Follow up on what is happening at OLL Rapanaro Investigation Ongoing, Diocese Says
I have learned from my sources at OLL that the discrepancies in the Rapanaro case continue, multiplying the question marks about the Lisante administration of the Massapequa Park parish.
A friend contacted Sean Dolan, the diocesan spokesman today, to seek some resolution on the controversy surrounding the hiring of Peter Rapanaro by Msgr. Lisante as co-music director at OLL. Parishioners were concerned about the hiring of Peter Rapanaro since it became known that he directed an off-Broadway production of "My Big Gay Italian Wedding," which contained numerous offensive references to pedophile priests, oral sex and the Catholic faith and portrays gay marriage in a highly favorable light.
An earlier statement by Dolan reported in The Wanderer, a national Catholic weekly, that Rapanaro was being investigated by the Rockville Centre Diocese for some "serious" accusations of an undisclosed nature. Today Dolan confirmed that the investigation of Rapanaro by the Diocese is still ongoing.
Several weeks ago a secretary at OLL told a caller that Peter Rapanaro was not being "investigated," and that this was "a poor choice of words," insisting instead that Rapanaro was being "reviewed" and that review had been concluded satisfactorily.
Sean Dolan was asked today to discuss the apparent difference between a "review" and an "investigation," and he explained that OLL conducted its own review of Rapanaro, which is standard for all diocesan employees. However, Sean Dolan added that the diocese is conducting its own separate investigation of Rapanaro which has not been concluded as of this date.
The affable diocesan spokesman was asked why he thought the OLL secretary had characterized his use of the word "investigation" as "a poor choice of words," and Dolan said he had "no idea."
In a further development, last week Msgr. Lisante mentioned to an OLL parishioner that if Rapanaro were let go from the parish, Rapanaro could hypothetically sue him for discrimination. Dolan was asked today about such a potential lawsuit, and he responded that if such a case were to occur, this is Lisante's matter and does not concern the diocese.
Directly afterwards, Dolan stated that Rapanaro was not employed by the diocese and has never worked for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Surprised, my friend asked if it were true that Peter Rapanaro worked for Telecare (as has been mentioned in several places online and in the OLL bulletin itself.) Sean Dolan said it was his belief that Rapanaro never worked for the Diocese or for Telecare, but that he would double-check his facts, and my friend could call him tomorrow for confirmation/correction on this detail.
Just for the record, here are several places online which mention Peter Rapanaro's work for Telecare and the Diocese of Rockville Centre:
1) From the St. Thomas the Apostle bulletin announcement re: Rapanaro's induction to the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre:
"The honor is being bestowed on Mr. Rapanaro for his ceaseless lifelong dedication of service to the Diocese in which he has performed thousands of marriages, christenings and funerals, bringing both joy and solace with his God-given voice. His televised masses, locally on Channel 55 WLNY TV and Telicare (sic) Stations Channel 10 and nationally on EWTN stations, bring his vocal gifts to an even larger audience."
2) From his profile on cdbaby.com
"[Rapanaro] recently received an award for his over 20 years of dedicated service to the Diocese of Rockville Centre and New York City, and as Cantor and can regularly be seen on TV 55’s Morning Mass and through the TeleCare stations."
3) Finally, from the Sept. 14 OLL bulletin when Msgr. Lisante introduced him to the parish:
"Peter has worked in Music Ministry in several parishes around Long Island, and can
often be seen leading song on the diocesan TV Mass taped at St. Agnes Cathedral."
I will, of course, let you know if Sean Dolan will correct or confirm his statement tomorrow. Meanwhile, as anyone can see, there is an ever-widening gap between the statements of Msgr. Lisante and the statements of the diocesan spokesman.