Dear Bishop Gaydos:
| Father O’Malley|
Fitzgerald, skeptical about priests at play,
acquiesces only when Crosby says, “If I lose
it, I’ll swear off. I’ll quit.”
| Father Fitzgibbon|
and roll endeavors at St. Thomas – and the inability
of the Missouri bishops to deal with crime and cost
controls relating to pedophile priests – graft and
greed seem to be common threads throughout the
financial management history of the Diocese of
The Ten Commandments
illustrated in the 1675
at the Amsterdam
value of a pay-off in exchange for silence
and secrecy, despite O’Connell’s trail of
bread crumbs published in the St. Thomas
yearbook, The Anchor. Let’s not even
mention O’Connell’s dossier: a file that
he controlled personally throughout his
17 years as a leading member of the
so-called Priest Personnel Board.
at the time of his promotion as bishop of
Palm Beach, Fla., remains unknown.
O’Connell, in turn, is a chancer, interested
only in monetary pursuit.
Forensics, Accountability, Truth
| Bishop James A. Wilkowski|
a peek inside the back office. Wilkowski
was recruited to the diocese during Bishop O’Connell’s tenure as vocation director
and rector of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary
Despite his performance as a student at Kenrick Seminary, Wilkowski was dismissed two weeks before his ordination as a deacon after he reported to O’Connell and McAuliffe
that he had been subjected to sexual harassment
and sexual blackmail (as noted in previous postings).
The Rev. Brian Driscoll, who succeeded O’Connell
as vocation director, delivered the coup de grace.
“On October 31, 1988, I was summoned to Bishop McAuliffe’s office
of and notified that my allegations had caused ‘consternation within the internal forum of the diocese’ and my ordination was cancelled.
I was [ordered] to vacate the rectory at St. Brendan’s in Mexico within 24 hours. I was handed a check $250 for expenses, which I left on McAuliffe’s desk and walked out.”
Benedictine Monks: Priory of St. Pius X
Rev. Edwin J. Cole
Cole was member of Skt. Knud’s Kloster, a monastic priory in
To sweeten the deal and relocation to Our Lady of Lourdes in Columbia, McAuliffe ponied up approximately $280,000 to renovate the church. The Benedictines, accordingly, agreed to reimburse the bishop for expenses.
Unlike the nuns at Our Lady of Peace Monastery in Columbia, these pious Benedictines and McAuliffe had a falling out. They reneged on their debt. McAuliffe was unable to collect. And the Columbia venture collapsed.
To recoup his losses, McAuliffe turned to the Parish of St. Pius X in Moberly and raided the St. Mary’s Cemetery Fund, which had a cash balance of about $250,000. City Bank and Trust Company of Moberly managed cemetery account. Will Ben Sims, the president of the bank and a St. Mary’s Cemetery board member, opposed McAuliffe’s move. The bishop side-stepped the issue, citing his power as head of diocese and seized the funds.
After this fiasco, Father Cole, apparently dissatisfied with the McAuliffe regime, sought assignments outside of the diocese.
Cole was appointed the first full-time associate pastor of St. Anselm Parish (1989-1991), St. Louis, which is affiliated with the Abbey of St. Mary and St. Louis (The Priory). He then was employed by The Priory and worked was a hospital chaplain in St. Charles, Mo. In 1994, he returned to work at Sacred Heart Church in Columbia until 2004. His last assignment was the Shrine of St. Patrick in Laurie, Mo.
Just as McAuliffe raided City Bank to seize the St. Mary’s Cemetery Fund, he also raided the cash account of a wealthy parish south of Jefferson City.
The pastor at the time was among the few who still had sole signing privileges on individual parish accounts.
Bishop McAuliffe raided the cemetery account of the Parish of St. Pius X
held in trust at City Bank of Moberly (circa. 1988).
Given this set of circumstances, a review McAuliffe’s bookkeeping technique and personal benefits package, even at this late date, would prove interesting. Bishops are classified as corporate executives by the insurance markets. It is not uncommon for a bishop to have multiple life insurance policies ranging from the mid-six to the low seven-figures, based on the size of the diocese. These policies may or may not revert to diocese when they mature. Typically they do not, and the bishop retires to a life of luxury when the policy matures. The recipient of such a legacy would be one lucky fellow.
The woman sought out the priest for spiritual counseling. Her husband was
a church mouse, active in the parish, devoted to the Roman Catholic cause.
The priest was an O’Connell recruit. His
parents were well-off and had a vacation
home at the Lake of the Ozarks. In 1972,
his family turned over the property for a
summer priest-seminarian party. One of
the seminarians at the event nearly severed
the index finger of another when they used
a hunting knife to cut a tow rope caught in
the propeller of a motor boat. Alcohol played
a role in this disaster.
