Las Vegas Sun

February 27, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Monsignor’s crimes a blow to faithful

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.

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  1. Mr. DiFazio

    If the actions of the Monsignor has shaken your faith, maybe you shouldn't rely so much on the priests who took vows to spread the teachings of Christ because so far - many have failed. From stealing money to molesting children. Maybe it's time to not depend so much on those who are fallible and rely on your own faith in Christ's teachings. You don't need a priest to do that, it comes from within. You know that.

    For over 40 years (probably longer), the Church has been hiding all sorts of wrong doings of their priests. I learned a long time ago not to base my faith on their actions. I stopped going to confession years ago when I realized some of the priests sitting behind that curtain committed more and worse sins that I ever will. But it hasn't shaken my faith in what the basic beliefs of our religion are based on - Christ's teachings. I do not agree with the "man made teachings" of the Church and have not agreed since I was a student at a Catholic high school back in the 60's. The Nun actually gave me a flunking grade in my religion class because of mine and a couple of other students' "questions", which, as you know, back then you never questioned the dictates of Rome. And that was the 60's - the time when the Church did an about face and all of a sudden most everything we learned and believed in disappeared. Good try at becoming modern. Too bad the Church hasn't done anything substantial since to actually bring it into modern times. John Paul II did an excellent job trying to bring back those who became disenchanted with the Church but then comes Benedict, who still is living in a different century. (I remember when homosexuality was a sin....but unbeknownst to us, it was rampant in the ranks of priests.)

    There are many good and decent priests out there who live by the vows they took; unfortunately, we never hear about them. You are old enough to know better than to place any faith in Catholic priests. And you certainly should not be surprised at this latest incident. Just move on.

  2. BTW - This parish is in Summerlin. I never saw such a beautiful Church campus anywhere! It rivals some of the LDS churches in the Valley, which are always over the top. My guess the Parish will make up this loss in no time. It's not exactly St. John Neumann's in North Las Vegas.