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Monday, January 22, 2007

Ecclesiastical Notes from Greenwich, CT

Not a good day for two churches in my home town:

The Rev'd Michael Moynihan, pastor of St. Michael Church, R.C. (the "Pizza Hut Church," my R.C. friends called it when we were kids, owing to its sixties era architecture) on spiffy North Street in Greenwich, has stepped down. Bishop Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport requested Fr. Moynihan's resignation after an audit revealed a cool half-million bucks in expenses couldn't be accounted for. If there is any good news in the story it is all the much-loved priest's expenditures seem to have been legitimate and that it's more a matter of sloppy, almost criminally so, bookkeeping. Also good news, for all Anglo-Catholics who bear good will to our Roman brethren, there is, mercifully and remarkably, nary a hint of boys or boyfriends in this story.

Sadly, that is not the case with Robert F. Tate, the former Music Director of Christ Church, Episcopal, THE church of Greenwich, the church for several generations of the Bush family. He plead guilty today of possessing "between 150 and 300 pornographic images of children, including some showing children younger than 12-years-old" and "apparent foreign travel for purpose of photographing children." Ugh.

Tate was a fine musician and the Christ Church boys choir enjoyed international fame under his direction. Further, in his over thirty years on the job there was never a hint of any illicit behavior by him towards his young charges. But this was a heinous act and those who insist (and there are lots) this sort of thing is a "victimless crime" don't take into account those 150-300 kids who had to pose for the pictures. How foul. Throw the book at him.

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