Catholic Diocese In MA Refuses To Sell Mansion To Gay Couple

After accepting a million-dollar bid on a 44-bedroom mansion it owns, the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, is refusing to sell—because the buyers are a gay couple.

According to the Worcester Telegram, the offer made by James Fairbanks and Alain Beret for Oakhurst, a dilapidated property in Whitinsville, was initially accepted. Beret and Fairbanks signed the offer, made a deposit and even paid for a home inspection.

But when the broker, LiSandra Rodriguez-Pagan, emailed to say the sale had fallen through, she accidentally included an email from Monsignor Thomas Sullivan, who had written that he wanted to put the kibosh on the Oakhurst deal because there might be gay marriages there. Saints preserve us!

“I just went down the hall and discussed it with the bishop,” Msgr. Sullivan wrote. “Because of the potentiality of gay marriages there, something you shared with us yesterday, we are not interested in going forward with these buyers. I think they’re shaky anyway. So, just tell them that we will not accept their revised plan and the Diocese is making new plans for the property. You find the language.”

We know the Church gets to ignore all kinds of laws—workplace-discrimination bans, requirements to report sexual predators to the authorities, etc. But we’re pretty sure they can’t just skirt Massachusetts real-estate law, which prohibits discriminating against buyers based on sexual orientation.

Telegram reporter Dianne Williamson contacted Father Sullivan, who claimed the cancellation “was an issue of them not having the financing. That was all.”

Oh Padre, lying too? You’re making little baby Jesus weep.

Beret, a former seminarian who has been with his husband for 35 years (they wed in 2004), says the Church can argue whatever it wants from the pulpit, “but they don’t have the right to chase me down with their poison.”  He wasn’t looking for a battle, he added, “but for the sake of my dignity, I’m not walking away.”

Considering Oakhurst was once House of Affirmation, a treatment center for pedophile priests that shuttered amid allegations of sexual abuse and financial misconduct, the Church shouldn’t care too much if a few queers want to get married there.


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  • Tom

    Disgusting. I hope this couple sues the robe right off these hypocrites. This is a perfect example of why national anti-discrimination legislation is needed and should be demanded of our representatives by their constituents. There is no other “class” of people in this country where this would be permitted outside of discriminating against ones sexual identity.

  • Steve

    Refusing to sell a house to a buyer because that buyer happens to be gay, is illegal in Massachusetts.

    The Massachusetts Fair Housing statute, as contained in M.G.L. c. 151B, s. 4 prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, age, ancestry, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, children, handicap, and receipt of public assistance or housing subsidy in the selling, renting or leasing of housing accommodations, commercial space, or land intended for use as such.

  • JT

    As much financial trouble as the RCC is in due to the pedophile priests, they are not really in the position to be picky, and this will just cost them more money in legal judgments. Hate really is costly!

  • StephK

    Only goes to show you, the higher up the hierarchy,the easier it is to lie and the bigge er the lie. Love to see some charges filed against the Diocese on this one. Thank God for that email.

  • Daez

    @Tom: Any and all national anti-discrimination legislation would give a wide birth to religion just like every single anti-discrimination legislation already has.

    It will be an interesting case, but there is plenty of religious freedom built into the MA anti-discrimination laws as well.

  • ron

    Can you imagine how much gay sex has taken place in every one of those 44 bedrooms??

  • Pete N SFO

    Something doesn’t add up; if the offer was accepted, unless the buyer can’t deliver, the seller must continue the process, and the financing likely would have been pre-approved prior to even submitting the offer.

    If the agent didn’t get the offer signed in writing before announcing the good news… well, that will be a hard-learned lesson.

  • scott ny'er

    @Pete N SFO: i don’t think that’s true. The seller can back out at any time and return the downpayment.

  • Greg

    Sue them. There is nothing the Catholic Church hates more than losing money.

  • Larry

    the past 10 years has seen america getting more and backward…religion is running our country into the ground…we had the scopes monkey trial almost 100 years ago and we have more ignorant bible thumpers now…religion will ruin america and the evangelicals are worse than catholics

  • chuck


    Not only the robe…but the sash as well. ;P

  • Randall

    Just another example, as if we needed more, of what PIGS the Catholic Church are. I hope they get their asses sued in court. They are the worst bigots around. And who the Hell believes their religious mumbo-jumbo anyway?

