September 18, 2005
The (purchasing) power of prayer:
A Corsican priest whose penchant for the good life raised eyebrows among churchgoers has been placed under formal investigation for abuse of confidence and forgery. He is accused of defrauding the church out of hundreds of thousands of euros.
Father Antoine Videau, 60, rolled up to celebrate mass in the small Corsican village of Calacuccia in a new, top of the range Audi, with a Rolex on his wrist.
“It was all rather disconcerting - he was more of a playboy than a priest,” one parishioner told Libération yesterday. “We know we’re talking about at least €200,000 [£135,000],” said a spokesman for the Corsican police, who launched an investigation this year after the new bishop of Ajaccio, Monsignor Jean-Luc Brunin, voiced concern about the priest’s lifestyle.
“But the real figure is difficult to establish. He had been active for a long time and had bank accounts in France and abroad. This is a priest whose net worth was so substantial he was paying supertax; who took luxury holidays in South America.”
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