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Via Media


Clark’s side

posted by awelborn

From the NY CBS station:

In July, the two of them spent five hours together at the White Sands Motel in Amagansett, caught on video by a private eye hired by Laura’s husband. But a source tells CBS 2’s Tony Aiello that Clark insists nothing improper went on, saying they merely stopped to rest after a long lunch before the drive back to Manhattan.

The source says they wanted to catch some rays at the motel’s private beach, but were told they had to register to use it, so they did just that.

Clark disputes a report he registered using a phony name.

He says DeFilippo worked on her tan and napped outside, while he worked on some papers. Clark claims he spent only a few minutes inside the room with his secretary.

He also denies press reports that he took DeFilippo to the West Indies resort island of St. Barts. Clark says he vacations there every year, but never went there with DeFilippo. He says she went there on her own, after hearing him rave about it.



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AnotherCoward

posted August 18, 2005 at 10:39 am


You know, for all the scandal that is trying to be generated around Clark and Mrs. DeFilippo, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Genuine matters such as these take place best in private.
Is Mr. DeFilippo Catholic?



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Mark Shea

posted August 18, 2005 at 11:09 am


If he turns out to be on the level, I’m going to feel terrible for having so quickly believed the worst.



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Maclin Horton

posted August 18, 2005 at 11:17 am


Me too, Mark.



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Charles

posted August 18, 2005 at 11:19 am


Hey Mark, I quickly believed the worst, too. I hope he is telling the truth. The thing about having to register at the hotel to use their beach is just odd enough to sort of ring true. And it puts them not in the same hotel room together and laying out on the beach may explain the change of clothes. In defense of those of us who quickly believed the worst, though: What an idiot! Registering at a hotel with a married woman, not wearing clerics, and putting up with what she was wearing. As soon as she showed up in those short shorts, he should have told her to go change. If this was business, they both should have dressed like it: clerics for him, business attire for her. I’d be furious with my Dad if he had behaved like this, even with no hanky panky, and I’m furious with Clark for exposing my Mother the Church to this scandal.



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hieronymus

posted August 18, 2005 at 11:21 am


A priest checked into a motel with another man’s wife without her husband’s knowledge. Whether he actually had sex with her or not, he’s guilty of gross impropriety.
And if his relationship with her is really entirely innocent, that means that the husband is a liar and calumniator who manipulated his daughter into telling seamy stories about hot tubs and satin lingerie. It’s impossible to believe the best about everyone in this case, and given the evidence presented, I’d give the benefit of the doubt to the husband and daughter.
That may be wrong, but I wouldn’t feel guilty about making wrong assumptions, if they were made based on a preponderance of evidence rather than vindictiveness.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 11:27 am


I got burned again trusting the mainstream anti-Catholic media. I deserve to look stupid for that.
Dan Blather on memogate.
Jason Blair, CNN and the NARAL add.
Now these people saying the Priest owns a million dollar home yet failing to mention he isn’t the sole owner.
I’ll never trust another reporter or Journalist again. I’ll alway assume they are either liars or at best incompetent.;-)
But seriously. Either the Priest is telling the truth or he is very very very stupid.
“Clark disputes a report he registered using a phony name.”
I reply: If he is lying then it should be easy to produce the leger with the phoney name. OTOH maybe he registered under his name & left out the prefix “Fr” & the chuckleheads in the press are making a big deal of that?
Anyway even thought I am only half kidding. I really don’t trust the media with a few rare exceptions.



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Christine

posted August 18, 2005 at 11:34 am


Hieronymous, I agree. My husband would be very unhappy to see me register at a motel even for “business purposes” with my supposed “boss”, no matter how innocent it looks. I know administrative assistants or whatever title Mrs. DeFilippo has often work long hours, but that seems a stretch.
It is gross impropriety.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 11:45 am


OTOH if my wife was traveling with the 80 year Ukrianian Priest who baptized & confirmed Our first born I won’t bat an eyelash. I don’t see Rosemarie getting giggy with the old guy. But then again I’m not trying to divorce my wife and take away the kids.
Fr. Clark’s explaination combined with the Ick factor (would this young attractive women REALLY give it up to a 79 year old man?)reminds me to presume innocent until guilt is proven. Oh and not to trust the freakin media.



