Priest Accused of Molestation Turns in Collar

By Gayle White
Atlanta Journal and Constitution
April 17, 1993

The Rev. Stanley Idziak, a Roman Catholic priest accused of molesting several Atlanta-area boys, has turned in his collar.

A petition for "laicization" submitted by Mr. Idziak was approved by Pope John Paul II, effective last month, according to an announcement by Monsignor Edward J. Dillon, administrator of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

The papal ruling means "he no longer represents the Catholic Church as a priest," said the Rev. Peter Dora, archdiocese spokesman. "It also means the archdiocese has no jurisdiction over him."

Mr. Idziak has been at a treatment center for troubled priests since 1988 when a Stone Mountain couple filed a lawsuit charging him with abusing their two sons. The Archdiocese settled the lawsuit out of court last year for an undisclosed amount.

Reached at the treatment center in Albuquerque this week, Mr. Idziak refused to comment.

Before his death, Archbishop James P. Lyke had urged the Rev. Idziak to petition to be returned to the lay state, according to the Rev. Dora. The archbishop made it clear that the archdiocese would "never, ever recommend Father Idziak for ministry here or anywhere else in the world," the Rev. Dora said.

Mr. Idziak is now "free to do whatever he wants," the Rev. Dora said. "The church has no control over him at this point, other than moral suasion."

Janet Larango, whose two sons came forward after the settlement to say they had also been molested as children by Mr. Idziak, said she is pleased he is no longer a priest.

"We would still like to see him in jail, but I've tried every avenue and there's nothing we can do," she said. The statute of limitations for prosecution of child molestation in Georgia had run out by the time her sons came forward.

"This is the way I feel - he can't hide behind the collar any more," she said. "If he does something like this, somebody might beat the hell out of him or do like that lady did and shoot him in the head," she said, referring to a California mother who gunned down the man charged with molesting her son.

"I worry about what he's going to do on the outside," Mrs. Larango said, "but he was doing it when he was a priest and being protected. Maybe on the outside, somebody might give him what he deserves."


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