Dolan Diocese Mum on Status of Priest Convicted of Stealing $270k

The Archdiocese of New York has declined questions regarding the future of a priest who was convicted last year of stealing several hundred thousand dollars from his suburban New York parish.

An expert on theft perpetrated by clerics told The Pillar that without clear consequences for priests who steal, the problem of financial malfeasance in the Church is likely to continue.

Father Robert Henry, 75, was sentenced last year to five years probation, after he pled guilty to stealing $270,155 from his parish, St. Matthew & Our Lady of Perpetual Help, which has churches in Hastings on Hudson and Ardsley, New York.

The priest reached a plea deal in the case, leaving little court testimony to indicate the reason for the theft. But charging documents obtained by The Pillar indicate that the priest stole the money during a single week in March 2022, and that the theft was caught during an audit conducted by the New York archdiocese.

In an April 10, 2022 parish bulletin, Bishop Edward Whelan, archdiocesan vicar for clergy, told parishioners that the archdiocese had notified law enforcement officials about an “improper application of parish funds,” presumably on the part of Fr. Henry.

By the next week, Henry was no longer listed as the parish’s pastor, and a temporary administrator had been appointed in his place.

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