In October of this year, Gaylord Diocesan Watch was made aware of a brewing scandal involving Fr. Michael Conner (). Parishioners reported that he has had a longstanding relationship with a woman who also lives, at least part-time, at the rectory. It turns out that this was happening at the previous assignment of Fr. Conner. We contacted Bishop Hurley who encouraged parishioners to contact him. They did. Here is his response:
November 6, 2020
I received and read your letter(s) in which you express concerns regarding Father Michael Conner, Pastor of St. Augustine in Hillman and Jesus the Good Shepherd in Atlanta.
When I was made aware of your concerns, I met with Father Conner and we discussed these and other topics. I believe the matter is being handled appropriately.
Know of my prayers and best wishes for you. I would hope that you remember Father Conner, and all the faithful of the parishes, in your prayers.
Sincerely yours in the Lord,
Most Reverend Walter A. Hurley
As of this writing, almost two months later, Father Connor continues have a woman cohabitating with him without any input and public accountability to his parishioners. This constitutes scandal. What is also scandalous is that since being informed of the situation, Bishop Hurley has chosen not to act. Instead, what is given the faithful is the usual pat on the head response with the implication of “Just trust us. We’re handling it”. Those days are gone. Please contact Bishop Hurley and let him know this is not appropriate:
Bishop Walter Hurley
Diocese of Gaylord
611 West North Street
Gaylord, MI 49735
Please send a copy of any correspondence to the Papal Nuncio:
Washington, DC 20008-3610