No Good Deed Goes Unpunished


Persecuted priest lashes out at fellow clergy

Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott
November 20, 2004

Father James Haley is angry. A case of righteous anger, it seems.

The whistleblower priest of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, featured in a Nov. 15 story in The Washington Times (see:, has been silenced by Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde.

In an e-mail I received, Father Haley laments:

."All of this, so far, is about me. Bishop Loverde is not on trial, Father Rippy is not on trial, Father Mealey is not on trial, and the Church is not on trial. Their faculties have not been removed, their permission to preach has not been denied, and their financial pay has not been discontinued while they wait I have been waiting three years, one month and counting for some recourse to some sort of Church 'justice.'

"And yet, I am not the one hiding homosexual priests and bishops, or homosexual misconduct and abuse, or homosexual pornography. I am not the one stealing large sums of money from parish collections. I am not the one using money, donated by the people of the diocese to further the Gospel proclamation of the truth, to pay for canon lawyers, civil lawyers, public relation firms and the salaries of diocesan spokespersons in order to intimidate, control, and hide the truth about the real moral crisis.

"I am not the one using public media, diocesan newspaper and pulpit announcements, to falsely malign and defame a priest of the diocese with knowingly false information about not being under a legal subpoena to testify, or of purposely publicizing information about homosexual priests in the diocese.

"That information was part of the deposition questions asked in the Lambert lawsuit tying to show a trend, or history, of not addressing priest problems and of protecting guilty priests from exposure, correction or removal from ministry although this 'protection' seems to highly favor homosexual abuse problems. I am not the one who has promoted homosexual men to positions of authority and power chancellors, vicar generals, vocation directors, seminary rectors, even to the office of Bishop and Cardinal.

"And yet, I am the one on 'trial'; and not one of them, not one bishop, not one cardinal, not one chancellor, not one vicar general, has been suspended, or had their faculties removed, or had their financial support denied, or painfully await a Church trial about their absolutely egregious and immoral, if not in many cases, illegal, behaviors..

"The uncontrolled, increasing presence of homosexual men serving as priests and bishops can not, can never, take a back seat to other issues. This is the largest and most pressing moral issue in the Catholic Church, and the bishops must face it with transparency, clarity and courage in order to ever truly restore their credibility.."

Matt C. Abbott is the former executive director of the Illinois Right to Life Committee and the former director of public affairs for the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League. He is also a contributor to,,,,,,, "The Wanderer" Catholic newspaper,,,,, and He can be reached at .

Copyright 2004 by Matt C. Abbott

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