Chicago Archdiocese Settles Sex-abuse Case

Chicago Breaking News

December 18, 2008

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has reached a $1.375 million settlement in the sexual abuse case of a priest who allegedly molested a teenage boy from the late 1980s to the early 1990s, church officials said today.

The priest, Rev. Czeslaw "Chester" Przybylo, is accused of repeatedly abusing a 13-year-old Polish immigrant from 1987 to 1992 while serving at Five Holy Martyrs Church in Chicago's Brighton Park neighborhood.

Przybylo currently works as pastor at Shrine of Christ the King in west suburban Winfield.

The shrine calls itself "Catholic," but it is an independent congregation and not part of the Roman Catholic Church.

At a news conference Thursday, the victim's attorneys and abuse activists called on church officials to identify Przybylo on the archdiocese Web site and place him on their list of "Priests with Substantiated Allegations of Sexual Misconduct with Minors."

Archdiocese director of communications Colleen Dolan said Przybylo is not listed on the Web site because he is not a priest of the Chicago archdiocese. He was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Tarno in Poland in 1976.

"He was never a priest of the Chicago archdiocese," Dolan said. "He worked here, but he was not one of our priests. This man is the responsibility of his diocese, similar to priests of religious orders."

According to the lawsuit filed in 2006, the plaintiff said Przybylo molested him in the parish rectory, the Chicago Health Club and the River City apartment complex. When the boy began to resist, he said Przybylo threatened to have him arrested and have his mother deported.

When he tried to tell now-deceased Bishop Alfred Abramowicz about the abuse, the bishop scolded him and told him to go to confession.

Przybylo responded by suing the victim, the victims' attorneys, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), and a research group called

Barbara Blaine, president of SNAP, urged Cardinal Francis George to enact a new policy that forbids accused priests from suing their accusers.

"We must set up a climate that encourages, not discourages, the reporting of child sex abuse allegations," Blaine said.


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