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so sorry... not so sorry

By Diogenes (articles ) | Aug 31, 2006

You may recall the furor in Darien, Connecticut, back in May, when a pastor was found to have dipped into the collections-- to the tune of roughly $200,000-- for extra cash to spend for excursions with his boyfriend. Bishop William Lori removed the pastor, but not before denouncing another priest for having hired the private investigator who exposed the theft.

That other priest, Father Michael Madden, issued a statement apologizing for having hired the detective. He should have placed his trust in a chancery investigation, the statement said. Some Darien parishioners, thinking that the whistle-blower priest should be treated as a hero, felt the apology was unnecessary. In fact a few even questioned whether Father Madden had actually written "his" apology; perhaps, they said, the chancery wrote it for him?

Both McAleer and Father Madden declined to go on record if any or all of the signed apology letter was not written by Father Madden.

Now that's odd, isn't it? Wouldn't it be a simple enough matter to say: "I wrote it myself"?

Now the story has taken a sad new twist, with the announcement that Father Madden is leaving Darien-- and leaving the priesthood. And whether or not he wrote and signed the original apology himself,...

Father Madden said he is not sorry for hiring the private investigator and that he felt it was the right thing to do in light of Father Fay’s alleged continuous financial misconduct.

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Show 13 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Patricia - Sep. 02, 2006 10:23 AM ET USA

    It is appauling to read what some chanceries have become in ignoring the law and bending for priests who bugger. And where is Rome in all this? Law was taken off to Rome, where I`m sure his dinner fare is superb, while diocesean priests live on about $300 a month. Yet Catholics in pews are given little to no incentives to love their bishops, who hardly know them anyway. There`s considerable rot in the Church that has yet to disappear and who`s working on the clean up?

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Sep. 01, 2006 10:42 PM ET USA

    Directors should prepare their budgets...

  • Posted by: Sterling - Sep. 01, 2006 8:36 PM ET USA

    Is anyone in that diocese saying a good thing about the bishop? Doesn't that tell you something? Isn't it amazing that the ire is not directed so much at the embezzlement but at the priest who uncovered it?

  • Posted by: - Sep. 01, 2006 3:45 PM ET USA

    It seems that Fr. Madden was not only correct in his hiring a detective to investigate the loss of parish funds misappropriated by a profligate priest, but that he may have stopped short in not checking out the bishop,too. The question arises in my mind: What has the the bishop got to hide?

  • Posted by: - Sep. 01, 2006 3:21 PM ET USA

    I hope certain Bishops read this story- surely Bishop Lori wouldnt mind if Father Madden incardinated in St Louis, Lincoln, Baker(Oregon), Denver,or Rockford (there is a Bishop who knows how to speak out). You see the good old boy cover-up attitude is far from being over. And what's funny is that surveys have shown that even Joe-in-the-pew knows it's the Bishops not the priests who are at fault....we love our priests. The rot is in the episcopate.

  • Posted by: Hammer of Heretics - Sep. 01, 2006 3:03 PM ET USA

    Yes, Fr. Madden, you are a little different, just as Jesus Christ was a little different. May God bless you and keep you.

  • Posted by: major - Sep. 01, 2006 10:23 AM ET USA

    Is it me or are the Bishops trying to preserve their thrones by sacrificing their prists? Are they not supposed to be fathers to their priests?

  • Posted by: Laity1 - Sep. 01, 2006 10:06 AM ET USA

    Catholicity is right. "McAleer wrote that despite the hiring of the investigator, Bishop Lori allowed Father Madden to remain at St. John..." this ostensible magnanimous position is rather telling. Embezzlement and buggery are one thing, but to hire an outsider is another. Why, they don't even know how to dither! If I were a St. John's parishoner, I'd pencil "outside investigator" on my tithe envelope, even knowing the investigation surely paid for itself.

  • Posted by: Catholicity - Sep. 01, 2006 7:53 AM ET USA

    Linus, Nobody can be driven from the priesthood. They remain a priest forever. (You know that, I know.) One can be laicized against his will, but that doesn't appear to be the case here. Something more is going on, I think. We don't have all the information. We need to pray for this priest.

  • Posted by: Indian Catholic - Sep. 01, 2006 6:38 AM ET USA

    This is truly sad. But I don't know if it had anything to do with Fr. Madden's decision to leave the priesthood. Surely he knows the permanent nature of the sacrament and his vocation?

  • Posted by: Linus682 - Sep. 01, 2006 6:24 AM ET USA

    Reading the announcement makes the whole sordid story even sadder then Di's comments. To be driven from the priesthood by a bureaucrat is despicable.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 31, 2006 7:56 PM ET USA

    I wonder if Fr. Madden was offered several months at St. Luke Institute, or a similar retreat experience, that is traditionally provided sexual transgressors by some bishops.

  • Posted by: Janet Baker - Aug. 31, 2006 7:18 PM ET USA

    "He should have placed his trust in a chancery investigation" = "he should have notified the fox to guard the hen house."

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