Playing politics with his religion and religion with his politics – The Kenneth Moales Jr. story

In a recent Connecticut Post article entitled, “Kenneth Moales Jr., a man of wide influence,” the newspaper presented a fairly detailed profile of the man who serves as Mayor Bill Finch’s campaign treasurer, Chairman of the Bridgeport Board of Education and Paul Vallas’ biggest cheerleader.

The story paints the portrait of a man who has learned to play politics with his religion and religion with his politics.

In Bridgeport and now around the State of Connecticut, Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. is well known for his support of Governor Malloy and Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor’s on-going efforts to illegally keep Paul Vallas as the head of Bridgeport’s school system.

Moales, who is widely regarded as a bully, has proven on numerous occasions that he will say or do almost anything to silence and belittle those who don’t toe Bridgeport’s figurative and literal party line.

Someone watching Kenneth Moales in action might very well remind the Bible reader of the words of Isaiah 29:13 in which the following warning is written – “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men.”

The Connecticut Post article begins by observing,

“Kenneth Moales Jr. arrives at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit wearing a purple, collared shirt and jeans. Walking through the granite and glass lobby toward his second-floor office, he asks for a few minutes to prepare for his morning meeting.

Then the pastor switches into business mode, going into his office and picking a dark gray suit from a walk-in closet full of the tailored suits he wears to public events, Sunday services and Board of Education meetings.

His office has the same modern design and luxurious detail as the rest of the building. A flat-screen TV hangs on the wall and a settee upholstered with a furry animal print sits in front of his shiny, wooden desk.

Less than five years after it opened, the $12 million, 41,000-square-foot cathedral that looms over the poverty-stricken East End is now facing foreclosure, along with Moales’ many other neighborhood properties. Among those seeking to collect was The Community’s Bank, the state’s only minority-owned bank, which failed last month.”

And their lies one of the many paradoxes that surround Kenneth Moales, Jr. for it becomes impossible to tell where he draws the line between truth and lies, religion and politics, humanity and greed.

His self-described $12 million cathedral actually shows up on the Bridgeport assessor’s official database as being worth $3,373,810.

Considering it is a religious establishment, he wouldn’t pay taxes regardless of how much it is worth, but the numbers provide the outline for the financial problems that are on the verge of swallowing up Moales’ financial empire.

In the name of their church, Moales and his father borrowed $8.5 million dollars from a company based in Missouri and Georgia that provides mortgages to evangelical and other conservative churches.

Now that company is in the final stage of foreclosing on Moales’ church and the nine other properties it owns, one of them being the house where Moales and his family reside.

But as the Connecticut Post story reveals, Moales won’t talk about the foreclosure.

As usual, Moales has a tendency of pretending that he can make up his own facts.

For example, a couple of months ago when it was discovered that his cathedral, which also houses a day-care center didn’t have a certificate of occupancy, Moales arrogantly and alternately proclaimed that he already had one and that he didn’t need one.

Neither statement was true.

But what was true was that Mayor Bill Finch’s administration managed to get Moales a Certificate of Occupancy within hours.

It is just the way things work in Kenneth Moales Jr.’s world.

Moales seems especially proud of the fact that he doesn’t have to play be the same rules that apply to everyone else.

For example, despite serving on the Bridgeport Board of Education, he sends his four children to the exclusive and expensive private Fairfield County Day School.

As Moles explained at one Bridgeport school board meeting, “With the resources I have and the access I have to high quality schools, for me to place my children in what I already know is a failing structure is child abuse.”

His parishioners are some of the poorest residents of Bridgeport, one of the poorest cities in the state.  But that doesn’t stop Moales from driving a Cadillac Escalade, which like a couple of Mercedes is owned by the church.

As a young man, Moales ended up at Morehouse College and then attended two years at Yale Divinity School.

He told the Connecticut Post reporter that he didn’t complete his degree at Yale because he was told that “a requirement to graduate would be attending a ‘gay Eucharist.’”

However, since the story was published, the former Dean of the Yale Divinity School made it clear that such a requirement was never part of Yale’s program.

But like so much of what Moales says, his statements and the truth don’t always line up.

For those who wonder how Malloy, Pryor, Finch and Vallas manage to keep undermining the integrity of Bridgeport’s schools, reading the Connecticut Post’s profile of Kenneth Moales Jr. may help to fill in some of the background.

You can find the Connecticut Post article here:

  • Jim Spellman

    Foreclosure on Cathedral will lead to re-opening as “First Church of the Good Death and Discount House of Worship Charter School”.
    Can I get an Amen ?

  • Sad In Bridgeport

    I would love to know why he really didn’t graduate.

    • Sleepless in Bridgeport

      Probably needed to pass a class and pay the bills. Too bad Vallas wasn’t around then to tell him how to dis the system.

  • Mary Gallucci

    Wow, I never thought I’d get to “see” how a sixteenth-century cardinal or pope lived–they were princes of the church back then, and princes in many other ways as well–wearing purple, building enormously expensive churches, dabbling in business, banking, and politics. And let’s not forget that when they defaulted on their loans (which was nearly almost always), they excommunicated the bankers they could not bribe with some lucrative piece of the action or even resorted to more nefarious means. It’s too bad that the Borgia pope gets blamed for what was pretty much standard operating procedure…
    But now we have Moales to cheer on. I guess the creditors aren’t too keen on a bishropric in Bridgeport–it doesn’t have the cachet of a Renaissance Italian cardinal’s hat (fabulous art included).

  • Leonard Beman

    “While he received the scores he needed on the eighth try, Moales entered Morehouse on academic probation and had to take remedial reading and math classes. That fact earned him the nickname “Special Ed” from his classmates, like the rapper of the same name popular at that time.

    He struggled in class, asked a Morehouse professor for help and received a copy of the book “The Miseducation of the Negro” by Carter Godwin Woodson.

    The book theorizes that African-Americans are conditioned in the educational system to be inferior. Moales said it became his “Old Testament” and the first book he read from cover to cover.”

  • Leonard Beman

    Not sure how well I’d be doing either if I hadn’t read my first book cover to cover until I entered college.

  • Guest

    A man of the cloth who perpetuates racism, revenge, and hatred.

    How ironic?

    • cindy

      Or a man who perpetuates racism, revenge and hatred who wears a cloth…