Denver-area Catholic priest investigated for allegations of fraud

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — An outspoken local priest is being investigated for allegations of misconduct.

Frequent Fox News viewers may recognize Fr. Andre Mahanna. The Lakewood priest has been outspoken about Christian genocide in the Middle East, so much so his message caught the attention of President Donald Trump.

Mahanna has spoken with the president on multiple occasions, even delivering the opening prayer at Trump’s 2016 campaign rally in Denver.

However, Mahanna has been temporarily silenced.

The diocese has removed Mahanna as a parish priest at St. Rafka’s in Lakewood, telling FOX31 they’re “investigating Mahanna for allegations of inappropriate conduct.”

However, the diocese won’t provide specifics, only saying the allegations are not criminal in nature and don’t involve children.

Kirk Hamm is an attorney representing Mahanna in his fight against the Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon. He says the allegations involve fraud.

“All I’ve gotten is a complaint it may be fraud. There’s no specific allegation,” Hamm said.

Meghann Silverthorn is the executive director of Mahanna’s nonprofit, St. Rafka’s Mission of Hope and Mercy, which distributes care packages to Christians in Lebanon. She says the allegations may have to do with the nonprofit, but says the diocese hasn’t been forthcoming.

“It might have to do with the mission. It might have to do with the church,” she said.

Silverthorn believes Mahanna is a victim likely targeted because he has the ear of the president, and is supporting a foreign policy agenda that some in the Maronite Catholic Church are not comfortable with.

“There’s a lot of dots that can be connected. It sounds crazy. I know it does, but we’re hard pressed to come up with a different explanation,” Silverthorn said.

Silverthorn and Hamm have no proof to back up their claims. Mahanna is appealing his suspension to the Vatican in Rome.

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