Perhaps a bit tarnished.
March 23, 2017
Monsignor Michael Hull, an extremely close associate of the archdiocese’s vicar general, Msgr. Greg Mustaciuolo, had a series of very plum assignments in the archdiocese. Sources tell Church Militant that this was owing to the nature of the close relationship between Hull and Mustaciouolo, a relationship where they wore matching Mickey Mouse sweaters while also overnighting at the archdiocese’s seminary, St. Joseph’s in the Dunwoodie neighborhood of Yonkers. Observers thought it was strange that Mustaciuolo would overnight at the seminary because his residence was just a short ride away in Manhattan.
Mustociuolo made sure that Michael Hull was well provided for financially and emotionally. Being the vicar general, he is the most powerful cleric in the archdiocese, behind only the cardinal himself. So he made sure that Hull had not just one but actually three full-time jobs for which he was paid three salaries.
He was assigned to a parish, he was on the faculty at the seminary, and in the recent past, he was made the director of the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture — a pet project of Cdl. Dolan’s that many in the archdiocese question the wisdom of owing to the great expense associated with it and decided lack of any regular, overtly Catholic activity. Hull, through the influence of Mustaciuolo, was made director and given a budget to work with.
Multiple sources suspect Hull embezzled vast sums of money from the Sheen Center as well as his parish of Guardian Angels to reportedly have the rectory renovated at the parish. Sources say that none of this was ever investigated owing to the close relationship between Hull and Mustaciuolo. The amount has been guessed at by knowledgeable people to be more than $1 million.
And here’s where things get very sordid and questionable regarding the archdiocese. Near Easter of 2014, Hull decided he was done with the archdiocese and the priesthood. He took off, essentially in the dead of the night, with almost no prior notice. He wrapped up his teaching duties at the seminary by leaving a note for his students with instructions for their final exam. Sources say he also absconded with a hefty sum of money from the parish and the Sheen Center, but the archdiocese will not perform an audit to determine the truth. What went wrong here is clearly unknowable except by those with direct knowledge.
But what is known is that there were multiple sources alleging a sexual relationship between Mustaciuolo and Hull — even the case of a secular reporter who spotted both the men on a flight with a blanket over them who told confidantes the pair were “playing with each other.” That the two men were close was never in doubt. They were viewed by many and various New York clergy as being a “pair,” often spoken of in the same breath.
Hull left the archdiocese and the priesthood and went off to become an Episcopalian priest in Scotland after marrying a young woman many years his junior, which he posted a picture of on his Facebook page. The archdiocese said nothing about anything about one of their golden boys, priests having to rely on rumors and gossip to find out what happened.
Here was a man, clearly unhappy in his priesthood, rumored to be sexually involved with senior clergy who were sheltering him and showering him with prime assignments, thought to have embezzled vast sums of money, who deserts his seminary students less than a month before their ordination, abandons the Faith, and takes up with a virtual teenager in a foreign country as a public apostate. This was the man that Cdl. Dolan approved of to run his pet project, the Sheen Center, about which Hull used to privately joke that he had no qualifications whatsoever to be running.
Something went terribly wrong with Msgr. Michael Hull. In 2004, he wrote an article in Homiletics and Pastoral Review on, of all things, marriage and the family. It is an excellent article upholding and explaining Church teaching. But at the same time, Hull was already a close associate of Msgr. Mustociuolo, and the couple would travel and vacation together.
This raises the question if some priests are passing themselves off as orthodox, while at the same time leading a double life.
Witnesses reveal that the night Hull snuck out of town, Mustociuolo was so emotionally upset that he couldn’t even drive Hull to the airport. He reportedly wandered around for weeks, despondent. That a case like this could unfold is almost unbelievable. Hull, because of his connections to Mustociuolo, who together were known favorites of the previous and late New York Cdl. Edward Egan, was the hands-down golden boy of the archdiocese.
His case, still uninvestigated three years later by the archdiocese regarding embezzlement claims, has been a deep wound for many priests. Various priests here feel persecuted and attacked for nothing else than trying to be good, effective priests, attacked by a homosexual and homosexual-friendly chancery that promotes, protects and covers up sordid cases and financial misdealings by priests with the right connections to the gay mafia but goes after them with abandon.
The bare facts of the case warrant a coming clean by Cdl. Dolan. A priest abandoned his professional and spiritual duties, left behind an avalanche of accusations of embezzling charges and misappropriation of funds from his parish and the Sheen Center, was protected in all this by being treated with lavish, well-paying assignments by the vicar general with whom a variety of witnesses say there was an inappropriate relationship going on, and deserted the priesthood to marry a very young woman and join another religion as a minister?
How could all of whatever was going on in the background of this case go unnoticed and undetected when the priest in question was promoted by the cardinal himself and was seen as the golden boy? Various priests we have spoken with accuse the archbishop and his minions of not caring about them as priests, not demonstrating the love of a father to them as he should.
Instead, they say he quietly lets the gay mafia run the archdiocese and is largely out of touch and tone deaf to their concerns. They say the cardinal is aware of various cases of homosexual priests who are active and even have their lovers living in or frequenting their rectories. They speculate that some of these priests he has confronted threaten to expose much more if they are disciplined, and he backs down. They point to the exceedingly high number of parishes — just in Manhattan alone — with LGBT programs that teach nothing of the Faith and chastity with regard to homosexuality.
Faithful Catholics, including multiple clergy, are deeply concerned that the archdiocese is developing the reputation of a haven for homosexual clergy and parishes, an issue almost completely ignored by the cardinal and his senior leadership. The cardinal’s public support and promotion of open gay groups marching in the St. Patrick’s Day parade right here in front of the cathedral on Fifth Avenue has done nothing to allay those concerns.