Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Praise the Lord and Pass the Money

Yet another piece of good news from the Catholic Church. One of their "reverend" pastors in Waterbury, Connecticut, has been caught with his anointed hands in the till. Since 2003. To the tune of $1.3 million. (Read about it here and here.) This guy, Kevin J. Gray, is a real sweetheart. Which is fitting because he had himself a male sweetheart in New York City, ensconced in splendid style in an apartment funded by the parishioners of  Sacred Heart, which has been described as a "mostly poor" parish.* Their pastor, however, may be described as "mostly opulent." Father Gray likes the finer things of life, you see. He stayed at expensive hotels such as the Waldorf-Astoria in New York and Copley Square in Boston;  he took his meals only at the finest establishments, such as Arturo's and Tavern on the Green in NYC, Union League Cafe in New Haven. And only the best threads, too, for this representative of Christ on earth: suits from Saks Fifth Avenue, Armani, and Brooks Brothers. Oh, and frolics at strip bars and a male escort here and there. And financing a college education at Harvard for his paramour.

And how, you may ask, did he he manage to get away with this for seven years? Easy to do when you are the only person who can get into the church computer with all the financial records. And every time the people from the diocesan financial office showed up at the parish to look at the books,** Gray was not there. Father Gray had cancer, you see--that's what he told everyone--and he was receiving treatments all those times he wasn't around.

Well, he doesn't have cancer, and he's now under arrest for first-degree larceny and being held under a $750,000 bond in Waterbury. As yet, nobody has come up with the money to bail his butt out of jail.

Believe it or not, some of his Hispanic parishioners don't believe any of this about Father. As for the diocese, they are all concerned. "'At the spiritual level, we continue to pray for healing and consolation for the parish family as it moves forward and for guidance and reconciliation for Father Gray as he encounters the legal proceedings that await him,' they said in a statement."

Right. You can bet the Diocese of Hartford ain't gonna be coming up with reimbursement to the parish for the money this scumbag priest ripped off of them. But don't worry. They're praying.

*If Sacred Heart is representative of the case in most Catholic parishes, and there is no reason to think it isn't, about 17 percent of the parish population, provides about 90 percent of the contributions. And there are always extremely generous deep-pockets who shoulder most of the load.
**Not unusual. The Church always keeps a keen eye on the exchequer. A much keener eye than on, say, which of their priests is regularly practicing pedophilia.
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