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Rich Leonardi

posted August 18, 2005 at 12:00 pm


Then again …
This woman has been his aide since she got out of high school. I think it’s predictable for them to be quite comfortable — too comfortable perhaps — around each other without there being any hanky-panky going on.
When I clerked for a law firm a dozen years ago, one of the admins had been with the firm similarly. She sometimes seemed too familiar with the personal lives of the lawyers, but I am quite confident they weren’t knocking the proverbial boots.
To borrow from Amy, I’m just ‘sayin …



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 12:13 pm


For me the “smoking gun” was the claim Fr. Clark & this woman regestered under assumed names. No mention was made in the original reports of a private beach or other recreational facilties at the motel. What seemed like a embarising case for the cause of Catholic Orthodoxy now seems less plausible in light of these ommited facts.
I’ll watch this story closely.



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meg

posted August 18, 2005 at 12:17 pm


You guys are so, so intolerant of “liberal” priests who don’t wear collars, who consort with the laity as equals…why are giving this guy a pass?
Typical.



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Rich Leonardi

posted August 18, 2005 at 12:24 pm


That’s right, Meg. Doing the charitable thing and reserving judgment or expressing regret about reaching hasty conclusions is “giving this guy a pass.” Were that only “typical” of everyone.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 12:30 pm


Rich
I think Meg was saying because Fr. Clark is a “conservative” we are tolerant of him not wearing a collar. But WE so called Conservative Catholics (most of the orthodox People who post here) would nornmally roundly criticise a liberal priest for appearing in public out of uniform. I don’t think Meg is talking about giving Clark the benefit of the doubt in general she is just taking a pot shot at “conservative” Catholics in general.
Am I correct Meg? If so what do I win?



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Boniface McInnes

posted August 18, 2005 at 12:31 pm


“who consort with the laity as equals”
It really never occurred to me that enjoying a cigar and a game of cribbage with the pastor was something of which to be critical.
Usually, when folks like me criticise “liberal” priests, it isn’t over not wearing the collar or fraternising with the laity. Usually it involves dissenting from the teachings of Holy Mother Church, endangering the souls in their care by leading them astray.
But a nice caricature you’ve made there, Meg. There is a career waiting for you down on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, assuming you can handle an airbrush.



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patrick

posted August 18, 2005 at 12:33 pm


i did not make any judgement about adultery, I feel the poor judgement in going to the motel and renting the room for whatever reason is enough for him to resign. So I do not see how his explanation makes any differece. If they went to the beach, used the pool or whatever….in this day and age he crossed boundaries and consequences should follow. his house was a mile away…why did he need to go to the motel? i am sorry but a responsible person would just have her drop him off and pick him up after her nap or sun bathing.
the local ny tabloids had pictures of her going to sunday mass in the same short-shorts….these people are missing something.
and there does seems to be a double standard in all this….if this was fr. Mcbrien or fr greely…..i have a feeling the blog would crash with all the responses…..?



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 12:33 pm


Meg,
BTW for the record I don’t give a crap if a Priest wears a collar or not in public. I just care if he is orthodox & faithful. Better an orthodox Catholic Priest in a suit & tie then Hans Kung in a cassock.



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meg

posted August 18, 2005 at 12:41 pm


If a famous representative of liberal Catholicism was named in a divorce action by an enraged husband who released a tape like this one, and with the explanations coming like we’ve heard (“We were going to look at books in a warehouse” oh, no “We got tired” oh no “we had to register to go to the beach”) in which the priest paid for an expensive hotel room so his smarried ecretary could rest and GET A TAN before their couple-of-hour drive back to the city when the same priest’s vacation house was in the SAME TOWN…
you’re telling me you’d give that liberal priest a pass and accept his explanations?
You’re deluded about yourselves and your own reflexive reactions and defenses.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 12:42 pm


If it was Fr Mcbrien I’d still believe him if he denied it. The reason I’d believe him is because if he really ever did have an affair with a woman I believe he would fess up but then claim he is the victim because the big bag oppressive Church won’t let him marry & forces him to deny his feelings blah blah blah blah….the same thing the liberal media does with the pedophile scandel.
“All this could be avoided if they only had women Priests & allowed them to marry”.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 12:55 pm


BTW as I recall I gave Cardinal Mahoney (supposed to be a big liberal) the benefit of the doubt & of course his accuser recanted.



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Meg

posted August 18, 2005 at 12:57 pm


I’m not even talking about – if something happened. I’m just talking about the events on the surface. This is not exactly the kind of behavior conservatives Catholics like to celebrate on the part of their “holy priests” that they want running around in cassocks with breviaries, not secretaries in short shorts, as their companions.
Hypocrites!



