Priest Who Worked on S.E. Side Faces Lawsuit

By Cathleen Falsani
Chicago Sun-Times
October 9, 2003

A 48-year-old Illinois man who says he was abused when he was 14 by a Roman Catholic priest is suing the priest, the Rev. Eusebio Pantoja, and his Claretian Missionaries religious order in Cook County civil court for $400,000.

The man, who filed the lawsuit under the name "Juan Doe," says he was molested by Pantoja at the priest's home and in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Chicago's Southeast Side.

Pantoja served the church, now known as the National Shrine of St. Jude, in 1970. According to the lawsuit, Pantoja also served parishes in Perth Amboy, N.J., Texas and Mexico.

He was removed from ministry in March after the Illinois man lodged a complaint against the priest with the Archdiocese of Chicago, according to correspondence between Pantoja's bishop in Mexico and Jeffrey Anderson, an attorney for the alleged abuse victim.

Representatives from the Claretian Missionaries, headquartered in Oak Park, could not be reached late Wednesday.


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