Pedophile Priest Hid from His Past in Oak Lawn Apartment
By Jason Heid
January 29, 2014
James Brzyski a priest who was defrocked due to his
sexual abuse of 17 boys in Philadelphia in the 1970s and 1980s.
Until last month he was living in an apartment complex in Oak
At first his neighbors accepted his backstory of being
a friendly retired Xerox employee when he moved there in October
2012, but they became suspicious after they saw him playing with
young boys in the pool. He also bragged to them about going
online to find males who looked underage, and that he liked “fat
When they looked into his history, they discovered the
horrifying truth, and they’re upset that he could move into
their community without their being notified of his past or his
having to register as a sex offender. When they
confronted Brzyski, he didn’t demonstrate remorse, commenting
only that he had himself been abused by priests when he was
younger, so that he thought it was OK.
David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors
Network of those Abused by Priests, said Brzyski is among a
diaspora of unregistered sex offenders unleashed by the Roman
Catholic Church since 2002. Few safeguards prevent the former
priests from abusing again.
“The reason these guys are walking free is because
church officials shielded them. Were it not for the actions of
the church hierarchy, many of these guys would be in jail,”
Clohessy said. “I think that increases the moral and civic duty
of bishops to say more than, ‘Well, he’s not in the diocese
Philadelphia Archdiocese spokesman Kenneth Gavin said
the Archdiocese maintains current addresses for sex-offender
priests who receive a pension and tries to keep track of those
who, like Brzyski, are not receiving a pension.
“Like any other organization, we do not release that
type of personal information publicly,” Gavin said.
Brzyski’s new home address is unknown.