusiastically welcomes them to the diocese. While Veritatis Splendor is located within the Diocese of Tyler, it is not an official diocesan project; rather, it is an independent, lay-inspired Catholic organization. But in today’s world, Bishop Strickland noted, this is both a blessing and an opportunity. He strongly encourages this effort designed to strengthen the domestic church.
But now questions are being raised about the project, amid disturbing news that broke last week. Simcha and Damien Fisher report:
Kari Beckman was going to build Veritatis Splendor, a village of Catholic “true believers” in the heart of Texas. Now, after acknowledging an illicit relationship, reportedly with Texas Right to Life head and Regina Caeli board member Jim Graham, she’s moved out of the property’s luxury ranch and back to Atlanta, and has stepped down as executive director of Regina Caeli Academy and Veritatis Splendor.
As for the village, one $3 million loan later, not a single structure has yet been built on the land, and the members of Regina Caeli across the nation are left wondering if their homeschool tuition fees and bake sale fundraising dollars paid for the grandiose Tyler, Texas project, or for any of Beckman’s other, more clandestine activities of the past year.
Beckman, who founded the homeschool hybrid Regina Caeli Academy in 2003, sent a letter to the members of Regina Caeli at the end of last week acknowledging “a terrible lapse in judgment with a personal relationship.” Multiple sources confirmed the relationship was with Jim Graham. Beckman and Graham are both married. Beckman said she immediately sought forgiveness through the sacrament of confession, and then, months later, confessed to her husband. She said that she and her husband then both went to the board of Regina Caeli and told them “what had occurred,” and then stepped down as Executive Director.
There’s more. Read it all.