Former Island Priest Facing Lawsuit

A former Roosevelt Island priest is being sued by eleven parishioners in his current parish, St. Frances de Chantal (SFdC) in the Bronx, and by three parishioners from the Island parish of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (SFXC).

Father Peter A. Miqueli, the Archdiocese of New York (ADNY), and Timothy Cardinal Dolan, along with a Miqueli associate named Keith Crist, are named as defendants in a lawsuit being filed this week at the Supreme Court, New York County, by the law offices of Michael Dowd. Dowd and his colleagues, Andrew Mancilla and Robert Vanfantone, took the case pro bono when they received pleas from the Bronx parish for assistance in having Miqueli removed.

A group from SFdC has been seeking Miqueli’s termination at their parish and from parish ministry in general, for over a year. (Individual parishioners wrote letters to the ADNY more than two years ago). The group says they have contacted the ADNY and Cardinal Dolan about Miqueli on numerous occasions. Dolan had them meet with representatives of the ADNY, with the Bronx bishop, and a Deacon, which resulted in a letter from the Cardinal with seven directives to Miqueli, including two requiring that he form a Church Council and a Finance Committee by 2016.

The Bronx group has said that, even if Miqueli complied with the directives, it would not be enough, and they have continued to ask for his removal.

The SFdC group contacted several parishioners from the Roosevelt Island parish over the last year and learned of allegations that Miqueli had a history of behavior not appropriate for a pastor, and allegations of diverting church funds for personal use (The WIRE, September 12 and November 21).

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