N.Y. priest probed – Served for 20 years

A retired priest who cared for the homeless and needy is the target of an investigation into the theft of $2 million from his church, the Associated Press reported Oct. 2.

The Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens and the Queen’s district attorney’s office are investigating Monsignor Thomas Gradilone, who retired last year after running Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Queens, N.Y., after 20 years.

An internal church audit estimates $2 million was taken from the church’s purse over seven years, and that more losses could be discovered.

The money came from collections during Masses and from other solicitations. Our Lady Queen of Martyrs raises about $9,300 in collections each Sunday.

Diocese Bishop Thomas Daily said Gradilone told him the missing money was donated to the needy but that he was unable to recall the names of the individuals and organizations that received it.

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