Father Joe helped countless people

This has been a very difficult time for us experiencing the unexpected loss of our beloved Joey. We feel it necessary to address the article published in the Oct. 28 News.

It is unfortunate that fellow colleagues of Father Joe Moreno chose to attempt to besmirch his reputation and memory in such a public manner when he is no longer able to defend himself, some choosing to cowardly hide behind the cloak of anonymity. It is our responsibility to defend him now that he is helpless to defend himself.

Although he performed God’s work on a daily basis – and many will tell you he was a saint – our Joey was still human, and like all of us, not without his faults. Those faults did not change the fact that his singular purpose on this planet was to help those in need in any way he could and no matter what the cost. That is what he did best. Joey didn’t just preach God’s word behind a pulpit; he rolled up his sleeves every day and was on the front lines performing it – feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving to the poor, etc.

The fact that he filed for bankruptcy in the financial aftermath of Sept. 11 (like many people across the country) does not change that in the slightest. And those who knew Father Joe knew that he was always giving whatever money he had to the less fortunate and needy.

More disturbing, however, was the intimation that he was in any way involved in the church’s sexual abuse scandal. We unequivocally state that he never committed such heinous acts nor was he ever accused of them. Such abhorrent acts are contrary to the very fiber of who our Joey was and his adoration of children and theirs of him.

Those who knew our Joey will remember him as the kind, gentle and giving person he was; and the outpouring of support from the public is a testament to the tremendous impact he had on so many in this world.

We are deeply saddened that those Joey called a friend and a colleague would, for no good reason, choose to diminish his works and memory through that salacious article. Although we all have our faults, including those who were quoted in the article, very few people have, or ever will, profoundly impact as many people as Father Joe did. We ask you to allow a good man to do what he was unable to in this life: rest.

The Moreno Family