Panel Of Judges Find Ex-Pastor Guilty Of Stealing $300,000 From Church

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Alexander Pease Contributor
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An internal probe at a Missouri Catholic church came to the conclusion Monday that a retired pastor purloined $300,000 from the Jefferson City Diocese, according to a press release.

A three judge panel, which was described as well-versed in canon law, found former Father Ignazio Medina guilty of “abuse of ecclesiastical power” in the realm of “financial misconduct” during his tenure at the St. Stanislaus Parish in Wardsville, Missouri, according to a press release published by the Jefferson City Diocese.

In allegations that stem from 2018, Medina was accused of transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars of church monies into “personal accounts.” Medina was also the subject of a related FBI investigation in 2022, according to KOMU(RELATED: Man Allegedly Pulled Out Knife, Stabbed Wife To Death During Weekly Bible Study)

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight launched the church trial last year. “Church proceedings began after law enforcement gave no objection to the commencement of a church trial,” according to the press statement.

The $300,000 was reportedly made of two transactions — one where Medina wrote a sibling a check for $100,000, another where he wrote himself one for $200,000, according to the press release. The investigators found that an additional $20,000 was unaccounted for.

Earlier this month, the investigators reached the guilty verdict. Medina, who was first appointed to the parish in 2012, has paid back all of the misappropriated funds and also paid an additional $26,000 to reimburse the diocese for pertinent legal expenses, the press release stated. (RELATED: ‘Blasphemy’: Anglican Leaders Break With Archbishop of Canterbury Who Supported Blessings For Same-Sex Couples)

“The actions of Father Medina have caused pain in our community. He will never again have access to parish funds. As we move forward together, let us pray for healing. Let us especially keep the parishioners of St. Stanislaus Parish in our prayers, as we seek to move forward together with the grace of God,” McKnight said.

“I ask you to remember me in your prayers, as you are remembered in mine,” Medina said as part of his statement.