Catholic priest pleads guilty to spending church money on Grindr appointments
A Catholic priest in Pennsylvania pleaded guilty to stealing more than $ 30,000 from his church and using the money to fund Grindr dates and sex.
Bishop Joseph McLoone, a former priest at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downingtown, Pa., Was arrested in 2019 following a year-long police investigation.
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The 58-year-old was charged with opening a secret checking account in 2011, which he used to steal $ 98,405.50 in donations to parishioners and other church funds over the seven following years.
Police accused him of using the money to pay for “personal relationships” with other men, sending thousands of dollars to people he met using the app. Grindr gay dating, and also fund meals, travel, and a beach house in Ocean City, New Jersey.
At the time of his arrest, he was facing 18 counts, including several counts of felony theft. McLoone ultimately pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor – theft by failing to have sufficient funds and theft by illegal taking – and admitted to stealing $ 30,892.50, the Daily local news reports.
He was sentenced to five years probation, including nine months under house arrest, and ordered to write letters of apology to the parishioners of St. Joseph and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
A parishioner of Saint Joseph told the Daily Local that they were “disgusted” by McLoone’s sentence, given that he “had stolen a lot of money from people who trusted him”.
âWorse, he stole money given to him by grieving families,â they said. âThe parish has been waiting for more than three years for justice to be done. Probation and reimbursement of $ 30,000 is not fair. McLoone should be in jail.
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McLoone escaped a harsher sentence, including jail time, due to his lack of a criminal record, his willingness to admit his guilt, and the “mutual desire to put the case to the past and spare the parish any other trauma with a long trial “. according to Daily Local.
Now that McLoone has been sentenced, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has said it will conduct its own canonical investigation into the church’s stolen funds.
“It is the policy of the archdiocese not to carry out a canonical investigation until the police have finished their work,” a spokesman for the archdiocese said in a statement.
âNow that the civil authorities have completed their procedures, the canonical investigation can begin. Any administrative sanction against Monsignor McLoone would be pending the outcome of this process. “
He added, âThe Archdiocese and Parish are grateful for the resolution of this matter and the closure and healing it brings. “
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