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Catholic Culture News

What, me worry?

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Nov 21, 2003

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Remember Fall River diocesan spokesman John Kearn's explanation of why Fr. Bernard Kelly hired a child rapist as his lawn boy?

"Sometimes you have to reach out for someone who is having difficulty in his life. But that's the call of each pastor."

You can say that again. The Boston papers this morning report that Kelly's outreach to Paul Nolin includes kindnesses not extended by Don Bosco to the street urchins of Turin:

Disgraced priest Bernard Kelly planned to leave his massive East Otis vacation property to his lover-turned-accused killer Paul Nolin and was planning to hand down $10,000 to an alleged New Bedford pedophile priest, court records show.

Kelly, who is accused of embezzling more than $50,000 from St. Joseph's Church in Woods Hole, had been planning since 1991 to leave his multimillion-dollar estate to his brother, Douglas. But in August, Kelly cut his brother out of the will, opting to leave his sprawling East Otis farmhouse and four lots to Nolin, a convicted child rapist indicted yesterday for the Sept. 20 kidnapping and murder of 20-year-old Jonathan Wessner.

According to a lawsuit filed by Douglas Kelly, Nolin and Bernard Kelly were "homosexual lovers." Investigators also have said the pair were lovers, a claim denied by their attorneys.

Eyes dry yet? Read on:

Kelly's August will also shows he was planning to leave $10,000 to Gilbert Simoes, an ex-priest at New Bedford's Mount Carmel Church who was accused of molesting several children in the 1960s, according to a longtime investigator who interviewed the victims. ... "We had a million cases against him,'' the investigator said.

Nah, just a coincidence. Fr. Kelly has issues, but we shouldn't leap to the conclusion that he's not a good priest. Lest any doubt remain, listen to the experts:

Bishop Joseph Galante said, "Orientation itself is not an impediment to ordination. Is there anything that says God can't give [gays] the gift of celibacy?"

"Shouldn't you consider a homosexual as equally fit? I would think yes," says the Rev. Gerald Coleman, the rector [at St. Patrick's Seminary, San Francisco].

"If a homophobic bias against the ordination of homosexual people becomes canonical and sacramental policy, then thousands of us will have to make a very big decision," Father Jim said. "It will be a catastrophic loss to the church."

"We have always had gay priests, and they have often been models of what priests should be," [psychologist Eugene] Kennedy said. "To say that these men should be kept from the priesthood is in itself a challenge to the grace of God and an insult to them and the people they serve. The church has not only many gay priests, but many gay bishops, and they are some of the most wonderful priests I've known."

Now who can possibly argue with that?

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