Granby priest denies stealing $100K from church

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

Staff Writer

Published: 06-21-2023 7:51 PM

BELCHERTOWN — Appearing in a suit and tie rather than his former priestly attire, Tomasz Gorny, 43, pled not guilty in Eastern Hampshire District Court last Friday to charges of larceny over $1,200 after allegedly stealing more than $100,000 from his church.

According to the Northwestern District Attorney’s office, Gorny, a former parish priest with the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Granby, is alleged to have used church funds to fuel his own lifestyle, purchasing things like new clothes, wine and video games. He allegedly charged these expenses to credit cards that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield ultimately had to pay.

Hundreds of items reportedly purchased by Gorny were recovered from a storage unit in Easthampton in April, after the diocese informed Granby police it had been internally investigating Gorny for theft of funds dating back to 2019. The diocese notified police when officials found the theft exceeded $100,000.

Police said their investigation found that Gorny also had taken property that belonged to the diocese, including power tools, food and cellphones.

Originally from Poland, Gorny moved to America to join a seminary in Michigan and was ordained as a priest in 2010 by the Springfield Diocese, originally assigned as an assistant priest to Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Greenfield. He also served as chaplain for the Greenfield Fire Department, blessing the groundbreaking of the city’s new fire station last year.

In an article published at the time of Gorny’s ordination, he was described by other church officials as “warm, kind and gentle,” as well as possessing “compassion and empathy.” It was hoped that Gorny, who was 30 at the time, would be able to bring in a younger audience to the parish.

As conditions of his release, Judge Bruce Melikian ordered Gorny to surrender all his passports and to not travel outside the country as he awaits trial. He also is forbidden from coming within 50 feet of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, and to not have contact with any witnesses in the case.

Gorny is due back in court on Aug. 3. He is being defended by Springfield lawyer John Dalsey.

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