Diocese expands financial probe | News, Sports, Jobs

YOUNGSTOWN — A review of financial irregularities at two Youngstown parishes has expanded beyond the Rev. Maciej (“Matthew”) Mankowski to include scrutiny of another priest, the Rev. Chris Henyk, the Diocese of Youngstown announced Sunday.

Diocese officials said “the evidence collected thus far will soon be turned over to outside public law enforcement authorities.”

An investigation began last December when concerns were uncovered at St. Joseph Parish in Alliance related to the time that Mankowski was pastor from 2011 to 2021. It then extended to Divine Mercy Parish in Massillon, where Mankowski was then the pastor.

Officials said the preliminary findings presented by an independent forensic auditor commissioned by the diocese “revealed irregularities that constituted serious breaches of Diocese stewardship standards.”

In July, the diocese and Mankowski mutually agreed on Mankowski’s resignation as pastor of Divine Mercy Parish.

Officials said the investigation has led to evidence that Henyk, pastor of Little Flower Parish in Canton, in conjunction with Mankowski, actively failed to cooperate with diocese investigators and undertook actions that hindered the progress of the inquiry.

Henyk has agreed to resign from Little Flower, officials said.

Bishop David Bonnar has appointed the Rev. Patrick Manning as temporary administrator at Little Flower Parish. An update on the investigation and Henyk’s resignation was announced to Little Flower, Divine Mercy and St. Joseph parishioners at Masses this weekend.

“I want to emphasize that, at this time, we have no evidence of financial irregularities at Little Flower Parish,” Bonnar said.

“We have taken this step with Father Henyk to allow the investigation to proceed and to provide Little Flower with a priest who can fully focus on serving the parish. Now, out of an abundance of caution, we will be conducting a full audit at Little Flower as well,” Bonnar said.

With the Diocesan Finance Council’s unanimous support, the diocese will be submitting the evidence obtained so far to an outside public law enforcement authority, once the appropriate agency is identified, officials said.

The Diocese of Youngstown is committed to transparency, discovering the full truth and protecting the resources given so generously by the people of God, according to a news release issued Sunday.

The Diocese of Youngstown’s Financial Controls include two parish auditors and adherence to a Financial Procedures and Control Manual.

Given that this is an ongoing investigation, the diocese does not have any additional comments at this time, officials said.

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