Father Pat, Rev. Patrick Moloney, a Melkite Greek Catholic priest, who has been an advocate for the poor and displaced in the East Village and a political gadfly for many years, has many stories to tell. Here in part 1 of my interview he talks about Bonitas House, the differences between the Easter and Western Church and the pros and cons of for celibacy in the priesthood.
I met Father Pat while wandering around photographing my East Village neighborhood shortly before Christmas. He was out in front of Bonitas House on East 9th Street, near Tompkins Square Park, contemplating the Nativity scene he had placed there. I remarked to him how unusual it was to see a manger in this neighborhood. It didn’t take much to get him spinning amazing stories about the neighborhood. I told him that I had to come back and record his version of East Village history. Yesterday I spent 3 hours recording him non-stop. And I plan to go back for more some time soon. We didn’t even get into what I originally wanted: stories about the Christadora House, the Tompkins Square Park riot of 1988 and the gang warfare of the 1980′s. But we did cover his childhood in Limerick Ireland and his four-year imprisonment in the 90′s for involvement in a 7 million dollar Brinks robbery, supposedly in support of the IRA (which he totally denies).