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ricopadre

posted August 18, 2005 at 1:05 pm


I’m amazed at the change in tone from the bloggers from last Thurs and Friday on this same site when 90% were assuming gulity as charged in relation to the old Msgr. Human nature doesn’t change- remember Jesus and the Pharisees when He said whoever is innocent cast the first stone… Does that sound familiar? Anyway Msgr. Clark used some bad judgment, to say the least, in going alone with this soon to be divorced woman to the hotel for whatever reason, and he may still be guilty of sexual misconduct. But I think this should be a lesson to all of us to be less hasty in jumping to conclusions based on secular media reports, especially about the “2 million dollar house deal, and the vacations to St. Bart’s” The husband doesn’t seem to be the most repuable character either in light of some criminal charges that came out about him from the past on Friday in the New York papers, and could a 14 year old daughter be manipulated into making up stories about an estranged mother? I think we could all see that now as plausable. This is also a pertinent reminder of the need for all of us to be careful about rash judgement, calumny and detraction- the forgotten sins of the modern media age as Fr. Groeschel put it a few years back. Fr. Groeschel is right on the mark as they are sins that needs to be confessed more. Confession anyone? My box is here in PA.



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TSO

posted August 18, 2005 at 1:05 pm


Hmmm…interesting. At first I reacted to this the way I did to Raphael Palmiero’s denial of knowingly using steroids after he was recently suspended, but like Mark I’d feel terrible if Msgr. Clark were telling the truth.



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Cheeky Lawyer

posted August 18, 2005 at 1:06 pm


I think Msgr. Clark is selling a bridge in Brooklyn as well.
Whatever the truth might be, this is right on:
“A priest checked into a motel with another man’s wife without her husband’s knowledge. Whether he actually had sex with her or not, he’s guilty of gross impropriety.”
Interestingly the report says nothing of him denying the little incidents with the negligee or the hot tub. And perhaps the media didn’t know the house was owned jointly with other family members.



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Poppi

posted August 18, 2005 at 1:25 pm


I’m with you on that point Meg . . . not the “liberal/conservative” thing, I think you’re reaching a little on that one, but just on the “surface” as you put it, this guy is full of it. I just hope he doesn’t keep diggin’ himself in deeper. It won’t be good for him or the church.
As for your “liberal/conservative” thing, it’s been my observation that people who are orthodox, and not just Catholics, but people who are orthodox about anything, tend to be particularly unsympathetic toward any sort of heterodoxy, regardless of who’s committing it. If by “conservative” you mean orthodox, then I think you’d better look for another angle.



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ricopadre

posted August 18, 2005 at 1:36 pm


FYI,
As mentioned in my previous post of last hour, The story on Mr. Philip Defilippo and his own history of false statements and some criminal charges is “Husband’s no saint, either.” from the New York Post online edition August 14, 2005. This should cause us all to pause to take a more wait and see attitude about all this. It is entirely possible that this is a vengeful husband wanting his “share” in a contested divorce, or the Msgr might be guilty of immorality; however time will tell and in the meantime why not pray for everyone involved. And please stop jumping to rash, possibly very sinful, conclusions that we will need to tell in confession later on, and will damage the parties reputations beyound human repair. This is serious business.



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ajb

posted August 18, 2005 at 1:56 pm


Well, the reactions here confirm the old advice that guys should always deny, deny deny. If you’re wife catches you in the midst of the act, deny, deny, deny. People gullible and naive enough will believe what they want and need to believe.
Isn’t the Monsignor’s home not far from the no-tell motel? If they so longed for the vitamin-drenched rays of the sun, why didn’t they simply go to his house? Surely with a house like that, that’s he owned for so long, he has beach privileges.
This is right up there with telling your wife that you go to the strip club for the buffet lunch.



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adjuration

posted August 18, 2005 at 1:58 pm


patrick wrote
“the local ny tabloids had pictures of her going to sunday mass in the same short-shorts”
This was shocking to me, so I went spelunking. The only thing I can find that sounds close to this is this story.
http://www.nydailynews.com/08-16-2005/news/local/story/337729p-288409c.html
She is dressed pretty casually in these pictures, but it says she stopped by a church to pray in the back pew for a few minutes on Monday, not for Sunday Mass. Maybe you’re talking about a different story, but if not, let’s try to avoid calumny.



