Crosson 3before his accusers. To date, his efforts to defend himself in writing have been expediently dismissed as“unsatisfactory” (“Excommunication is an Inordinate Threat”).One of the fundamental goals of Catholicism, as is taught (but not demonstrated) by the Church,is the breaking of ties to spiritually-hindering material goods. According to one of Jesus’ legendaryparables, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter thekingdom of God" (
The Holy Bible: King James Version
, Matt. 19.24). Perhaps Brian Lisowski, pastorof St. Bede the Venerable in Chicago, Illinois, should have heeded such advice. Lisowski was caughtafter embezzling more than $1.1 million during his five year tenure at St. Bede's. Every week, he would“liberate” more than $2,500 out of the tithe collected from the parishioners before the money wascounted.
magazine stated that “if [Lisowski] had not stepped down, the embezzlementmight have continued indefinitely.” Before the police investigators could confront Lisowski, he hadsigned himself into a treatment center for alcoholism. He later readily admitted guilt to theembezzlement charges and procured all of the missing money. He served two years in prison for hiscrimes and is no longer incarcerated. What action is the Church taking in response to the more than onemillion dollar theft? Father William Stenzel (Lisowski's replacement) says that “St. Bede parishionersunderstand his actions were alcohol-related and are inclined to forgive. The parish council unanimouslyrecommended that, if his treatment proves successful, Lisowski be returned to active ministry”(McClory).The Church has methods of diverting attention from such occurrences. There are countlessrebuttals from devout Catholics which attest that the actions of corrupt individuals do not reflect theintent or actions of the organization as a whole. However,
continues to read “you mightconsider this sad affair an anomaly, a rare deviation from the norm in Catholic institutions. But it is notas rare as you might think. A random scan of newspaper stories mentioning embezzlement in theCatholic Church published during the month of July 2008 produced a dozen cases.” Seven of these