A Catholic priest in Pennsylvania was arrested for allegedly stealing nearly $100,000 from his church… which he spent on a lavish lifestyle and boyfriends he met via Grindr.
Local authorities say Father Joseph McLoone stole $98,405.50 from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downingtown by diverting the church’s money into a secret account.
“Father McLoone held a position of leadership and his parishioners trusted him to properly handle their generous donations to the church,” said District Attorney Chief of Staff Charles Gaza. “Father McLoone violated the trust of the members of St. Joseph’s for his own personal gain.”
Religious leader with unearned trust? Check.
Religious leader taking advantage of that trust? Check.
It was Nov. 2, 2011 — the first All Souls’ Day of his tenure at the church — when McLoone reportedly opened up a secret bank account that would come to hold approximately $125,000 of the congregation’s donations over six years.
The sources of these diverted funds included donations for the use of the church and school by community groups, donations from the congregation related to special collections held during masses, fees paid to the parish for weddings and funerals by those married at the church or holding funeral services for a loved one, and other gifts made out to St. Joseph’s Parish. Some money from the account was recovered by authorities.
The real kicker here is how he used that money.
The defendant took full advantage of the lack of control over the activity account and used it to fund his personal lifestyle. His lifestyle included a beach house, travel, dining, and spending on adult men with whom he maintained sexual relationships. The defendant additionally supplemented his income by doubling the stipend he collected for saying each mass and performing weddings and funerals.
Further reporting revealed that the payments to men originated on Grindr, an app that helps men hook up with men.
Investigators say that when he was confronted by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia about the money, he also admitted to paying for “personal relationships” with other men with the church funds. According to the police complaint filed in court, McLoone sent thousands of dollars to men he met on the social networking app Grindr using online payment methods such as Square and J-Pay.
It’s like he was competing against himself in a battle of bigger hypocrisies.
While the Church obviously condemns theft, it does more when calling out same-sex relations, referring to such acts as “intrinsically disordered.” And yet McLoone had no problem defending the Church as long as it provided him with a steady supply of cash for his secret life.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)