Fr. X raises some important questions about Fr. Blockley's illicit activities while in the DRVC.
A priest of the Rockville Centre diocese has agreed to write a second post on the situation at Our Lady of Lourdes. As I have mentioned before, this good priest is willing to publish his name, but I have decided to keep his identity in confidence for his own protection.
Financial/Moral Implications of the Lisante/Blockley Affair
Let us turn to the Catholic Church's position on the public Masses Fr. Blockley celebrated while serving as Msgr. Lisante's assistant. Since Fr. Blockley was with Msgr. Lisante eight years, we are talking about hundreds of such Masses.
The Church regards all of these Masses as gravely wrong both for Fr. Blockley in saying them and for Msgr. Lisante in allowing them. Why? A suspended priest is forbidden to celebrate Mass unless the Bishop grants permission. Bishop Murphy did not give permission.
What about the money that Msgr. Lisante's paishes gave to Fr. Blockley for the past eight years? How much was it? Was it more than Msgr. Lisante gave to priests in good standing? Apparently, only Msgr. Lisante knows. There is no mention of Fr. Blockley in any of Msgr. Lisante's financial reports to the bishop.
Knowing that Bishop Murphy would not approve of Fr. Blockley's presence, Msgr. Lisante successfully hid Fr. Blockley from the Bishop for many years. If Bishop Murphy had not found out, Fr. Blockley would still be with Msgr. Lisante.
Why does Msgr. Lisante violate Church law for Fr. Blockley while treating Fr. Mason with contempt? Unlike Fr. Blockley, Fr. Mason can hear confessions validly. Unlike Fr. Blockley, Fr. Mason can officiate at marriages validly. Unlike Fr. Blockley, Fr. Mason can celebrate public Masses licitly. Unlike Fr. Blockley, Fr. Mason's presence does not require Msgr. Lisante's to give him a salary.
Could the answer possibly lie in one other area where Fr. Mason and Fr. Blockley are not alike? Unlike Fr. Blockley, Fr. Mason is a strong defender of the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality.
In contrast, in past years, Msgr. Lisante has invited the pro-homosexual group Dignity to present its propaganda to impressionable Catholic teenagers. Msgr. Lisante has also attacked the moral teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality. Here are Msgr. Lisante's exact words on this subject:
"A whole lot of people are living what you would call false lives because that's what's demanded of them by the Church."
Fr. X has pointed out several areas of concern in Msgr. Lisante's pastoral practices. Of gravest concern is the employment of Fr. Matthew Blockley, a suspended priest without faculties and the matter of Msgr. Lisante's regular absences from the parishes he has managed.
A quick summary of the damage done by Fr. Blockley's illegitimate activities in the Diocese of Rockville Centre:
all the Masses Fr. Blockley celebrated while at St. Thomas the Apostle and Our Lady of Lourdes are illicit.
any confessions he heard are invalid
any marriages at which he officiated are invalid
Fr. Blockley's salary was off the books as there is no mention of his employment in Msgr. Lisante's financial records.
In light of these points and the questions Fr. X has raised, it would appear that a full financial investigation of Msgr. Lisante is in order to determine how Fr. Blockley was being paid while he was employed for eight years at St. Thomas the Apostle Church and while he was at Our Lady of Lourdes.
In addition, there should be an accounting of the stipends given to Fr. Blockley for the illicit and invalid Masses and sacraments he performed during his time here in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Msgr. Lisante should have to pay that money back to St. Thomas the Apostle parish, as well as the salary which Fr. Blockley was paid for his services there.
There should also be an investigation to see if Fr. Blockley was paid the same or more than the other priests of the parish. If Fr. Blockley was paid "off the books," as Fr. X has reported, than it should be determined if Msgr. Lisante filed false and fraudulent tax forms with the Internal Revenue Service during that time.
All the evidence points to the need for an independent investigation/audit by the appropriate authorities to determine how much money, if any, has been improperly used in the parishes at which Msgr. Lisante has worked and to what degree false and fraudulent information has been filed with the government.
Clearly, there is enough reason to suspect possible unethical and immoral activities on the part of Jim Lisante. Only an investigation can answer these questions definitively and assure the people of Our Lady of Lourdes that their money is being used properly and responsibly.
Fri Nov 07, 08:32:00 AM 2008