Philadelphia Catholic priest sentenced for theft of parish funds, SNAP urges openness in Church investigation
Monsignor Joseph C. McLoone, a well-liked parish priest who was assigned to St. Joseph’s Church in Downingtown, pleaded guilty on Thursday to stealing more than $30,000 in parish funds, although when he was arrested, the amount of money he was alleged to have stolen was closer to $100,000. We cannot help but wonder if the Archdiocese was agreeable to this plea bargain because they did not want the details of the cleric's ongoing sexual misconduct aired in open court.
Msgr. McLoone was assigned to St. Joseph's to help stabilize the church after the arrest of Monsignor William Lynn, who was accused of protecting clergy involved in the sexual abuse of children. The Monsignor was convicted, but the conviction eventually was overturned, and he is awaiting a new trial. Monsignor Lynn was, we believe, the first Catholic official to be prosecuted for covering up the molestations of boys and girls.
In court on Thursday, Msgr. McLoone admitted to stealing $30,892.50 from St. Joseph's. Some of the stolen money was used to send money to adult men whom the priest apparently met through the dating app Grindr. The clergyman was sentenced to five years of probation.
Some of the parishioners at St. Joseph’s criticized the sentence, saying they were “disappointed and disgusted” by what they perceived as leniency towards the priest. However, given the nature of where Msgr. McLoone spent some of the missing funds, it is worrisome and concerning to us that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia now has complete control over the information that will be released in a canonical investigation. We believe that the faithful, the unsuspecting parishioners, deserve to know exactly how much money was stolen from them, exactly where those monies went, and exactly what their priest was doing while he worked at their Church. We hope that parishioners will pressure the Archdiocese to provide them with a complete and transparent report at the conclusion of the Church inquiry.
CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager, Philadelphia (267-261-0578, [email protected]), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected]), Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President (814-341-8386, [email protected])
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is www.snapnetwork.org)