Priest Orlando Molina busted for Gambling in Miami

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Over the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of holy men wind up in the news for embezzlement and gambling. From John F. Regan stealing $300k from collection plates to Kevin McAuliffe taking $650k from his Las Vegas parish, most of these stories don’t have a good ending. And right now, U.S. Catholic Church officials are trying to determine whether or not Miami priest Orlando Molina stole offerings to fund his recent gambling trips.

Molina, who has resided over Rincon de San Lazaro parish for two decades, was secretly filmed on a 13-hour gambling binge that included stops at Calder Casino & Race Course, Magic City Casino, and an unidentified gaming establishment. In all, his busy day lasted from 6pm to 7am the next morning.

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At this point, there’s no confirmation on whether or not Father Orlando Molina was using his money or the church’s funds. Nevertheless, the U.S. Catholic Church organization decided to suspend the 51-year-old Nicaraguan until they get more information on the case.

Not surprisingly, Molina wasn’t happy over his treatment as he said, “It’s an exaggerated and unfair decision. I hope that the case is examined and my innocence is proven.” He continued to say that he believes an angry churchgoer hired a private investigator to follow him, which is where the video may have come from. The story was revealed on Univision’s Channel 23 (Miami) after somebody sent the video tape there.

Since Molina’s suspension, there have been multiple opinions on the matter. One parishioner named Mercedes Ferrer leans towards the priest being in the wrong as he said, “What has happened is deplorable. I think measures should be taken to prevent these things.” Another Rincon de San Lazaro visitor named Ruben Calderín believes the opposite as he stated, “He is a good priest. I have known him for years and I don’t believe he is using money from the offerings to gamble.”

Whatever the case may be, we should get a ruling on Molina’s innocence or guilt in the near future.

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