Former Elk County priest alleges abuse before grand jury

The Courier Express

March 21, 2018

By Katie Weidenboerner

A former local priest has spoken out, saying he testified about an alleged incident of abuse before a grand jury investigating the Catholic Diocese of Erie.

According to an article from the Erie-Times News, that priest is James Faluszczak, 48, now of Buffalo, N.Y. He was a priest from 1996-2014. He served locally during that time in the Elk County Catholic school system, as the pastor of St. Boniface Parish in Kersey, and as a campus minister at Clarion University before resigning from the priesthood.

The Erie-Times News reported that Faluszczak said, “It hurt me very deeply to resign and cease functioning as a priest…I loved my work. I loved the people and communities I served.”

Faluszczak is believed to be one of many witnesses who have testified before the grand jury, whose proceedings are secret and which was convened at the request of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office around September 2016, according to media reports.

In those media reports, Faluszczak said the attorney general’s office contacted him after he called, in the spring of 2016, a hotline that the office set up in March 2016 for victims of clergy sex abuse. The Erie-Times News reported that on Monday he said that he testified before the grand jury in October 2016, that when he was 16 to 19 years old, he was “molested by my priest in Erie.”

Faluszczak has not publicly named the Erie priest.

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