Back in 1997, there was a minor kerfuffle over Father Ken Waibel of the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky. Father Waibel had been criticized in a national Catholic newspaper about his attendance at a gay/lesbian ministry conference and for some of the things he said there. In a letter to his parish at the time, Waibel denied being gay and denied that he made derogatory remarks about straight men and the Blessed Mother. Okay, move ahead one year.
In 1998, Waibel pled guilty to exposing himself to people in a public park in Lexington. He told his parish that he made a “serious mistake” and that he would explain himself to them. Despite Waibel’s public confession before his parish, the diocese claims it did not know about the arrest and guilty plea until 2001 when it suspended him pending the results of an investigation.
Now that investigation is moot. Waibel has been excommnicated from the Church. Apparently, not content to wait to be reinstated in the Catholic Church, Waibel has joined the schismatic Orthodox Catholic Church of America. His new parish? Get this: St. Mychal the Martyr. That’s right, it’s named after Fr. Mychal Judge, the NY Fire Dept. chaplain who died at the World Trade Center on 9/11 who has been adopted by the homosexual movement as a patron saint.
I guess the OCCA has no qualms about having priests who have histories of sexual misconduct serving in their parishes. I await an attorney general’s investigation and picketing outside their parishes.
There’s also another lesson. If only Waibel’s bishop had paid attention to laypeople’s concerns over his attendance of the gay/lesbian conference in 1997, perhaps he would not be in schism with the Church today. Just as if Cardinal Medeiros had paid attention to Paul Shanley’s remarks at conferences all those years ago, perhaps he would not be in prison today and all those boys would not have been abused.