This week’s installment of 'Clergy Gone Wild' features the sordid tale of Monsignor Joseph McLoone. The priest allegedly stole almost $100,000 from his parish in Downingtown, PA, reported the New York Post. Then, in a move straight out of a soap opera, he used nearly $2000 to pay men he met on Grindr. He was arrested on Wednesday for felony theft activity starting back in 2011.
According to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, McLoone funneled money from donations and church revenue into an unauthorized account in New Jersey. He doubled the fees he and other priests earned for their services and used the extra money to pay off personal debt and “personal expenses of an inappropriate nature."
There is obviously nothing wrong with looking for love on Grindr, but McLoone’s theft and secrecy point to a troubling brand of hypocrisy perpetuated in several political and religious spheres.
From preacher made pariah Ted Haggard to anti-gay pastor Eddie Long, many church leaders have been caught secretly engaging in homosexual activity while profiting from organizations and rhetoric that have been known to harm LGBTQ people.
These scandals indicate that sometimes powerful figures do not practice what they preach, suggesting something that much of the LGBTQ community has always known: some strong ideological posturing may be more about controlling marginalized people than any sort of deep moral conviction.