An American priest with Donegal roots stole €98,000 from his US parish to fund nights out with men he met on gay dating app Grindr, it has emerged.
Fr Joseph McLoone — whose parents both emigrated to the States from Co Donegal — is said to have stolen the cash from St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, over a six-year period.
According to The Washington Post, the 58-year-old also used the near €90,000 to pay for a beach house in Ocean City, New Jersey, it is claimed.
Investigators say when the Archdiocese of Philadelphia confronted Fr McLoone about the cash, he admitted paying for “personal relationships” with other men with the church funds.
A police complaint, filed in court, says McLoone sent thousands of dollars to men he met on Grindr using online payment methods such as Square and J-Pay.
The Chester County District Attorney 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 for his own personal gain.”
The priest has been charged with 18 counts, including multiple counts of felony theft. He was arrested this week and is currently out on bail.