Monday, July 23, 2007


The Rev. Mark Sorvillo loved taking his parish's money and spending it on himself. Trips to Rome, Venice, Paris. And $900 meals at New York restaurants.

In 1999, Sorvillo found someone else to lavish his parishioners' collection-plate donations on -- a male stripper.

Sorvillo -- who pleaded guilty Friday to stealing nearly $200,000 from St. Margaret Mary parish on the North Side -- gave cars, plane tickets and thousands of dollars in cash to James Sosnicki, a married Louisville man who stripped frequently at gay clubs in Chicago, law enforcement sources said.

Reached in Louisville, Sosnicki told the Chicago Sun-Times he paid Sorvillo back -- and said their relationship was never sexual.

"He was like a big uncle to me," Sosnicki, 30, said Thursday. "If it wasn't for him, I'd probably be living in a cardboard box right now."

Sorvillo's lawyer, Brian Collins, declined to comment.

Sorvillo resigned from St. Margaret Mary in February 2006 after parishioners caught him stealing from the collection bags.

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Hat tip to NOR.

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