Fay of Bridgeport: on financial misconduct and “openly gay relationship”

Fay of Bridgeport: on financial misconduct and “openly gay relationship”

The local newspaper in Stamford, Connecticut, has not dropped the story of Father Michael Jude Fay, removed from his parish after allegations of financial misconduct with parish funds, as well as some very serious personal matters. (See previous blog entries: 1, 2, 3, 4)

In one story last Monday, the Stamford Advocate reported that Fay was not the first priest of the Bridgeport diocese removed from a parish after hundreds of thousands of dollars have gone missing from parish coffers. In 1996, Msgr. Charles Stubbs resigned as pastor of St. Mary’s in Greenwich, citing health problems. He was made an assistant at another parish seven months later by then-Bishop Edward Egan, but was removed two months after that when Stubbs was accused of and the admitted having molested a boy. Yet, people of St. Mary’s said that Stubbs didn’t leave their parish for health problems, but because half a million dollars was missing. They reported it to the diocese, but nothing was ever said to law enforcement authorities. Instead, he was allowed to resign and take up ministry at another parish.

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  • If this is what it’s like to “wake up and deal with this,” I’d hate to think of how NOT dealing with it would look. If Bishop Lori had acted quickly, Fey’s friends would never have been able to lie to the staff about having the permission of the diocese to collect his things, including some damaging evidence on that laptop.

    But to do that, Lori would have to admit he had made a mistake.

    Oh yeah, like THAT’S gonna happen.

  • Sad to say, but it seems that some Catholics get far more upset at a priest who embezzles parish funds than at a priest who gives scandal by not living a chaste life.

    Yet they often go hand-in-hand.

  • Jeff:

    Diocesan priests are generally given terms of six years as a pastor, in some places renewable for another six. Exceptions are made in the wake of large-scale building projects, or other circumstances where a huge debt is incurred by the parish, prompting an extension of tenure.

    Bishop Lori did not “allow” anyone to do anything in Bridgeport for 15 years. He was only appointed to that see a few years ago. Further, I wouldn’t call Father Fay’s pastorate a “reign of terror,” as he was obviously the beneficiary of undue adulation, which allowed him considerable latitude in his behavior. It would be more accurate to call it a “cult of personality.”