The Salisbury couple approached McAuliffe for support after
the attack. McAuliffe offered sanctimonious assurances that
the matter would be rectified. Initially, McAuliffe refused to
pay damages for medical costs and recovery. Attempting
dexterity and prudence, McAuliffe concocted a modest,
conciliatory offer. By the conclusion of the case, he was
forced to make a financial settlement in the $228,000.
The priest escaped financial punishment and imprisonment.
St. Joseph, Salisbury: Scandalfest Haven
St. Peter’s in Jefferson City, seems
to be one of the choice parishes for
For example, the Rev. Frank Westhoff
and the Rev. Donald L. Wallace are former pastors and/or associates. The Rev. Patrick Dolan and the Rev. Bill Korte, who have not been implicated in scandal, have been assigned to St. Joseph as well.
Skullduggery seems to be embedded in
St. Joseph’s at least as far back as the start of the 20th Century.
According the 25 May 1908 edition of
the New York Times, the Rev. Joseph F.
Lubeley was attacked and stabbed twice
by a wealthy parishioner, Joseph Schuette.
His wounds are probably fatal, one blow of
the knife striking him in the temple and
another in the throat, narrowly missing
the jugular vein. Lubeley and Schuette
had been good friends. Lubeley survived
The Los Angeles Times portrayed the story with this series of headlines: Madman at the Altar, Priest’s Throat Cut by Lunatic, Wealthy Parishioner Stabs Celebrant in Crowded Church, Victim Pleads for Assailant While Lying at Point of Death.
St. Joseph, Salisbury: Rev. William D. Debo
Rev. William D. Debo
St. Joseph in Salisbury.
The Debo matter created a great deal of
chaos and fear among the parishioners.
In 2004, a number of well-placed St. Joseph
parishioners confirmed the details of the
situation: David S., who is a certified public
accountant profession and church organist
by avocation; and Rose M., a parish employee.
Both church members also offered a referral
source: a respected community and parish
leader, who is a largescale farmer in Chariton
County. Former Missouri state representative,
Therese A. Sander (R-Moberly), is privy to
In addition, a representative of the Mid-Missouri chapter of Voice of the Faithful offered this assessment in June 2004:
“Last year, our group heard about the troubles in Salisbury, as some of their members contacted [us] . . . . We talked about inviting them to a meeting to talk about their concerns, but there wasn't much follow-up [from the Salisbury parishioners].”
Unfortunately, those knowledgeable about the circumstances continue to demur. Debo’s career, on the other hand, seems to have survived this eclipse despite the havoc his actions inflicted on the Salisbury church.
Father Debo is a St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary graduate, Class of 1986. Circa 1990, his assignment status was classified as: Leave of Absence and On Duty Outside the Diocese. Prior to St. Joseph’s , Debo was assigned to Risen Savior Church, Rhineland, and Our Lady of Sorrows, Starkenberg. (One of Debo’s Kenrick Seminary friends and classmates is the notorious pedophile priest, Bryan Kuchar. Kuchar was defrocked by the Vatican in 2006 despite the objects of his boss who now Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York.)
We would like to know more about the circumstance regarding these job transfers and approved leaves.
St. Joseph, Salisbury: The Rev. Timothy M. Tatro
St. Joseph Church, Salisbury, Mo.
pastor (2002-2003) at Immaculate
Conception, Jefferson City, replaced
Father Debo at St. Joseph’s, Salisbury. St. Joseph’s was his one and only
assignment as a pastor. In Jefferson
City, he shared the Immaculate
Conception rectory with Msgr.
Gregory L. Higley.
Tatro’s Salisbury assignment lasted
less than one week due behavior
and actions that caused as much as
consternation among the parishioners
as Debo’s did. Tatro received an
immediate leave of absence in 2003.
His status remains unchanged.
We understand that Tatro, a former Christian Brother and Helias High School faculty member, is the protégé of Msgr. Greg Higley. Higley, in fact, sponsored his candidacy for ordination in 1999 and managed his career until the Salisbury catastrophe.
We would like to know the particulars of the Tatro case as well. Former chancellor, Sr. Ethel Marie Birie (known as Sister Mary Godzilla among the clergy), and Msgr. Higley engaged the Salisbury congregation with a story about Tatro’s dislike for the country life as the reason that he failed his five-day assignment. This rationale was hardly plausible is 2003. It cannot be true in 2012.
Father Tatro’s current whereabouts are not known to the public; although he remains on the diocesan payroll.
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