A New York City priest at the center of a sordid sex scandal resigned Saturday after outraged parishioners accused him of embezzling at least a million dollars in donations to, among other things, pay a male hustler for $1,000-a-session sadomasochistic encounters.
Tatyana Gudin, the ex-girlfriend of the male hustler, dished about a lot more of the priest’s alleged peccadillos in a letter to the New York Archdiocese.
Angry parishioners are suing the church, the priest, the alleged hustler (identified as Keith Crist), and Cardinal Timothy Dolan in a lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court.
“Since 2003 the defendant Father Peter Miqueli used his position of trust and confidence as a pastor, as a man of God, to misappropriate and divert hundreds of thousands of dollars of donation funds from parishioners at the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church on Roosevelt Island and the St. Frances De Chantal Church in the Bronx,” the suit says.
“Rather than use parishioner donations for religious and charitable purposes, Father Miqueli used the donations to grow his personal wealth, purchase a house in New Jersey, take dozens of international vacations, purchase and use illegal drugs, and pay for the weekly services of his homosexual prostitute and “sex master” Keith Crist.”
The suit also accuses the church of knowing about the activities. A spokesman for Dolan said an investigation is underway and Dolan has reportedly admitted seeing Gudin’s allegations, which have been turned over to prosecutors.
Miqueli announced Saturday night he was stepping down from the Bronx parish as the story spread like wildfire online.
“I have made the decision to step aside from my position as pastor of this parish while this unfortunate and regrettable situation is investigated,” he said. “It is in the best interests of the parish that this matter be resolved without me serving as your pastor.”
Miqueli denies any wrongdoing.
John Oswald is The Forward’s deputy digital media editor.