Priest Steals $1M To Fund Romance With Boyfriend
( 4UMF NEWS ) Priest Steals $1M To Fund Romance With Boyfriend:
Father, forgive him. A scandalous lawsuit accuses a Bronx priest of looting more than $1 million from a pair of city parishes — then spending the cash on a long-running S&M romance with a muscle-bound boyfriend.
The Rev. Peter Miqueli reportedly paid $1,000 per rough sex session with his hunky lover, who demanded the priest address him as “Master” — and drink his urine, the lawsuit said.
The sex-slave priest and his boy toy have shared a house in Brick, N.J., after Miqueli paid $264,000 cash six years ago, according to the suit.
Miqueli, 53, was also accused of stealing money donated to fix a church pipe organ, siphoning funds from a parish thrift shop and getting high on drugs provided by a Bronx parishioner.
“This lawsuit seeks to finally put an end to this truly sinful conduct,” the 36-page court filing said. In addition to the alleged sexual shenanigans, Miqueli purportedly used his ill-gotten cash for vacations in Italy and Florida. Alleged boyfriend Keith Crist, named as a co-defendant, had nothing to say about the salacious claims.
“I don’t have to talk to you!” he yelped before hanging up on a Daily News reporter.
Neighbors in Jersey say there’s a steady stream of male visitors at the Brick home on Cornell Dr., where a new BMW allegedly belonging to Crist usually sits in the driveway. Miqueli also installed a heavily trafficked hot tub in the backyard, the neighbors said.
“He's a creep,” said a woman who lives on the block. “I won’t let my kids go near that house.”
Neighbors also said the garage is stuffed with boxes, and that cartons are moved in an out regularly.
“They’re packaging things there at 2 and 3 in the morning,” one woman said.
A couple who lives across the street said the mysterious boxes started showing up in the garage a few weeks ago.
Crist’s on-and-off girlfriend — who says former bodybuilder and escort Crist injured his knees in a bathtub sex romp with the priest — alerted church officials this year to the couple’s unholy rolls in the hay.
The suit was filed by parishioners from St. Frances de Chantal Church in Throgs Neck, where Miqueli remains the pastor, and from his old church, St. Francis Cabrini, on Roosevelt Island.
“These charges of theft and misconduct have been made for at least 10 years,” said lawyer Michael Dowd, who represents the two parishes.
“It is unbelievable that the diocese can’t come to a conclusion about the misconduct of Miqueli when there is money missing that may be a million dollars.”
Miqueli did not return a phone call seeking comment, instead alerting the Archdiocese of New York to speak on his behalf. Timothy Cardinal Dolan and the archdiocese are also named as defendants in the Manhattan court papers.
The lawsuit charges the church hierarchy, in an echo of the pedophilia scandal, with covering up for the pervert priest.
“We can’t understand it,” said Bronx parishioner Jack Lynch. “It seems they are going out of their way to protect him, and for years. We suspect a scandal behind the scandal.”
According to the complaint, Miqueli emptied the parish coffers by breaking the archdiocese’s rules governing donations and gifts. Money collected at Mass is supposed to go into a locked bag, stored in a safe, counted and logged by more than one trusted parishioner — and only then deposited in the church bank account.
Miqueli instead stuffed all donations into unlocked bags that he counted personally in his bedroom — sometimes leaving foot-high stacks of cash lying around, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit says he provided no accounting of the money and routinely deposited the cash into his own personal account at an HSBC in Hauppauge, L.I.
“First and foremost, we want his removal as pastor — here or anyplace in the archdiocese,” said Dowd. “He is like a cancer and the best thing to do with cancer is to cut it out.”
Court papers say Miqueli also brought Crist into parish affairs, having him run a thrift shop where they are suspected of swiping money.
When Miqueli left Roosevelt Island in October 2012, he allegedly laid claim to the parish Jeep and the pastor’s apartment by putting both in his own name.
At de Chantal, Miqueli briefly tried to have Crist serve as the parish’s new business manager, according to the complaint — only to have the Archdiocese give the boyfriend the boot after a complaint.
Crist’s former girlfriend Tatyana Gudin said she saved copies of scores of text and email messages between the accused lovers. Earlier this year, she said, she sent Dolan and other archdiocesan officials numerous emails providing details of what she knew about Crist and Miqueli.
The lawsuit says a Bronx doctor who’s also a church trustee provided the pair with illegal drugs to get high. Miqueli also reportedly gave $60,000 to the doctor for the downpayment on a house. The priest was also accused of paying a $1,000 a month since 2013 to subsidize a Park Ave. apartment that Crist rents.
Parishioners calling for Miqueli’s removal have created a website, a Facebook page and have circulated flyers outside of masses alerting other churchgoers to their concerns.
Dolan spokesman Joseph Zwilling said the Archdiocese has “taken these allegations seriously” — but has yet to substantiate the charges of financial or sexual impropriety.
Earlier this year, Fordham University Dean John Feerick led a panel that investigated the financial charges, Swilling said. As a result, the cardinal ordered Miqueli to make changes in how the parish is governed.
He told Miqueli to issue annual financial statements, appoint two new trustees and publish collections in the church bulletin.
“We are continuing to look into it,” Zwilling said, noting the archdiocese is now conducting an audit of de Chantal’s accounts.
Zwilling offered no suggestion as to how Miqueli — on his modest pastor’s salary of $2,545 a month — could rack up a brokerage account and savings of almost $900,000, as alleged in the suit.
He said some priests have outside jobs or they inherit money. Dowd said he spoke with Miqueli’s siblings, who said any inheritance from his mother was less than $100,000.
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