A big scandal is brewing in New York City. St. Frances de Chantal in the Bronx is in the news regarding a priest who is being accused of living a double life and who is stealing from the parish to support it. Father Peter Miqueli was installed as pastor in 2012 at the well known parish in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx.
He along with Cardinal Dolan and a male prostitute are being sued by parishioners. The lawsuit claims that Miqueli stole over 1 million dollars from the parish by channeling money from an account for a pipe organ, the thrift shop, collection plate and even stipends for altar servers.
The money allegedly went to fund a gay lifestyle with a male prostitute named Keith Crist. This money was used to purchase a home and pay the rent of the muscular prostitute. Parishioners in the lawsuit claim that the archdiocese of New York was informed of this priest’s lifestyle and that the aforementioned did nothing. They claim that Miqueli is rude and arrogant; dismantled the parish council and slanders parishioners that he does not get along with. A doctor and trustee of the parish is said to have provided Miqueli with drugs and accepted a down payment for the home bought. Moreover, workers at the parish claim that they saw stacks of money inside the room of the priest. Apparently, Crist’s ex girlfriend, Tatyana Gudin was the whistle blower. She claims that Crist hurt his knee while he and Miqueli were having gay sex in a tub.
Parishioners have set up a petition, website and Facebook calling on the removal of this priest. You can see the links in the ‘sources’ below this post for more information.
I will continue to follow up on this case and will ask friends of mine in the archdiocese of New York to see what I learn. From reading the website, petition and lawsuit papers, some things do not sound ‘kosher,’ so to speak. The website, petition and petition seem to be focused on the character of Miqueli. It paints him as a rude, nasty and vindictive person. The details in the lawsuit itself seem a bit strange. For example, why would a doctor/trustee of the parish help Miqueli get a house and drugs? Why was he not named in the lawsuit? Also, stacks of money in a priest’s room is not something out of the ordinary. I myself used to help priests count money. They used to organize them in stacks prior to putting them in a money bag to deposit. These priests invited trusted people so that witnesses can be present to show that no money was stolen and the donations were accounted for. Lastly, many of the details seem to paint the parishioners as disgruntled. It may be the case that they do not like this priest and are trying to tarnish his image. We cannot know for sure thought until the facts are in and evidence is presented. So far, I have seen no evidence. No deeds showing that the priest and his alleged hunky boyfriend own the home have been presented. I have seen no evidence that there was any money being laundered. The archdiocese is apparently doing an audit now of the parish so we may have to wait to see if they find any discrepancies. There are many questions I have that I have not found answers to so I will reserve judgment on this until I learn more.
|Home bought by Miqueli where he and Keith lived|