It wasn't enough that his own political party wouldn't want to touch him with a ten-foot pole, nor that arch-nemesis AG Andrew Cuomo ("The Prince of Darkness") is planning on filing criminal charges against him soon; no, Pedro Espada wouldn't be satisfied unless he pissed off holy men. Bronx priest Father George Stewart has been railing against Espada to his congregation, accusing him of using his church, St. Brendan's Church in Norwood, as a prop to gain support at the ballot box.

Stewart told parishioners to boycott Espada's anti-obesity veggie and fruit giveaway, one of several events Espada has held outside the church at East 206th Street. "I told him not to use St. Brendan's as part of his campaign under the separation of church and state," Stewart reportedly said. He even called the cops on Espada once! The Post submits this tidbit to the jury:

One parishioner said the priest told the congregation that during one of their rows over where the events would be held, Espada railed at him, "I despise the Catholic Church and everything it stands for."

Another parishioner recalled it differently, saying that the priest said Espada fumed, "I hate Catholics."


Jeez, even when Espada tries to do something positive for his community, something everyone can get behind, he still rubs people the wrong way. Maybe he's just been getting tips from his good friend and fellow Church-goer Hiram Monserrate.