A former Catholic pastor in Pennsylvania has pleaded guilty to stealing $30,000 from his parish.
Monsignor Joseph McLoone, 58, was suspended in 2018 and originally accused of stealing $100,000 from the parish fund of St. Joseph’s Church in Downingtown.
The church conducted an audit in 2017 and began questioning McLoone in 2018. It turned out he’d been taking double his allotted stipend from the regular mass collections and dipping into a church fund that only he had access to.
McLoone put the money into secret accounts and spent thousands on a beach house in New Jersey, paying off his credit card debts, and on funding “personal relationships” with men he met via the dating app, Grindr (on which he had a ‘Grindr XTRA’ account).
Last week, McLoone reached a plea deal with prosecutors, which saw him plead guilty to taking $30,892.50.
On Thursday, Common Pleas Judge Jacquline Carroll Cody sentenced McLoone to five years of court-supervised probation. The first nine months will be served under house arrest.
McLoone was suspended from his duties when the church began to investigate and later resigned from his position. Now that the criminal case has finished, the church says it will conduct its own investigation.
“It is the policy of the archdiocese not to proceed with a canonical investigation until law enforcement has concluded its work,” spokesperson Kev Gavin said in an email to DailyLocal. “Now that civil authorities have completed their procedures, the canonical investigation can commence. Any administrative penalties against Monsignor McLoone would be pending the outcome of that process.
“The archdiocese and the parish are grateful for the resolution in this matter along with the closure and healing it brings.”