Disgraced ex-priest paying own legal bills

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Welland Tribune

17 November 2010

By JOHN VESSOYAN/Tribune Staff

ST. CATHARINES — The Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Catharines is not paying Donald Grecco’s legal bills, says Monsignor Wayne Kirkpatrick.

Reached by telephone on Wednesday, Kirkpatrick said it’s unlikely that Grecco, a former priest in the diocese, is still receiving a pension from the church. 

Grecco, who was born in St. Catharines and raised in Thorold, is awaiting sentencing for sexually molesting three teenaged altar boys in the 1970s and 1980s. He is scheduled to find out his fate on Dec. 14 at Hamilton’s John Sopinka Courthouse. But before that court appearance, the Crown will offer its submissions Nov. 26.

 Grecco, the St. Catharines diocese and former bishop James Wingle have been named in civil lawsuits filed by abuse victims James Hennessy and Michael Blum. Each victim is seeking $3 million in damages. The lawsuits have not yet been proven in court.

Asked who is paying for the diocese’s legal costs, Kirkpatrick said tthe organization has insurance to cover such expenses.

He would not comment further on the lawsuit or the Grecco case.

“We’ll wait and make a comment at another time. Right now, it’s before the courts,” Kirkpatrick told The Tribune.

Grecco was ordained in 1966 and worked as a pastor at St. Kevin’s church in Welland, St. George’s in Crystal Beach, St. Alexander in Fonthill, St. Vincent de Paul in Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Thomas More in Niagara Falls and Cayuga’s St. Stephen’s Catholic church

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