DOWNINGTON, Pennsylvania — A Pennsylvania Catholic priest is accused of stealing nearly $100,000 from his parish and spending it on a beach house and men he met on the Grindr dating app.
The Chester County District Attorney’s Office says 56-year-old Monsignor Joseph McLoone was arrested Wednesday for theft from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downingtown.
Prosecutors allege the priest diverted funds into secret accounts and misappropriated fees charged to parishioners.
They say McLoone used the money for a beach house in Ocean City, New Jersey, as well as spending it on men he was dating.
Prosecutors allege McLoone gave himself a raise by doubling the amount he collected as a stipend for each Mass, wedding and funeral.
“These charges are serious and disturbing,” the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said in a statement. “The Archdiocese and the parish will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as the criminal matter enters its next phase. Pending the outcome, Monsignor McLoone remains on administrative leave.”
According to the archdiocese, in early 2018 it discovered McLoone had established a bank account in the name of the parish that was not on the parish books, which was not reflected in regular reports reviewed with the parish finance council or provided to the archdiocese.
The bank account was frozen in February 2018 and a review of parish financial records was then undertaken by personnel from the Archdiocesan Office for Parish Services and Support.
“While continuing to scrutinize payments and withdrawals from the off book account, the Archdiocese pledged to pursue full financial restitution on behalf of the parish for expenditures acknowledged or determined as inappropriate,” the statement said.
Crux staff contributed to this report.
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