Cardinal Dolan is coming under increasing scrutiny for his failing to act over the course of nearly two years in the case of the homosexual priest embezzling up to a million dollars to fund his sadomasochistic sex fantasy with a live-in boyfriend. ChurchMilitant.com has obtained various letters and documents sent more than a year ago by parishioners here at St. Frances de Chantel parish in the Bronx to the cardinal and his staff alerting them to huge financial problems at the parish.
Included with the letters are financial statements from Fr. Peter Miqueli's personal investment accounts showing account totals of almost $700,000. They were ignored. And that's curious.
Amid a flurry of charges over a long period of time that Fr. Miqueli was stealing enormous amounts from the parish, why wouldn't Cdl. Dolan simply call Fr. Miqueli into his office and ask for an explanation? It was certainly within his authority to ask for an accounting from Fr. Miqueli. But it never happened.
Around this same time, according to the lawsuit, Fr. Miqueli also purchased a house in cash for more than a quarter million dollars. Yet amidst all these allegations and, at the very least, unusual financial dealings for a priest, the cardinal never once approached Fr. Miqueli and asked him about any of this.
Another red flag ignored included in the package sent to the cardinal and his staff was a photocopy of a check that Fr. Miqueli wrote to himself against the parish Mass Stipend account for $14,000 — something he's not allowed to do, in addition to the gigantic sum of money involved. Yet no one ever questioned Fr. Miqueli — most of all, Cdl. Dolan.
In fact, as time went by, the parishioners' complaints were dismissed — even more, by Cdl. Dolan personally, as is evidenced in a series of three additional letters Church Militant has obtained.
We sat down a couple of nights ago with close to a dozen parishioners from St. Frances de Chantel and asked them about all of this: why they filed the suit, how this has been a drain on their spiritual lives, and if they thought that Cdl. Dolan should step down as archbishop of New York in view of his covering for Fr. Miqueli and neglecting them. Not all of them wanted to appear on camera for fear of reprisal.
Recall that nothing of substance was ever done in this case by the cardinal to summon Fr. Miqueli to give an account of his actions. All that was said by Dolan was a dismissive admission that an audit performed by the archdiocese had shown some sloppy bookkeepping and nothing more.
Then when revelations started coming forth that Miqueli was using much of this money to fund his perverted sex life, Cdl. Dolan was contacted personally and informed about this by a woman who was extremely close to the situation: the girlfriend of the gay-for-pay male prostitute. She asked for a meeting with the cardinal and said she wanted to bring one of the parishioners.
Initially the archdiocese agreed, but then reversed course and said "no" — they would only speak with her alone and she was to bring all her evidence of the sadomasochistic lifestyle of the priest. She refused to go to the meeting without accompaniment, as had been initially promised, so when they denied anyone else admission, she refused to go.
Local New York camera crews caught up with Cdl. Dolan after Mass this past weekend and asked him about the case. Here is how he characterized it - or as some say, mischaracterized it. He said, “She's saying, 'This is what I'm telling you; I have photographs, I have evidence,' and I said, 'Oh, I'm glad. We're looking for data. Please come in and give them to me and to the police.' She didn't."
He conveniently leaves out the part that his legal team changed the terms of the already agreed-to meeting which caused her to be a no show. The implication, of course, is that she cannot be trusted and neither can her word. We asked the parishioners who know all about the real truth of this matter — because it was some of them who were originally scheduled to go. Again, some are on camera, others are just off camera.
We also got an on-camera interview with the woman Cdl. Dolan mischaracterized as simply not showing up. She asked us for now to not show her face.
This whole case is demonstrating what many are seeing as a deep cover-up, even on the part of the cardinal himself, even in the face of written records that ChurchMilitant.com has been shared on. Miqueli was never questioned by the cardinal about huge sums of money in investment accounts while he was at the same time being accused of embezzling huge sums. He was never questioned by the cardinal about writing exorbitant checks to himself, a violation of archdiocesan financial rules. The parishioners' concerns were dismissed multiple times by the cardinal personally.
Cardinal Dolan stood in front of TV cameras inside St. Patrick's Cathedral and painted an untrue and deceptive picture of a woman who has the goods on the whole case by alluding that she was untrustworthy, when he knew the real reason she didn't show up was an 11th-hour change by his legal team.
And from a faith perspective (which is, of course, most important), Cdl. Dolan never questioned Fr. Maqueli about charges of a radically perverse sex life where he is reported to have drunk the urine of his male prostitute many times during their role-playing sexcapades. Cardinal Dolan admits he had reports of all this as far back as August, and yet never called him in to question him.
Contrast this with his immediate reaction of the calling in of a newly ordained priest who offered the Traditional Latin Mass as his first Mass. Or his cooperation in removing with lightning speed a visiting priest at Holy Innocents Church in Manhattan who preached to parishioners to hold fast to the Latin Mass and fight any move by the cardinal to close their parish.
Church Militant has spoken with various members of the archdiocese who are disgusted with this evil and criminal behavior, not just on the part of Fr. Miqueli, but more importantly on the part of Cdl. Dolan and his staff. More than just the parishioners who filed a million-dollar suit against him want him gone. In the eyes of many Catholics in New York, Cdl. Timothy Dolan has lost nearly all credibility and moral capital. Only a complete and public admission of wrongdoing and actions to start over can save his beleaguered episcopacy.
Bottom line: A growing number of Catholics — clergy and laity — have simply lost faith in him, and that is no position for a shepherd to guide his flock. In view of all this, Cdl. Dolan has shown gross ineptitude, an epic, massive dereliction of duty by not removing, or at the very least, suspending a priest who for over two years has been the center of such a storm of immorality, filth and criminal activity.
The reasons why he didn't yank him much sooner could be varied, but at this point, all that matters is it didn't happen. And ony Cdl. Dolan is responsible for that — especially in light of the fact that, after two years of virtually no action, it took a lawsuit and days on end of sensational, salacious headlines for the cardinal to finally yank him.