Church rocked by scandal, priest accused of affair and embezzlement in New York
A New York priest is facing some very serious allegations, including theft and a secret sexual affair.
Bells ringing outside Saint Frances de Chantal. The only sense of normalness here after the parish is rocked by scandal. All focusing on the leader of the church, Father Peter Miqueli.
The details of alleged embezzlement and secret sexual escapades, all documented in a civil lawsuit filed against the Father and the Archdiocese of New York.
“He’s a troubled man. Not a good man.”
It’s a sentiment felt among many parishioners, who say for two years, they’ve complained to the diocese, only to be ignored.
The lawsuit, stating how Miqueli allegedly used his position as a pastor to misappropriate and divert hundreds of thousands of dollars of donations from parishioners at St. Frances de Chantal and at St. Frances of Cabrini on Roosevelt Island.
It also alleges he used funds to grow personal wealth, purchase a house in New Jersey, take international vacations, Illegal drugs, and for alleged weekly services of sexual affairs with a man named Keith Crist.
“Anytime we did fundraising, things just weren’t right. I’ve heard of a lot of things not getting paid. He’s asking for money to take care of; he doesn’t even take care of our school.”
Reporter: “you don’t have a comment?”
Father Peter Miqueli: “I have no comment”
Those who work for the parish, including the assistant pastor and other workers refused to comment.
Calls made to Crist and Miqueli were not returned.
No sighting of Miqueli at the rectory, or his brick, New Jersey home, where he’s alleged to have used church funds in order to purchase.
The lawsuit has shocked long term church members who both support and despise the Father.
“It’s just very sad. That’s all I have to say. Very sad. Very, very, very sad.”
“And whoever is saying this has to be very careful that they don’t go to hell.”
Some church members want him to step down as leader of this church before the end of the year.