The Archdiocese of Miami says a Catholic priest in Pompano Beach has resigned after being accused of stealing more than $200,000 from the parish.
Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski addressed parishioners of St. Coleman's Catholic Church at Sunday services, saying that Father Henryk Pawelec had diverted parish funds for his personal benefit.
Pawelec agreed to resign Wednesday and paid $236,469 in restitution.
"This breach of trust on the part of Father Pawelec, I am sure, deeply saddens and disappoints you as much as it saddens and disappoints me," Wenski wrote in a letter to parishioners. "Father could only have diverted these funds because he, as pastor, deliberately chose to ignore Archdiocese policies on the proper handling of parish funds."
The archdiocese reviewed St. Coleman's financial records after receiving a report that Pawelec had been misusing parish funds.."
Wenski said Pawelec has been relieved all duties, and the archdiocese has reported the theft to the state attorney's office.
"Any type of misbehavior by a priest or anyone else in authority is deeply disturbing, but such failures are a reminder of our common humanity and the frailty of our human condition," Wenski said.