Priest plea: A few bad apples ...
As pastor of a Catholic church in Delray Beach, Fla., the Rev. Francis Guinan in 2005 implored his church to discontinue an investigation into alleged financial improprieties. Now we know why.
On Wednesday, Guinan’s colleague Monsignor John Skehan pleaded guilty to embezzling $370,000. His plea came on the day jury selection was to begin in the case. Authorities believe Skehan may actually have made off with millions during his 40 years at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church, but the statute of limitations restricted the timeline to 2001 through 2006.
Guinan is accused of stealing $488,000 during his 19 months as pastor. He is to be tried next month and has pleaded not guilty.
In his 2005 letter to his church, Guinan noted that priests “devote their lives to the church with little thought for personal gain. They are generous, charitable and compassionate.” About that he was absolutely correct, which makes stories like this all the more disappointing and sad.
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