Update on the Nolin case

Update on the Nolin case

Remember the case last year of the ex-con Paul Nolin who allegedly killed 20-year-old Jonathan Wessner in Falmouth, Mass.? At least two priests were connected to the case: Nolin’s former therapist in state prison and the pastor of a Falmouth parish with whom Nolin was alleged to have had a sexual relationship. I haven’t heard much about it recently, except for this article over the weekend about the latter priest’s current problems. Father Bernard Kelly, accused of stealing from his most recent parish in Falmouth, is also accused of stealing at least $127,500 from a parish in Wellfleet.

Kelly, 71, has already admitted misspending at least $50,000 at St. Joseph’s Parish in Falmouth. Auditors found $800,000 in unexplained expenses at that church earlier this year. That spurred auditors to examine the financial records at Our Lady of Lourdes in Wellfleet, where Kelly was pastor from 1987 to 1997. The Wellfleet church closed in 2000.

The Diocese of Fall River filed a civil suit against Kelly and holds a lien on his $1 million Cape Cod farm, and Kelly’s lawyer says they’re negotiating a settlement.

Money, sex, power, and crime all seem to go together all too often, don’t they?

  • The teaching of the Catholic Church on abortion automatically taints any anti-abortion public policy position.

    Of course this doesn’t apply to capital punishment, liberalization of immigration policies, etc. where there is no taint since this aligns with the liberals positions.

  • John Kerry says he dislikes the bloody and unhuman evil of abortion – but just not enough to do anything, anything at all about it.

    And now, of course, he’s trolling for the votes of those who think like him.

    (No, really, I’m against the evil of abortion – and I voted for Kerry, because he’s against it too.)

    Bottom line – For a lot of folks, including John Kerry, the lives of the unborn don’t matter one whit.

  • For the sake of clarity, it should be pointed out that it is possible for John Kerry to believe that life begins at conception and not to know it, even if it is possible to know it.  For example, according to St Thomas, the existence of God is demonstrably true, but most people simply believe it is so.  This is perfectly acceptable because, again according to St Thomas, divine revelation concerns not only divine truths (e.g. the incarnation) but also necessary natural truths (e.g. God’s existence).

    In the area of abortion I would venture to say that most pro-life people (including myself) cannot or at least for a time could not demonstrate, in the way one would demonstrate the Pythagorean theorem, that life begins at conception. 

    That said, I think Mr Kerry is incorrect to characterize such a pro-life position (i.e. one based on faith and not epistemic knowledge) as invloving an “article of faith.”  Even if we assent in faith to the Church’s teaching on abortion, we are still obliged, i think, to admit that its veracity is demonstrable, even if we ourselves aren’t able to demonsrate it.

    Small points, but distinctions are important.

  • “r>
    2004-07-06 18:07:27
    2004-07-06 22:07:27
    “I wonder if Kerry realizes how truly stupid (yes, I choose my words carefully) this makes him sound.”

    Of course he does.  (He’s immoral, but not stupid.)  He’s just appealing to those who embrace stupidity – and he’ll get their votes.

  • Don’t you love how this is put: “Kelly…admitted ‘misspending’ at least $50,000…”

    Kind of like the husband saying: “Er, honey, I misspent my paycheck last night, um, at the dog track…” [key: whistling sound of frypan flying through the air…]

    No Father, you didn’t ‘misspend’ it, you STOLE it…

    Last I checked, the 7th Commandment did not say “Thou shalt not misspend…”

  • Peter? I think it’s even worse. I think that Kerry really DOES believe that life begins at conception…and, acknowleging PeterForrester’s post, to even KNOW it.

    I think we’ve come ‘way beyond the “is it life or isn’t it” stage—pro-lifers and pro-abortion folks alike. That, today, doesn’t seem to be the point.

    That’s what the Church has been saying all along with respect to, for example “mercy killing.”

    We KNOW we’re talking about human life. Innocent human life.

    Again, that’s not the point. “Respect Life” was never just a slogan—it was a plea.

    This plea has been, and apparently will continue to be, denied. Or, at best, selectively responded to. Inconvenient pregnancy? Thumbs down. Old Aunt Jane setting fire to the curtains again? Thumbs down.

    Somebody on death row in a state far away from mine and anyway the death penalty sucks? Why, thumbs up! (See, we “respect life” after all.)

    When folks argued that unborn life was “just a bunch of cells,” then—however our dogmatic beliefs led us—abortion was, if not tolerable, at least marginally understandable.

    Now we’ve reached our finest hour…we are either insane or desperately selfish.

    Or altogether evil.

  • Who were the incumbents of the Fall River diocese and their ‘collaborators’ (read ‘chancery’) during this period?

  • Kelly’s right.  Now, we’re so advanced that we don’t even pretend to not know what it is—life—that we’re talking about.  Now, a candidate from a major party running for President can freely acknowledge that “life” is just another commodity to be placed in the balance.

  • I think that this “advance” in understanding makes the comparison to slavery even more cogent.  By the time you have half sisters and half brothers who look just like you but are kept in slavery and you put up with it, you are living with evil in such a way that slavery can’t be gotten rid of without a war.  You know they are human but your own lifestyle is at risk so you do nothing or worse, actively promote evil.

  • I assume that’s a rhetorical question. I’ll answer it anyway: Archbishop Sean O’Malley of Boston was the ordinary of Fall River during the time Kelly was alleged to have been absconding with the funds.