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Dan Crawford

posted August 18, 2005 at 2:00 pm


The monsignor is 79 and it may well be that some of his mental faculties are slipping. Even if what he claims is “true”, had he no sense that being seen with his (scantily-clad) secretary registering for a motel room not too far from his residence might be an occasion for some questions being raised and even scandal? I assume he was aware of the marital problems experienced by the woman – all the more reason to make sure that every contact between them be in the presence of witnesses. There’s just too much in this story that suggests the Monsignor is lacking in good judgment – even if he were not technically engaging in suspicious behavior. I’d like to believe him, but the story sounds pretty fishy to me.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 2:18 pm


If his home is near the motel why didn’t he & she simply go there too get giggy (assuming they are)? OTOH does his home have a beach?
Sorry but until I get some hard evidence Fr. Clark is innocent til proven guilty. I won’t be fooled again by rumor mongering. Put up or shut up. Suspicion is not evidence BTW.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 2:19 pm


If his home is near the motel why didn’t he & she simply go there too get giggy (assuming they are)? OTOH does his home have a beach?
Sorry but until I get some hard evidence Fr. Clark is innocent til proven guilty. I won’t be fooled again by rumor mongering. Put up or shut up. Suspicion is not evidence BTW.



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Tom McDonald

posted August 18, 2005 at 2:20 pm


Do bosses and their secretaries typically carry spare changes of clothes with them? Just askin’.



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meg

posted August 18, 2005 at 2:24 pm


Ben:
Innocent of WHAT? I couldn’t imagine they were actually doing anything sexual, but the whole thing of sort of acting like a couple is still wrong. He’s still guilty of that. And Cheeky Lawyer is right. He didn’t deny the hot tub stories.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 2:27 pm


It seems if you are going to use a beach it is not unusual to carry a change of clothes. Your not paying attention to the article there Tom. Still like I said I WANT EVIDENCE not suspicion.



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chris K

posted August 18, 2005 at 2:28 pm


Well, we have a new “orthodox” pastor who brought around 30 families from his former, poorer parish with him, one of which brought up the gifts last Sunday…in pretty short shorts!
Isn’t there any spot of beach there where you don’t have to register in a motel to use it? Then again…this is Nu Yawk!
Wondering, if this rather nasty story isn’t true, if the usually proper Monsignor isn’t inwardly smiling and rather pleased at the image of a babe pleaser that he can still project!



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 2:32 pm


Sorry Meg I need proof. The story of Clark having registered using a phony name has not yet been proven. So why should I trust th story about the hotub? Evidence please, suspicion is for conspiracy twits.



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Cheeky Lawyer

posted August 18, 2005 at 2:35 pm


What about home wrecker Chris k?
Also, again why did he resign (perhaps he was forced out?) if this is all just an innocent misunderstanding?
Like I said and Meg repeated, he isn’t reported to have denied the hot tub and negligee stories. But I am sure he was just reading papers and all of sudden he looked up and his secretary in her negligee was wrapped around him coming to ask him to sign some papers.



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Ellyn

posted August 18, 2005 at 2:35 pm


Getting some rays? Come on – this is the 21st century. Do smart women really want to soak up UV rays? (Would a smart woman get caught in such a dubious situation innocent or not? I don’t think so…)
PS – I am a church secretary and this is just…well, it isn’t in the job description. (So maybe I’m being a little touchy. Not only does this bring scandal to the Church. But it besmirches the good name of church secretaries, also.)



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 2:46 pm


A real lawyer would know the burden of proof is on the accuser. Rumor & suspicion are not evidence. For the incompotent media to get back into my good graces I first want to see the legger under which Clark regiestered a false name. I want credible evidence not stories about phantom sexy underware.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 2:49 pm


BTW based on your logic Ellyn no 21st century women would ever be caught smoking.



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patrick

posted August 18, 2005 at 3:00 pm


let’s try to avoid calumny.
Posted by: adjuration
patrick clairifes:
luckily i still have mondays NY Daily News for 8/16 (since friday is re-cycle day here) and lets see here on page three is a full size picture of Ms DeFilippo in her short shrots going to sunday mass….the head line says ALL DRESSED UP FOR CHURCH.. the caption next to her picture say “Laura DeFelippo, the alleged mistress of Msgr. Clark heads to church-dressed in a tank top and shorts,like she wore while while out with her priest” and a small piture of her walking to the motel is also inserted for comparisons. and at least on the long island copy, she was also on the cover of the paper opening the door to the church…..so for whatever that is worth…. i hope it proves i did not just engage in calumny???
AGAIN and then i will get off this topic since i am the only one on this page, i do not think there was adultery or a physical affair but i do think his behavior and judgements were poor and unacceptable for a person in his position. he can deny all he wants and if he is innocent he should agressively defend himself…..but why can’t he apologise for his poor judgement and stupid behavior that got him in this mess and exposed the church to so much ridicule? can’t he just step up to the plate and admit what a blunder it was, ask forgiveness and then put his cards on the table to prove his innocence?
IMHO



