Ho Ho No! The Black Christmas Countdown Begins For Philly Priests

The holiday season is fast approaching and with that comes many traditions. In your family it may be the fruitcake that Aunt Sally insists on baking. Among the Philadelphia clergy it may be the widespread theft of the annual All Souls collection.

Msgr. Joseph McLoone was arrested and charged with stealing $98,000 from St Joseph’s Parish in Downingtown. Approximately $40,000 of that total was allegedly stolen from All Souls collections from 2011 to 2017.

McLoone is believed to have partaken in a tradition known among the clergy as “Black Christmas.” Black references the color of mourning and All Souls Day on Nov. 2. when Catholics donate offerings in honor of deceased loved ones. Christmas references the self-gifting. Philly Catholics might want to check to see if their pastor or parish priests played Secret Santa and “gifted” All Souls donations into their personal bank accounts.

If you’ve lived in the Archdiocese your entire life and haven’t heard of the Black Christmas felony tradition, join the club. The leadership never seems to share information when it comes to possible criminal activity that could impact us.

Let Us Remember…

The Archdiocese did not report McLoone’s alleged theft of parish funds to law enforcement. Learning of it through the news media, the local D.A. opened a case which led to the arrest.

It would seem unlikely that Msgr. McLoone embarked on this alleged crime at age 50. Has the Archdiocese investigated the financial records of his former parishes? It seems he was doing what other priests have done for years with the All Souls collection. Although, many may have used the proceeds for more PG-rated activities than McLoone. See article linked below.

If only 12 priests participated in the long-held All Souls tradition during the same time frame as McLoone, the amount stolen from Philly parishioners would be about a half million. Odds are there were more than 12 with sticky fingers.

The Archdiocese has taken a hard line on some recent financial crimes. Their former female CFO and a clergy abuse victim both served prison time for theft of funds.

Archdiocesan Response: Cue the Crickets

We contacted the Archdiocese to alert them that many of their clergy may have committed felony theft by pocketing the All Souls donations over the years. Bypassing the Ethicspoint hotline, several emails were sent and various offices were called. We were referred back to John Delaney, Office of Investigations. He has not responded. We reached out to Msgr. Daniel Kutys, moderator of the Curia in the Archdiocese. He has not responded.

We also reached out to law enforcement. They responded within 30 minutes.

What is the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s plan for turning over information to law enforcement and laity?

Clergy whose crime falls within the statute of limitations need to be prosecuted in the jurisdiction in which the crime took place. Will the archdiocese turn them in?

For thefts that fall outside of the statutes for prosecution, the Archdiocese should apologize and make restitution to parishioners who donated. Maybe no one has gotten back to us from the Archdiocese because they are working so hard on their plan.

We will update the post if we hear back from the Archdiocese.

Click here to read more about Msgr. McLoone’s alleged theft of parish funds.

5 thoughts on “Ho Ho No! The Black Christmas Countdown Begins For Philly Priests

  1. Archdiocese of Philadelphia is run like a Mafia criminal enterprise with Chaput as its godfather…its shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone to hear about this latest example of the criminal behavior of priests in this church.

  2. “Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests , your bishops act like bishops, and your religious act like religious” Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. He got that right and I add to make sure the Pope acts like a Pope! The sexual and financial corruption starts at the top and has worked it’s way down. God save us all. Mother Mary Help us. Holy Spirit strengthen and enlighten us.Amen

  3. “Bypassing the Ethicspoint hotline, several emails were sent and various offices were called.” The Ethicspoint hotline goes directly to the Archdiocesan offices anyway. It serves as a “tipline.” It tips off the Archdiocese so they know when the laity is getting suspicious. Then the laity, in an effort to cooperate and correct the problem, give all of their evidence to the Archdiocese to “investigate.” The Archdiocese covers up the theft and other abuses and tell the lay people “There’s nothing to see here.” If it’s bad enough, the priest goes on a “vacation” but he won’t be disciplined. Then we have to live with the anxiety of whether or not the abuser will be returned to the original parish or be reassigned to do it all over again.

  4. Is father John Winterlin on your list? He is deceased now but he was from Gary, Indiana area. Sherriville, i think. He would have been 85 now.

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