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Priest Steals from Church to Fund Gambling

7 June 2011 by admin

thomas-kreiserThomas Kreiser is a good reminder that human beings are very capable of sucking royally, even if it’s someone who seemed pretty good. Yes, Reverend Kreiser (I’m not sure if we’re still supposed to call him Reverend) has done his part to give a bad name to gamblers, priests, Catholics and basically all of mankind. That’s pretty impressive work for a nondescript man in Garnerville, New York.

On Monday, Kreiser pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny for stealing almost $25,000 from his parish for personal use. Among those personal uses was online gambling, which was a frequent hobby for the former Catholic priest.

In June 2010, Kreiser abruptly resigned as pastor of St. Gregory Barbarigo. He cited “personal reasons” as the cause of his resignation, but it set off red flags. The Archdiocese of New York launched an investigation and an ensuing audit discovered that over a three-month period in 2010, Kreiser used the church’s credit card for various personal expenses, including playing games at online casinos. He was charged with larceny in April of this year.

The Catholic church isn’t big on gambling and they are considerably less fond of theft. This is yet another example that all people are flawed and it makes no sense to put your faith and hopes on them. Kreiser let his church down and he serves as another reminder of a man unable to live up to his own standards.

Kreiser’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 25. He faces up to four years in prison for the crime. In the meantime, all of the stolen money has been returned to the parish, which may help him get a lighter sentence. I suppose while he is in prison he will have plenty of opportunities to minister to other prisoners, possibly preaching about the dangers of immoral hobbies like gambling. Kreiser has also voluntarily checked himself into an inpatient rehabilitation facility to deal with his gambling addiction.

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