Shooting the messenger

Shooting the messenger

The case of the whistleblowing Connecticut priest continues. Recall Fr. Michael Madden who hired a PI to investigate his pastor who was suspected of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his wealthy parish. When the PI’s report came out the Diocese of Bridgeport pulled the pastor, Fr. Jude Fay from the parish, but it was Fr. Madden who was punished. Now the parishioners are possibly even angrier about the treatment given to Madden than about Fay, believing that Bishop William Lori coerced or browbeat Madden into retracting earlier statements, apologizing for his actions in exposing Fay’s misdeeds, and announcing that he would take time off for “rest and reflection.”

This, in turn, led to a tumultuous meeting at the church when a crowd estimated at 200 voiced their dissent to Bishop Lori. Many of them seemed to believe the apology had been coerced from Madden and that the requirement of “rest and reflection” essentially amounted to an attempt to oust him from the parish.

...  Regarding Madden’s decision to hire the private investigator, parishioner Cyndy Ashburne told the Echo, “Obviously, the man was in a position where he felt he had no choice. The Catholic Church has had a problem for a long time with hiding things, with keeping things covered up. So it’s important that people step forward to right a wrong.”

The initiative for hiring the private investigator is believed to have come from the bookkeeper rather than from Madden himself. But the priest is understood to have gone along with the idea after doubts emerged as to whether the diocese would be sufficiently robust in investigating suspicions of wrongdoing by Fay.

...  Ashburne said that Madden “looked in pretty bad shape” at the meeting. “He looked like he had been put through the wringer,” she said.

In separate interviews, both Ashburne and Dolcetti suggested that concern about the treatment of Madden is beginning to overshadow parishioners’ anger at the deeds in which Fay is alleged to have been involved.

Fay not forgotten

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