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Anti-Gay Priest Resigns In Sex Scandal


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I guess while I was busy in Canada there was a little scandal going on in New York. How is it that those who preach morality the most so often are at odds with it themselves? This preist resigned and had to go back to his $2 million dollar home!

 

Anti-gay priest resigns in disgrace

After saying gays would wreck marriage, accused of adultery

By JAMES WITHERS | Aug 21, 8:22 PM

 

 

 

Monsignor Eugene Clark, rector of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, called gay people ‘the enemy of Christian marriage and Christian falling in love’ in a series of radio speeches.

The Catholic Church leader who once blamed Hollywood and gays for the country’s supposed moral decay is accused of not practicing what he’s been preaching.

 

A series of articles in the New York Post and elsewhere have turned into a public relations nightmare for Monsignor Eugene Clark. The 79-year-old rector of St. Patrick’s Cathedral is accused of having an affair with his secretary, 46-year-old Laura DeFilippo.

 

Her husband, Philip DeFilippo, gave news outlets a video tape taken on July 21. It shows Clark and Laura DeFilippo entering into a motel on the East End of Long Island and leaving five hours later wearing different clothes. In court papers filed Aug. 8, Philip DeFilippo said the relationship between the monsignor and his wife is one of the reasons why he wants a divorce.

 

Clark and his secretary have both denied the charges; however, Clark resigned as rector of St. Patrick’s on Aug. 11, apparently as a result of the allegations. Many have also questioned Clark’s owning a house in Amagansett, one of the most expensive communities in the Hamptons and reportedly valued at $2 million.

 

Clark has been a major figure in the archdiocese for close to 50 years. He was the private secretary to Cardinal Francis Spellman and the official spokesperson for Cardinals Terence Cooke and John O’Connor. Cardinal Edward Egan picked Clark, who is known for being a hard-liner when it comes to issues of sexuality to be the rector of St. Patrick’s.

 

In his Aug. 10 editorial, Daily News columnist Michael Daly quoted from Clark’s radio talks. “Hollywood is not a Christian place at all, at all, at all,” Daly reported Clark as saying.

 

“Most of the writers the creative people, are homosexually inclined or homosexually recruited.” Clark went on to call gays the “the enemy of Christian marriage and Christian falling in love and all the tenderness that goes with that.”

 

In a 2002 homily, the monsignor blamed the sexual abuse of priests on gay clergymen and called the United Sates “the most immoral country certainly in the Western hemisphere and maybe the larger circle because of the entertainment we suffer and what it’s done to our [country’s] morals.

 

“The tendency to homosexuality is a disorder, not a sin,” he continued. “But the practice of homosexuality is truly sinful. Homosexuality became in the American exchange of views a protected area. Homosexual students were allowed to pass through seminaries. Grave mistake. Not because homosexuals in anyway tend to criminality, but because it is a disorder.”

 

At the time, the archdiocese insisted that Clark was only speaking for himself.

 

The message & messenger

“Although Monsignor Clark continues to deny the allegations against him, he offered his resignation for the good of Saint Patrick’s and the Archdiocese,” said Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the archdiocese, after Clark resigned his post. “He will not be celebrating Mass or the sacraments publicly until this matter has been resolved.”

 

Jeff Stone, spokesman for the New York chapter of Dignity, a gay Catholic organization, said Clarke needed to be taken to task. “If these allegations are true, then certainly that goes against the teaching of the church and is an example of hypocrisy, at the highest level, of the church,” said Stone.

 

Stone went on to chastise Clark for going out of his way to blame gay men for the church’s epidemic of child abuse cases. “Here is man advocating orthodox sexual behavior and in 2002 from the pulpit blamed sexual abuse in the church on homosexuals in the priesthood, ” Stone said. “The church is in an unrelenting campaign to convince people that the sexual crisis was about having gay men in the priesthood. What it was about was that there were sexually immature and damaged men in the priesthood, regardless of sexuality.”

 

Kiera McCaffrey of the Catholic League called the accusations “distressing” but also advised there has to be a distinction between the worthiness of Church doctrine and the messenger of that doctrine.

 

“It is important to separate the message from the messenger,” said McCaffrey. “These allegations are a reflection on the teacher and not Church teaching and it’s important to remember that.”

 

David France, author of the book “Sins of Our Fathers,” widely considered the definitive history of the recent sex-abuse scandal, said the case exposes the dangers of the Catholic Church’s obsession with sex. “This is what that theology means: sexual dogma has moved to a place that does not recognize ordinary human sexuality,” he said.

 

Like Stone, France also wonders why Clark would make such harsh public announcements from the pulpit.

 

“Here is a guy who has been the mad dog in the pulpit about the dangers of sexual liberation, meanwhile there he is taking Jacuzzis with his sectary,” France said. “What Clark has been saying from the pulpit he either doesn’t believe or he believes it goes for everyone else and not him. Either way, it gives the lie to what the church teaches about sex.”

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>“What Clark has been

>saying from the pulpit he either doesn’t believe or he

>believes it goes for everyone else and not him. Either way, it

>gives the lie to what the church teaches about sex.”

 

The second statement does not follow necessarily from the first statement on which it is premised. The fact that Clark may be a lying hypocrite, at least in regard to this alleged heterosexual affair and breach of his vow of celibacy, does not necessarily prove that what the CHURCH teaches about sex is a lie. That being said, what the CHURCH teaches about sex has always seemed to me to be anachronistic, and not essential to or firmly rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ as reported in the New Testament. But I make that judgment independent of the priests and other "messengers" of the Church and any personal scandals that may involve them.

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Although the purpose of this room states "NO Religion", being well acquainted with Christianity and clergy, I would like to simply say that I agree with the above reply to the orginal message. Many clergy speak strongly against moral issues in order to appease their own guilt. Yes, its hypocritical, but its also pitiful.

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Unless a priest is a member of a specific “order” that takes a “vow of poverty”, there are absolutely no restrictions on any financial dealings in which he would be able to participate.

 

For example, if he were to inherit a substantial sum of money he would be under no obligation to donate it to the poor or bequeath it to the church. He could invest the funds for his own benefit as he sees fit.

 

Actually most priests fall into this category as I would assume does the priest in question. However, most priests are not in the financial position to acquire multimillion-dollar estates… though obviously some do!

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Lucky, I am perplexed by your deleted post. Please see the other board and tell me what is really on your mind. Scotsman, thank you for your considered comment. Even as a struggling ex-Catholic and yes, atheist, I strive for spirituality, and all I find is that the messengers of organized religions are as flawed or more flawed than myself. A very humbling thought.

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>Do priests really earn enough money to own $2 million houses?

> What a job! I wouldn't mind doing that... Of course, I

>don't believe in God, but it doesn't seem that believing what

>you preach is a job requirement. :p

 

Well we know they "earn" enough to take lots of escorts to Las Vegas and other places for weekends at a time--don't we? I'm hoping that only the independently wealthy do that rather than tapping the collection plate.

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“The tendency to homosexuality is a disorder, not a sin,” he continued. “But the practice of homosexuality is truly sinful. Homosexuality became in the American exchange of views a protected area. Homosexual students were allowed to pass through seminaries. Grave mistake. Not because homosexuals in anyway tend to criminality, but because it is a disorder.”

 

Actually, the sad the is my Dad said the same thing but went a step further...he stated that it is not a mental disorder but a moral one...

 

:( :( :( x( x( x( x(

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Once again someone, other than who should judge us, does! I am so glad of that! It is surprising to me to see all those that seem to know what they think they know,who some one is? ,or suppose they know on the rumor of someone else. And of course they suspect that this poor bugger is taking from the plate. And how do we know this or do we just guess or take someones false rumor? Of course they really don't know if he is independently wealthy? Or has some other kind of retirement or what or for that matter where the money comes from? Do we? Isnt this person so easy to jump on? Dont we say all kinds of things about them? Why the judgement? I know it can't be because of who he is and let's try to damn him? Do we really know this or are we out to try to concot this whole thing for a story or what others have in their minds? I really have to say that what I love the most is the ones who think that it is all about "How Great thow Art" and not about the real issue. Do inquirying minds want to know? Sometimes we forget humanity but confuse the issue with divinity even though the person doesn't. HUGS

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Some people think that way, Chuck, because it provides an easy answer to what may be a difficult question to them. Everyone who thinks the way that they do wears a white hat and those that differ in opinion wear black hats.

 

"if he opposes us, he must be corrupt in some way."

 

It makes their lives simple and it makes it easy to hate those who have differing ooinions than theirs.

 

I find it sad that, in arguing against the ideas that religious icons have toward homosexuality, we accuse our critics of having ill conceived notions about who we are as gay men, some choose to contrive equally ill conceived notions about those critics. It puts the arguing party on the same tepind intellectual and moral ground that he is accusing the person he is criticizing of being.

 

Life and people are complex. You stand a far better chance of addressing and changing the ideas of people who have a different political and social agenda than yours if you examine and understand it versus compartmentalizing it into neat little boxes.

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RE: Anti-Gay Priest Cleared Of Fraud

 

An investigation into the possibility that a high-ranking priest had embezzled church funds has cleared him, the NY Daily News reports today:

 

Msgr. didn't cheat St. Pat's till

 

BY CORKY SIEMASZKO and ADAM LISBERG

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

 

Msgr. Eugene Clark, who is accused of having an affair with his secretary, apparently didn't engage in any financial hanky- panky, a review of audits by the Archdiocese of New York has found.

The review was spurred when Clark, 79, resigned last month after a videotape revealed him checking into an Amagansett, L.I., motel room with his longtime secretary Laura DeFilippo, 46.

 

"Based on a review of those audits, all of the financial records of St. Patrick's Cathedral appear to be in order," archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling said. "We have found no information that would indicate misuse of parish funds. We continue to monitor the situation."

 

St. Pat's had annual audits performed by an outside firm until Clark took over in 2001, when he hired an in-house auditor, Zwilling said.

 

That arrangement didn't work, he said, so the cathedral hired accounting firm KPMG.

 

Clark, who has denied an affair, has dropped out of sight, no longer living at St. Pat's and performing no assignments or duties for the archdiocese.

 

Priests in the archdiocese earn about $18,500 a year, but tax records show Clark was paid $280,000 over six years as vice president of the upstate Homeland Foundation charity.

 

DeFilippo also made up to $15,000 a year from the charity. Lawyers have said she and her estranged husband, who has worked a variety of jobs, are millionaires.

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