Two Roman Catholic nuns admitted to embezzling $500,000 from the St. James School in Torrence, California.
According to the Huffington Post, Mary Margaret Kreuper and Lana Chang both retired earlier this year. Kreuper served as the school's principal for 28 years before she left in June.
Chang taught the eighth grade for 20 years before her retirement. The two worked together to misappropriate funds over several years. They would spend on traveling and gambling in Vegas casinos.
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The school's monsignor, Michael Meyers, wrote in a letter:
“It is with much sadness that I am informing families of St. James School that an internal investigation has revealed that, over a period of years, Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper and Sister Lana Chang have been involved in the personal use of a substantial amount of School funds."
“Sister Mary Margaret and Sister Lana have expressed to me and asked that I convey to you, the deep remorse they each feel for their actions and ask for your forgiveness and prayers. They and their Order pray that you have not lost trust or faith in the educators and administrators of the school.”
The school had to do damage control by sending the letter, released on November 28, to parents of students.
They informed the parents of the discovery following a routine audit. Numerous red flags revealed that money had been "cashed into different accounts," according to director of media relations for the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Adrian Alarcon.
The archdiocese, as well as the church, initially decided not to press charges since the sisters were remorseful. The order also agreed to keep the nuns with them.
Meanwhile, the monsignor's letter reassured parents that the school's resources were not diminished.
"I want to assure you that the investigation has disclosed that, notwithstanding this misappropriation, no student or program at St. James has suffered any loss of educational resources, opportunities, or innovations. In sum, the education of your children has not and will not be affected by these events."
As they looked closer, however, Alarcon later told the media that they would pursue a criminal case.
Gambling is against the teachings of the Church. On top of that, the nuns stole from their religious church.
However, some persons do gamble despite religious affiliations. They have taken the choice to go another route in the matter
Birth control, or "artificial contraception," is another matter that Catholics are divided on. Even within the higher-ups, there is dissent regarding the choice to use or reject birth control.
One Michigan pharmacist decided that he would prevent a woman from taking what he believed was birth control.
Rachel Peterson was denied her prescription refill. The pharmacist was aware that the pills were sometimes used for abortions.
He said he was a "good Catholic man" and his conscience prevented him from giving her the prescription.
Luckily, Peterson, who needed the pills for her own health throughout a miscarriage, was able to get them elsewhere. This stopped her from having to endure an intrusive surgery.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan stepped in to have the Meijer pharmacy implement better policies.
As for the nuns, we hope that they are held accountable as others would be in the same situation.