An Italian Priest has gambled away more than 620,000 dollars, about 223 million naira of his parish money.

According to media reports on Thursday, backed up by the local Catholic Church, the priest, 48-year-old Father Flavio Gobbo, negotiated a plea bargain for a suspended two-year jail term for embezzlement.

As part of the deal, he has promised to gradually return the money and signed up for therapy against gambling addiction, with the support of his church superiors.

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“In this long and strenuous journey, Father Flavio has mainly found support in prayers, but also in the will to return soon" to active ministry, the Diocese of Treviso said in a statement.

Father Gobbo left his post as parish priest in Spinea, near Venice, in October 2016.

At the time, the local church said he was suffering from exhaustion.

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