Report: Former Staten Island pastor brings $2M suit against Cardinal Dolan

By Tracey Porpora
Staten Island Advance
May 21, 2017

Father Keith Fennessy said Mass in 2008 at at St. Margaret Mary R.C. Church in Midland Beach.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A former Midland Beach pastor is suing Cardinal Timothy Dolan and other Roman Catholic Church officials for $2 million for what he says were false child pornography claims, the NY Post reports.

The Rev. Keith Fennessy was barred from priestly ministry and booted from his position as pastor of St. Columba's R.C. Church in Manhattan on June 15, 2015, by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York.

An archdiocesan review board determined that Rev. Fennessy had images of minors on his personal and office computers that violated the church's Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Dolan accepted the board's recommendation that Rev. Fennessy would no longer be allowed to serve as a priest, according to Catholic New York and Joseph Zwilling, communications director for the archdiocese.

In legal papers, Rev. Fennessy says that the cardinal, the archdiocese and its spokesman Joseph Zwilling and the Catholic New York newspaper made accusations "with a reckless disregard" for the truth," the report says.

Rev. Fennessy, an ordained priest since 1984, headed St. Margaret Mary R.C. Church in Midland Beach from 2006 to June 2010.

He left amid a controversy over a proposed sale of the former parish convent house to the Muslim American Society. The sale fell through to turn the convent into a mosque.



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