The Bronx priest who has been accused of stealing over $1 million from two churches he worked at in order to pay for his S&M lifestyle with his boyfriend has stepped down from his current position. "I have made the decision to step aside from my position as Pastor of this parish while this unfortunate and regrettable situation is investigated," Rev. Peter Miqueli wrote in a letter to his congregation. "I look forward to my ultimate vindication, and being able to resume my priestly ministry."
Miqueli has been accused by a group of angry parishioners of siphoning off over $1 million since 2003 while leading St. Frances Xavier Cabrini on Roosevelt Island and St. Frances de Chantal in The Bronx. The lawsuit claims that Miqueli skimmed from collection plates, took money that had been donated to fix a church pipe organ, misappropriated funds from a church thrift shop, and more.
Miqueli allegedly used the money to pay for rough sex sessions with his "master" Keith Crist, who was named as a co-defendant in the suit. He also allegedly paid for "illicit and prescription drugs" he used with Crist, vacations in Italy and Florida, a $264,000 home in Brick, NJ for the two of them, plus another $1,075.50 a month for Crist's East Harlem apartment.
All these personal details about the men's relationship were exposed after Crist's ex-girlfriend, Tatyana Gudin, sent copies of tons of text and email messages between the lovers to church officials. The NY Post printed some of those messages, including one in which Crist allegedly boasted to Gudin about Miqueli, "I told him to think hard how he can serve me. All while I laugh and degrade him, he wants to be more disgusting and perverted. Public humiliation 101." There were also messages about Miqueli's "full-blown dungeon in the house," his desire to drink Crist's pee, and complaints about bad Molly.
Even besides the alleged theft, it sounds like many of the parishioners at St. Frances de Chantal were looking to get rid of Miqueli. They created a Change.org petition to remove him from the church, and complained to the Post about him: "He alienates just about everybody who comes in his path," said Catherine Holmes. Another church member, Danielle Schepis, said Miqueli would rant "that being gay is a sin, and he was very serious on the topic. Proving he is a pathological liar."