The Principal and the Priest

Posted by Censor Librorum on Mar 12, 2008 | Categories: Lesbians & Gays, Scandals

The principal at Cardinal Hayes High School, an all-boys school in the Bronx, was ousted last week after photos of nude men were discovered on his computer.keogan.JPG

No criminal charges were filed against the principal, Christopher Keogan, because the photos were of adults.

Two ex-faculty members and a priest associated with sexual abuse lawsuits have accused Keogan in letters and affidavits of theft of petty cash, an affair with a male subsordinate, faking transcripts to help that man get into college, and misuse of funds. The priest alleged that Keogan took $10,000 from a charity set up to provide scholarships to purchase furniture for his new apartment.

In 2006 a staffer claimed to the Equal Opportunity Commission that she was fired after reporting that Keogan had an affair with a male subordinate. Keogan denied the affair and the unfair firing charge. He said the archiocese investigated it and the allegations were not substantiated.

His ouster stunned teachers and students at the school, where Mr. Keogan was largely seen as charismatic and fair. He joined the school in 1990, and served as dean of discipline for six years before becoming principal in 2003.

“He was a really nice guy, really down to earth, really cool,” said Kyle Brooks, 18, who graduated last year. “If you got into trouble, he would listen to both sides of the story. He was an honorable guy. Extremely fair.”

So, was Keogan set up by disgrunted and possibly homophobic staffers-or–did some instances of bad judgement do him in? The case gets more interesting with the addition of Fr. Bob Hoatson, a priest who wrote Keogan a scathing letter accusing him of a slew of misconduct at the school. He blasted the payment from the scholarship fund ¬†(which may have been legitimately authorized) to Keogan.

Fr. Hoatson comes with a little scandal of his own. Believing he had been fired from his job at Catholic Charities because of his advocacy for sex abuse survisors, in 2006 he filed a 44-page complaint in which he outed New York’s Cardinal Edward Egan.

Halfway through the 44-page complaint, the priest-turned-advocate drops a bomb on the cardinal–he alleges that Egan is “actively homosexual,” and that he has “personal knowlege of this.” His suit names two other top Catholic clerics in the region as actively gay–Albany bishop Howard Hubbard and Newark archbishop John Myers.

What Hoatson claims is that, as leaders of a church requiring celibacy and condemning homosexuality, actively gay bishops are too afraid of being exposed themselves to turn in pedophile priests. The bishops’ closeted homosexuality, as the lawsuit states, “has compromised defendants’ ability to supervise and control predators, and has served as a reason for retaliation.”

Before an incident last summer, my knee-jerk reaction would have been to applaud Fr. Hoatson. Now I give these crusaders a little more scrutiny for personal motives. Why is Hoatson involved in this case? No sex abuse of minors has surfaced.

In August 2007 it came to my attention that a homophobic group of persons (they were anonymous)-under the guise of being concerned about pedophile priests-attempted to use the “gay-friendly” college and parish listings on cclonline.org to justify their entries on wikipedia that Archbishop John Favalora protected pedophiles and gay priests. These individuals refused to dialog with the rest of us, or substantial their allegations on Archbishop Favalora and priests they named as gay. ¬†They were eventually banned from Wikipedia, and their entries largely removed.

As the student said, there are two sides to every story.

Unfortunately for Mr. Keogan, (or Brother Keogan, if he’s still with the Christian Brothers), his career as an educator is finished either way.

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13 Responses to “The Principal and the Priest”

  1. Joe T. Says:

    I grew up with this guy. AND, I went to Hayes in the 70s. He was a nasty person way back then, and was unabashedly gay. I’m not surprised about any of this.

  2. Karen Says:

    Joe, thanks for the comment.

  3. Dana C Says:

    This is not an issue of sexual preference. It is an issue on whether or not a crime was committed or if any child was hurt, emotional or otherwise. None were.

    Mr.Keogan was never charged with any crime. Either in New York or NJ.
    All of these were allegations.

    Mr.Keogan has 18yrs as an educator and by all accounts was effective.

    The writer of this article brings up vaild points worthy of further investagation.

    Father Hoatson?.

  4. Dana C Says:

    Issues? u think

    He also said his own experiences with sexual abuse have led him to speak out. He said that six months of therapy have helped him recover suppressed memories of being abused as a seminarian in the 1970s. He also says he was abused at 12, and possibly when he was as young as 3.

