Priest Arrested: Robin Hood or Simple Thief?

Prominent Omaha Father Michael Gutgsell, 73, Nebraska, has been charged with a third count of theft, media reported.

He allegedly stole more than $106,000 from his former St. Joseph’s Church in Springfield.

After his October arrest, he already admitted to stealing $180,000 from the bank accounts of Father Theodore Richling (+2019), who suffered from Alzheimer’s and is accused of “substantiated” sexual misconduct. Gutgsell had been assigned power of attorney to take care of him.

Gutgsell said he gave the money “to a homeless man.” A routine audit had uncovered the theft.

Ordained in 1974, Gutgsell taught at a Catholic High School, studied Canon Law, served full time in the tribunal, became chancellor and Moderator of the Omaha Curia, pastor, Defender of the Bond, and judge at the marriage tribunal.

#newsBvngvkmthb

Pieter Wycoff
Doesn’t pass the sniff test.
giveusthisday
Does anyone have any compassion? We certainly do not know the whole story. Dear Jesus, have mercy on us all.
Facts Not Lies
Your point is valid.
There is a chance he funded housing or other good deed.
There is a chance he lied in his confession about stealing the cash.
There is a chance he spent it on some family in witness protection program.
Or a chance of another non-selfish reason for the theft.

I am not able to calculate any of these chances. The confession and obfuscation of the expenditures sort of seem to …More
Your point is valid.
There is a chance he funded housing or other good deed.
There is a chance he lied in his confession about stealing the cash.
There is a chance he spent it on some family in witness protection program.
Or a chance of another non-selfish reason for the theft.

I am not able to calculate any of these chances. The confession and obfuscation of the expenditures sort of seem to reduce the chances for most of the above.
Ultraviolet
@giveusthisday Please remember "he (the accused) already admitted to stealing $180,000 from the bank accounts of Father Theodore Richling." Given that confession, what do you call "the whole story"?

If Fatherconfessed, then he is already a thief who took advantage of a mentally incapacitated fellow priest and betrayed the trust of whomever assigned him power of attorney.

Now the diocese …More
@giveusthisday Please remember "he (the accused) already admitted to stealing $180,000 from the bank accounts of Father Theodore Richling." Given that confession, what do you call "the whole story"?

If Fatherconfessed, then he is already a thief who took advantage of a mentally incapacitated fellow priest and betrayed the trust of whomever assigned him power of attorney.

Now the diocese conducted (or hired a firm to conduct) an audit for the accused's former parish. They found over a hundred thousand in withdrawls Father had no records to justify. What's "the whole story" there?
Mathathias Maccabeus
If Fatherconfessed, then he is already a thief
🤨😒🥳


That is literally the answer I’ve been trying to get from you for ages.
Finally, the pummeling you gave me can be resolved, and I can start cleaning up that bloody nose of mine.
Ultraviolet
Not exactly, because here Father indicted himself, assuming he's done so (which is why I qualified the phrase with "if").

That is not the same as someone else indicting him, which here someone has (namely the prosecutor). But again, in terms of law, he's innocent until proven guilty.
Mathathias Maccabeus
@Ultraviolet that’s why I think we were just talking past each other.

I agree in terms of the law he isn’t guilty, but the fact that you said that he is a thief if he admits that he did it (indicted himself) shows you don’t think what I thought you thought, I think.

Like, I would now rewrite my example about the murderer as, “Johnny murders Sally. He then tells me why and how he did it. Is he …More
@Ultraviolet that’s why I think we were just talking past each other.

I agree in terms of the law he isn’t guilty, but the fact that you said that he is a thief if he admits that he did it (indicted himself) shows you don’t think what I thought you thought, I think.

Like, I would now rewrite my example about the murderer as, “Johnny murders Sally. He then tells me why and how he did it. Is he a murderer despite not being prosecuted yet?”
Mathathias Maccabeus
Oh snap, add “Johnny says, ‘yeah, I murdered her and I enjoyed it’”.
Ultraviolet
Just a moment, before you assume too much. :)

"it (indicted himself) shows you don’t think what I thought you thought, I think."


It shows I'm taking Father at his word, same as confessors do. "Bless me Father for I have sinned, it's been (so) many (hours) since my last confession and I accuse myself of the following sins..."

But what follows isn't automatically true, even from a self-indictm…More
Just a moment, before you assume too much. :)

"it (indicted himself) shows you don’t think what I thought you thought, I think."


It shows I'm taking Father at his word, same as confessors do. "Bless me Father for I have sinned, it's been (so) many (hours) since my last confession and I accuse myself of the following sins..."

