Two Catholic Diocese of Youngstown parishes being investigated for financial irregularities
The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown is investigation two churches for financial irregularities, according to a press release sent out by the diocese Sunday.
According to the release, the investigation began in December with Father Maciej ("Matthew") Mankowski while he was pastor of Saint Joseph Parish in Alliance, and has expanded to another priest, Father Chris Henyk of Little Flower Parish in Canton.
The investigation encompasses Father Mankowski's time at St. Joseph Parish, 2011 to 2021, and his move to Divine Mercy Parish in Massillon.
The diocese says preliminary findings presented by an independent forensic auditor commissioned by the Diocese revealed irregularities that constituted serious breaches of Diocese stewardship standards.
Father Mankowski resigned from Divine Mercy in July.
According to the release, the investigation has also led to evidence that Father Henyk, Pastor of Little Flower Parish in Canton, in conjunction with Father Mankowski, actively failed to cooperate with Diocese investigators and undertook actions that hindered the progress of the inquiry.
Father Henyk has agreed to resign from Little Flower, and Bishop David Bonnar has appointed Reverend Patrick Manning as Administrator Pro-Tem of Little Flower Parish. Father Henyk's resignation was announced to parishioners this past weekend.
"I want to emphasize that, at this time, we have no evidence of financial irregularities at Little Flower Parish," Bishop Bonnar said in a press release. "We have taken this step with Father Henyk to allow the investigation to proceed and to provide Little Flower with a priest who can fully focus on serving the parish. Now, out of an abundance of caution, we will be conducting a full audit at Little Flower as well."
According to the release, the Diocese will now submit the evidence obtained so far in the investigation to an outside public law enforcement entity.