Print this page

FFRF’s Andrew Seidel proposes a solution for clergy embezzlement

1AndrewSeidelPressSmallThe Freedom From Religion Foundation has long run a black collar crime series in its newspaper Freethought Today, which chronicles the crimes of preachers and church leaders. Recently, a Catholic priest made headlines for stealing church funds and spending it on Grindr, an online dating app for LGBTQ folks. In a new piece for Rewire News, FFRF Director of Strategic Response Andrew L. Seidel explores this one area of church crime: church leaders stealing from churches and parishioners. Seidel points out that there is a very simple fix. He writes:

Father Joseph McLoone, a Catholic priest from Pennsylvania—a realm of the Church that’s already plagued by horrible scandal—allegedly stole $100,000 to spend on “Grindr men,” globetrotting, and a beach house. 

McLoone’s crime appears to be an isolated incident, but it’s indicative of a larger problem, one that could be easily fixed. Churches are incredibly susceptible to theft from within because, unlike every other non-profit and charity, the law does not require financial transparency for churches. They’re financial black holes.

Experts estimate that worldwide, churches lose $63 billion each year to internal “ecclesiastical crime.”

Read the rest here.