  • I was happy today – I was listening to Jay Severin, talk show host in Boston, who is not crazy about Bush but does not want Kerry elected. Severin is pro-abortion, he says “reluctantly so.” Anyways, he made the point today on his show that John Kerry supports murder if he actually believes that life begins at conception and still supports abortion rights. It was great to hear someone who is not religious or even prolife to be emphatic that John Kerry’s intellectually dishonest position is tantamount to condoning the murder of innocents.

  • Isn’t Kerry Catholic? Did he get some bootlegged marked -up catechism that is missing the page on “Do not kill”? Must be the “very convient issue” that is made for politicians. I won’t name the publisher.

  • Anyways, he made the point today on his show that John Kerry supports murder if he actually believes that life begins at conception and still supports abortion rights.

    Again. It is only the most retarded of persons that do not completely—COMPLETELY—understand that life begins at conception.

    John Kerry is not the only one who supports murder. He is only one of a multitude.

    If Jay Severin actually doesn’t believe that, then remind me to eat my beanie. (Sorry Joanne. But I mean, come bleepin’ ON. EVERYBODY knows, or should know, that life begins at conception.)

    Susan? Yeah, he’s Catholic. And probably not all that different from many, if not several (to be kind) folks in your parish.

    I think we’re wasting our time totally blaming Kerry—he just articulated what many pro-aborts already know.

  • John Kerry is not only a bad (and excommunicated) Catholic; he’s also a pathetically bad pol to have made such an assinine statement like this one…………….we can only keep praying the voters will excommunicate HIM…along with the sheriff of Mayberry.

  • BTW…his statement was about “life” not about “personhood”….how’s that for spin?

  • Hi, Kelly:

    I didn’t get into this in my post, but I think I agree with what you are saying. Yes, I agree that most people need to do some serious mental and semantic contortions in order to convince themselves and others that they are “not sure” or “don’t know” whether life begins at conception. But even some who are not “retarded” may really not be 100% sure. (I don’t know how this could be, but I do believe it’s true.) I can see why abrtn supporters try to convince themselves that that it’s not a human life that is being ended. That at least – supporting abrtn bec one is unsure – is a somewhat defensible position, unlike Kerry’s.

  • Even if they aren’t 100% sure, they are still being dishonest, at least on some level. If they were planning to level a building but weren’t 100% sure that the building was empty, it would be irresponsible to begin demolition. I doubt that you’d get anybody who would say, aw, go ahead, I’m pretty sure that there’s nobody in there. Yet somehow, this uncertainty translates into a license for abortion when the humanity of the unborn is “uncertain.”

  • That is the first time I’ve heard that analogy Stacey.  Its a great one!! 

    In my humble opinion, I think part of the problem is the strategy of the prochoice group.  Aside from the argument of “You’re not a woman” (Which is enough to send any semi-wimpy male politician running)  It is the only group that I can find that successfully puts itself in the light of being oppressed even though their part of the status quo. 

    About a month ago, I was talking to an acquaintance who told me his girlfriend left for Washington for a prochoice rally.  When I asked him what they were protesting, he said “They’re protesting just in case”.  On that note, I’m planning a march on Washington against prohibition.  If you’re interested let me know. 

    The reality is Kerry is using the issue of separation of church and state as a convenient excuse.  His quotes are not “The Church believes life begins at conception”  He says “I believe”.  At that point church becomes irrelevant.  It is his own personal convictions he’s betraying. 

  • “Last I checked, the 7th Commandment did not say lieve all men were created in the image and likeness of God with equal dignity. But I can’t take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist … who doesn’t share it. We have separation of church and state in the United States of America.” Does that make any more sense?


    2004-07-06 10:10:23
    2004-07-06 14:10:23


    2004-07-06 11:36:56
    2004-07-06 15:36:56
    I believe there are Jews, Protestants, and even atheists who oppose abortion, so I am missing his point on why this is a separation for church and state issue.

  • Hi, Stacey:

    Ronald Reagan used the analogy – if you weren’t sure a man was 100% dead, you wouldn’t bury him. I agree that it’s a convenient way for people to have it both ways. I guess I appreciate though people’s desire to at least pay lip service to the idea that maybe the fetus is not a life yet, as ridiculous as we know that is. It’s more frightening for people to say, it’s human and alive, and it’s still okay to kill it.

    And speaking of the Death March, hopefully everyone reading this thread will make it a priority to get to Washington in Jan 05 for the Prolife March!


  • Jaime,
    I think it’s interesting that the feminists constantly argue that there’s no real difference between a man and a woman, but then, when a man voices his opinion about something, all of a sudden he can’t possibly understand because he’s not a woman! But wait a minute…I thought that there wasn’t any real difference between men and women?!?!  Oh wait, you mean that there’s a difference when you want there to be and no difference when you don’t? How convenient.

    And I can’t take credit for the analogy. I heard it from Fr. Pavone. But it is a good and, I think, extremely helpful one.

  • My stock response against the “keep your laws off my body” argument is the seatbelt law.  This is a law that mandates that I do something that has no impact on anyone else but me.  I have no choice in the matter and I have been ticketed for not wearing one. 

    I don’t know if its a good argument.  But I’m stubborn enough to keep using it. 

    It it absolutely amazing that the argument for prolife is considered to be establishment while the prochoice argument is considered to be oppressed.  Last I checked, Roe v Wade has been in effect for over 30 years.  If that ain’t establishment and status quo, I don’t know what is