July 3, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As you recall, in April 2019, Fr. Wisam Matti and Fr. Anthony Kathawa were temporarily removed from their assignments after a financial audit of St. George Chaldean Church identified possible financial irregularities. The diocese fully cooperated with law enforcement’s investigation. We have learned the federal government has concluded its investigation and determined to close the file. Subsequent to its investigation, the diocese has also decided not to pursue this matter in the court of law any further.
Accordingly, Fr. Wisam Matti will return to active ministry and receive a new assignment beginning on August 1 but with Church Canonical restrictions imposed on him based on the audit. As shared previously, in July 2019, Fr. Anthony Kathawa asked for and was granted a leave of absence to pursue a return to the lay state.
The federal government has also concluded its investigation of the diocese and also determined to close the file.
Moving forward, it is important to know that the diocese and all parish finances are being handled with new uniform guidelines and policies, and every parish is frequently audited to prevent irregularities from taking place. The diocese takes its oversight of stewardship and the management of parishioner’s funds very seriously.
Let us continue to pray for and seek healing for all parties involved in this situation.
Faithfully Yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Francis Y. Kalabat
Bishop of the Chaldean Diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle U.S.A.