Greek Bishop In Qns. Admitted Kid Sex in ’70

Author: John Lehmann and Dan Mangan
Date Published: 03/26/2002

The archbishop of an Orthodox church in Queens – who teaches Greek and religion to children – pleaded guilty in 1970 to sodomizing two 14-year-old boys, The Post has learned.

Pangratios Vrionis, head of the Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis in Woodside, was sentenced at the time to 23 months of probation for sodomy and corrupting morals of children, according to Pennsylvania officials.

Vrionis, then a 31-year-old priest of the Greek Orthodox Church of America, was accused of molesting the boys at his Harrisburg, Pa., home in 1968, court records show.

He later was defrocked by that church, but went on to found his own independent Orthodox church, whose Sts. Fanourios and Gerasimos Cathedral is on 48th Avenue.

Vrionis, now is in his 60s, could not be reached for comment. But a man at the cathedral who identified himself as Father Paul Ionescu called the cleric a victim of a ”frame-up” in the Harrisburg case and said he pleaded guilty only to prevent damage to his church.

Ionescu said Vrionis has been at the Queens church for three decades without being accused of wrongdoing.