Do NOT Assume “They’ve learned their lesson,” Because They HAVE NOT

| Jun 4, 2020 | Catholic Church

Anthony CIpolle Horowitz Law

What employer or institution do you think this description fits:

“For decades, this employer been sued and sullied and vilified and embarrassed by the awful crimes of thousands of its workers. So surely this employer has learned its lesson, and now takes no unnecessary risks, pays attention to ‘red flags’ and more carefully vets prospective employees better than ever.

If you guessed the Catholic hierarchy, you no doubt would be in good company. We at Horowitz Law suspect that millions of people – inside and outside the church – think this is true.

But IF this is true, ask yourself “How could a Catholic official, just three years ago, hire a guy who

–had “numerous encounters with law enforcement in three states” (starting more than 30 years ago).

–was charged with attempted first-degree murder (but the outcome of that case is not clear.)

–was also charged with drug possession, assault, theft and insurance fraud.

–claims he was an undercover drug agent which he said led to a substance use disorder.

–says he sought drug treatment but says he can’t remember the name of the facility where he went.

–names a woman as his drug counselor who didn’t get her counseling license until years later.

Despite all this, just three years ago, Anthony Cipolle became a Catholic priest. In fact, his boss, Bishop Robert Deeley of Maine, even paid for Cipolle to complete his undergraduate education and attend seminary.

Maybe Deeley deserves credit for giving a guy a second chance? Read on.

Fr. Anthony Cipolle was ordained in 2017. One year later, a judge says, he ‘inflamed’ events that led to the 2018 murder of Renee Henneberry Clark by her brother-in-law Philip Clark.

Hours before the murder, Fr. Cipolle had the “opportunity and a moral obligation to defuse this situation” but instead inserted himself into it, fighting with Clark the killer, the same judge says.

And defense lawyers for the murderer say “Fr. Cipolle beat and kicked Clark while he was on the ground, stunning him, bloodying him, and breaking his rib. When the police arrived, Cipolle, though still a priest, decided that he need not confess.”

Now, Deeley has changed course, ousting Fr. Cipolle. But troubling questions remain.

First, why ordain a man with all these legal troubles in his past?

Second, what other kinds of men is Bishop Deeley hiring?

Third, are other Catholic officials making similarly reckless decisions about hiring?

The moral of this story: Do NOT assume that reckless wrongdoers ‘learn from their mistakes.” Do NOT assume that a dangerous situation or employer has ‘reformed’ just because of negative publicity.

On the other hand, for your safety and the safety of others, DO look into the backgrounds of people in responsible positions, instead of blindly assuming that they’ve been property vetted by those in charge.

Where’s Fr. Cipolle now? He lives in Arlington MA. In Maine, he worked at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Bangor until December 2018.