Catholic priest allegedly spent thousands of church money on Grindr

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A Catholic priest in Downington, Pennsylvania allegedly stole almost $100,000) (£81,443) in church donations between 2011 and 2018, and spent that money on boyfriends he met on the app Grindr.

Father Joseph McLoone, 56, made a number of lavish purchases including a house in New Jersey.

When he was found out, he also spoke of sending money to men he met on Grindr who he had “personal relationships” with.

Investigators claimed that McLoone used J-Pay to send $1,200 (£977) to an inmate in a New York prison, and $1,720 (£1,400) to men he met through the app.

A statement from the Chester County District Attorney’s Office read: “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 for his own personal gain. 

Father McLoone accomplished this theft by diverting parish funds into a secret account, misappropriating fees charged to parishioners, and other fraudulent activity. 

The statement continued: "Over the next six years, the defendant diverted approximately $125,000 in donation checks written to the St. Joseph’s Parish into this account."

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 Father was arrested on Wednesday following a year-long investigation followed by a statement released by the archdiocese.

“[Monsignor McLoone] acknowledged that some expenditures from this account were for personal expenses of an inappropriate nature,” the statement read.

Those expenses were related to relationships with adults that represented a violation of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries established by the Archdiocese.

McLoone has been charged with felony theft and related crimes, and his bail was set at $50,000 (£40,721)

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