An Illinois priest accused of patronizing a male prostitute in the 1990s and misappropriating $40,000 from a parish in 2005 has now been removed from ministry for “immoral activity” involving homosexual pornography and allegedly misspending up to $29,000 at two parishes he oversaw in the Diocese of Springfield.continue at Catholic World Report
The Rev. Barry J. Harmon, 55, was removed from ministry and will apply for laicization, Springfield Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki wrote in a Sept. 5 email to diocesan priests. Harmon has agreed to make restitution for the misappropriated funds, Paprocki said. Harmon was initially placed on medical leave Oct. 30, 2017 from his role as pastor of Mother of Dolors Catholic Church in Vandalia and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ramsey, Ill.
During the medical leave, the diocese discovered financial irregularities at the parishes, and “immoral activity inconsistent with the life of a priest,” Paprocki wrote. He did not offer details. “We have found nothing to indicate that there was inappropriate activity with minors,” Paprocki wrote. Diocesan spokeswoman Marlene Mulford would not elaborate on the “immoral activity,” but she said the diocese “is sure this does not involve minors.”