Sunday, November 18, 2018

Cover-up? What Cover-Up? Move Along.

The Catholic Diocese of Jackson distributed the flyer posted below at Mass this morning. 

The Department of Homeland Security shocked Catholics in Mississippi earlier this week when it alleged Diocese officials covered up financial fraud committed by a Starkville Priest.  The Feds stated in an affidavit for a search warrant that the priest bilked parishioners and the Church out of tens of thousands of dollars.  DHS seized records and various electronic devices of the Diocese. The priest raised money for phony cancer treatments,  an orphanage, and a chapel in Mexico.

Father Lenin Vargas-Gutierrez of St. Joseph Parish said he suffered from cancer and raised money to fund his cancer treatments.  The wayward priest actually suffered from HIV and was attending a clinic in Canada that specialized in treating clergy for sexual addiction.  He also launched fund-raising drives for a chapel and orphanage in Mexico but the money allegedly went into his pocket.

DHS charged the Vicar General and Bishop of the Diocese were notified over a year ago about the alleged misdeeds but did nothing about it.  See earlier post about Diocese and copy of affidavit.

Kingfish note: Notice the flyer is completely silent about the allegations of cover-up among the Diocese officials.

However, there is one note of encouragement.  Father John of St. Richards told his flock this morning that he was one of the informants.  Nominate him for the Thomas Becket of Mississippi Award.  Seriously.  

Confidential informants and victims tipped off the DHS to the alleged fraud.


Anonymous said...

Translation: Keep filling the collection plates and move along. Nothing to see here.

Anonymous said...

They even got the acronym wrong. It's HIPAA. However, in light of that deflection, nobody has asked that the church discuss his health issues. But nice try.

Anonymous said...

Did something similar happen at Broadmoor?

Anonymous said...

Not sure where this was distributed, but it wasn't at St. Richard. Fr. John, who was previously in Starkville, had a very, very different message. As the post states, he revealed he was one of the confidential informants who went to law enforcement when they suspected wrongdoing. He told the congregation that is exactly what they or anyone else should do when they suspect someone breaks the law. If more priests had his outlook, we would have far fewer scandals in the Catholic church.

Anonymous said...

Who cares how you spell HIPAA, we all know it means "mums the word." This Priest sounds like a common con artist. Wearing priestly robes does not prevent a phoney coming through the system. I feel sorry for his parishioners and the way he obviously "duped" them. Know the whole church is hurting and angry. Not sure what the raid on the Chancery was all about; sounds like the Feds believe the audit revealed misuse of money and ordered him not to be involved with money and not to raise funds. Guess it will all be revealed, probably much quicker than things in Washington DC are revealed by the FBI and/or Justice.

Anonymous said...

I didn’t know the Catholic diocese, which to my knowledge, does not provide medical care to Vagas, was bound by, or could violate, HIPPA. Your doctor can violate hippa, your friend who says you’re a big fat faker, cannot.

Anonymous said...

HIPAA does not cover this situation. The law prevents "a provider" from disclosing "a patient's" condition. The Good Father is not a patient of the Catholic Church.

Anonymous said...

HIPAA applies to an entity or individual in the information loop who/that either provides or shares confidential medical information regarding healthcare, healthcare plans or claims. If the church processes or transmits or files claims, they are indeed covered under the rule.

But the point I made at 5:47, aside from their misspelling HIPAA, is that it's a red herring to begin with as the church has not been asked to discuss the man's health. And to claim that as a point upon which to stand is a crap deflection from his standing as a fraud. Once again, 'the church' protects the criminal.

Anonymous said...

The Priest in question here is in a institution run by the Catholic Church in Canada......this is the reason that no one can discuss his medical condition.

Anonymous said...

Put on a clerical collar and you can scam folks out of their money, molest their children and suffer no real consequences. No doubt the powers that be in the Jackson diocese have, and probably continue to cover up criminal activity by rouge priests, but the Catholic Church is not alone in such practices. This happens in Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal and most any denomination you can name churches. TV preachers reap huge profits and nobody seems to care, “Send us your money brothers and sisters and we will evangelize the world, (after we buy several outrageously expensive cars and build a 10 million dollar house and maybe buy a couple of airplanes). It is shameful but true, religion has in many instances become the last refuge of the true scoundrel.

Anonymous said...

criminal activity by rouge priests

If he's wearing rouge then he definitely has gone rogue.

Anonymous said...

8:36, #*$$& spell check did it.

Plain ol' Catfish said...

Got a funny story to tell.

Now, Father John has been running St. Richards parish solo for a minute while Deacon Nick (now Father Nick) was completing seminary. So once Deacon Nick, became Father Nick, it really never dawned on me why Father John wasn't running 8am Mass on Sunday's. Pretty much figured Father John, was taking a much-needed break and cutting back, letting Father Nick pick up more responsibilities.

So, a couple of months roll along and he does 8am mass, and in the midst of his homily - "yeah just been working up in Starkville, covering for them up there"

Really didn't think much about it, that was one of his stops once he completed seminary, so you really don't think too much about it.

THEN, a few weeks comes and goes, Father John runs 8am Mass on Sunday, and in the midst of his homily, he tells the congregation - hey I really give you guys credit for sticking with the church considering everything that is going on, etc etc etc. Now mind you, he was discussing the scandal that unfolded with the Archdiocese of Boston (not the issues that is reported in this article) then in the end of that homily - he says - there may be some financial issues that may come down the road. No one batted an eye, just considered him taking a guess that something of that magnitude could happen.

Now if you know Father John, he really likes to keep things light and put a smile on your face, but at the same token, he sends you subtle messages in his homily as well, when he really wants you to pay attention to something.

And low'n'behold - BAM! This is what he meant, LOL!!!!!

Father John is good people. Glad he is my priest.

Anonymous said...

7:01 - Although the priest has aids, his current medical condition is of little to no interest now. The fact that he lied in order to profit is the issue - plus the fact that the hierarchy covered up his lies, as they typically do.

But you're right...The Catholic Church has 'institutions run by the church' in most countries. They're called parishes and they're available for silent transfer.

Kingfish said...

and Sarah for the rip.

Anonymous said...

Did Sarah at the Liar rip off your story? Who could be surprised? She sits on her ass over there, sips lattes, reads the wire and this blog and makes a day. And a paycheck.

Anonymous said...

"Did something similar happen at Broadmoor?"

Not that I know of. Do you know something we don't?

Anonymous said...

9:54 pm - so a supervisor of a catfish line is covered by HIPAA from disclosing a man lost a finger ?

What about OSHA when they show up - are they in the loop?

I'm calling BS on your answer -- in the loop my behind. Call a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

1:56...To answer your first question, NO. To answer your second question, NO. You have zero experience in this arena. I do. You're way out of your league. But keep keyboarding. It's entertaining.

Anonymous said...

1:56 - OSHA has certain authority. It does not include access to confidential medical records. Thanks for asking.

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