A Catholic priest who is accused of stealing nearly $100,000 from donations to his church allegedly used part of the money to pay men on Grindr for sex.
Police arrested Reverend Joseph McLoone, previously the pastor at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, on August 21 on felony theft charges.
Prosecutors accuse the 56-year-old of stealing a total of $98,405 between 2011 and 2018 by diverting church funds into a secret bank account.
He is also accused of making payments to “adult men with whom he maintained sexual relationships”. Prosecutors claim he also spent the money on a beach house and travel.
Charles Gaza of the Chester County District Attorney’s office said: “Father McLoone held a position of leadership and his parishioners trusted him to properly handle their generous donations to the church.
“Father McLoone violated the trust of the members of St Joseph’s for his own personal gain.”
The Catholic priest allegedly withdrew roughly $46,000 in cash from the undisclosed account in Ocean City, New Jersey, where he owns a beach house.
He also admitted to using some of the funds to pay for personal relationships with other men.
Priest paid over $2000 to men for sex
McLoone allegedly made 17 separate payments totaling $1,720 to men he met on Grindr. Prosecutors also accuse McLoone of depositing $1,200 into an account belonging to an inmate in a New York prison.
McLoone told investigators he met the inmate on Grindr for a sexual relationship, the New York Post reported.
The Catholic priest allegedly inflated the fee he collected for each mass, wedding and funeral held at the parish, prosecutors allege.
Prosecutors also accuse McLoone of using $3,000 of the stolen money to pay off personal credit card debt.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia launched an investigation into McLoone last year.
“These charges are serious and disturbing,” the Archdiocese 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.”
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