the other shoe drops

By Diogenes (articles ) | Feb 07, 2008

"In his 14 years as pastor, Father Moynihan has dedicated himself to deepening the faith of his parish family and displaying a genuine concern for the spiritual welfare of both young and old."

If those words look familiar, perhaps that's because you have seen them here before. They're taken from the words of consolation that Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, brought to the people of St. Michael the Archangel parish in Greenwich, Connecticut, just about a year ago, after he removed their pastor.

The problem at that time was classified under "Financial Mismanagement- Gross"-- a half-million dollars was missing from parish accounts. The diocese certainly couldn't allow that sort of thing to continue, so Father Moynihan was packed off to a new assignment as a college chaplain, where he wouldn't be handling contributions from wealthy parishioners.

Now the New York Post reports that Father Michael Moynihan has been suspended from ministry, after the diocese discovered that he has been living in a New York apartment with his actor-boyfriend-- who, just to compound the intrigue, was once employed as the children's-choir director at that affluent parish in Greenwich.

How did the diocese learn about the priest's romantic life? The Post, tooting its own reportorial horn a bit, tells us that "the Post told church officials that he has lived with another man in a pricey Manhattan one-bedroom apartment for years."

For years, notice. A priest was removed from his parish assignment, having spent $500,000 without adequate explanation, and somehow the diocesan investigation didn't get around to establishing that priest's actual residence?

Well, hats off to the New York Post for discovering what officials of the Bridgeport diocese could not-- or perhaps we should say would not-- learn for themselves.

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  • Posted by: - Feb. 08, 2008 10:30 PM ET USA

    As an historical footnote, St. Michael the Archangel parish was carved out of territory which formerly had been under the jurisdiction of St. Mary parish, located in downtown Greenwich. A few years ago St. Mary's had a problem similar to what now is being reported at St. Michael's. The one major difference is that Msgr. Stubbs, the St. Mary pastor, helped himself to somewhere around a million dollars, as compared with only half that amount which went missing from St. Michael's.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 08, 2008 3:26 PM ET USA

    Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches that God will not grant pardon to a thief, unless he first restitutes. The only exception being the case when he is completely destitute, as St. Dimas was, and so Our Lord granted him Paradise that same day. And the officials responsible for choosing and putting in charge someone that breaks the trust of its office are also accountable for restitution. In the case of Zacheus, his pardon came only after he had restituted the double of the double of the double.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 07, 2008 10:09 PM ET USA

    Sorry Eleazar, we have learned the hard way (how many bankruptcies does it take) that there is no meaningful oversight of bishops until the national media takes an interest in their problems. No one will ask Bishop Lori to resign. And, no one will insist on restitution of the money that was stolen from the people of God. Shhhhh! If we're quiet, maybe everybody will forget it happened ... except our Lord.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 07, 2008 6:18 PM ET USA

    This really can't be true, can it? After all, we've had Bishop Gregory telling us that the crisis is "history" and the head of Catholic U. referring to the crisis of "last year" (said in 2003). Let's be candid for a change, bishops: 1) the crisis continues; 2)homosexuality in the priesthood has not been addressed; and 3) episcopal cover-up/negligence is part of the problem.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 07, 2008 3:12 PM ET USA

    The bishops (the Holy See?) remain in denial about the homosexual problem in the clergy. Would it be fair to say that the Holy See's "gay doc" is in suspended animation?

  • Posted by: - Feb. 07, 2008 12:40 PM ET USA

    Just another example of why these criminal matters need to be investigated by and dealt with in the civil/criminal courts. Fr. Moynihan should be doing hard time in a state penal institution. Bishop Lori has failed to lead his diocese and should resign.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 07, 2008 12:03 PM ET USA

    To paraphrase the wise ancient Greeks, ""Know thy priests" and "Nothing in excess." How about creating smaller dioceses with bishops actually knowing their priests and what they are all about? Just a suggestion for true reform.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 07, 2008 10:26 AM ET USA

    Whatever happened to the idea of the priest living in the rectory at the Church?