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A priest who disappeared at the same time as a lot of his church's cash says he was owed the money and is in hiding from militia groups and neo-Nazis, a newspaper reported Saturday.

The Times Union of Albany reported that it had received a voice mail message and fax from a man identifying himself as the Rev. Brendan J. O'Keefe insisting he is innocent.

Parishioners of St. Michael's Chapel who fired Father O'Keefe, 55, say he may have written himself as much as $30,000 in checks and taken other church property.

Questions also have been raised about whether he really is a Catholic priest.

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