St. Thomas More Catholic Parish is asking parishioners to donate to an annual fund-raiser in “tribute” to Rev. Edward Belczak, its former pastor under FBI investigation for stealing or mishandling $429,000 from the Troy church.
In a May 17 letter, the parish’s current administrator, Msgr. John Zenz, wrote about the need to raise nearly $300,000 for the Archdiocese of Detroit’s annual Catholic Services Appeal and described it as “the best tribute you could give to Fr. Belczak’s ministry.”
The money is not intended for Belczak’s personal use or defense.
Zenz said today that he was “simply trying to acknowledge the strong tradition of parishioners’ support for the CSA and encourage them to continue to give this year.”
“I certainly didn’t intend to offend anyone on either side of the spectrum” of views concerning Belczak, said Zenz. “There are people who still love him and will always love him, and want his name to be mentioned. And there are others who are justifiably angry.”
Detroit Free Press
By Patricia Montemurri
Detroit Free Press Staff Writer