Priest accused of stealing $380K from Bonneauville church

The Evening Sun

The Evening Sun

Posted: 10/31/2012

A priest who formerly served at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Bonneauville is accused of stealing more than $380,000 from the church.

A preliminary arraignment is set for Thursday for Caesar A. Belchez, 52, on third-degree felony charges of theft by unlawful taking, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received, and access device fraud.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg spokesman Joseph Aponick said Belchez has since been “relieved of all priestly duties,” which includes being barred from celebrating Mass, preaching, hearing confession, wearing priestly attire or presenting himself as a priest in good standing.

Charging documents indicate in the five years Belchez was assigned to the Bonneauville church, he took a total of $384,750.76 in cash, checks and credit cards issued to the parish.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.