Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Priest Gambled Away About $400,000 Meant For Refugees

By Gary Snyder


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 half a 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.

He lost all the money by ‘Gambling,’" church's bishop, Emanuel Shaleta, told the Toronto Star. Seven to eight families had given their donations to Saka. "They trusted him. They did not give it as a gift. They were trusting the priest. They didn't ask for receipts," he said.


Canada's government-led program to give sanctuary to tens of thousands of Syrian and Iraqi refugees involves the combined efforts of the state as well as private donations to sponsor refugee arrivals. Saka was in charge of funds raised by the Hamilton Diocese to sponsor 20 Iraqi refugees.


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