According to reports in the Canadian media, an Ontario-based Catholic priest is under investigation on suspicion of gambling away funds that had been set aside to provide for refugees newly settled in Canada.
Father Amer Saka, a priest at the St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in London, Ontario, is suspected to have lost roughly a half-million Canadian dollars (equivalent to $380,000 U.S.) that had been entrusted to him by local families keen on sponsoring new arrivals from the Middle East.
Saka phoned the church’s bishop, Emanuel Shaleta, last month to reportedly confess that the funds were lost.
“He called me on the phone and . . . said he lost all the money. I said, ‘How?’ He said, ‘Gambling,’ ” Shaleta told the Toronto Star this weekend. He has since checked the priest into an addiction center. Investigators are examining the situation, though no formal charges have been filed.