NJ Priest Resigns Amid Allegations of Stealing $500K From Church for ‘Compulsive Behaviors’

A priest in New Jersey who resigned amid health problems reportedly stole as much as $500,000 from his parish due to "compulsive behaviors."

The Rev. Douglas J. Haefner, who served as head of St. Matthias Church in Somerset, has officially resigned for health reasons.

However, according to a Nov. 2 letter sent by Bishop James F. Checchio of the Diocese Metuchen to the church, his resignation "coincides with serious questions and concerns that recently have been raised regarding the handling of parish finances."

"[Haefner] came to me about his own health problems and these financial issues in recent weeks and has expressed his sorrow for his actions and for letting us all down," wrote Checchio.

"As per our established practice, I have withdrawn Father Haefner's priestly faculties while the matter is being looked into."

At a meeting held Monday evening with parishioners, Checchio explained that it's likely Haefner took around $500,000 from the church, though an official estimate is still pending, according to NJ Advance Media.

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