Hey, let’s be honest. If I tell you that a priest got arrested and it had something to do with candy, your mind goes certain places you don’t want it to go.

So when I learned that the priest in question merely embezzled thousands of dollars so he could play games on his phone like Candy Crush, Mario Kart, and Pokemon Go, I breathed a sigh of relief.

One of the biggest problems many in the clergy face is that they are too much with the world or maybe the world is too much in them. Their eyes are not on the next world but on this one. In this case, this priest’s eyes were fully focused on the virtual world.

CBS: A Pennsylvania priest is facing criminal charges after police said he stole thousands of dollars of church funds and used them for App Store transactions Рlike virtual slot machines, Mario Kart, Candy Crush and Pokémon Go.

A criminal complaint and affidavit of probable cause allege Lawrence Kozak, a former pastor at St. Thomas More Parish in Pottstown, spent over $214,000 on his Apple ID and that just under $44,000 of that was charged to a credit card associated with the parish.

The affidavit written by a Pennsylvania State Police detective alleges there were over 2,000 transactions marked as “gaming” in a document running from September 2019 to June 2022.

The slot machine apps named in the complaint, like Cash Frenzy, Willy Wonka Vegas Casino Slots and Wizard of Oz Slot Machine Game, do not award real-world money for wins in the game. But they do allow you to spend real-world money to play.

In an interview with the investigating detective Kozak reportedly described spending money on his slot apps not as gambling, but rather as “powering up.”

Powering up, eh? There are better ways to do that. They include helping the poor, visiting the sick. Things like that.

Look, I have an addictive personality. That’s why I don’t drink. I don’t gamble. I stay away from video games. I find abstinence easier than moderation. So when I poke fun, just know I’m poking fun at the situation but not the priest. This poor guy just gave away his honor for Mario Kart. He disillusioned many who, I’m sure, looked up to him. He’s given cause for others to roll their eyes at the Church and priests in general.

This kind of thing hurts the Church. Pray for him. Pray for all of our priests. They need it. The world needs them.