Skip to comments.Father Michael Madden, Whistle-blower, Leaves Darien Parish and Priesthood
Posted on 09/01/2006 7:19:51 AM PDT by TaxachusettsMan
Rev. Michael Madden, who was responsible for hiring the private investigator that revealed financial improprieties by the churchs pastor, Rev. Michael Jude Fay, announced Tuesday that he is leaving St. John Parish and the priesthood.
Father Fays misconduct may have resulted in a loss of $1.4 million to the parish . . .
Father Madden said throughout his priesthood, and the last four years at St. John, he did his very best to serve the people of his parishes. However, the strain of the last years at St. John and especially the last few months, have proved to be too much for him, he said.
Father Madden said when he and bookkeeper Bethany DErario decided to hire a private investigator to research the financial misconduct of Father Fay with their own money (he declined to specify the cost), he had no idea the diocese would react with the severity that it did.
I did not think that I was betraying the diocese by hiring the private investigator, he said.
Bishop William E. Lori, head of the Diocese of Bridgeport, publicly denounced the hiring of the private investigator . . . The diocese sent out a press release with an apology from Father Madden for his actions, and at a meeting with parishioners, who voiced support for Father Madden, the bishop stated that the priest had gone behind the dioceses back.
Father Madden said he is not sorry for hiring the private investigator and that he felt it was the right thing to do in light of Father Fays alleged continuous financial misconduct. Any inappropriate relationships that Father Fay may or may not have had (he was allegedly involved in a homosexual relationship while serving as pastor) were not the priority, according to Father Madden.
(Excerpt) Read more at acorn-online.com ...
(2) One priest hiring a PI to investigate another priest he is having a personal dispute with is a bad idea, and Fr. Madden was correctly disciplined for doing that.
(3) I question the seriousness of Fr. Madden's vocation and the seriousness of his Christian profession if he is deciding to abandon his parishioners because of a financial dispute.
"Shepherds" like that we don't need.
You may be unaware of a few facts. Fr. Madden went to the diocese first and did not get any support or action. Bishop Lori admits that he cut Fr. Fey slack because he was having health problems. Fr. Madden only went outside the "chain of command" after it failed him and his parishoners. Would you have the same opinion of a priest who took action on his own if the concern had been child molestation?
This is very sad, it really shows how someone getting their neck stepped on can kill their Vocation.
I think too many people realize how fragile a Vocation can often be and how easy it is for a Bishop to kill it (just look at the poor Vocation rates in some Diocese).
Maybe he'll come back one of these days. I know Fr. Groeschel is involved in ministry to guys like him.
I'm sure he didn't.
He had two further options: (1) going over the ordinary's head to the bishop's conference and if that fell through (2) reporting Fr. Fay to the police.
Bishop Lori admits that he cut Fr. Fey slack because he was having health problems.
Not surprising. These guys all develop health problems as soon as this stuff arises.
Fr. Madden only went outside the "chain of command" after it failed him and his parishoners.
He didn't follow the chain of command any further than one link. And as a result, he failed his parishioners and has apparently decided to abandon them.
Would you have the same opinion of a priest who took action on his own if the concern had been child molestation?
Absolutely. If he suspected a fellow priest of such crimes, he should have reported his suspicions to the police immediately - not hired a private investigator.
Thanks for this additional information.
Additional light in a place of darkness. Sounds like the bishop should go bye-bye and not let the door hit him on the way out.
My thought, as well. Why not ask to be incardinated to another diocese?
I question the seriousness of the Catholic church to want evil exposed.
And I praise Father Madden for being a good shephard. Don't bow down to evil - either fight it and/or walk away from it.
I think he did the right thing too. Exposed it but quietly. The priest he exposed is disgusting. That the Diocese did nothing is disgusting too. I hope he finds a great place to minister; courageous men like him are sorely needed in all walks of life. Always.
To bboop and all responders: I've known Fr. Madden for many years. His decision to leave was agonizing. The episode in Darien was the cap on his decision, not a flight of fancy. The Diocese of Bridgeport has many, many problems, and they are losing many good priests who view their vocation AS a vocation, not as a career where they climb the corporate ladder. Fr. Madden is not the first, and he won't be the last, unfortunately.
You've known him? Well, tell him we're behind him all the way. And the Lord, of course, will be pleased. But not to leave the church -- we need good men like him.
(2) I agree that the ordinary did nothing and was completely derelict.
(3) None of this derogates from the fact that (a) it is a bad precedent for priests to start hiring PIs to investigate other priests and (b) abandoning one's parishioners and the ministry because one's ordinary is incompetent is a selfish act.
A priest's primary responsibility is to provide the faithful with the sacraments. All else is subordinate to that responsibility and the only excuse for abandoning it is juridical loss of jurisdiction or catastrophic physical disability.
Regardless of whether or not it was right for Bishop Lori to discipline Fr. Madden, that doesn't justify Fr. Madden's decision to leave the priesthood. Nor should we blame the bishop for this man's free choice to leave the priesthood. There is nothing even remotely noble about his decision to abandon his vocation. Remaining faithful to his vocation would have been the noble course of action.
I knew Fr. Madden personally. He was a parochial vicar at two of the parishes where my family and I had been parishioners. (We switched parishes because my children went to Catholic school in our new parish) I can not believe that Fr. Madden acted out of any malice or in this case acted with out proper reflection and prayer. The Diocese of Bridgeport has been infested with priestly abuses by many. You do not know what Fr. Madden went through in taking this step. I pray for Mike Madden and can only imagine his pain in realizing that he could not continue in his vocation. Do not judge if you have not been in his shoes
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