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Lawyer David Vicinanzo, left, and the Rev. Edward Arsenault contemplate thoughts following a hearing in Hillsborough County Superior Court with the state Attorney General Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005, in Manchester, N.H. The two have been at odds over who will pay for an audit and how complete the audit will be following sexual abuse charges at the church. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Pope Francis dismissed a priest who stole $300K from a bishop, hospital and more


Pope Francis gave a Roman Catholic priest from New Hampshire who was convicted of stealing $300,000 from a hospital, a bishop and a deceased priest's estate the boot.

Monsignor Edward Arsenault was transferred Tuesday to home confinement and is up for parole Feb. 19, 2018.

The Diocese of Manchester said Friday that Arsenault was removed from the priesthood Feb. 28 and no longer has "faculties to act, function, or present himself as a priest."

Arsenault pleaded guilt to three theft charges in 2014. He served as the face of the church in the state during a church sex abuse scandal in the early 2000s.

"Dismissing a priest from the clerical state is very serious and taken very seriously by the Holy See," said Father Georges de Laire, the diocese's vicar for canonical affairs, who told Arsenault about the decision.

His lawyer has yet to release a statement.

Prosecutors said Arsenault billed the church for lavish meals and travel for himself and often a male partner.

He was convicted of writing checks from a dead priest's estate to himself and his brother and billing a hospital $250 an hour for consulting work he never did.

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