Priest pleads guilty to theft from parishioner


WILMINGTON – Father Michael Angeloni, most recently an associate pastor at the Church of the Holy Child in Wilmington, pleaded guilty Nov. 17 in Delaware Superior Court to stealing more than $300,000 from a parishioner.

He will be sentenced Feb. 17 and faces up to 15 years in prison, according to the state Department of Justice.

The specific charge was one count of theft over $100,000.

Father Angeloni, 62, was indicted in August after a five-month investigation by the state Attorney General’s office, which was notified by Wilmington Trust bank of suspicious activity in the elderly victim’s account.

The priest, whose faculties have been suspended since the investigation began last February, told the woman on several occasions that he would use the money for charitable purposes. There was no indication in his plea as to what the money was actually used for, the Department of Justice spokesman said.

In a statement released Friday, Bishop Malooly said he met recently with the victim and expressed his apology.

“It saddens me that an elderly member of our church community would be taken advantage of by anyone in a position of leadership in our church,” he said. “We as a community must do whatever we can to protect and support our senior citizens and those who are most vulnerable.”

Father Angeloni’s faculties will remain withdrawn indefinitely, the diocese said.