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Cheeky Lawyer

posted August 18, 2005 at 3:01 pm


A friend of a friend ran a search on the deed to the LI house. The house is owned personally by Eugene V. Clark, i.e., it isn’t registered to a number of Clark family members. Now perhaps they all chip in for upkeep or something and share use of it. But the home is owned by Clark, no one else, according to this person.
And BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th) I am a real lawyer and have yet to play one on t.v. Perhaps you have been watching too many legal shows. We certainly have enough her to convict I think: the testimony of the daughter; the videotape showing two unmarried people stopping off at a hotel for five hours; the resignation of Clark; the testimony of the husband that his wife said she was going to do one thing but then she ended up out with the good monsignor at the hotel all hooched up; etc. All would be enough for a jury to infer guilt. I don’t think it is uncharitable to go with the most reasonable of the explanations.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 3:08 pm


That is a valid opinon Patrick OTOH an equal case can be made that Clark really didn’t do anything wrong with Ms. DeFilippo at all & this is just overblown hype.
Anyway it is for Fr. Clark to make that call & examine his own concience.



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Jason

posted August 18, 2005 at 3:09 pm


You never know. This could all be tied to someone’s confession, and hence it must be kept secret. Kind of like Hitchcock’s “I Confess”.
Not saying it is. But you never know. There is no hard evidence.



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Chris Sullivan

posted August 18, 2005 at 3:10 pm


“All would be enough for a jury to infer guilt”.
I don’t know how U.S. juries work but down here in New Zealand it has to proved beyond reasonable doubt.
At the very least we can now say there is reasonable doubt Clark was guilty of adultery.
Come on guys, whatever happened to giving fellow human beings a fair go ?
Instead of jumping to conclusions and assigning guilt, our time would be better spent praying for Clark and the family concerned.
God Bless



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 3:18 pm


According to the article “Our source also tells Aiello that Clark is bothered by questions in the press about his million-dollar home in Amagansett. He says the home has been in his family for many years, and he shares it with other members of the family.”
So I was wrong to say he owned it ( I said that above). But clearly Cheaky Lawyer didn’t read the article linked carefully either. To bad thought your friend wouldn’t have wasted time checking up on Fr. Clark trying to refute a claim he never made but that I made.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 3:19 pm


Should read “only he owned it”.



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Poppi

posted August 18, 2005 at 3:20 pm


Meg makes another good point: “Innocent of WHAT? I couldn’t imagine they were actually doing anything sexual, but the whole thing of sort of acting like a couple is still wrong.”
Even if there was no hanky panky going on their conduct was way out of line. Imagine if Clark were an executive with a large company and he and his assistant were caught doing just what we know to be true on the surface. Imagine him explaining to the board of directors that “we were tired after our leisurely lunch and needed to do some recuperative sunbathing so we rented a motel room for five hours but it’s OK because I was doing paperwork the whole time . . . I don’t think the board would be getting too worked up getting more “evidence” before they canned him. It’s not about the sex, whether it happened or not.



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patrick

posted August 18, 2005 at 3:23 pm


mea culpa….maxima…. the paper only said she went into the church on sunday in short shorts. i mistook it for going to Mass….what i get for remembering an article that i only glanced at (once i saw the pictures i just said “give me a break”) …. i apologise for my sloppy memory.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 3:32 pm


This is the statement I made above that confused Cheaky Lawyer “Now these people saying the Priest owns a million dollar home yet failing to mention he isn’t the sole owner.”
As my earler quote from the article show Fr. Clark didn’t claim he wasn’t the sole owner. I feel bad I made Cheaky Lawyer’s friend run a search on the deed to the LI house for nothing.
But that should teach this “Lawyer” not to rely on hearsay. BTW that is all we have at this point. Hearsay & I’m sorry but I don’t care how good a Lawyer you think you are you could hang a head horse on that one.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 3:34 pm


edit “couldn’t hang” damnit the internet is slow & my Grammer is slower.



