NEW YORK (ChurchMilitant.com) - The cardinal-archbishop of New York continues to defend a priest accused of embezzling nearly $1 million and engaging in drug-fueled orgies with a gay-for-pay prostitute.
In a letter obtained exclusively by Church Militant, Cdl. Timothy Dolan clears Fr. Peter Miqueli of all wrongdoing. The cardinal was responding to a New York Catholic who wrote him saying he was pulling $6,000 of donations from the archdiocese's Renew + Rebuild Campaign (the archdiocese's capital campaign to raise $200 million) over Dolan's protection of bad clergy.
"Perhaps you don't know that, after more than a year of investigating, the Bronx District Attorney found no evidence to prosecute a crime," Dolan wrote of Fr. Miqueli and charges of embezzlement.
But Catholic faithful in New York disagree. In a letter sent to the New York archdiocese on November 16, 2017, after the Bronx DA cleared Miqueli, former parishioners of the disgraced priest write:
No matter how many elegant terms you choose, Miqueli stole, embezzled, defrauded, cheated, fleeced, conned, and swindled the people of the parishes in which he was appointed to be a spiritual leader, setting an example for others. He abused his people ... and the ADNY did nothing to come to our aid when it was happening, did nothing to stop it, and is now putting a cosmetic spin on the disgrace that they allowed to continue, casting doubt on the veracity, decency and integrity of the abused parishioners.
According to New York law, embezzling money up to $50,000 is grand larceny in the third degree, and carries a sentence of between 2–7 years in state prison.
"You state that Miqueli's 'improper reimbursement' to himself (again that delicate term!) 'cannot be excused or condoned,'" the letter continued. "Yet, you consider the 'matter closed.' That sounds an awful lot like the ADNY and the Bronx DA have 'excused and condoned' Miqueli's theft."
According to a parishioner from Manhattan, "[S]omeone anonymously left copies of Fr. Miqueli's financial documents in his mailbox showing that the priest had an investment portfolio worth approximately $700,000, in addition to owning a home in Brick, NJ that he purchased all cash for $264,000" — this in spite of the fact that parishioners think Miqueli only made $32,000 a year as a priest.
This contradicts multiple eyewitness accounts of Miqueli employing and living with gay-for-pay prostitute Keith Crist, who worked in the parish gift shop, in spite of the fact that he had been forbidden by the archdiocese to be on parish property.
Tatyana Gudin, former girlfriend of Crist, has spoken with Church Militant multiple times to attest to the fact that Crist was indeed having paid, sexual encounters with Miqueli frequently. According to her, this included $1,000 sexual trysts, $300 bottles of whiskey and the drug Dilaudid. In fact, Gudin showed Church Militant text messages from Crist proving his sexual encounters with Miqueli — but neither the Bronx DA nor the archdiocese has ever shown any interest in seeing them.
According to sources who have spoken with Church Militant on the record and anonymously, Msgr. Greg Mustaciuolo, vicar general and the second most powerful person in the New York archdiocese, has reportedly long been aware of Miqueli's embezzling as well as his gay lifestyle with prostitute Keith Crist. Additionally, sources claim he has known for decades about other active gay priests in New York, and that he works to protect them and shelter them from the public eye — and that Dolan has him in place in large part for this purpose.
"Well, it's not secret among the clergy in the archdiocese of New York that Msgr. Mustaciuolo is in fact the protector of Peter Miqueli," said a source in the archdiocese. "That's a very well-known fact that has been established."
Even more, multiple sources from within the archdiocese have confirmed with Church Militant that Mustaciuolo is an active homosexual, and that he himself is allegedly protected by Cdl. Edwin O'Brien, former archbishop of Baltimore, former archbishop for Military Services, and current grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
Even after the 2015 lawsuit, eyewitnesses spotted Miqueli still seeing his boyfriend in January 2016.
"He's here all the time," a neighbor told the New York Post, referring to Crist. "Sometimes he takes in the groceries, the trash. They have no shame."
The archdiocese removed Miqueli from public ministry in 2016, but has not pursued laicization, meaning Miqueli is still on the archdiocese's payroll, his living expenses ultimately being paid by the faithful in New York.