Sunday, January 14, 2007

(Ontologically Superior) People in the News

First off, Fr Rodis wants you to know that he isn't married -- he's just living with a woman referred to in court documents as his "wife," and three children.
Rodis, who answered the front door of his Spotsylvania County home last night, declined to comment on whether any of the three girls who have lived in the home are his daughters.

Rodis, 50, confirmed that Joyce Sillador lives at the home, but he said, "No," when asked if they are married. Asked if she knew he was a priest before an investigation into more than $600,000 missing from two Louisa County parishes, he replied, "Yes, she did."

Documents in Louisa Circuit Court indicate that Rodis was living with a woman referred to as a "wife" and with three children, without tying the children to Rodis. Neighbors say he referred to a woman named Joyce as being his wife, but they say they did not know he was a priest....

In a brief interview with a Times-Dispatch reporter at his door last night, Rodis, a Philippine citizen, declined to comment when asked whether he spent any of the missing money or whether any of the missing money was in the Philippines. He was released from the Central Virginia Regional Jail in Orange County on a $10,000 bond. A judge reduced his original $100,000 bond after Rodis agreed to surrender his passport.

His neighbors in Spotsylvania's Sheraton Hills East subdivision say Rodis told them he was in the import-export business and that he frequently traveled to the Philippines.

Diocesan officials say he retired from active ministry in May after suffering a stroke, and parishioners say he used a cane to walk. Last night, Rodis could be seen through the glass door of his split-level home walking up from the downstairs without any assistance. He wore shorts, a white T-shirt and glasses as he spoke through the glass storm door of the home on Watson Lane.

He left Virginia on June 14 to return to the Philippines, where he was to live at the home of his parents, according to the latest issue of The Catholic Virginian, which arrived in the mailboxes of many Catholics in the diocese yesterday. He later returned to the United States to seek treatment for prostate cancer and was living in the Fredericksburg area at the time of his arrest, the newsletter reported. A neighbor also said last week that Rodis mentioned suffering from prostate cancer. Neighbors said they had never seen him walking with a cane.

Rodis told the newsletter that he had suffered a stroke in October 2005 that impaired his memory. He had not been able to preach since the stroke but continued to celebrate Mass, according to the newsletter, which also reported he was later in a car accident.

Diocesan officials say they were surprised to hear of Rodis' living arrangements. Neighbors say his lifestyle showed no evidence of opulence. They say Rodis, the woman they know as Joyce and the children took trips and remodeled the home, including putting in new hardwood floors. The three vehicles parked in the driveway include two Toyota sport-utility vehicles and an older-model Ford Escort station wagon. Two neighbors say Rodis told them the oldest girl, in her early 20s, was attending medical school in the Philippines.
Elsewhere, there's the case of the Kentucky cleric of whom "authorities say they found drug paraphernalia and what they believe to be crack cocaine" in his car.

As if that wasn't enough, the G-men now report that "a man was dealing crack from a house" owned by the priest.

And then there's this:
Jim Liles, director of the Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force, said Friday that the two men who were with Gaeke at the time of his arrest identified themselves as prostitutes.

"They said they lived on the street, but they had on new clothes," Liles said. "One of them said that Gaeke offered to give them money so that they could get a room at the Colonial Inn" in Covington.

Liles said drug agents also removed a suitcase from the trunk of Gaeke's rental car that contained "a whip, KY Jelly and condoms."

"Some of the people from (Gaeke's) parishes were on TV saying what a great guy he was," Liles said.

"But I think the evidence kind of shows you otherwise."
Clearly, this wasn't the high note National Vocations Awareness Week was supposed to end on.