Priest allegedly stole $98k in church donations to pay for Grindr hookups
A priest has been accused of stealing $98,000 from his church in order to pay the men he met on Grindr - a dating and hook up app for gay men.
Monsignor Joseph McLoone was arrested in Philadelphia after more than a year's worth of investigations by Chester County detectives, who had been made aware of his allegedly suspicious activity at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
The 56-year-old priest had been a part of the church since 2010, and is believed to have opened a secret checking account the following year. He reportedly diverted parishioner donations into this account, and used these funds to pay for dinners, travel, and a beach home in Ocean City, New Jersey.
When the church started noticing the missing donations back in 2017, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia conducted an internal investigation into McLoone's activity. According to the investigators, when McLoone was confronted by the Archdiocese about the missing funds, he confessed to using the money to pay for "personal relationships".
According to the police complaint which was filed in court, McLoone used Square and J-Pay to send the men he met on the hookup app thousands of dollars.
Inquirer.com estimates that McLoone spent around $3,000 of the stolen money on these men, including an inmate at a New York prison.
The Chester County District Attorney’s Office announced the findings of the investigation on Wednesday (August 21) and charged the 56-year-old priest with felony theft and related offences.
District Attorney Chief of Staff Charles Gaza said in a statement:
"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."