This Vortex is coming to you from the archdiocese of New York, where one disturbing story after another keeps coming to our attention from Catholics who feel completely shut out by the cardinal and his senior staff about very real concerns. One of their concerns is the obvious drift the archdiocese has made away from the Faith itself in favor of all the Party of Death talking points, predominantly in the area of homosexuality and immigration.
In the spring of 2011, after Cdl. Dolan had been here for around two years, he appointed Fr. Phillip Kelly as pastor of St. Francis de Sales parish on West 96th street. Within a couple of years, parishioners became increasingly unsettled about what they termed not only his very caustic and abrasive personality in dealing with them, but also deep concerns about what appeared to be an inappropriate relationship between Kelly and a man we were told whose name was Vincent.
Vincent, they say, was living in the rectory, had been given live-in privileges and had come-and-go access. It appeared so inappropriate, coupled with Fr. Kelly's rudeness and angry reactions, that these parishioners eventually went to the archdiocese with their fears. Cardinal Dolan spoke with Kelly in a special meeting about all this, and here is where things get very murky.
That was Easter 2014, the identical time frame that the Msgr. Michael Hull case that we explored in yesterday's Vortex blew up, and he abruptly left town under cover of darkness — a case that again, the archdiocese has said not a word about, even to its priests or the seminarians at Dunwoodie that Hull abandoned just before their final exams and ordination.
Multiple priests in the archdiocese say things are handled in such a cloak-and-dagger manner, with secrets and inappropriate relationships and threats of exposure and double standards and decided lack of transparency, that many are left to conclude that what is going on is certainly an overall offense against justice and charity, if not downright evil and twisted.
After Kelly's meeting with Dolan, he went straight back to the parish and none of the parishioners' concerns were ever addressed. Business continued as usual, prompting some to conclude, rightly or wrongly, that Kelly knew many things about many other priests that he threatened to expose if he were disciplined.
Whether that's true or not, it is true that many suspect it and are deeply fearful that it fits the narrative of an archdiocese draped in clandestine dealings, both financial and spiritual, an archdiocese that never openly addresses the concerns brought before it — until those issues come to light in the secular media, and only then is anything done, which at that time amounts to little else than damage control.
Once the storm has passed — and the chancery located at 1011 First Avenue had managed to spin and control and deceive — everything returns to normal. Except for faithful Catholics — who, unsatisfied, simply leave their parishes. In the case of St. Francis de Sales and Fr. Kelly's questionable behavior, concerned parishioners eventually left the parish, many of whom had been there for a long period of time.
What's curious is how the archdiocese seems completely oblivious to the damage their actions and reactions cause. They are damaging the faith of believers. They seem completely unaware or maybe unconcerned that people talk and these kinds of sordid stories circulate.
It needs to be said that Church Militant sent a detailed request to both the archdiocese and Fr. Kelly more than a week before this report and heard nothing in response, which is in keeping with their standard procedure of deflecting whatever they think they can get away with and let blow over. They only respond when they determine that the clamor has grown so loud they are forced to.
Cover-ups, ignoring the faithful, embracing homosexuality — even among the clergy, the clergy that are favored, that is — this is no way to run a diocese. Meanwhile, parishes keep being closed, schools shut down so fast that Cdl. Dolan keeps unsuccessfully trying to get money from Democratic lawmakers in Albany.
The archdiocese of New York, like so many others in the U.S., is beginning to feel the effects of betraying the Faith, both openly and behind the scenes, of running the Church like a corporation. In those terms, they are ignoring their real customer base and covering up other issues, destroying the "product." Unless something is done to completely change course, this is going to end very badly, very soon.