A Roman Catholic priest faced a judge on Wednesday. He is charged with stealing more than $230,000 from a Northboro, Massachusetts, parish.
Father Stephen Gemme told the courtroom that he did not take money from Saint Bernadette Parish and School.
The Worcester Diocese began investigating after a member of the school's advisory board informed them about questionable expenditures from a school account over a year ago.
A spokesperson for Worcester’s bishop, Reverend Robert McManus, declined to comment on the case today, but instead referred to a statement from last year. At that time, the church said that the bishop met with Father Gemme and he acknowledged he had a gambling problem.
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Father Gemme's authorization to sign checks was immediately revoked and he was sent to receive professional evaluation and treatment.
One of his parishioners, who only went by Mary, said Father Gemme was a great priest and that the accusations didn't change how she felt about him.
Father Gemme is expected in court in October for his pretrial court hearing.