New York City, N.Y., Dec 17, 2015 / 06:56 am America/Denver (CNA).
The Archdiocese of New York says that it takes seriously accusations in a recent lawsuit claiming that a New York priest embezzled money and maintained scandalous personal habits, while also saying that a diocesan investigation has found nothing to substantiate the allegations.
“The Archdiocese has been investigating these allegations for many months, and has repeatedly requested any information or documentation that might substantiate the allegations that have been made,” Joseph Zwilling, communications director for the Archdiocese of New York, told CNA in a statement.
“Thus far, no evidence has been offered, and our forensic audit has thus far failed to uncover evidence of embezzlement,” he said. “We have been in touch with the District Attorney since the summer, and have promised to turn over anything that might be criminal in nature. We urge anyone with such evidence to do the same.”
The suit alleges that the Fr. Peter Miqueli, former pastor of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church on Roosevelt Island and St. Frances De Chantal Church in the Bronx, was engaged in a “million dollar embezzlement scheme,” taking funds from his former parishes’ collections over the course of a decade.
In addition, the suit alleges, Fr. Miqueli “used the donations to grow his personal wealth, purchase a house in New Jersey, take dozens of international vacations, purchase and use illegal drugs,” and pay for the sexual services of a male escort.