Monday, March 10

Greenwich church can't find $400,000

The New Haven Register is reporting that church officials have concluded their investigation into a Greenwich priest who failed to account for more than $400,000 in church funds he kept in secret accounts.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport said it has provided its findings to federal authorities after investigating the Rev. Michael Moynihan. He resigned last year as pastor of St. Michael Church in wealthy Greenwich and was stripped of his priestly authority last month after he was found living with another man.
The newspaper says that the report offers few details on how Moynihan might have spent church money, but it does cite $58,000 used to buy a boat as well as restaurant, travel expenses and a livery service. The article goes on to say:

Moynihan was stripped of his priestly authority after the Bridgeport Diocese learned last month that he shared a Manhattan apartment with another man. Moynihan failed to end that association despite promises to do so, and engaged in “obfuscation” when questioned about church money, Bishop William E. Lori wrote in a letter Thursday to parishioners.
It seems crazy to me the diocese was more concerned with the priest's co-habitation with another man that they were with their terrible internal controls. Then again, it appears that the church never would have found out about the secret accounts unless the F.B.I. tipped them off to the banking deceptions.

Bridgeport diocese officials say they have made “great strides” in implementing a new system of financial procedures and controls in all 87 parishes in Fairfield County. Those steps have become a model for other dioceses, Lori said in a telephone interview Friday.

“I think people can have a great deal of confidence that the donations to the parishes are used well and wisely for the mission of the parish,” Lori said.

Hat tip to Mike Burns (again) at Nonprofit Board Crisis for blogging this story.

1 comment:

"a fundraiser" said...

For more information on how this story unfolded, check out this story from the NY Post in late January: