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US: Catholic diocese backs out of mansion sale on gay wedding fear

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  1. State anti-discrimination law don’t allow this, sue them. If they will not behave like rational human – demand it of them and use the force of law if necessary.

    And let’s be honest, how dim-witted is it to assume that only an LGBT couple would ever accommodate LGBT celebrations?

  2. Why is it surprising that the catholic freaks think they are above the law?

    1. Paddyswurds 30 Jul 2012, 10:29pm

      They are about to find out that in Massachusetts no one is above the Law, and especially the Roman paedophile cult that has hurt so many Massachusetts children… It was almost as bad in Mass as it was in Ireland Hundreds of paedo priests were operating there …even the Cardinal was implicated

    2. Billy wingartson 3 Aug 2012, 6:19pm

      their buddy boy the Fuhrer whom they paved his way with the1000 year hatred of Jews thought he was above the law also. he was obviously proud of what he did.

      You can also see lots of pride in many religious people who hate gays , blacks etc. As well as pride of parents at baby naming ceremonies. Proud they made kiddies (thats kinda ok of course) but busting their nuts etc.

      1. Billy wingartson 3 Aug 2012, 6:31pm

        its all over the country and world. Just google things like

        Catholic church – location – molests. They obviously do it on purpose because they create more haters by fixing people who molest.

        Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive

        all bad xtians should replace their cross with a noose – the true symbols of some jesus faiths.

        BTW ever think that the cross of which they are so proud is a symbol of torture and death?

        No wonder so many of them are so evil.

  3. GulliverUK 30 Jul 2012, 1:09pm

    One of the most telling thing is the lies they tell, an attempt to cover up the real reason why they refuse to sell, which has now been revealed.

    Given the lie is cast-iron in an email they really should sue, to send a message that this sort of behaviour isn’t acceptable.

    1. That There Other David 30 Jul 2012, 1:43pm

      It’s the ease that these so-called Christians fall into bearing false witness that really shows them up as the money-grabbing hypocrites they are. Why anyone still falls for this cult and its nonsense is beyond me.

      1. Sister Mary Clarence 30 Jul 2012, 1:58pm

        I’m sure there will be a reason why that doesn’t apply to them , or to be more precise, “they’ll come up with” a reason why that doesn’t apply to them

  4. I wonder will Fairbanks and Beret follow this up with the authorities. I hope they do. It’s almost funny that the church didn’t want their ex paedophile rehabilitation centre soiled by having Gay weddings it it.

    1. Obviously it was pretty unsuccessful as a paedophile priest rehabilitation center.

    2. Billy wingartson 3 Aug 2012, 6:25pm

      so they were getting rid of their rehab center – which of course didnt rehab anyone. Maybe the good it did was let the pedos do each other , which is fine by me. gays the way even though I am straight

      the name I use sometimes the billy wing…… thing -its very close to an ultra ortho RC I know

      It took me 2 years of more and more contenious meetings before I learned what catholic teaching is all about.

      He told me that Matthew Shepard (wyoming murder in 1998 by a couple caths, one an eagle scout btw, – he said “matthew shepards parents should have fixed him”

      Its a good thing I dont own a gun – I”d be using some sort of panic defense in court, and he’d be in bed with maggots where he deserves He also claims to be a fixed gay – some fixing

      I know another fixed gay – we had a very short discussion and I got the same outrageous response from her. re Matthew

      Both of them said “gays support the westboro baptist church” nut cases we have here.

      Again, welcome to catholic teaching

  5. Freaking Funny !!!

    Keep it up !!!

    House of Affirmation ??? Affirming some priests are paedophile??

    Yawn….nice one!!!

    1. Dave North 30 Jul 2012, 2:52pm

      Is that where they sent Father Jack with his Hairy Hands syndrome…..

  6. The amazing irony is that the place was formerly used to rehabilitate pedophile priests. Can these people be any more offensive? If someone has that e-mail as evidence, they should be prosecuted for discrimination.

    1. That There Other David 30 Jul 2012, 2:29pm

      Brilliant that bit isn’t it? It’s fine for the Church to use in covering up its criminal abuse of children, but not for two loving adults to use to celebrate their healthy consenting relationship….

      I suppose looking for logic really is too much when Vatican Inc. are involved. A bit like looking for compassion or anything resembling a positive social movement.

  7. Robert in S. Kensington 30 Jul 2012, 2:59pm

    But in America, there is a loophole for religious cults. They can choose who they wish to discriminate against with impunity, usually gay people and perfectly legal. I wonder how this would play out in the UK. Supposing Cardinal O’Brien or Rowan Williams had done the same thing?

    1. Paddyswurds 30 Jul 2012, 9:01pm

      Not in Massachusetts…. They wiil pay for this little display of blatant homophobia and methinks these two buyers will be looking for an even bigger place once the courts are finished with the bigots that are these paedo priests. I forsee a settlement in excess of $2 million coming their way and rightly so. This back out is wrong on so many levels….

      1. Paddyswurds 30 Jul 2012, 10:35pm

        OOOOh …Looks like there is a supporter of the paedo Roman cult trolling on the thread tonight. Had the cheek to thumb me down without a comment. This seems to be the trolls new tactic, mark down and don’t leave a comment. Probably a paedo priest trolling for his next victim!

  8. Catholic’s the name…

    Dissimulation’s the game!

  9. They really are horrific people. The vendors in this case.

  10. So not only are the RC church in breach of state anti-discriminatory laws, but there is evidence that this is the case and of their lying that they are not. Sue them to high heaven!`

  11. It’s bad enough that the Catholic Church discriminates against gay people. But it’s poor form — and possibly illegal — to document the bigotry and then mistakenly email it to the victims.

    Fairbanks and Beret had searched for two years for the perfect renovation project, and hoped to turn the run-down estate into a banquet facility. Previously, the pair had transformed mansions in Vermont and Barre into similar businesses.

    The asking price of $1.4 million was negotiated to $1 million. On May 18, the pair signed an offer to purchase with a $75,000 deposit. They paid $3,000 for a home inspection. They also met with various town boards, all of which expressed enthusiasm for the project because it would save the historic building from developers seeking to raze it.

    In early June, the pair was notified that a $240,000 sprinkler system would have to be installed. Concerned that the deal might fall through, the diocese’s broker suggested the men make a smaller counter offer for the

    1. mansion and some of the land, rather than the full 24 acres. So the men made a revised offer of $550,000 for the mansion and six acres, assuming everyone would be satisfied.

      They were wrong. The next day, they received a brief email from the diocese’s broker, LiSandra Rodriguez-Pagan, saying that the diocese decided to pursue “other plans” for the property.

      Beret and Fairbanks were stunned, but perhaps they should have anticipated rejection from the church. The men are gay and have been together for 35 years. They married in 2004 and live quietly in Sutton.

      This week, Monsignor Thomas Sullivan, who oversees the sale of diocesan property, told the Telegram & Gazette the deal fell through because of financing.

      “They couldn’t come up with the money,” he said. “This happens all the time.”

      The Telegram & Gazette told him the potential buyers believed that he rejected the deal because of their sexual orientation, or the prospect of gay marriages someday being performed at

    2. Oakhurst. Was that an issue?

      “No, it wasn’t,” Msgr. Sullivan said. “It was an issue of them not having the financing. That was all.”

      As noted, if you’re going to discriminate, you should cover your tracks. Inadvertently attached to the email rejecting the counter offer is an email from Msgr. Sullivan to the diocesan broker:

      “I just went down the hall and discussed it with the bishop,” Msgr. Sullivan wrote. “Because of the potentiality of gay marriages there, something you shared with us yesterday, we are not interested in going forward with these buyers. I think they’re shaky anyway. So, just tell them that we will not accept their revised plan and the Diocese is making new plans for the property. You find the language.”

      Now, Beret is trying to find the language to react to the email, which he didn’t see right away because it was at the bottom of a long thread. Neither he nor his spouse ever disclosed their sexual orientation to the broker, but they assume she must have

    3. realized at some point that they were gay.

      “Their message was, ‘These guys are gay. Get rid of them,’ ” Beret said. “I don’t argue with their right to stand on the pulpit and condemn. But they don’t have the right to chase me down with their poison.”

      Their lawyer, Sergio Carvajal, said state law prohibits discriminating against buyers based on sexual orientation, and said the potential for gay marriages would exist regardless of the sexual orientation of the buyer.

      “It’s outrageous in this day and age that the church would refuse to sell to someone because of their sexual orientation,” Carvajal said. “It’s reprehensible.”

      Speaking of reprehensible, Oakhurst is perhaps best known as the former House of Affirmation, a treatment home for pedophile priests, which closed amid scandal in the late 1980s. Ironically, Beret was willing to overlook that history; he’s a devout Christian who at one time studied for the priesthood.

      “I have plenty of sins,” Beret said. “But being gay isn’t

    4. one of them. This is not a fight I wanted to pick. But for the sake of my dignity, I’m not walking away.”

      Good to hear the buyers intend to pursue this heinous action in court.

  12. My first thought was “what’s it to them what the next owners use it for, once you’ve signed the lease over to someone else it’s none of your concern if they use it for swinging from the chandeliers or an S&M dungeon”. [Or even remodelling the S&M dungeon they probably installed in the basement.]
    The fact that it was previously a rehab centre for paedophile priests just highlights their humbug and hypocrisy. I mean their neighbours are presumably A-ok with unreported child molesters on their doorstep but apparently once the gays move in, “there goes the neighbourhood”.

  13. ‘The Telegram pointed out that Oakhurst was once a home for rehabilitating paedophile priests, the House of Affirmation.’

    Whats wrong with prison?

    1. Spanner1960 30 Jul 2012, 11:34pm

      They’ll be buggered if they go there.

      1. Billy wingartson 3 Aug 2012, 6:38pm

        eye for eye tooth for tooth per God/bible

        videos of them getting it would be great pleasure for so many of their victim a few electric drills would help those who dont want to dirty their junk. do the equiv job.

    2. Billy wingartson 3 Aug 2012, 6:35pm

      at least the pedoriests could molest prisoners though hopefully it would be the other way around

      arent most non – violent prisoners in Gr Br called Ordinary Decent Criminals?

      Too bad we cant use the tower of london for its orig putpose on the church. (not sure if hanging, head chopping or both, but either way the birds and bugs – others of gods wondrous creation would have a well deserved feast.

  14. GulliverUK 30 Jul 2012, 7:11pm

    Well, it’s all coming out now, and if I were them I’m not sure I’d want such a place, and perhaps nor will anyone else.

    This is the Catholic church’s ‘Paedophile Mansions’.

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2012/07/30/47049

    This is where the Catholic church sent many of their priests who couldn’t keep their hands to themselves, only it appears they send a supply of victims there too !! :(

    They certainly do need to sell it – they’ve already paid out $2.4 BILLIONS in compensation to child abuse victims, and courts keep awarding payouts. Even here in the UK the Catholic church is having to pay out. They tried to claim priests weren’t employed by them, but by God (:D), but that didn’t sit well with the judiciary, and now they’re going to need all the cash they can get.

  15. Reforming paedophile priests? After or instead of being imprisoned?

  16. Interesting reporting on CBS about this:

    “Beret said he is not backing down.

    “I have lived almost 60 years quietly in the mainstream, and I would like to continue that, but I will not do that at the expense of my dignity.”

    Beret, who is an attorney, said he believes the Church broke state law with the alleged discrimination and he is now looking into legal action.

    “This is a state-centered transaction, this is not a Church transaction, this is not a theological discussion, it’s nothing more than that. I believe the Church has engaged in an activity that may be illegal in Massachusetts.”

    Sounds like the RC Church may be about to learn they are not “above” the law.

  17. How incredulous that the most strident opposition to same-sex marriage is coming from the most morally and spiritually bankrupt institution on the face of the
    earth! How absurd that such opposition should come from those who are themselves a gay community . . albeit closeted . . namely the Roman Catholic hierarchy/priesthood! They are quite comfortable being propped up by a priesthood that is in the main homosexual while simultaneously defining homosexuality as
    unnatural and depraved.

    1) Dean Hoge, one of the most respected
    researchers on the subject of the priesthood, ina 2001 survey found that 55 percent of priests said that there clearly or probably was a homosexual subculture among priests.

    Citation: 1) Source: Dean R. Hoge (2006) Experiences of Priests Ordained Five to Nine Years. Washington D.C.: National Catholic Education Association

    The so-called “princes of the church” have been OUTED as hypocritical homosexuals! Clearly, the Roman Catholic position regarding

    1. homosexuals! Clearly, the Roman Catholic position regarding homosexuality is untenable.

      So while the RC “hierarchy” sanctions, approves, accepts, tolerates and validates homosexuality by abiding a priesthood that is in the main comprised of
      “homosexuals”, it simultaneously denounces homosexual acts as “acts of grave depravity which are intrinsically disordered.” ? ?
      (See RC Catechism Article 6 / Par. 2357: 141, 142) The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

      Make no mistake about it, as in the case of “imposed celibacy”. . money is the driving force in the RC “church’s” opposition to “gay marriage”! It is entirely conceivable that if same-sex marriage
      becomes the law of the land, “Fr. Jim” will want to marry “Fr. Bob”! After all, aren’t the same civil rights extended to the religious community? If they should divorce, a property settlement would ensue. That could get very costly for the “church of Rome”! And while this may be acceptable with some of her more liberal
      followers, it would not

      1. David Nottingham 31 Jul 2012, 11:11am

        Ah, good point. I never thought of that; of course civil rights are extended to the religious community and it wouldn’t be long before some enterprising priests realise the Catholic Church is not above the law and sue in all sorts of ways. Te he!

