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Catholic priest accused of stealing church donations to pay Grindr hook-ups

Nick Duffy August 22, 2019
Catholic priest Rev. Joseph McLoone is facing theft charges

Catholic priest Rev. Joseph McLoone is facing theft charges (Chester County District Attorney's office)

A Catholic priest has been accused of stealing nearly $100,000 from donations to his church to pay men on Grindr to have sex with him.

Reverend Joseph McLoone, who was the pastor at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, was arrested on Wednesday, August 21, on felony theft charges.

Catholic priest ‘paid men for sex’ with stolen funds.

Prosecutors say that McLoone, 56, stole a total of $98,405, between 2011 and 2018 by diverting parish funds into a secret account and misappropriating fees charged to parishioners.

He is alleged to have made 17 payments to “adult men with whom he maintained sexual relationships”, as well as splurging on a beach house, travel and fine dining.

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downingtown dismissed the priest
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downingtown dismissed the priest

Charles Gaza of the Chester County District Attorney’s office said in a release: “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.”

McCloone had become the pastor at the church since 2011, when his predecessor William Lynn was imprisoned for covering up child sex abuse claims.

Lynn’s case is currently awaiting a retrial after his original conviction was quashed.

Church welcomes charges over ‘serious and disturbing’ incidents.

The Catholic Archdiocese Of Philadelphia said in a statement: “The Archdiocese of Philadelphia was informed by the Chester County District Attorney’s Office that Monsignor McLoone was arrested on Wednesday, August 21, 2019.

“These charges are serious and disturbing. 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. Information regarding his arrest will be shared with the Saint Joseph Parish community.”

In a previous statement, the archdiocese had said that it had uncovered the evidence of McLoone’s expenditures, which “were related to relationships with adults that represented a violation of the Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries established by the archdiocese.”

It added: “Following those disclosures, and as a direct result of them, Monsignor McLoone was placed on administrative leave. At that time, Monsignor McLoone tendered his resignation as pastor of the parish… and a new pastor was named in August of 2018.”

More: Catholic Church, Grindr, priest

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