A Roman Catholic priest in Connecticut has been arrested on charges he stole $1.3 million in church money over seven years to use for male escorts, expensive clothing, and luxury hotels and restaurants.It seems to me that local parishioners, had they had a little more oversight over where their money goes to, would have caught this one long ago.
Waterbury police say the 64-year-old Rev. Kevin J. Gray was charged Tuesday with first-degree larceny. Gray is the former pastor at Sacred Heart/Sagrado Corazon Parish in Waterbury.
Would you not worry about what they were doing with your money, both politically and non-politically, given their recent and previous actions?
Did 1098 cross the line between church and state? A bit.
Catholic Church role in killing sex-abuse bill downplayedThe Legislature's Judiciary Committee introduces a controversial bill the Catholic Church finds discriminatory, Connecticut's bishops issue an urgent call to parishioners to protest, and the proposal goes away.
Published: 08:27 p.m., Saturday, May 8, 2010
On its face, the Catholic Church's recent defeat of legislation extending the statute of limitations for sex abuse echoes the organization's 2009 quashing of a highly controversial Judiciary Committee proposal giving the laity greater oversight of parish finances.
In an April 10 letter distributed at weekend Mass the bishops, including William E. Lori of the Bridgeport diocese, invoked that comparison to again rally the faithful.
"You will remember the now infamous Senate Bill 1098 last year, which was an attempt to restructure the governance of the Catholic Church," they wrote.
But it did so a lot less than the Catholic Church, and other churches to be fair as well, have constantly crossed the line into being non-stop political action groups funding policy and issues and they could probably be regulated that way (which isn't saying much given Citizen United and the activist right wing SCOTUS). Never mind the criminal activities that get covered up under the veil of their "religious rules".
Forcing them to be a bit more accountable to their parishioners is a minor blur in the line compared to how they have proven to have misused the churches funds for political actions, sexual indiscretions and cover-ups for other deeply disturbing illegal actions against children.
Hopefully the members of the Catholic churches that fund these actions will take the reigns away from these financial abusers themselves.
Because I would prefer the government keep on its side of the line. On it's side of that famous "Wall of Separation".
But if the Catholic church expects the government to stay on their side of the line than the Church had better get the fuck back on their side of the line. And maybe, just maybe, stop doing so many horrid and criminal things?
[update] PZ Myers at Pharyngula "celebrates" this news with some dark humor:
Father Kevin Gray had better things to do with his time.Apparently for the past seven years Gray has been spending church money to fund trips to New York and pay for sessions with male escorts, and he also racked up $200,000 in restaurant bills including a large tab at Tavern on the Green.It is a step up for the church, from child molesters to hedonistic embezzlers. Progress!