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Cheeky Lawyer

posted August 18, 2005 at 3:49 pm


“So I was wrong to say he owned it ( I said that above). But clearly Cheaky Lawyer didn’t read the article linked carefully either. To bad thought your friend wouldn’t have wasted time checking up on Fr. Clark trying to refute a claim he never made but that I made.”
I didn’t make anyone run the deed. A friend offered the info to me. And if you reread what I said you will see that I wrote, “The house is owned personally by Eugene V. Clark, i.e., it isn’t registered to a number of Clark family members. Now perhaps they all chip in for upkeep or something and share use of it. But the home is owned by Clark, no one else, according to this person.”
I read the article. I know the article talked about use. And that is why I made the distinction in bold above.
And certainly you can prove a case with circumstantial evidence. I just don’t see a reasonable explanation outside of the story line last week. But I really ought to stop discussing this story and discuss the Good News that is WYD.
I actually don’t have a very high opinion of myself as a person or as a lawyer. I am a bad person and a very green lawyer. I do however believe a compelling case could be made on the allegations and testimony that we have in this case.
And let me add another point. I do wish none of this had ever broken in the papers. Even though I do believe Msgr. Clark has been having an affair with this woman or at least an inappropriate relationship, I believe he has a right to his good name and that these allegations should not have been made publicly. He should have been quietly removed.
And I also believe Clark’s actions are understandable. As I wrote last week on another thread:
Or a more plausible explanation exists: they are human. That isn’t an excuse. In fact, I find what Rod wrote to be more of an excuse or cop out that seems to separate someone like Msgr. Clark from us who would never do this. This is lamentable behavior if true. But the allure of sin, and the dulling of the moral sense caused by immoral actions can lead even the best of us to grave sin and to perpetual grave sin. Perhaps it started with an almost innocuous bit of flirtation, proceeded to a back-rub, and then continued on to the whole enchilida. Shame was felt. A promise never to do it again was made but the allure of sin returned. Instead of breaking things off and moving away from each other (perhaps I shouldn’t be his secretary anymore, perhaps I should be asked to be reassigned…) they stayed close. She stayed late one night to help. A drink was poured. A line crossed. Clothes came off. Again shame and promises to not do it again but the attraction of that sin was too great and soon it became a regular thing. The fear of revealing oneself, the fear of scandal, the shame of it all prevented Clark from betraying himself and leaving his post; besides he could challenge the world from that pulpit. The softness of the riches he was accustomed to (a $2 million house on Long Island?) also contributed to the dulling of his senses.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 18, 2005 at 4:10 pm


“”So I was wrong to say he owned it ( I said that above). But clearly Cheaky Lawyer didn’t read the article linked carefully either. To bad thought your friend wouldn’t have wasted time checking up on Fr. Clark trying to refute a claim he never made but that I made.”
>I didn’t make anyone run the deed. A friend offered the info to me. And if you reread what I said you will see that I wrote, “The house is owned personally by Eugene V. Clark, i.e., it isn’t registered to a number of Clark family members. Now perhaps they all chip in for upkeep or something and share use of it. But the home is owned by Clark, no one else, according to this person.”
>I read the article. I know the article talked about use. And that is why I made the distinction in bold above.
I reply: Then you should have been clear & simply plainly stated “Ben Yachov your mistaken about Clark saying he owned his house with members of his family”. I didn’t get what you where trying to say.
>And certainly you can prove a case with circumstantial evidence.
I reply: But it has to be circumstantial evidence beyond a reasonable doubt at least in a criminal case. I see a lot of reasonable doubt here & “facts” that are not yet in evidence plus some heresay.
>I just don’t see a reasonable explanation outside of the story line last week.
I reply: I’m starting to have reasonable doubts & Clark’s explaination seems plausable & I still need good evidence not suspicion.
This is not enough to convict in a criminal case. Maybe in divorce court where the standard of proof is lower. But I have high standards though not unreasonable.
>I actually don’t have a very high opinion of myself as a person or as a lawyer. I am a bad person and a very green lawyer. I do however believe a compelling case could be made on the allegations and testimony that we have in this case.
I reply: But clearly it’s not airtight & a lot of your evidence has holes in it. I want to see the legger at the hotel. Also remind me did the daughter publically accuse her mother of sleeping with the Priest or is that the claim the husband is making? It’s hearsay until I hear the daughter’s testamony publically.
>And let me add another point. I do wish none of this had ever broken in the papers. Even though I do believe Msgr. Clark has been having an affair with this woman or at least an inappropriate relationship, I believe he has a right to his good name and that these allegations should not have been made publicly. He should have been quietly removed.
I reply: I have no opinon on that.
>And I also believe Clark’s actions are understandable. As I wrote last week on another thread:
>Or a more plausible explanation exists: they are human. That isn’t an excuse. In fact, I find what Rod wrote to be more of an excuse or cop out that seems to separate someone like Msgr. Clark from us who would never do this. This is lamentable behavior if true. But the allure of sin, and the dulling of the moral sense caused by immoral actions can lead even the best of us to grave sin and to perpetual grave sin. Perhaps it started with an almost innocuous bit of flirtation, proceeded to a back-rub, and then continued on to the whole enchilida. Shame was felt. A promise never to do it again was made but the allure of sin returned. Instead of breaking things off and moving away from each other (perhaps I shouldn’t be his secretary anymore, perhaps I should be asked to be reassigned…) they stayed close. She stayed late one night to help. A drink was poured. A line crossed. Clothes came off. Again shame and promises to not do it again but the attraction of that sin was too great and soon it became a regular thing. The fear of revealing oneself, the fear of scandal, the shame of it all prevented Clark from betraying himself and leaving his post; besides he could challenge the world from that pulpit. The softness of the riches he was accustomed to (a $2 million house on Long Island?) also contributed to the dulling of his senses.
I reply: OTOH if this is just the woman’s husband expoiting her close friendship with the Priest so he won’t be taken to the cleaners in the divorce then your whole point is moot. Human nature being what it is it could be either or both.