    2. bode well with those with more conservative/traditional leanings, and would invariably trigger another wave of defectors from their ranks. This too would result in a significant loss of revenue and could literally bring the house down.

  18. Oakhurst was the former House of Affirmation, a treatment center for distressed priests, including pedophiles. It was started by Fr Tom Kane of St Mary’s in Uxbridge, claiming to be a psychologist, and who was later part of a settlement for sexual abuse of a minor. It is widely known in the area that abuse took place there and children where possibly trafficked. Kane was found out not to have a degree in psychology and was removed from ministry. But not defrocked. Now this is shaky.

  19. onsignor Sullivan wants his real estate agent to fib for him and tells her “You find the words.”
    The words I’d find are: “You disgusting sleazeball. Tell your own lies.”
    By the way, I wonder if the agent included the revealing e-mail “accidentally on purpose.”

  20. Mumbo Jumbo 30 Jul 2012, 8:20pm

    Remind me Bishop, what’s that commandment about not bearing false witness?

  21. Doesn’t the Catholic Church ever learn? In this case, they messed with the wrong gay man. I hope he nails their hides to the door. Money seems to be the one thing the Catholic Church appreciates and understands.

    “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.” If Jesus exists he has to be shaking His head unhappily right now….

    Well, you sure can’t accuse the Catholic Church of being inconsistent! How long did it take them to issue an apology to Jewish people for ignoring their plight during the Holocaust? 50+ years? For a religion based on guilt and shame, they don’t have any.

    No doubt one reason the property is being sold is to raise money to pay the lawsuits the church is facing due to the paedophilia scandal and cover-up.

  22. When your a Bishop you don’t need hard evidence. It’s been that way since the inquisition. They’re closer to God and all that.

    And that closeness to God guided the Bishop in his decision to not sell to Mr. Beret. In a message to the real estate agent, Monsignor Sullivan explained the Bishop’s position: “Because of the potentiality of gay marriages there….we are not interested in going forward with these buyers. I think they’re shaky anyway. So, just tell them that we will not accept their revised plan and the Diocese is making new plans for the property. You find the language.”

    Apparently God was at a loss of words when the Bishop asked for guidance on this one because his move may be illegal and Mr. Beret, a lawyer, is exploring how to proceed. I suspect he won’t be at such a loss for words.

    It could be that God and the Bishop are also at a loss of words because The Oakhurst Retreat and Conference Center was once known as the House of Affirmation, a treatment center for

    1. priests with psychological problems. And paedophiles. The church had a lot of them and needed to prove to insurance companies they were handling the situation.

      It was started by Fr Tom Kane, who claimed to have a Phd in Psychology. He didn’t. In fact the diocese settled a lawsuit, confidentially about Kane’s sexual abuse of a nine year old boy. Meaning Kane himself was a paedophile. And he had just created his candy store. Because Kane, with his phony Phd and his cronies sent there for treatment by the likes of Cardinal Law, kind of made the House of Affirmation their own little playground. Kind of a Club Paed.

      So much for sacred ground. A lot of the serial sexual abuse of children in the Southern Worcester County can be traced right to the House that Kane built. Kane, like the brother who killed Able. The only problem was that this Kane and his buddies were very willing and able. Because of protection by the church.

      And knowing this, somehow the Worcester Diocese is still more

    2. offended by the notion of a gay marriage happening on this property, than by it’s vast history of abuse. Because if he was more offended by the abuse he might have sought to bring justice to those who were abused there by opening the files and shedding light on this sad chapter. Instead they changed the name to Oakhurst and destroyed the files. Hoping we would all forget.

      Not yet.

      According to the Bishop, the last thing that should happen on the House of Affirmation property should be something as unholy as gay marriage. Why should a property that terrorized so many children become a place where couples should be allowed to publicly declare their love, devotion and commitment to each other? Because that would be… What? Good? To me it sounds like a wonderful way to heal that space. A way to genuinely bless it.

      I fear asking the Bishop “Why not sell Oakhurst to Mr. Beret?” would only fall on deaf ears, as he awaits guidance from his God, who still seems to be at a loss of words

    3. over all of this.

      No wonder. Who wouldn’t be?

