Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 | 2:02 a.m.
These are sad days for Catholics, especially the community of believers at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church in Summerlin. After an investigation of several months, the pastor, Monsignor Kevin McAuliffe, pleaded guilty to stealing $650,000 from the church and parish members’ tithes. Until now, most, like me, were still defending his innocence against an anonymous allegation of financial wrongdoing leveled against him in June. The results of an audit, mandated and paid for by the diocese, proved us wrong.
Bishop Joseph Pepe must be devastated spiritually and physically by the news. Pastor McAuliffe, 58 years old, was also the vicar general of the dioceses, the next in charge to the bishop. He now faces a prison sentence equivalent to a lifetime term and monetary fines equal to what he stole.
The money taken from people — in difficult economic times and in violation of God’s commandments — was given for the greater honor and glory of God. St. Peter tells us “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
Even the best and brightest fall victim.