    Hoatson said he was sexually abused over a four-year period by a fellow seminarian in the Irish Christian Brothers, and over an 18-month period by a higher-ranking member of the order.

  5. ANONYMOUS Says:

    WELL AS A PRESENT STUDENT OF HAYES I THINK HE WAS A GREAT GUY VERY DOWN TO EARTH BUT DID NOTICE LOTS OF THINGS BEHIND OTHERS BACK AND ONLY THING WE AS THE HAYES HOUSE CAN DO IS PRAY FOR HIM AND WISH HIM THE VERY BEST OF LUCK WITH HIS CASE AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION MAY WE HAYESMEN SERVE THE COMMUNITY FOR GOD AND COUNTRY AS THE HAYES MISSION STATES CLEARLY AND AS WE ALWAYS SAY IN HAYE UP HAYES!! AND ALL HIS LOYAL MEN!!
    GOD BLESS AND GOOD LUCK TO MR-BR. KEOGAN…

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Mr. Keogan has a shady past and was passed on from one school to another (Hayes) to continue to engage in inappropriate behavior. He was a nasty man with a unprofessional demeanor. Until the governing body of these schools confronts the issues that are often hidden, denied or ignored, the situation will continue to deteriorate. It is a shame to see students which have to endure the repeated scandals at Hayes although by all accounts they do their best to keep their heads up.

  7. Hayesman's Mom Says:

    I just heard today about “Brother” Keogan’s firing and frankly, I’m glad he is getting his due. When my son attended Hayes about 8 years ago, Keogan was the Dean of Discipline. My son had a problem with coming into school late. He was supposed to go to after school detention, but he could not because he had to watch his little sisters after school so I could work and he regularly forgot to come in to “Saturday Detention”. Keogan turned this molehill into a mountain and suspended my son, TWICE. On the occasion of each suspension, I (a single working mother) was required to miss work and come into school to be VERBALLY BERATED TO THE POINT OF TEARS BY “Brother” Keogan. When he called me in for a THIRD time, I could not take it anymore and took my son out of the school. After leaving Hayes my son skipped most of high school and went straight to college where he is still working on his degree.

    After being the Dean, I was shocked when I heard Keoghan had gone on to become Principal. Reading the blogs around about his ouster, I know that I am not the only PARENT he abused. My son and I can’t believe the kind comments made about him. While heavy discipline may have been just what some kids needed. Neither I or my “nice kid” son needed to be ABUSED by this man! I feel that the inevitable consequences of his TWISTED LIFE is personally SPANKING him for me. I hope he rots in HELL!

  8. Maddog Says:

    As an alum of Hayes, it grieves me to hear of this kind of scandal. My experience in the 70’s was life-changing. I owe my success, both professionally and personally to my education there. The priests, brothers and laymen who taught me, were all honorable and pious men, who were totally devoted to us. The legacy and impact of this school and its contribution to the Church and society will never be fully measured in this world. Ony the Lord truly knows the contribution. How easy it is for reputations of people and institutions to be destroyed! Even in light of what has happened here…if all Catholic teenagers could have the chance of attending such a school, with its commitment to spiritual and personal excellence, the result would be world-changing! Pray, pray constantly for grace and forgiveness..Adveniat Regnum Tuum!

  9. class of 1998 Says:

    this doesnt suprise me either i used to play on the basketball team and was liked by keogan until one day i disagreed with coach murray he told me never to speak bad of coach murray and basically hated me everyday after waiting in between my periods to look me up and down to find a reason to give me detention. this man was mean and vindictive and obviously gay but i dont worry about those who do me wrong because they always get theirs lets just hope he didnt’t scar many kids

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I was a hayesmen as well and this was no suprise.
    He was always looking for ways to hurt others.
    He tried to rule by fear and was not a nice person.

  11. Monsignor Farrell Alum Says:

    “Brother” Keogan was an english teacher at Monsignor Farrell, ad all boys catholic high school which I attended in the 1980’s.

    He was an evil, meanspirited bastard. He was also obviously gay.

  12. Concerned Parent Says:

    It is very unfortunate that such a fine school as Cardinal Hayes High School is being rocked by another scandal.
    Instead of trying to cover the sky with one hand; The Archdiocese really needs to make changes in the administrative staff, immediately if not sooner. This will give Cardinal Hayes a chance to recover its distinguished reputation.

  13. C Says:

    I went to Farrell & graduated in 87.

    #11 summed it up.

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