      The plans of these guys are fantastic if the property was sold to them. There is something perfect about having this place beautifully restored and used to celebrate love and family. To use a line from a song “It’s misery made beautiful,right before our eyes.” But alas, some church representatives continue to display ugliness and staggering hypocrisy.

  23. At some point in the last century, the Catholic Church came up with an idea: since priests are scarce, rather than toss out those who molest children, why not refurbish them (and their reputation) instead and send them to a new place where no one knew about their paedophile tendencies. And if a few more kids get raped (or a few hundred thousand), well at least they didn’t lose any priests.

    Towards that effort, in 1973 Worcester, MA, priest Rev. Thomas A. Kane opened House of Affirmation at Oakhurst, a beautiful old mansion. As he had already been molesting a boy for five years, Kane was an ideal choice to head up the treatment of paedophile priests. And it gave Kane a convenient place to rape the kid and share him with other priests. Win-win (except, of course, for his victim).

    But unfortunately for the diocese, Kane also committed a sin which the Church takes far more seriously and for which reconciliation is not offered: he engaged in financial improprieties with the Church’s

    1. money. And so, in 1990, Paedophile Mansion was closed and the Church (without the slightest hint of irony) reassigned the space to the Office for Youth Ministry.

      Well now the Church has a need to get some ready cash; those busy-body courts keep awarding the victims of the pedophile priests with settlements. And there are only so many nunneries to empty or social services they can cut so now they have to look at the disagreeable task of selling mansions. And beautiful old Paedophile Mansion was put on the market.

      James Fairbanks and Alain Beret were interested. The two had refurbished rundown grand spaces before and wanted to turn the mansion into a beautiful banquet facility. And as they had the support of various planning committees – who were delighted that the building would be restored rather than razed – they put in an offer and a $75,000 deposit.

      But then there was a hickup. It was determined that a $240,000 sprinkler system would need to be installed.

      And at that point,

    2. the Church decided to pull a fast one. Rather than renegotiate revisions to the standing contract, the Church’s broker suggested a new offer – one for only a portion of the 24 acres. And when Fairbanks and Beret retracted their previous offer and submitted the suggested smaller bid, the Church declined the offer, thus leaving them without a legal contract.

      They had decided to pursue “other plans” for the property.

      But as their intent had been to raise funds and divest the diocese of the costly overhead of maintaining the building, it seemed odd that the Church would make this move. Why could it be?

      The “why” of their decision is shocking, but not surprising. At some point in the process the Church discovered that Fairbanks and Beret are not only gay but a legally married couple. And Worcester diocese of the Roman Catholic Church did not want to sell property to a gay couple.

      Now it may seem extreme to speculate on something like that. And, of course, the church gave entirely

    3. different reasons, as we have seen.

      But, as it turns out, it’s really not a matter of guesswork or differing perspectives. The Church was kind enough to put in words exactly the reasons for their chicanery and bigotry and their agent was stupid enough to include it in an email chain to Beret. And – as seems to be the chief role of Catholic hierarchy – Monsignor Sullivan was lying.

      No no no no no no no. Not gay marriage. Paedophile Mansion is perfectly fine for molesting children in, but not gay marriage.

      Of course, no matter who owned the building, if it was refurbished to be a banquet facility then it could not deny gay couples the same wedding services it offered to opposite-sex couples. But amongst anti-gays these days, the existence of a gay person raises the immediate threat of a gay marriage and then their brain shuts down (… click). There is exactly zero chance that the Church had any reason for denying the sale other than that the purchasers were gay

      1. David Nottingham 31 Jul 2012, 11:15am

        Was their agent “stupid enough to include it in an e-mail chain to Beret”? I’m not so sure, perhaps it was a case of…. lets expose you, Monsignor Sullivan, for the lying, hypocritical bigot that you are. Don’t get me to lie for you…..

    4. (GAY? But Gay Marriage!!!… click)

      The diocese is soon going to discover something fascinating. It’s illegal in the state of Massachusetts to discriminate in the conduct of business. You can’t refuse to sell to customers simply because they happen to be gay. You can’t even refuse to sell to customers because you fear that the gay customers might use what you’re selling in some way that involves gay marriage (…click). And if you are so amazingly stupid as to document your bigotry and then lie to a reporter about it… well, it’s not going to go over well either in the news or in a courtroom.

  24. So paedophile priests are OK, but gay weddings are not? And they wonder why people are leaving the church in droves?

  25. Cardinal Capone 31 Jul 2012, 9:38am

    Church shoots itself in the foot gain.

    But the most amazing thing is how much cheaper property is over there. 24 acres and a mansion for a million dollars? That’s a bargain!

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