NEW YORK (ChurchMilitant.com) - New York's Cdl. Timothy Dolan is reportedly trying to leave his post to become new head of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
Well-placed sources inform Church Militant he possibly wants out of New York before the NY State Attorney General Barbara Underwood gets too deep into her sex abuse investigation of the archdiocese. Underwood announced Sept. 6 she had subpoenaed personnel files and records related to clerical abuse from all eight Catholic dioceses in New York.
The information of Dolan's possible departure comes amid news that longtime vicar general Mustaciuolo is leaving his position to take over as CEO of the Cabrini Health Foundation, with assets of $3.2 billion.
Although Dolan is painting Mustaciuolo's new role, which begins in the new year, as a continuation of work he had already been doing behind the scenes, sources confirm that Mustaciuolo's move is a direct response to the New York attorney general's criminal probe into the Catholic Church, a move long feared by the archdiocese.
Also in response to the criminal probe, Dolan announced Thursday he had appointed former judge Barbara Jones to be special prosecutor to review archdiocesan policies on sex abuse. He is vowing to give her "complete access" to personnel records, including his own.
A former prosecutor, Jones oversaw the review of documents in the case of Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Trump. Jones is a pro-gay Catholic Democrat, who as district judge struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2012. With pro-LGBT sympathies, Catholics are wondering how vigorously she'll pursue homosexual misconduct in the New York archdiocese.
Dolan's announcement of Jones' appointment comes a day after he was blasted by his own priests and seminarians during a listening session, where they criticized him for failing to speak up or act strongly enough in the wake of the clerical abuse cover-up crisis wracking the Church in America.
Aside from his June 20 announcement that Abp. Theodore McCarrick had been suspended for an abuse allegation, Dolan had remained uncharacteristically quiet for weeks. Even as fellow bishops were issuing statements responding to the explosive allegations of Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò, Dolan maintained his public silence — broken only after news that Attorney General Underwood was launching an investigation into his archdiocese and others.
If Dolan were to become new head of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, he would be replacing Cdl. Edwin O'Brien, Grand Master of the order since 2011, who has deep ties to New York. O'Brien once served as rector at St. Joseph's Seminary in Dunwoodie, where he was close to then-seminarians Peter Miqueli, Greg Mustaciuolo and others who went on to be priests in the archdiocese, Mustaciuolo rising in the ranks to become chancellor, moderator of the curia and vicar general.
At that point, it remains unclear where Cdl. O'Brien will go. O'Brien is named in Viganò's testimony as a member of the "homosexual current" in the Church, implicated in the cover-up of Fr. Peter Miqueli, a priest accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars to use on drug-fueled parties with gay-for-pay prostitute Keith Crist.
Multiple sources confirmed with Church Militant that, in addition to Mustaciuolo, O'Brien had special relationships with Miqueli and Crist, who would chauffeur him from the airport when O'Brien flew in from Rome (when he was rector of the Pontifical North American College) to offer Confirmation Masses at Miqueli's small, isolated parish in Roosevelt Island — an unusual act for a cardinal of such high rank — as well as at St. Frances Cabrini in the Bronx.
Crist, who is forbidden to be on archdiocesan property, reportedly picked up O'Brien from the airport during most visits, and was present at "special dinners" with O'Brien's small coterie of friends, who invariably included Miqueli, Bp. Gerald Walsh (Vicar for Clergy) and others from the chancery.
Parishioners confirmed with Church Militant that Miqueli and Crist were open about the fact that they stayed with Cdl. O'Brien when they were in Rome.
O’Brien was reportedly Crist’s protector. Multiple parishioners once witnessed Crist screaming at a Catholic in Miqueli's parish, shouting, "I will tell O'Brien — and O'Brien will destroy you."
Retired Navy Chaplain Gene Gomulka, a former monsignor who worked under O'Brien when he was archbishop for the military services, confirmed with Church Militant that O'Brien deliberately underreported the incidents of priest sex abuse. O’Brien also covered up homosexual misconduct committed by Chaplain Fr. Matt Lee, whom Gomulka reported to O’Brien as engaging in inappropriate homosexual relations with a live-in boyfriend. In spite of Gomulka's report, O'Brien did nothing, allowing Lee to be transferred to a more prestigious position at Quantico, where he went on to commit sexual assault and served prison time. After his release, he was arrested for male child porn and is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence in Delaware.