Gozitan priest ousted by Canadian parish for ‘boundary violations’

Fr Joseph Grima was removed from his role as pastor in a Canadian parish by the Archdiocese of Toronto for behaviour inconsistent with vows of a Catholic priest

Fr Joseph Grima
Fr Joseph Grima

A Gozitan priest was removed from his role as pastor of a Canadian parish for behaviour inconsistent with the vows and expectations of a Catholic priest.

Father Joseph Grima was removed last month from the Blessed Frederic Ozanam Parish in Markham by the Archdiocese of Toronto for “boundary violations”.

The church’s media release made it clear the behaviour was not illegal and local news reports said the complaint did not involve a child.

Fr Grima was ordained priest in Gozo in 2000. In 2011, at the height of the divorce referendum, he had been a victim of identity theft when an imposter acting as a priest campaigned on social media in favour of divorce.

A spokesperson for the Canadian church was quoted saying that priests can be removed for a number of reasons, including alcohol, drugs, gambling addictions, anger or mental health issues.

Other issues include having a physical relationship with someone, considering all priests must take a vow of celibacy at the outset.

Yorkregion.com, a local newspaper, reported that Grima was now in a place of “prayer and support”.