Former Pennsylvania Pastor Used $30K In Parish Funds For Personal Expenses, DA Says

A former Pennsylvania pastor admitted to stealing over $30,000 in parish funds, which he spent on a beach house on the New Jersey shore, and men with whom he had sexual relationships, authorities said.

Monsignor Joseph McLoone, 58, was spared prison time and sentenced to five years of court supervision, the first nine months completed on electronic home confinement, restitution, and other conditions, according to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

McLoone, of Bryn Mawr, began his service as pastor at St. Joseph’s Church in Downingtown in 2011 after the removal of Msgr. William Lynn, the DA’s office said.

McLoone diverted funds into secret accounts and stole included donations from the congregation related to special collections held during mass, as well as fees paid to the parish for weddings and funerals by those married at the church or holding funeral services, according to authorities.

He allegedly used the money to pay for his salary, beach house in Ocean City, New Jersey, and men he was dating.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia noted that his “relationships with adults” represented a violation of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries.

“This was a disgraceful violation of the trust of the members of St. Joseph’s Church for his personal gain,” District Attorney Deb Ryan said.

“He used his position as pastor to unlawfully benefit from the parish’s generosity to fund travel, men he paid with whom he maintained sexual relationships and other personal uses. “

McLoone initially was accused of stealing nearly $110,000 from the church but he eventually reached a plea deal with Chester County prosecutors, according to several news reports and a statement by The Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

He has been on administrative leave since 2018 when parish officials first discovered the improper use of church funds. As a result, the bank account was frozen in February 2018, Archdiocese officials said.

“Off-book accounts are in violation of standard Archdiocesan financial control practices and procedures,” they said. 

The Archdiocese appointed a new pastor for the church in August 2018.

McLoon was arrested on Aug. 21, 2019, by Chester County authorities. 

“Given the defendant’s acceptance of responsibility for his illegal activity, the agreement of the parish and archdiocese, and his intention to make restitution to the church, we believe this was a reasonable resolution. An investigation will now commence by the archdiocese,” Ryan added.

“These charges are serious and disturbing. The Archdiocese and the parish will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as the criminal matter enters its next phase,” the Archdiocese said.

Judge Jacqueline Cody presided, and Chester County Detectives investigated. Assistant District Attorneys Kathleen Wright and Ron Yen were the assigned prosecutors.

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