Accused Priest Speaks out on Radio

By John Rawlins
February 19, 2011

[with video]

PHILADELPHIA - February 18, 2011 (WPVI) -- A priest in the Philadelphia Archdiocese speaks out after being suspended pending further investigation in the sex abuse scandal in the Philadelphia Catholic church.

Father Joseph DiGregorio went on the offensive on Friday, saying he is angry and intends to fight.

"Angry, very Angry, and I intend to fight these accusations with every legal means at my disposal," claims Father DiGregorio.

DiGregorio is one of three Priests suspended pending further reviews during the week by the Archdiocese.

Father Joseph DiGregoria was in the radio studio Friday with radio host Dom Girodano at WPHT 1210.

The priest accused of fondling a teenage girl identified as Donna more than 40 years ago at what was then Our Lady of Loreto Parish in South West Philadelphia.

Donna reportedly told investigators that in 1967 or 68 when she was 16, she was abused by Father DiGregorio and another priest there.

That other priest left the clergy. Much later he reportedly admitted Donna's accusations against him were true.

According to a grand jury report that came out last week, that ex-priest named Santry believed DiGregorio had molested Donna as well.

"Every statement she made concerning me is an absolute lie; completely and totally a lie. I never once touched her, I never once groped her," said Father DiGregorio.

The Grand Jury report released by District Attorney Seth Williams last week was critical of how the Church handled DiGregorio.

He was allowed to remain a priest, though the report says he flunked a lie detector test five years ago and a review board found Donna's allegations "credible".

Digregorio was asked what he would say if he spoke to Donna.

"I am terribly sorry for what Father Bill Santry had done to her. I would ask her to really pray, and really look back, and see if she could honestly say I did something, which I never did," said Father DiGregorio.

After the radio show the Priest exited quickly without answering any further questions.


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