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Boniface McInnes

posted August 18, 2005 at 5:02 pm


BenYachov,
My Grammar is pretty slow, also, so no need to apologise. But she’s nearly 95, and we don’t let her near the computer either.



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Septimus

posted August 18, 2005 at 5:04 pm


Hmm…
Just taking the story here, on face value: it seems rather odd to me that:
1. One needs to stop, on the way back from lunch, “to rest for 5 hours.”
2. That one does so at a motel.
3. When one is a priest, with a married woman.
4. When ones home is “nearby.”
5. The priest hangs out — at the motel — rather than go to his home: “call me when you are ready to go, I’ll pick you up.”
After all, “the rules” about these things were even stricter in Monsignor Clark’s days — avoiding a bad appearance was a major topic of discussion in those days.
Is it “gross” impropriety? Well, maybe gross stupidity, insofar as it has caused so much trouble for so many; insofar as he has a hole he’ll have a hard time climbing out of…
He may be innocent. But to claim people have no good reason for shaking their head and being suspicious? No, these are supposed to be intelligent people.



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HA

posted August 18, 2005 at 7:51 pm


Sorry but until I get some hard evidence Fr. Clark is innocent til proven guilty. …Put up or shut up. …
Well put — a hearty Amen to that. However, I too wish for Clark’s sake that he would address the far more serious allegations of the daughter (i.e. those that we have eyewitness testimony for). I don’t think the hotel allegations are trivial, but given that no one is exactly sure just what went on there, I would argue that eyewitness allegations of hot tub action, satin teddies and “making out” are harder to explain away.
Granted, a divorce case can split families up in brutal ways. Objectivity disappears, and people can lie or at least mislead themselves about things they saw or thought they saw. Also, the reporters might not have given us the full story on the daughter’s statements either. But until those rumours are confronted, they will fester.
BTW, a link to the article on the husband that RicoPadre referred to can be found at Michael Dubruiel’s site (Aug 14). The husband’s denial of those claims was published in the same paper on the following day. For the record, I’d rather nobody jumped to conclusions about him, either.



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Marty

posted August 18, 2005 at 8:47 pm


Well, I have to say as a church secretary, I cannot even imagine behaving in this way, guilty or not. Running around with Father in hotels and stuff while my middleaged self is clad in Daisydukes and a tank top? (ugh!!!)Registering at a hotel to “catch some rays”? My husband would be somekinda po’d and I wouldn’t blame him!!!!
Well, I hope the good Msgr.’s denials are true, but really, is this stupid or what? In the past Msgr. Clark has not acted as a stupid man or one that would not realize the danger of giving scandal. Wonder if the old guy just thought, hey nobody would think a 79 year old geezer like me would be doing anything with a woman young enough to be my daughter, so I don’t have to worry about how it looks.
Well, very sad. Will pray for everyone involved.



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chris K

posted August 18, 2005 at 9:15 pm


What about home wrecker Chris k?
Hey, Cheeky, why are you yellin at me? I have absolutely no idea what the real facts are. Maybe at 79 the monsignor’s eyes have gone (he doesn’t drive, apparently) and he has no idea just how she was dressed! If the house has been in the family, it doesn’t mean that M. Clark had to blow a wad himself on it. The part I just can’t get my 2 adjacent brain cells wrapped around is, if the house is just 10 minutes away from the motel where they stopped (and that could very well be another whiz bang journalists’ mistaken facts), then wouldn’t it have been a lot cheaper just to have “rested” there? The reported “facts” about this whole situation are whacky, but if true, then the folks involved are pretty whacky themselves!



