We all knew this would come out. The Buffalo News at least waited until Father Joseph Moreno’s body turned cold before airing his dirty laundry to the public. This article is sure to have more than a few Catholic families talking at the dinner table tomorrow…
But the priest had other troubling incidents in his past, including a 1989 conviction for attempted arson and falsely reporting an incident, and a 2005 bankruptcy filing in which he listed $447,000 in debts.
So, he tried to burn down a rectory in Springville. We all have bad days. I think it’s safe to say Father Moreno was a troubled person, priest or no priest. He also apparently had scheduling problems…
At times in his priesthood, Moreno could be highly unpredictable, to the point of missing Masses for which he was scheduled to be the celebrant.
“You never knew where he was going to be. He was supposed to be saying Mass somewhere, and he was someplace else,” said another veteran priest who requested anonymity.
Then, the News points out this bizarre story from 2006…
Clergy observers said Moreno fabricated or embellished stories about himself. In 2006, for example, he told Buffalo police he fought off a 6-foot-5, knife-wielding burglar who cut the priest’s hand, requiring treatment at a local hospital.
Fellow priests suspect there was no burglar at all, and police said the case generated no leads and hasn’t been solved.
Hey, maybe the burglar was Bishop Mansell. He was well over six feet tall, wasn’t he? Or perhaps it was Tony Masiello.
There are even more stories in the News‘ article. Makes me wonder what their motivation is in writing it. By most accounts, Father Joe did very good work helping the poor. But it sounds to me like his mental health issues were never properly addressed. By the way, who says the mass if the priest doesn’t show up?
Moreno’s work and outward appearance hid an often troubled side*