BRICK, N.J. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A New York priest implicated in embezzlement and homosexual, drug-fueled orgies has been found dead, and some clergy suspect foul play.
The Brick, New Jersey Police Department confirmed with Church Militant that Fr. Peter Miqueli was found dead Thursday in his home. No further details were provided.
Church Militant confirmed with the Ocean County Medical Examiner's office that Miqueli's body is currently at their office, and his autopsy is scheduled for late Friday. Dr. Gerard Breton will be performing the autopsy.
Church Militant also spoke with Joseph Miqueli, estranged brother of the 57-year-old priest, who explained that his sister had texted Fr. Miqueli on his birthday, July 7, and became worried when she received no response after several days. Individuals went to his house Thursday to check on him and discovered his lifeless body.
A memo to priests issued Thursday morning by Vicar General Msgr. Joseph LaMorte directs clergy to include Miqueli in their prayers for the faithful:
Requiescat in Pace. It is my sad duty to announce the death on July 9, 2020 of Father Peter A. Miqueli, 57, class of 1991, former pastor of the Church of St. Frances de Chantal, Bronx. The details of Father Miqueli's funeral are still being coordinated. Further information will be sent as soon as it is finalized. For now, please remember him in your parish's general intercessions at Mass and in your own personal prayer.
The tone of the directive has caused anger among various New York clergy, put off by what appears to be "kid glove" treatment of a priest who brought great scandal and disgrace to the priesthood, and who was in the process of laicization.
Various priests of the archdiocese are also suspecting foul play, as it is believed Miqueli was preparing to reveal damaging information about archdiocesan corruption and cover-up related to the homosexual network, and was silenced before he could do so.
Miqueli was the subject of multiple reports by the New York Post in 2015 and beyond, with headlines including "'Sex slave' priest wanted a threesome with my boyfriend," "Priest paid his male 'sex master' from collection plate: lawsuit," "Disgraced priest still seeing his 'sex master' in secret: neighbors," "Emails to Dolan detail priest’s alleged ‘pee-drinking’ sex romps" and "Jealous priest forced boy toy to choose: It’s me or your girlfriend," among others.
The priest was also the subject of extensive reporting by Church Militant. Miqueli resigned in disgrace in 2015 after a lawsuit filed by his parishioners accused him of embezzling nearly $1 million dollars to use on drugs and to pay for the services of Keith Crist, a gay-for-pay prostitute.
Tatyana Gudin, former girlfriend of Crist, confirmed that Crist had frequent paid sexual encounters with Miqueli that included $1,000 sexual trysts, $300 bottles of whiskey and the drug Dilaudid. Emails and text messages, some which were shown to Church Militant, reveal the sex romps also reportedly included sado-masochistic behavior, drinking urine and other conduct too explicit to include in this report.
His Brick, New Jersey home where his body was found is the same one parishioners accused him of buying with money embezzled from St. Frances de Chantal Church in Throgs Neck, where he was once pastor. Sources confirm he had a "sex dungeon" in the basement and the home was the location of some of Miqueli's drug-fueled sexual encounters with Crist.
After his 2015 resignation, Miqueli was sent to Our Lady of Consolation in the Bronx, a place for troubled priests, but sources confirm he spent time away at a clerical rehabilitation center in Michigan called The Guesthouse.
Inside sources also confirm that the chancery had put forth Miqueli's name for restoration to active ministry in 2018, but loud objections from the priest personnel board led to the recommendation being killed.
An announcement buried on page 16 of the diocesan paper "Catholic New York" reported the priest's suspension in 2019, which "prohibited [him] from celebrating Mass and administering 'any and all' Church sacraments, either publicly or privately."
The decree of suspension was signed by Cdl. Dolan, the announcement explaining that Miqueli was in violation of a decree issued against him in 2016, when Dolan ordered that Miqueli "avoid any and all persons or situations that could endanger your obligation to perpetual continence or any and all conduct that could that might cause scandal to the faithful or that would receive publicity in the media ... ."
At the time of his death, Miqueli was the focus of a canonical investigation, whose contents, which Church Militant has confirmed are extremely damaging, were being sent to Rome with a recommendation for laicization.
Church Militant previously reported that Miqueli was protected by Msgr. Gregory Mustaciulo, former vicar general and once the second most-powerful individual in the archdiocese, as well as by former New York Cardinal Edwin O'Brien.
Mustaciuolo was reportedly well aware of Miqueli's embezzling of hundreds of thousands of dollars as well as his gay lifestyle. Sources claim Mustaciuolo has known for decades about other active gay priests in New York, and that he worked to protect them and shelter them from the public eye — and that Dolan had 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," an inside source in the archdiocese who goes by the alias "Bob" told Church Militant. "That's a very well-known fact that has been established."
Miqueli was only one among a number of priests implicated in New York's homosexual network, which reportedly also involved O'Brien, former rector of St. Joseph's Seminary in Dunwoodie in the 1990s, who later served as archbishop for the Military Services. He served as Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem from 2011–2019.
Mustaciuolo is currently CEO of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, a non-profit organization based in New York City with cash assets worth $3.2 billion.
Church Militant contacted the archdiocese for comment but received no response as of press time.
Church Militant will continue to report on this story as details unfold.