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NY Catholic Priest Removed from Parish for Gambling Away Donations

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posted 09:55 PM EST, Mon March 31, 2008
NY Catholic Priest Removed from Parish for Gambling Away Donations © Photo: Goldemberg Fonesca

Rev. Patrick Dunne, who served at the Our Lady of Sorrows Church in White Plains NY, has been removed from his duties for misusing church funds.

Rev. Patrick Dunne, of Our Lady of Sorrow Church in White Plains, has been removed from his Parish for gambling with church money, announced the chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York.

In the Sunday announcement to shocked parishioners of the church, Msgr William Belford claimed that Rev. Dunne stole a "very significant amount of church money because of a very powerful gambling addiction."

Father Dunne, who had served the church for 16 years, left shortly after Christmas. He is currently in a rehabilitation program, where he leads daily Mass.

The Monsignor explained that church officials were alerted to the problem after the archdiocese's financial office called him just before Thanksgiving, explaining that questionable and undocumented checks from the church had been cashed.

He says that they don’t yet know how much money was stolen, but he described the incident as an "enormous shock for the parish and a personal tragedy for Father Dunne."

Church officials have alerted the Westchester County district attorney, Janet DiFiore, and Msgr Belford stated that they are launching an investigation. A spokesperson for the DA's office refused to comment.

The Monsignor reassured parishioners that church funds were now safeguarded, and that the misuse of donations had stopped.

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