The American Catholic Church Continues the Great Enema

The American Catholic Church Continues the Great Enema January 18, 2013

…that commenced during the Long Lent of 2002. There has been a lot of change and improvement, but as cases like Bp Finn and, ahem, this guy demonstrate we have not crossed the finish line.

I’m having trouble tracking the timeline on the priest and when he stopped serving. Can somebody make sense of it for me? My main question is, “Was this guy still serving after the reports of him cross-dressing and all the rest of it in the rectory?” Or did the diocese respond quickly once they knew there was a problem? If the former, then, oh well, priests fall and that happens. If the latter, then the diocese of Bridgeport seems not to have learned a damn thing.

I did find the oblique reference to his love of Broadway shows and “show tunes” amusing. The sanctity of the Gay Estate must be preserved above all things. It’s one thing to say the man brought the priesthood into disgrace. It’s quite another to suggest that the homosexual life teems with pathologies (which, you know, it does).

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  • Father Joseph Leppard, SJ

    His situation is before the Congregation of Bishops .. .a rather slow acting bunch who all are mostly over 80. This situation is rather surprising to me and scandalous to the laity to say the least -and we wonder “why”.

  • Tim Jones

    See, guys like this “Msgr. Meth” make me really believe that some men get into the priesthood as a kind of dodge, an entertaining fraud. They like the cover it offers them, they like the power, they like duping people and the REALLY like the transgressive thrill.

    He could be a priest that “broke bad”, I suppose. But I think it not unlikely that he was never for a moment sincere about his faith or his vows, at all.

  • Survivor

    Let’s work through the details:
    Wallin was ordained in 1984 for the Diocese of Bridgeport, CT, serving in:
    Bridgeport, CT from 1984-1996
    Danbury, CT 1996-2002
    Bridgeport, CT 2002-2011 where he served as pastor of St. Peter’s and then pastor of St. Augustine’s Cathedral
    The local ordinary was Bishop Edward Egan (1988–2000), followed by Bishop William E. Lori (2001–2012).

    In the Spring of 2011, under Bishop Lori, the diocese receives complaints from parishioners regarding Wallin’s appearance and erratic behavior. He often disappeared for days at a time; and rectory personnel notified diocese officials when Wallin, sometimes dressed as a woman, would entertain odd-looking men, some who were also dressed in women’s clothing and engaging in sex acts. Diocesan officials found bizarre sex toys in Wallin’s residence. Diocese officials consulted lawyers about the situation and were assured none of Wallin’s behavior appeared illegal.

    Wallin went in for a health assessment but then didn’t go for follow-up examinations and subsequently “disappeared”. He then opened a sex shop in North Haven, CT (in the diocese) some point after his suspension, and moved to Waterbury, CT, where he was dealing methamphetamine.

    In May 2012, his faculties for public ministry were suspended. Until January 2013, despite having “disappeared”, he remained in enough contact with someone in the diocese that he was still getting a stipend.

    In this world, there is stupid, really stupid, and “hold my beer and watch this” stupid. But there is an extra-special “why in the world do you people put up with this when this guy couldn’t hold a job as a fry cook at McDonalds but you’re willing to put up with him crapping on everything we hold holy and even continue to pay him” stupid, which is reserved to chanceries and the major superiors of religious orders.

    That goes double when creeps like this continue to leech off the contributions of parishioners while scandalized seminarians, deacons and laypersons are cast into the outer darkness. Especially when said people lose salaries, stipends and health insurance as a penalty for bringing to the attention of the chancery the inconvenient truth that one of their own is way off the reservation.

    • Rosemarie


      Doesn’t the article also say something about a sabbatical starting in 2011? He was gone from his ministry for a long time, and continued to take a measly priest’s stipend from the diocese even though he was making thousands through his, um, “businesses”? Wow, just wow.

    • carlamariee

      Well said, Survivor.

