The local newspapers in Connecticut have been covering the case of Fr. Michael Jude Fay of the diocese of Bridgeport. When the initial reports came out, I noted that most of them ignored the little elephant in the sacristy, namely Fay’s apparent romantic relationship with a wedding planner from Philadelphia. To their credit, at least the Stamford Advocate is now asking questions of the Bridgeport diocese on the matter, especially why reports of Fay’s public relationship and complaints from parishioners were ignored by the diocese.
And the diocese’s response is all too familiar for those who have been following the Scandal over the past five years. Rather than actually address the problem forthrightly and with courage, instead they’re blaming the media for conducting... let’s say it all together now… witch hunt.
The accusation that we were conducting a “witch hunt” was nothing more than an attempt to discredit our story about an issue of serious concern, one that can affect both homosexual and heterosexual clergy. Moreover, the diocese asked whether we were going to “name names,” and we made it clear that was not our intention.
There are indeed legitimate questions here. Why did the diocese ignore warnings that Fay was violating his vow of celibacy in such a blatant and public manner? Why was Fay, despite his proclivities, given such a plum assignment for so long and with so little oversight? Why was Fay appointed to the diocesan sexual misconduct review board? Why didn’t the diocese act on reports of financial misconduct until pushed by disclosure in the media?
Is this a witch hunt?
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