Sex Abuse Case Involving Former Chicago Archdiocese Priest Settles
for $1,375,000, Announced by Jeff Anderson & Associates
Virtualization: PR Newswire
December 18, 2008
collection referenced in this news release was posted by Jeff
Anderson & Associates. We have linked the document references below
to the individual documents. See also Document
6 and Document
Chicago -- A new $1,375,000 settlement has been made in a child sexual
abuse case involving a Catholic priest who worked in the Chicago archdiocese
and now works as a pastor at Shrine of Christ the King in Winfield (Du
In a lawsuit filed by attorney Jeff Anderson in 2006 plaintiff claimed
that from roughly 1987 through 1992, Fr. Chester (Czeslaw) Przybylo repeatedly
abused the then 13 year old Polish immigrant boy at Five Holy Martyrs
(4327 S Richmond Street, 773 254 3636) in the Chicago archdiocese. The
lawsuit filed by the victim in today's settlement alleges that Przybylo
molested him at the parish rectory, the Chicago Health Club, and the River
City Apartment complex. The victim, who filed his lawsuit anonymously,
is now in his 30s, married with children, and living in Illinois.
According to newly-released documents, now-deceased Chicago Bishop Alfred
Abramowicz confronted Przybylo regarding allegations that he sodomized
a different teenager. Abramowicz believed that the incident occurred because
Przybylo did not deny the allegations. (Document
Further, a former Chicago archdiocese priest who was assigned at Five
Holy Martyrs with Przybylo told Bishop Abramowicz that he saw the plaintiff
wearing only his underwear in Przybylo's room. (Document
Remarkably, however, when plaintiff reported Przybylo's abuse to Abramowicz
in 1991, Abramowicz accused him of lying and urged him to go to confession,
the victim reports.
In April, 1983, parents from Five Holy Martyrs parish wrote then Cardinal
Joseph Bernardin about witnessing Przybylo hitting seven kids who were
allegedly talking when they shouldn't have been. (Document
In July, 1984, Fr. Joseph Janicki, a high-ranking Milwaukee archdiocesan
staffer, wrote that he thought Przybylo "is paranoid" and "crazy,"
and has heard "innuendos about immortality and homosexuality"
and that "Przybylo tried to proposition a priest." (Document
In an April 1990 memo, now-retired Chicago Bishop Raymond Goedert stated
that a Chicago priest reported that gossip about Przybylo "seems
to be more of a sexual nature. Ed has been hearing things such as Chester
taking young boys up to his room and in the parish office." (Document
3) Another memo drafted by Goedert in May 1990 indicates that the
same Chicago priest reports having "heard different priests who were
either stationed with Chester or know about him refer to him as "Chester
the molester." (Document
4) Likewise, another Chicago archdiocese document states that "Fr.
Przybylo was known as "Chester the Molester" by the police officers
in the neighborhood" around Five Holy Martyrs. This same document
indicates that "there was an occasion when [an Archdiocese priest]
walked by Fr. Przybylo's room and saw a boy in only his underwear sitting
on the cleric's floor ... " (Document
In 2004, a top Joliet church official wrote then Bishop Joseph Imesch
that Przybylo's 'handpicked board' took over the Shrine and its assets
of "over $1 million." (Document
9.) According to a lawsuit filed in Du Page County, a year later,
Imesch and other top staffers were notified that "it appears"
Przybylo inappropriately used $35,000 "which was to be used for Masses"
for his "lawyers' fees."
The sex abuse lawsuit against Przybylo was announced at two separate news
conferences held in 2006 by SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused
by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org, 312 455 1499).
In response, Przybylo sued the victim, the victim's attorneys, SNAP, and
a national research group called BishopAccountability.org, claiming slander.
Those lawsuits are still pending, as is the victim's lawsuit against Przybylo
for sex abuse (the $1,375,000 settlement is only on behalf of the Chicago
Przybylo is now a pastor at Shrine of Christ the King church in Winfield,
an independent entity. Przybylo worked in the Chicago Archdiocese (312
751 8200) for 15 years before attempting to move to the Joliet Diocese
(815 722 6606) in 1993.
Przybylo, a Chicago native, was ordained in 1976. He was educated at a
seminary in Poland.
According to BishopAccountability.org,
Przybylo lived at Holy Innocents parish in Chicago from 1991-93 and has
been affiliated with the Our Lady of the Rosary Shrine in Whiting, Indiana.
He worked at churches in New York (St. Stanislaus in Utica in the Syracuse
Diocese from 1976-77) and Pennsylvania (St. Mary's in Reading in the Allentown
Diocese from 1977-80). In 1981, he was reportedly in the Milwaukee Archdiocese.
He worked at St. Michael's parish in Dane Wisconsin (in the Madison diocese)
where he reportedly lived with Fr. Albert J. Kunz whose 1998 murder remains
The Shrine of Christ the King church is at 27W631 Beecher Avenue in Winfield
630 690 3520).