Monday, 20 September 2010
Connecticut priest was charged this week with first-degree larceny in the theft of almost $1.3 million from his church's coffers to fund a lavish double life that included swanky hotels and male escorts, said Capt. Chris Corbett of the Waterbury Police Department in Connecticut.
Father Kevin Gray, 64, a former pastor at Sacred Heart Church
in Waterbury, allegedly embezzled money from the church over the course of seven years.
He used it to pay for fancy restaurants, clothing, vacations, hotels, a New York City apartment and a male companion's tuition at Harvard University, according to an affidavit obtained by CNN affiliate WTIC and filed with the Connecticut Superior Court.
The affidavit says that between June 2003 and March 2010, Gray spent about $205,000 at high-end restaurants, $132,000 in hotel stays and $85,000 at clothing stores. While in New York City, he frequented the Waldorf Astoria, Omni Berkshire, and the W Hotel Times Square, among other posh hotels, the affidavit states.
He also allegedly shopped at high-end retailers including Barneys, Armani and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Along with expensive taste, Gray allegedly kept company with a number of male escorts, and allowed some to have credit cards in their name on his account.
One escort, Islagar Labrada, allegedly charged more than $49,000 to the account.
"Some items Mr. Labrada charged included a stay at the Sheraton in Buena Vista, Florida, storage facilities, computers, computer software, cell phones, anti-aging creams, artwork, Louis Vuitton stores, a home alarm system and bicycles," the affidavit reads. "Mr Labrada also charged $8,864.69 to Crunch Fitness Gym for membership fees."
Another man, Weirui Zhong, who told police he met Gray in Central Park in 2005, said Gray paid for his rented apartment in New York, a piano, dogs and Harvard University tuition since 2008, according to the affidavit.
Zhong told authorities that when he pressed Gray about why he was always paying him with checks from Sacred Heart Church, Gray told him that he won big cases as an attorney, and that he put all his live savings into the church account.
He also lied to Zhong and his parishioners that he was suffering from cancer, the affidavit says.
"Gray became very bitter with the church starting in 2001 when he was transferred to a parish in New Hartford while his mother was dying in New Haven," according to the affidavit. "Mr. Gray stated that when he started in 2003, he began taking the money because he felt the Church owed it to him."
His official salary over those seven years totaled just over $184,000, or almost $27,000 a year.
According to the affidavit, Gray scammed an additional $221,000 in 2005 by signing an agreement with Wireless Capital Partners, a communications company based in Los Angeles, California, to allow a wireless antenna to be placed in the church, though doing so was strictly prohibited.
Gray's scheme came to light after a routine audit of the church's finances by the Archdiocese of Hartford found numerous accounting discrepancies.
"At the financial level, the Archdiocese continues to work with the parish to improve its financial controls and to address issues arising from the situation such as insurance coverage and outstanding indebtedness," the Archdiocese said in a statement. "At the spiritual level, we continue to pray for healing and consolation for the parish family as it moves forward, and for guidance and reconciliation for Father Gray."
Catholic sex scandal as undercover reporter 'films priests at gay clubs and having casual flings'
By Nick Pisa
Caught in the act: A priest - still wearing his dog collar - approaches a gay 'accomplice' of the undercover reporter as their casual affair is caught on camera in the Italian magazine Panorama's footage
The same priest later prepares to read Mass
Rome's 3 GAY priests caught in video at gay clubs and having casual flings'
Benedict XVI and the Vatican shall never sleep in peace again until its total demise happen as predicted by the Third Secret of Fatima. While the newly released Code of Canon Law attracted so much uproar from the media worldwide, see our coverage in God's Rottweiler
Hardly a week went by and this caught on video in the headlines of Italy's newspaper has erupted.
A gay priest sex scandal has rocked the Catholic Church in Italy today after a weekly news magazine released details of a shock investigation it had carried out.
Using hidden cameras, a journalist from Panorama magazine - owned by Italian Prime Minister and media baron Silvio Berlusconi - filmed three priests as they attended gay nightspots and had casual sex.
Today there was no immediate comment from the Italian Bishops Conference and the Vatican - which has been rocked by a series of sex scandals involving paedophile priests since the start of the year.
A preview of the Panorama article sent out by email last night added that video footage from the investigation would be made available.
The article describes how the reporter was assisted by a gay 'accomplice' as they 'gate-crashed the wild nights of a number of priests in Rome who live a surprising double-life.'
In it's preview, Panorama added: 'By day they are regular priests, complete with dog collar, but, at night it's off with the cassock as they take their place as perfectly integrated members of the Italian capital's gay scene.'
Panorama described its investigation as 'deeply disturbing' as it detailed how three priests - two Italians and a Frenchman - happily took part in gay events and had casual sex.
The Catholic Church forbids priests to have sex and homosexuality is also seen as a 'sin' .
In 2008 the Vatican issued guidelines which said that any would be trainees should not join if they had 'deep-seated homosexual tendencies'.
In one part of the investigation Panorama said that one priest, named as Carlo, willingly put on his cassock to have sex with the reporter's gay accomplice, adding 'all of which was filmed by the hidden camera'.
The magazine also described how they had attended a Mass which was celebrated by Carlo.
In its preview Panorama insisted that it had carried out through checks and established that all three priests were bona fide but would not reveal their real names or any other details.
Panorama editor Giorgio Mule said: 'This was a two week investigation and was not aimed at creating a scandal but showing that a certain section of the clergy behaves very differently.'
JPIIPPA John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army
Friday, July 23, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010