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Whitcomb

posted August 18, 2005 at 10:01 pm


The whole mess might have been mitigated, at least a bit, if Beauty and the Priest had rented separate rooms at the hotel. Still looks bad, but monsignor would have some plausible deniability.
It’s hard to believe that nothing was going on. How many monsignors have a secretary or assistant pulling down somewhere in the neighborhood of $70,000 to $100,000? Who also wears short-shorts? And furthermore, at age 46, still looks pretty good in those short-shorts?
Tain’t my idea of a church secretary, that’s for sure.



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Alfred

posted August 18, 2005 at 10:39 pm


Even if Msgr. Clark’s “claims of innocence” are somehow true, he is guilty of remarkably poor judgement which has brought scandal upon the Church.
In addition this incident demonstrates that many priests have far too much money at their disposal which they do not have to account to anyone for. Few innocent people are so extravagant that they would pay for a motel room, when their home is only minutes away.
Finally, something must have prompted the husband to go to the trouble and expense of hiring an investigator. It appears that his suspicions were well founded.



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Kevin D. Dello Iacono

posted August 18, 2005 at 10:54 pm


I believe in the messages of Our Lady of Akita which are approved by the Church. When I hear about scandals involving priests, whether or not they are true, I recall Our Lady of Akita’s messages when she strongly urged us to pray (especially the Rosary) for all priests.
Here is a special prayer I had posted on my blog a long time ago. Please recite it:
A Prayer for Priests
Keep them, I pray Thee, dearest Lord,
Keep them, for they are Thine –
Thy priests whose lives burn out before
Thy consecrated shrine.
Keep them, for they are in the world.
Though from the world apart;
When earthly pleasures tempt, allure, –
Shelter them in Thy heart.
Keep them, and comfort them in hours
Of lonliness and pain,
When all their life of sacrifice
For souls seems but in vain.
Keep them, and O remember, Lord,
They have no one but Thee,
Yet they have only human hearts,
With human frailty.
Keep them as spotless as the Host,
That daily they caress;
Their every thought and word and deed,
Deign, dearest Lord, to bless.



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Noli Irritare Leones

posted August 19, 2005 at 9:19 am


Clarifications

Not mine, but other people’s. First, Cindy Sheehan, then Monsignor Clark.
Sheehan had to leave Texas after her mother had a stroke, but before that, there were rumors circulating that she had made anti-Semitic conspiracy statements. Sheehan…



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David Kubiak

posted August 19, 2005 at 11:46 pm


Isn’t all speculation idle. If the two of them deny anything and the alleged activity is not illegal how could anything be proven except what the photos show. They legitimately scandalize Catholics.
And there is in this case a kind of equivalent to the gay priests who go cruising in parks when discrete sinning would be easier. This drive towards clerical self-destruction is very troubling to me. It is hard not to see supernatural forces behind it.



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Chris

posted September 14, 2005 at 7:15 am


I happen to know that the Archdiocesan medical plan does not include Viagra. So, my hat’s off to Monsignor Clark. At 79 he’s still going strong, it seems.
When I was at Dunwoodie years ago we used to tell a tale of Msgr. Clark, who was at that time Archdiocesan Press spokesman. It was in the form of a radio spot announcement:
Radio announcer: And now we present Monsignor Eugene V. Clark, the spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, who will give the Church’s position on a number of issues of social concern to people today. Monsignor Clark.
Clark (shouts): “NO!”
Radio announcer: Thank you, Monsignor Clark.



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maryanne

posted October 6, 2005 at 12:38 pm


I believe that Philip is a jealous and insecure person who was probably obsessed with his wife. Why else would somebody show a videotape with no evidence of adultery to a 14 year old girl? I happen to believe the story that because he made nowhere near the money that Laura did, and knowing she wanted a divorce, he knew he was going to lose living in such an expensive house. Keep fighting Laura.



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maryanne

posted October 6, 2005 at 12:39 pm


I believe that Philip is a jealous and insecure person who was probably obsessed with his wife. Why else would somebody show a videotape with no evidence of adultery to a 14 year old girl? I happen to believe the story that because he made nowhere near the money that Laura did, and knowing she wanted a divorce, he knew he was going to lose living in such an expensive house. Keep fighting Laura.



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