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Via Media

The latest from Delray

The Sun-Sentinel focuses on the parish’s new pastor, and how he has been trying to clean up the mess he was left

The Palm Beach Post has more details of the ongoing investigation:

Skehan, 79, was arrested at Palm Beach International Airport on Wednesday night as he returned on a flight from his native Ireland. News of his arrest quickly reached the community of Johnstown in north Kilkenny, where he owns a home and frequently visits his sister and two brothers.


The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is attempting to make arrangements for Guinan, who is vacationing in Australia, to surrender himself in Florida, said special agent supervisor Mike Driscoll.

Detectives, armed with two search warrants Friday, seized more than four months’ worth of financially-related mail from Skehan’s home at 607 N.E. Eighth Ave., police spokesman Jeff Messer said. They also searched the contents of a safety deposit box at a Delray Beach SunTrust bank.

Skehan remained in the county jail Friday, as his attorney, Ken Johnson, asked the court to allow Skehan’s Singer Island condo to be used as collateral for the $400,000 bail. Skehan must secure 10 percent of the money to leave the jail.


But of course, this is being pushed below the fold as we speak by another little matter occupying South Florida’s attention at the moment.

Update:   A correspondent from the area writes with questions:

When you read the police report, you see that Fr. counted out the money with Colleen and her mother on Monday morning and Fr. skimmed 2 grand and then they arranged the deposts. … what about the 2/3 months Fr. S. was in Ireland each year. Did the women handle it alone? Did the priests in charge oversee this??

Also you see from the report that the diocesan CFO said Guinan and Colleen and her mom refuse do cooperate with an audit in Sept. 2003. Why didn’t the CFO immediately call the states attorney and claim later that gee we were doing our own investigation. It’s unconscionable.


….And what about the priestly cabal that foisted Guinan on our parish – knowing full well his unsavory rep?? In fact, that was his main asset. An honest pastor would have blown Skehan’s cover.

…. Last of all, you will note in one article that Frank McKinney, a mega-millionare developer may help bail Fr. S. from jail. Fr. S. allowed McKinney to get up and shill for his first (what I assume to be – don’t have the stomach to read it.)name it and claim it type book because 5 bucks or so of each book would go to the school. Frank was also allowed to shill for his last book, after the new pastor took over.

I’m assuming this is the Frank McKinney in question (I’ll correct if wrong, of course)…um…okay.

Comments read comments(9)
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Sandra Miesel

posted September 30, 2006 at 10:46 am

It has to be that Frank McKinney. He’s originally from Indianapolis where his father and grandfather were important bankers. His father was also an Olympic gold medalist swimmer but perished in a plane crash with three other local civic leaders back in the 90s. My children went to grade school with young McKinney’s siblings in our former parish.

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Dorian Speed

posted September 30, 2006 at 11:04 am

Are you sure that’s not the Frank McKinney who opened for Whitesnake?

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posted September 30, 2006 at 11:45 am

Sandra has the right Frank.

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posted September 30, 2006 at 12:13 pm

I suppose somebody should write a Ralph McInerny / Malachi Martin style novel about episcopal and clerical malfesance in Palm Beach. Bishop O’Connell, haunted by the skeletons in his own closet, turned a blind eye as these two priests skimmed from the collection at their parish.

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posted September 30, 2006 at 5:15 pm

If the bishops of Florida had any sense, they’d audit (really audit….not just do a review) of every parish in Florida…….of course, they can’t…….priest shortage, ya know…….just the tip of the iceberg here in Palm Beach.

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Fr. John

posted September 30, 2006 at 6:11 pm

I am not from that diocese, and have no information about the case. But the diocese does seem to have been negligent in auditing the parish – which is not the case in the diocese where I serve.
I must say, though, that pastors are in a tough spot. In my present assignment, I have changed the way money is counted, to conform to both common sense and diocesan policy. Previously, too few people were involved in the counting, and there was no real checks and balances.
So what was the reaction? Fury from many who thought I didn’t trust these dedicated people. And getting more people involved in the collection counting, and to serve on finance council has been like pulling teeth. Sometimes parishioners just make it easy to not change what should be changed.

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posted September 30, 2006 at 7:04 pm

Dorian – you crack me up! He either opened for Whitesnake or he’s doing “I Can’t Believe it’s not Butter” commercials. Fabio wants his hair back.

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posted October 1, 2006 at 10:12 pm

Some questions:
Do you think these priest practiced what they preached and confessed their sins of theft to a fellow priest or their Bishop? Isn’t a priest required to confess his sins to his respective Bishop once a year? Do you think it would be a good idea for a Bishop to call on his priest once a year and hear their confessions? It’s spiritual common sense don’t you think? This might be the first line of defense before you start looking for better ways to “count the jelly beans. Don’t ya think so?
On another note, many Catholic Saints, gifted by the Holy Spirit with lights from Heaven, saw that those suffering souls in Purgatory who were doing the “hardest and longest time” were Bishops and priest. Why? For a lot of different reasons, but primarily because they had lost interest in those souls who had been placed in their care. They no longer cared if they went to Hell.So, Thank God on this beautiful day of Heavenly nourishment for the priest in your parish who is not subject to these sinful erros. Also be thankful especially for the lights of St. Theresa of Liseaux. How the Lord blessed us so much with this “Flower from Heaven”.
And let us pray for these two suffering priest right now and the many who are like them, especially those who attacked children; Satan found their weakness and corrupted their hearts. Hopefully they will repent and asked God and the parishes they served for forgiveness. Once done, they will then be bathed in the blood of the Lamb and be able to live out their days in ways that their Bishop see suitable to atone for their error.
All have a beautiful week in Christ our Lord.

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Mary Alexander

posted October 2, 2006 at 2:13 pm

How would you like to be a volunteer for the Bishop’s fund this year in that parish?

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