But what follows isn't automatically true, even from a self-indictment.

A person could (out of some weird persecution complex) lie to the confessor and admit to something they didn't do. A person could also (out of ignorance ) tell a falsehood (not a lie) to the confessor and admit to something they also didn't do but believe they did.

The same is true even for secular crimes. While uncommon, people do admit to things they didn't do simply to cover for someone else.
Mathathias Maccabeus
@Ultraviolet Oh sure that’s true. But you’d have to admit that if he wasn’t to be taken at his word, he would be lying or mistaken, both of which he would be prior to a court deciding if he was those things or not. He either lied by willfully deceiving, or was mistaken by giving wrong (though good meaning), information. So you’d have to admit that he was either a thief, a liar, or wrong, all of …More
@Ultraviolet Oh sure that’s true. But you’d have to admit that if he wasn’t to be taken at his word, he would be lying or mistaken, both of which he would be prior to a court deciding if he was those things or not. He either lied by willfully deceiving, or was mistaken by giving wrong (though good meaning), information. So you’d have to admit that he was either a thief, a liar, or wrong, all of which he would simply be, not because a court decided he was, but because that’s the nature of what he did.
Ultraviolet
"But you’d have to admit that if he wasn’t to be taken at his word, he would be lying or mistaken, both of which he would be prior to a court deciding if he was those things or not."

I would have to only if I had grounds to do so and I don't. I acknowledged the possibility, hence the "if". But even now, I'm still holding to a standard of "innocent until proven guilty". Meaning, Father is More
"But you’d have to admit that if he wasn’t to be taken at his word, he would be lying or mistaken, both of which he would be prior to a court deciding if he was those things or not."

I would have to only if I had grounds to do so and I don't. I acknowledged the possibility, hence the "if". But even now, I'm still holding to a standard of "innocent until proven guilty". Meaning, Father is innocent of a lie/ falsehood even while he's confessing his own guilt.

This is why I say I'm taking Father at his word. He might be he might be lying, he might be wrong. But he has admitted to the crime, which is enough for even an inept prosecutor to get a conviction.

Does Father's confession prove he commited the crime as an absolute? No. Will a conviction prove Father committed the crime as an absolute, either? No more than Cardinal Pell's conviction did.
Mathathias Maccabeus
😂 We are back at this.
I’ll be waiting for another opportunity.
Ultraviolet
I'm looking forward to it. ;-)
Facts Not Lies
$180,000.000!!
Is that homeless person now living in a nice apartment and eating regularly for the next few years?

Sounds a weak attempt to cover his own abuse of the cash. Likely for proclivities which would be a challenge to cover if he used his own monies.

Maybe further investigation will find more insidious behaviors which consumed the pilfered money. After all... SOMETHING appears to him …More
$180,000.000!!
Is that homeless person now living in a nice apartment and eating regularly for the next few years?

Sounds a weak attempt to cover his own abuse of the cash. Likely for proclivities which would be a challenge to cover if he used his own monies.

Maybe further investigation will find more insidious behaviors which consumed the pilfered money. After all... SOMETHING appears to him to be a greater evil than grand theft based on the inexplicable expenditures.
John A Cassani
Lock him up. Throw away the key.
Kenjiro M. Yoshimori
Bet he is gay for sure.
John A Cassani
@Kenjiro M. Yoshimori Wouldn’t be surprised, but, if he’s guilty, it’s a horrible crime for a priest to commit, no matter the intentions. Priests shouldn’t be handling the finances of anyone but themselves. Money can be a temptation as strong as sex. How many priests have fallen to gambling?
Kenjiro M. Yoshimori
I remember reading about a woman who enjoyed hundreds of thousands of dollars she stole from parish collections each week from her rich parish She was accounting for the parish, and would take A thousand dollars from the collections one week, two the next depending on the amounts collected at 5 Masses. She saved it all, and when she was old and retired enjoyed it. Her family could not understand …More
I remember reading about a woman who enjoyed hundreds of thousands of dollars she stole from parish collections each week from her rich parish She was accounting for the parish, and would take A thousand dollars from the collections one week, two the next depending on the amounts collected at 5 Masses. She saved it all, and when she was old and retired enjoyed it. Her family could not understand how someone who had a full time but low pay job at a company, had so much. She was stealing from her second job at church,
Cassandra Laments
@Kenjiro M. Yoshimori By heck, where was this parish? Silicon Valley? I bet my local parishes (all N.O.) don't get a hundred pounds some weeks! More than £10 would be missed 😲