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Parish reacts to allegations against priest

By By BILL CRIST – Publisher
Known in the community for its support of Relay for Life and as the home of the Brewton Nutrition Center, St. Maurice Catholic Church in Brewton has recently drawn media attention for another reason: allegations of sexual misconduct by its priest.
Citing events that took place nearly 30 years ago, Honey Weiss of Mobile held a press conference last Tuesday claiming she had been sexually abused by a Mobile priest when she was 19-years old. That priest, Adrian Cook, has served as priest at St. Maurice since July 1994.
Cook has admitted to having consensual sex with Weiss and also to being the father of a 25-year-old son by another woman. According to published reports, Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb, who oversees the Brewton parish, confirmed the archdiocese knew of both circumstances.
Faulk, who has attended St. Maurice since 1973, said that Cook had been very good to her family over the years, a sentiment that was echoed by others members of the congregation.
Cook said he appreciates that support.
Some members of the church said despite initial disappointment in Cook, and the circumstances surrounding the story, they still supported him as leader of the parish.
Marilyn Schwaner, who with her husband Robert have attended the church for 14 years, said she did not approve of what happened, but forgave Cook.
Griffin described Cook as "a good friend and a good spiritual leader."
Members of the parish pointed out Cook's contributions to the community during his service in Brewton.
Although Lipscomb would make any decision about a change in leadership at the church, several church members agreed that they did not think the allegations would result in any changes at the church.