*NBCconnecticut.com reports – A Catholic priest in Waterbury is accused of illegally taking $1 million from his parish for his personal use. Rev. Kevin Gray of Sacred Heart Church is now being investigated by the police.
The Archdiocese of Hartford made the discovery after reviewing the church’s finances. The Archdiocese claims Rev. Gray took the money over a seven-year period, his entire time serving at Sacred Heart.
Parishioners learned about the allegations at mass Saturday evening.
“I don’t believe it,” said Mercedes Rodriguez. “I don’t think he’d do anything like that. He’s well loved.”
Rev. Gray has been suspended from performing duties as a priest, according to Rev. John Gatzak, spokesperson for the Hartford Archdiocese.
Rev. Gray had been put on medical leave in April for an illness he has had for 5 years. Rev. Gatzak says police are investigating if Rev. Gray was ever actually sick.
It is Catholic law for churches to have finance committees. Sacred Heart Church never had one. Gatzak says that may be because people felt sorry for Gray because of his illness. The Archdiocese is immediately establishing a finance committee at the church.
Police have search warrants for Gray’s personal finance records, though his whereabouts were unknown Saturday.