Pastor charged with stealing $98,000 from church


Father Joseph

DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania priest is accused of stealing more than $98,000 from his parish to fund a personal lifestyle that included a beach house, travel, and spending on adult men with whom he maintained sexual relationships, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Father Joseph McLoone, 56, was arrested Wednesday for the theft of $98,405.50 from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downingtown, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office said.

McLoone took over as pastor in 2011 after the church’s previous priest was removed and indicted over his handling of clergy abuse complaints.

Prosecutors say McLoone opened a secret bank account that same year and over the next six years used the account to divert funds from special collections, fees paid for weddings and funerals, and monetary gifts to the church.

McLoone also used the secret account as a vehicle for taking the entirety of the All Souls’ collection each year, authorities said, and he supplemented his income by doubling the stipend he collected for each mass, wedding and funeral.

McLoone is charged with felony theft and related crimes. He was released on $50,000 unsecured bail after his arrest Wednesday.

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