Catholic church: Atlanta man attempts extortion

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imageA gay Atlanta man who had consensual sex with two priests over five years, including trysts on church property, went public with the affairs after confronting officials within the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

The man, Dale Chappell (photo), also shared the affairs with CBS Atlanta after threatening the church with going public in an email church officials later said was an attempt to extort a financial settlement from them.

CBS Atlanta is promoting the report in a dramatic video clip on its website, which says the story is scheduled to air during the station’s Thursday broadcast at 11 p.m. The station published a version of the story on its website.

Chappell apparently met with Archbishop Wilton Gregory to complain that the two priests, who have since been removed from their posts, “conspired together just to use me for sex.”

Chappell said he was the victim of the two priests’ conspiracy, a plan that did the unthinkable: to break the priests’ vows to God, and the church.

“I know they do not have good character, I can tell you that. Because they are liars. They are chronic liars, and they duped me not once, but twice,” Chappell said.

Chappell said he met Juan Carlos Arce at Tripp’s gay bar in Atlanta.

“If you met this guy, you would never guess that he was a priest,” Chappell said.

“We were intimate in the rectory. I didn’t know it was a rectory at the time,” Chappell continued.

In November, Chappell emailed Gregory to thank him for meeting and inform him that after praying and consulting an attorney, that he was meeting with the press.

“I can no longer carry this burden alone,” Chappell writes in the email, which was posted on CBS 46’s website. “I feel like the public should know about these hidden lifestyles, especially the Hispanic community. I feel as though people should be warned of the behavior that exists, in hopes that what happened to me will be avoided by others in the future.”

Chappell writes that Gregory can offer suggestions on how to keep him from speaking to the media about the affairs.

“I am open to other possibilities of resolving this mater without making this public. Please contact me by mail with any suggestions,” Chappell says.

Attorneys for the church fired back two days later, accusing Chappell of attempting to extort a financial settlement.

“Please be advised that the Archdiocese of Atlanta has no intention to compensate you or otherwise buy your silence in any respect,” writes attorney Stephen Forte. “If you feel you must go public as you have threatened, then that is you prerogative.”

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