Akron: Cleveland Diocese Places Accused Priest on Leave

September 9, 2011

According to the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, the Reverend Mathew Ischay, 62, has been placed on administrative leave as the result of a court complaint alleging that misconduct with a minor occurred in the late 1970's.

Ischay is a Parochial Vicar at St. Paul Parish in Akron.

Previously, he served as pastor of Blessed Sacrament parish from October of 1987 until it closed in April of 2010.

On its website, the diocese says that, while on administrative leave, Father Ischay will not be permitted to engage in any form of priestly ministry, wear clerical attire, or reside on parish property.

In response, SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, stated, "This priest was located at St. Paul Parish in Akron, and several other parishes before that. We urge anyone who has knowledge or has been harmed by Ischay to please contact the police. Do not report your abuse to the diocese church leaders, as they are not the proper officials to be investigating crimes against children, no matter how long ago your abuse happened."

The allegation of molestation came to light recently, as the result of a civil suit filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas court.

"In accordance with Diocesan policy, once the matter became known, it was reported to the appropriate civil authorities and to the independent Diocesan Review Board," the diocesan website states.

"The Review Board recommended that it would be prudent to place Fr. Ischay on administrative leave while it monitors an investigation to discover whether the reported molestation has at least a semblance of truth or is credible."

"The Board emphasized that its recommendation is not based upon any determination for or against the veracity of the complaint; at this time no such determination has been made. The Diocese of Cleveland continues to be wholly committed to protecting children and helping to heal victims of abuse."

"We are deeply sorry for the pain suffered by survivors of abuse due to actions of some members of the clergy, as nothing is more important than protecting children," the diocesan website states.

"Any person with information, or just seeking help, can reach the Diocesan confidential response line by phone at 216-334-2999."


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