Embezzling, murder, gay lovers

Embezzling, murder, gay lovers

Wanted to blog this because I’d blogged about this case before, even though this article is more than a week old now. A priest who was connected in a way to the murder of a Cape Cod man is now being sued by his diocese for embezzlement.

Fr. Bernard Kelly first came to public notoriety when it was revealed he had hired an ex-con, Paul Nolin, who’d done time for molesting children (and who was released from the criminal mental institution by another priest/therapist, a friend of Kelly’s, who subsequently allowed Nolin to live in his home.) Nolin was later convicted of the 2003 murder of Jonathan Wessner, which prosecutors said had something to with spurned homosexual advances by Nolin. There were intimations, but no evidence, of an inappropriate relationship between Kelly and Nolin and Nolin and his priest/therapist.

Meanwhile, Kelly was removed his parish after an audit by the Fall River, Mass., diocese discovered $1.2 million missing from two parishes he’d served in. Of course, the audit was ordered after Nolin’s employment at Kelly’s parish as a handyman was discovered. Now Kelly is being sued by the diocese and a grand jury indictment is expected soon.

What a tangled web. How often have we seen how financial improprieties and sexual misconduct have gone hand-in-hand (usually along with liturgical misconduct, although I have seen nothing concerning Kelly’s liturgies). Whether it’s the pastor and the secretary/housekeeper/nun or the pastor and a gay lover or what have you, when you discover it, you wait for the other shoe to drop and the embezzlement to be revealed.

After all, when you’re leading a double life and living a lie, what’s a few more lies on top of it all?

  • I’m a Fall River priest and grew up on Cape Cod and I never even heard of this guy until the homosexual murder came out on the new.  Very strange: I never once met Bernard Kelly and we only have about 150 priests.

  • *nice…* 

    Of course, these kinds of things go together, Domenico.  You have to get the money somewhere in order to have a jolly time.  Where better than the collection plate.

    We have to find a better way to do the support of the Church.  That’s one of the big problems we have nowdays that no one wants to talk about. 

    Collections also are handed over at the diocesan level, from a percentage take of the local collection, to fund programs that most catholics would never contribute to, in fact things that are not at all Catholic in nature.

  • I don’t know if it’s canonically possible, but there are much better ways of doing this.

    For instance, suppose that instead of posting the amount of contributions and just slurping them up into God knows where, the parish instead posts itemized needs, which can then be taken on by parishoners.  It could include all of its needs—financial, services, personnel and volunteer—moving the parish into being a project of the local community. 

    Some long-time Catholic or canon lawyer tell me why this isn’t possible…….because I honestly don’t understand why it’s done the way it is.  Unless it’s just history, etc.

  • Collections also are handed over at the diocesan level, from a percentage take of the local collection, to fund programs that most catholics would never contribute to, in fact things that are not at all Catholic in nature.

    That’s not true of every diocese. In Boston, parishes are not taxed by the archdiocese. Archdiocesan funds are raised separately.

    And since 99 percent of parishes operate just fine, I don’t think we need to change everything wholesale. We just need to keep a better eye on those who are breaking the rules already in place.

  • Except that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and such organizations get their money from the NCCB, who in turn gets its money from the cut they make on the parish collections…..

    See this article for more information   …http://www.catholiccitizens.org/press/contentview.asp?c=23431

    This not the only organization like this, by the way.  Who pays for our membership in organizations like Christian Churches Together in the United States of America ?  The NCCB that’s who. 

  • The USCCB (the NCCB is the old name for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops) does not take a cut from parishes either. You make it sound like the money comes directly out of the basket. It doesn’t.

    For one thing the CCHD is funded by special collections. For another, the USCCB is funded by money from dioceses, not directly from parishes.

  • The dioceses get their money from the parishes.  The USCCB gets its money from the dioceses. 

    All this money comes from donations, come on.  Let’s not be cute about this.

    Reminds me of Ab. Weakland, who said Milwaukee didn’t pay for his honey.  Yah, right, he won the money at the track or what?