    To all Catholics: Mammals DO NOT procreate by parthenogenisis despite the nutty stories in the New Testament. It’s a scientific FACT.

  • Richard Ford

    More of the Lord’s work. Monsignor Sullivan wants his real estate agent to fib for him and tells her “You find the words.”
    The words I’d find are: “You disgusting sleazeball. Tell your own lies.”
    By the way, I wonder if the agent included the revealing e-mail “accidentally on purpose.”

  • Lifer

    It’s a beautiful building. But, once you found out about it’s history, would you really want to get married there?

  • Chuck

    @Richard Ford: I hope she did.

  • John

    It’s time to start charging ALL CHURCHES tax.

  • lubbockgaymale

    I wonder how long we’ll let this crap go on. The Church, and many others, is involving itself in matters of politics, and that’s not kosher, to mix metaphors. Any church, Baptist or Catholic or Mormon, that involves itself in political matters or discrimination should have their tax-exempt status removed. All of the properties owned by that church should be taxed by local property tax collectors, and all collections/donations/income should be assessed as income under IRS rules.


    Being black, left-handed or being gay is just as natural. Bibles and the torah which includes leviticus 18:22 should be immediately banned for promoting hatred against minorities; namely the gay community and the crosses removed from all schools and churches.

    The evil writings in Leviticus 18:22 against gays depict; rules for temple rituals or “P” … Priestly Rules & expanded by the pope; homophobes and religious frauds to attack the gay community and never meant to apply to the public but to priests. Leviticus exists in the old testament & torah.

    “It is written; so therefore it shall be? We are the chosen people? Such a wicked fantasy.” To see the religious lunatics manipulate government and our lives is shameful.

  • Tom

    From my read of the article I wonder if the purchasers have a legal case. It appears they had an offer with the Church which was accepted. If it had proceeded from there I would have said they have a case.

    The email states, however, “. . . we will not accept their revised plan. . .” which I take to read that the couple attempted to change the plan and the Church said no.

    Sleazy? Definitely! Illegal? I’m not so sure.

  • J Stratford

    Have a straight friend buy it and sell it to you at cost. I know its a roundabout way of doing it but its a way to stick it to the haters.

  • Ted

    One a P & S is signed under Massachusetts law one has to go thru with the sale. In Massachusetts their is a SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE LAW where you as the buyer has to pergorm and also the seller.
    The other factor is if they did a home inspection and found many things wrong with the property and asked for a reduction in price.Well that is an entirely different story. The seller can legally say no and go on to another buyer. My question here is why did the broker inform the priest tha gay weddings ( may) be performed there. Why did she inform the seller of that fact. She may be in for a problem herself with the Massachusetts Discrimination Board and the Licensing Board. If this goes to court under the Specific Performance Law. She will be a defendant along with the diocese of Worcester.


    Catholic, should be exterminated in concentration camps. For years I urging the government of Israel, to stop bloody Christina entering their country!. Christianity is a mental illness, all Christian, are mentally ill.


    @John: Man you have couldn`t say it more right then that!. All chrches should pay taxes! why don`t they? ask yourself.

  • Tony

    Really? The church’s real estate agent’s name is Pagan?

  • Charles

    I am a Realtor and they cannot refuse to sell the home after accepting the bid……… They will get the Devil dues right out of them and the Gay couple will win! I am damn tired of being a second class citizen in my own damn country just because I am GAY, it is time to get angry and demand equal rights across the nation!


    @Tony: Well it`s more like Paganism!..

  • Pete N SFO

    @scott ny’er: Actually, not true. Once they have signed the agreement, they’ve created a valid contract. If the buyer didn’t perform on time, the seller gains an out. As a gent posted above, if the buyer asked for something from seller (credits/repairs/etc) they give the seller an ‘out’. Otherwise, they risk a big ‘ol lawsuit.

    As I said, something doesn’t add up, but it will be in the hands of attorneys now.

  • JayHobeSound

    How much does the catholic corporation estimate the value would drop after taking some creative liberties and publicizing the place is haunted by the angry spirits of raped children? Nobody knows for sure, but *it could be haunted*, LoL

Comments are closed.