A Bronx priest is accused of spending more than $1 million stolen from city parishes on a long-term gay S&M romance and drugs.
According to a new lawsuit filed by parishioners from St. Frances de Chantal Church, Rev. Peter Miqueli allegedly paid $1,000 per rough sex session with a male lover whom the priest addressed as “Master” while the two were sharing a house in Brick, New Jersey, the Daily News reported. Miqueli stands accused of stealing money donated for a church organ and funds from a thrift shop.
“This lawsuit seeks to finally put an end to this truly sinful conduct so that St. Frances de Chantal parish can regain the strength, spirituality and faith it once had before Father Miqueli arrived,” court papers were quoted in a related Daily Mail report. The lawsuit also claims that the Archdiocese of New York and Timothy Cardinal Dolan knew about the priest’s “illegal scheme” yet did not stop it.
Money collected by the church is supposedly counted and recorded by more than one parishioner before being deposited in the church account, the Daily News state. The lawsuit claims that Miqueli instead allegedly counted donations in his bedroom — sometimes with foot-high stacks of cash lying around.
Miqeuli’s New Jersey neighbors say that male visitors frequented his New Jersey home and that he allegedly invited the men to join him in his spacious hot tub, the Daily Mail reported.
“He's a creep,” said a woman who lives on his block to the Daily News. “I won’t let my kids go near that house.”
The lawsuit also claimed that a Bronx doctor, also a church trustee, allegedly provided Miqeuli with illegal drugs, according to the Daily News.
“I feel really bad for the parishioners,” lawyer Michael G. Dowd, who represents the parishioners, said to the Daily Mail. “We’ve done a lot of homework. This is a bad guy. … The thing that’s really amazing to me is how could this guy be acting this way for nine years or so, and the Archdiocese does nothing? Someone extremely powerful is keeping Miqueli in as pastor.”
“To date, we have found nothing to substantiate the allegations that have been raised. If anyone has information or documentation to substantiate the allegations, we would invite them to bring that information forward, or to contact the district attorney,” a spokesman for the Archdiocese told the Daily Mail.