Florida priest accused of stealing $200,000-plus from church resigns


This Dec. 1, 2012 photo shows a silhouette of a crucifix and a stained glass window inside a Catholic Church in New Orleans. A Louisiana Supreme Court decision reaffirmed in May 2014 has revived a sex abuse lawsuit in which parents are suing a priest and a Baton Rouge Catholic diocese for not reporting the […]

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A South Florida priest has resigned after being accused of stealing more than $200,000 from the church.

The Archdiocese of Miami said in a statement that Father Henryk Pawelec has paid the money back to St. Coleman Catholic Church in Pompano Beach. But he still could face legal action after the church reported the incident to the state attorney’s office.

Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski said the breach of trust “saddens and disappoints” him.

The Sun Sentinel reports the archdiocese reviewed the congregation’s financial records after receiving reports that Pawelec was diverting money. He agreed to resign on Wednesday.

Parish Administrator Father Michael Garcia has taken Pawelec’s place.

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