'Thief' Priest Charged

By Cynthia R. Fagen
New York Post [New York]
October 12, 2003

A renegade priest who allegedly skimmed $88,000 from the collection boxes of a Long Island church where he celebrated Mass for 25 years was arraigned yesterday for possessing an illegal gun and stolen property.

John Johnston, 64, was busted Tuesday after he confessed to cops he had been stealing from the poor box from St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Bethpage, where he had celebrated Mass for the past 25 years.

Bail was posted at $1,500 at Queens Criminal Court and he was remanded to Rikers Island where he awaits further charges in Nassau County for stealing church funds.


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