HIV-Positive Priest Arrested for Soliciting Sex and MasturbatingS

The Rev. James McGonegal of the St. Ignatius of Antioch Church on the west side of Cleveland had a not-so-good Friday. First he told an off-duty Cleveland Metroparks ranger that he was just out “cruising” in his Jeep. Then the priest offered the ranger $50 to get him off before he began to masturbate in the crowded parking lot. And finally, after he was arrested, McGonegal admitted he was HIV-positive. The whole incident is another crushing defeat for vows of celibacy.

The police report makes the whole incident even sadder, as it inventories the priest’s cruising stash of poppers and cock rings:

While conducting a tow inventory of McGonegal’s vehicle three sexual devices, commonly referred to as “cock rings,” were located. One of these rings was wrapped around the lid to a bottle labeled “Pig Sweat.” The bottle logo was of a pig/man figure wearing buttocks-free chaps. Below the name of the bottle was writing stating the product was nail polish remover. The labeling also indicated that the product contained isobutyl nitrate, a harmful intoxicant.

An innocent police officer at the scene had to ask McGonegal to explain the “Pig Sweat.” The priest told the officer he would buy the Sweat from a sex shop and smelling the product would give him "a buzz.”

McGonegal, who has been a priest since 1971 and the pastor at St. Ignatius since the 1980s, faces charges of soliciting after positive HIV test, public indecency, and abusing harmful intoxicants. He was released Saturday morning on a personal bond.

At the 11 a.m. mass Sunday morning at his Cleveland parish, McGonegal was absent and no mention was made of his arrest other than a prayer: “Today we pray for this parish, and our pastor.”

[Image via Cleveland Plain Dealer]