Problem Priests: Victimized Again

St. Louis Post-Dispatch [Missouri]
March 29, 2004

CHUTZPAH, the old joke goes, is the Yiddish term for the brazen nerve of someone who kills his parents and then asks for mercy because he's an orphan.

Bryan M. Kuchar has chutzpah.

From his cell at the county jail in Clayton, Kuchar, a Catholic priest who is serving three years for the statutory sodomy of an 8th grade boy in 1995, has written his old parishioners asking for character references - plus any dirt they might have on his accuser. The second request would seem to eliminate any chance of the first.

Kuchar, whose privileges as a priest have been suspended, is trying to prevent the church from "laicizing" him, the term used for the permanent removal from the priesthood. Although Kuchar is still listed as a staff member on the Website of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, the archdiocese has asked the Vatican to remove him from the priesthood. It's about time.

Here's a man who not only confessed to police detectives (he later recanted), but according to testimony at two different trials, admitted his guilt to a fellow priest and a nun. Now, in his letter to parishioners at Assumption Church in South County, he is asking for fond recollections of his priestly career.

Also, Kuchar asks anyone "aware of my accuser and his personal and family history" to contact the lawyer handling his appeal.

Monsignor Richard Stika, archdiocesan vicar general and chancellor, said Kuchar has due process rights, but that Archbishop Raymond L. Burke has made it clear he will never resume active priestly duties in St. Louis.

How many times does Kuchar's victim, who is now 23, need to be victimized by this man?