At least he left the choir boys alone

A Catholic priest has been had up for nicking church money…normally these fellows are in court for other reasons:

A former Catholic parish priest has admitted defrauding the church of about $128,000, more than a year after he was suspended by the Bishop of Christchurch.

Father John William Fitzmaurice committed the offences while he was the parish priest at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament and at Addington’s Sacred Heart Parish.

He was suspended by Bishop Barry Jones in September 2011 and the bishop issued a pastoral letter to be read at all masses.

The bishop told parishioners: “It is now with great sadness that I inform you that I have placed the matter with the police. I took this step because of financial irregularities in areas for which (Fitzmaurice) has been responsible. The police will follow their own procedures and make their own investigations.”

Bishop Jones said Fitzmaurice had contributed strongly to the life of the diocese through the exercise of a variety of important appointments and offices.

He urged parishioners to “pray for those most affected and hurt and disappointed by these events”.

The police investigation has led to guilty pleas to six charges by Fitzmaurice at the Christchurch District Court session at Nga Hau e Wha marae today.

He admitted five charges of dishonestly using documents and one of obtaining money by deception.

The charges relating to him using 242 cheques drawn on the Catholic Cathedral Parish and Addington Parish accounts, which were either cashed or paid into his own account. He also admitted dishonestly making 358 automatic teller withdrawals totalling $54,430.


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  • geoff3012

    It was probably just “resting” in his account!

  • geoff3012

    It was probably “just resting” in his account.

  • InvestorMag

    What’s the latest on Matt Blomfield?

  • blazer

    on the whiskey and loves a bet at the TAB.

  • Phar Lap

    Wonder if he was copying Winston. NO !!!!

  • This Priest should count himself lucky – he got caught. Now he can repent and change. Imagine going before an angry God on the day of judgement for this.

    Sadly there are many in churches who are helping themselves to the funds of the church blatantly illegally.

  • Adolf Fiinkensein

    Cam, your constant carping on child abuse and the Catholic Church is tiresome.

    I’m surprised any denomination would allow a parish minister to have access to parish funds. It’s a sure fire recipe for disaster…At least the Presbyterians have enough sense to put a real fire wall between ministers and parish money. No minister may be a signatory to a church bank account, nor take part in financial decision making.

    • It might be tiresome but so is the constant stream of de-frocked priests on historic sex charges that were hidden by the church.

      • Rebecca

        Vicarious outrage usually is the behavior of the lefties you so despise, so why practice it? Fact is that this Catholic priest thing you go on about simply is NOT a New Zealand problem- especially compared to teachers and even doctors. I doubt you’d even remember the doctors found guilty, but no doubt you can dredge up two or maybe even three NZ Catholic cases from 30 years ago. And no doubt when another inevitably comes along, that’s the one you’ll want to put up on the hoardings.
        Why? I don’t see you harping on about the shocking treatment given to Australian Aboriginal children for generations, so why focus on a religious denomination over there or anywhere else in the world? Maybe it’s a family bigotry thing- I once saw the father of one of your dad’s colleagues refusing to enter a room because there were Catholic women there. Oh, the horror.

    • Adolf, must agree about Cam’s carping on about chold abuse. Seems that school teachers and clergy from other denominations are not judged by the same standards as Catholic clergy.

      • Honcho

        Sexual abuse against children (especially) is an abhorent practice, Cam is doing his bit by being outraged by every single case, as society we should never be allowed to normalise this shocking practice, we must never tire from maligning these disgusting people.

        • Fair enough Honcho, malign the people not the organisation in which there are many decent and honourable people as well as the scum.

        • Andrei

          Well then how about getting onto the people who teach “sex ed” in schools then – they teach sexual perversion as being normal and that is a form of child abuse

        • Mostly_Harmless

          But there was nothing in this story about sexual abuse.

  • Mitch82

    Can’t really complain when one conman steals money from the group of conmen he works for. It’s not like they worked for it, or payed tax on it.

  • peterwn

    I thought that normally two people had to sign the cheques – and not sign a cheque made to yourself.