    • You may wish to add 2 items, that complaints started in the spring of 2011 and he resigned his post in July of 2011, claiming to be struggling and the diocese gave him a sabbatical to get his act together, consulting lawyers to see whether there was any bit of secular law that he could be nailed on and coming up empty. The most charitable construction is that they got complaints in May and by July he was out after an investigation. The least charitable is that it started in March.

  • Andy

    I knew Kevin as an undergrad in college – he was in the same fraternity I was in. All during his undergrad days he spoke about waning to be a priest. I am shocked to. say the least. Rather then doubt his vows I will pray for him and other priests who fall. I think that we need to ask the had questions. hierarchy – how do they keep track of priests – in one article I read the cross-dressing was known – so how did he go on? If the. church does not wrestle with an subdue this foe, then those who do not believe will continue in their errors.

    • joye

      I wonder if there may be a head injury, stroke, or dementia issue that caused such a sudden and bizarre shift in his character. I for one hope that he is not morally culpable for these scandalous actions.

      • Sus

        Maybe it was the meth. It must screw with your head in some way.

        In one way, I think the church has the responsibility to provide for these priests, even the child abusers that didn’t end up in prison. I don’t mean put them into a job or ceremonial post. I just mean these men have devoted their lives to the Church and basically the Church is their family. It’s gets complicated though if they open a sex shop and sell meth!

  • Monsignor Wallin was high-profile here in the Bridgeport Diocese. I mean – he was the pastor of the Cathedral parish right under the Bishop’s nose. Think of St. Peter and the knowledge/power the Lord gave him in dealing with Ananias and Sapphira. Peter didn’t bother to consult a lawyer first. He spoke the truth and they dropped dead.

  • bob cratchit

    What a miserable fuck. How many young lives did he wreck selling his poison not to mention the havoc he heaped on the flock entrusted to his care!

    • ED

      #1) Wallin obviously *needs* help and prayers.

      #2) cratchit obviously *needs* a bar of soap shoved down his throat.

  • Survivor

    I must disagree with Suss. Having known men like this first hand, they are parisites on the Body of Christ. No healthy organization would continue assiciation with them, and they shoukd be cast into the outer darkness. As a former religious who was sexually abused by his superior, it amazes me that the abusedare left to fend for ourselves, while guys like this stay in-house and get housing, health insurance and a stipend.

    • Sus

      I didn’t express myself well above. I apologize.

  • Andy

    I think that this is for me a prime example of why the hierarchy in the church has troubles getting the laity to listen. Like I said above I knew Kevin, so maybe this has made me consider things in a e light and has brought things from ast to the present. As a youngster I had to rebuff the predatory nature of a parish priest. In Kevin’s case the church ignored non-priestly behaviors for at least a year, because it wasn’t illegal. In the case of he priest who attempted to have a “special relationship” (his words) with me the pastor old me to avoid him, tough to do in a small ton itch only one Catholic Church. The pastor’s advice was delivered by a lawyer from the bishop’s office. However let a priest take money and the entire legal and lexical apparatus falls on his/her head.
    My point – to be. moral leaders the hierarchy has to look within – it has to model what it says is important. It, y
    this introspection requires the fortitude to recognize the pain and anguish that has been caused. To want to follow a bishop or other member of the hierarchy or a priest requires those so ordained to live a life of humility and service. Jesus didn’t say rule my sheep, he said feed my sheep. The “food” has to be more than statements, lawsuits, denials, obfustication, and anger. It has to be food of solace, respect and love.
    It appears in the case of Kevin, legal opinions lead the way, as it was. when I was younger. To combat impositions on the Catholic Church by the government, the hierarchy must reclaim their moral leadership by responding to these concerns in a way that recognizes the egalitarian of the concern and protects all involved. Lawyers look out only for their clients, the hierarchy must look not to. lawyers, but to Jesus who looked after all of us.

  • John

    I found this quote from the story interesting
    “I can’t fathom it,” “He was so spiritual. His sermons were wonderful. He had such knowledge of theology.”

