Rochester Priest Faces Larceny Charge

By Gary McLendon
Democrat and Chronicle
July 21, 2011

A priest has admitted to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester that he stole about $10,000 from the church he led, according to court documents.

The Rev. Vincent P. Panepinto, 69, of Flower City Park admitted during a diocese-ordered investigation that he took funds belonging to Our Lady of the Americas, diocese Chancellor Daniel J. Condon said in a signed deposition filed in City Court.

Panepinto has been charged with third-degree grand larceny in connection with a misappropriation of church funds between Jan. 1, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2010, according to a felony complaint filed in City Court this week by the Rochester Police Department.

Panepinto was the leader of Our Lady of the Americas, 864 E. Main St., from about 2007 to July 2010.

The church is part of a parish named St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, which also includes St. Michael Church on North Clinton Avenue and the Church of the Annunciation on Norton Street.

An electronically recorded statement from Panepinto also exists, police said.

Panepinto said during the diocese investigation that he was being blackmailed.

No details concerning the nature of the alleged blackmail, or any determination by investigators concerning whether Panepinto was actually blackmailed, are mentioned.

Panepinto most recently was a sacramental minister at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini parish in Rochester. He was placed on administrative leave in March after an allegation of sexual abuse against a minor dating to the 1960s was deemed credible by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.

The move meant Panepinto could no longer exercise public ministry, and his priestly faculties were withdrawn, according to the diocese.


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