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selective prosecution

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 19, 2005

A New Jersey priest was sentenced to 5 years probation and 250 hours of community service for stealing $350,000 from parish funds to pay off a homosexual lover.

Hmmm. Does something about this case sound familiar?

The priest in the New Jersey case, Father Naughton, has already paid back $136,000 of what he stole, and vowed to repay the rest. The priest's willingness to make amends impressed the court, which decided that the miscreant could be let off with a light sentence.

A light sentence? Gee, it seems to me that there have been other cases in which a cleric stole more money, and when he was caught he took up a special collection to pay back what he had stolen-- thus asking for more money from the people he had bilked in the first place. And that cleric somehow escaped prosecution altogether.

"There is no question in the court's mind he is contrite and remorseful," said Superior Court Judge Joseph Falcone, speaking of Father Naughton.

And there's no question in Unce Di's mind that Father Naughton was never the Archbishop of Milwaukee.

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  • Posted by: - Dec. 20, 2005 8:36 AM ET USA

    ...or the Bishop of the Santa Rosa diocese and bosom buddy of Cdl. Mahony and Abp. Levada. Ab. Weakland and Bishop Ziemann got away scot-free. The former bailed out by wealthy friends, the latter by powerful hierarchs. And the moral of all of this...? If your hand is going in the cookie-jar, better make sure it has an episcopal ring attached.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 19, 2005 2:55 PM ET USA

    As one with more than passing familiarity with the criminal justice system, I can tell you that the good father received an unbelievably light sentence for an embezzlement of this size. I have seen many embezzlers sentenced to long county jail and prison sentences for much smaller defalcations. But perhaps things are different in New Jersey than in rural northern California counties.

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