Former Pennsylvania pastor admits stealing $ 30,000 from parish for beach house, dates with men

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DOWNINGTON, Pa. (AP) – A former Catholic pastor admitted to stealing $ 30,000 from his parish in Pennsylvania, money he spent on a beach house on the Jersey Shore and the men he was with had had sex.

Bishop Joseph McLoone, 58, pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of theft and was sentenced to five years of probation, of which he will complete the first nine months under house arrest. He will also have to perform community service.

McLoone was initially charged with stealing nearly $ 100,000 from St. Joseph’s Parish in Downington, but he eventually struck a plea deal with Chester County prosecutors. He has been on administrative leave since his resignation from Saint-Joseph in 2018.

Prosecutors said McLoone embezzled funds to secret accounts and embezzled fees charged to parishioners while doubling the amount he received as an allowance for each mass, wedding and funeral. They said he used the money to top up his salary and for a beach house in Ocean City, New Jersey, as well as for the men he was dating.

McLoone disclosed the theft to church officials when questions were raised about the payments he made during a routine audit in late 2017. This led to an investigation by the Archdiocese, and authorities have started their investigation about a year later.

Ken Gavin, a spokesperson for the archdiocese, said its leaders “are grateful for the resolution of this matter and the closure and healing it brings.” He also noted that the required canonical investigation of McLoone – which had been put on hold while court proceedings were unfolding – would now begin.

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