GOA settles Dallas lawsuit alleging sex abuse by longtime priest

(Dallas Morning News) A lawsuit alleging child sex abuse by Nicholas Katinas, former pastor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in North Dallas, is headed for an out-of-court settlement.

“An agreement in principle has been reached,” said Tahira Khan Merritt, lawyer for five plaintiffs, including former altar boys, who claimed they were abused by Mr. Katinas in the early years of his long tenure at Holy Trinity. “It’s subject to court approval.”

Ms. Merritt said she and lawyers for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America agreed to keep confidential the amount of the settlement. The settlement must be approved by State District Judge Karen Johnson.

Mr. Katinas was pastor of Holy Trinity, a key institution of the Dallas Greek community, for 28 years. Soon after his retirement in 2006, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America officials suspended him from working as a priest, even on a fill-in basis.

Later, a GOAA official came to Holy Trinity and acknowledged serious misconduct by Mr. Katinas.

He has since been defrocked and is reportedly living in Greece.

“The victims feel like they’ve done as much as they can to bring public exposure to Katinas’ abuses,” Ms. Merritt said. “Without the lawsuit being filed and public exposure to these issues, in my opinion, Katinas would not have been defrocked.”

Mr. Katinas and the GOAA still face a more recently filed lawsuit filed in Chicago, alleging abuse by him while he worked for a church in the suburbs there.