|Akron Priest Removed from Duty on 1970s Allegation of Sex Abuse
By Colette M. Jenkins
September 9, 2011
An associate pastor who has been at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church in Akron for more than a year has been removed from ministry because of an allegation of child sex abuse.
The Rev. Matthew Ischay, 62, was placed on administrative leave Aug. 26 after the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland received notice of a civil lawsuit filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. Online court records show that a civil suit was filed against the diocese and Ischay on Aug. 12 by attorney Marc G. Doumbas on behalf of a John Doe.
Doumbas could not be reached for comment.
According to information released by the diocese, the complaint alleges that the incident of misconduct with a minor occurred in the late 1970s. Diocesan records show that Ischay was ordained in 1975. His first assignment, which ended in 1981, was as an associate at St. Richard parish in North Olmsted. From there, he served as an associate at St. Thomas the Apostle in Sheffield Lake, from 1981 to 1986.
Ischay served as an associate at St. Francis De Sales in Parma from 1986 to 1987, when he was assigned as pastor of Blessed Sacrament. When the West Cleveland parish closed in April 2010 as part of a diocesan reconfiguration plan, Ischay was assigned as parochial vicar at the Akron parish, which has a school with enrollment of nearly 200 students in pre-kindergarten to eighth grade.
St. Paul parishioners were notified of Ischay’s suspension during Masses over Labor Day weekend. The letter to parishioners from Bishop Richard G. Lennon is posted at http://saintpaultoday.blogspot.com.
While on leave, Ischay is prohibited from performing ministry, wearing clerical attire or residing on parish property.
Diocesan officials encourage anyone with information about abuse or seeking help to call the diocesan confidential response line at 216-334-2999.
Colette Jenkins can be reached at 330-996-3731 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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