    • This is the quote that made me think “brain tumor”. If there is something biological going wrong inside his head, we’re in an entirely different arena.

  • Shannon

    priests fall and that happens. Except when the priest is John corapi.

    • Mark Shea

      You do realize, don’t you, how ignorant your remark is?

  • Shannon

    Oh I guess I touched a raw nerve. Sorry mark

    • Mark Shea

      Shannon: No. No raw nerves here. I’m glad I a) urged people not to pass judgment on Corapi or his accuser (when Corapi was whipping his fanboys up against her) and b) warned that Corapi was a liar and a fraud once he held a fire sale on his priesthood and the evidence became overwhelming that he was a fraud and a grifter out to seduce the flock into following him away from the Church. Now that he’s no longer a menace to souls, I’ve had nothing more to say about him. I hope he repents his sins and returns to obedience to holy Church.

      And, by the way, when you lie and say you are “sorry” when in fact you are just being catty–and all in the service of a fraud and grifter, you should get yourself to confession.

  • Izzy

    A “fraud and a grifter”? Really Mark. Your passion will be you undoing.

    • Mark Shea

      Yes. A fraud and a grifter. His stories about his adventures as a Green Beret (later modified to Special Forces, later modified to Special Forces training, later modified to Vietnam era vet) were total lies. They were also the basis of his whole schtick. And when the truth closed in on him, he held a fire sale on his priesthood, attempting to sell of his wares to his “fans” (his word) while retooling at “The Black Sheepdog” and sell himself as a sort of Protestant pastor to the Tea Party. So yes, “fraud and grifter” is the precise accurate description.

      • Izzy

        Ever hear of detraction Mark? While you’re urging Shannon to go to confession you might want to consider it yourself. Your level of vitrol toward that man is toxic.

        • Mark Shea

          It is not detraction to address matters that are public knowledge. I haven’t even discussed the man in a year. Shannon brought it up, so I answered her false charge. You tried to claim it was false to say he was a fraud and a grifter. I pointed out that it was true. Sorry you don’t like facts.

  • Stu

    We have at least one person here who seems to have known this priest and thinks he was sincere. I’ll give the Monsignor that benefit of the doubt and assume that something went horribly wrong to cause him to fall. Perhaps even possession by evil spirits.

    Pray for the man like the fate of a soul is in the balance.

  • Izzy

    It’s a very troubled diocese and has been since the late 60s. The springtime of Vatican II never made it there.

    • “joe”

      i’d heard egan was brought in to straighten things out, but more in a financial sense. i don’t know how familiar with the situation my “sources” were tho’.

  • Joseph

    Holy moly. I used to attend daily Mass at St. Augustine’s with the Msgr. I admired his intellect, his mastery of English, his homilies, and his obvious general knowledge of the Saints and Church teaching. He was obviously well educated. That said, there was something about him that I couldn’t put my finger on. My gay-dar is kind of malfunctional, but for some reason it seemed to go off for him. His behaviour was also a bit strange and he appeared to suffer from odd mood swings. I also witnessed his “disappearances” but I thought that it was just an odd rotation. He was the only priest to become agitated when I asked to have my confession heard after Mass. Needless to say, none of those things would have made him a bad person. I just assumed he was eccentric. He will always remain one of the most knowledgeable priests I’ve met in memory and this is a shock (though not necessarily the gay issues). Pray for this man.

  • Kevin J Jones

    Jesuit Fr. Paul Shaugnessy’s 2000 essay “The Gay Priest problem” said that a clique of gay priests boasted of “having blackmailed the Connecticut Catholic Conference into reversing its opposition to a gay rights law by threatening to “out” gay bishops-a reversal that is difficult to understand without resort to the blackmail explanation..”

    Is anyone aware of original reports about these allegations?

    If this fallen priest were involved in that scheme, how could it be exposed?