Archdiocese of Atlanta Settles Molestation Suit Family Says 2 Sons Were Assaulted

By Gayle White
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
June 23, 1992

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta has settled out of court with a former Stone Mountain family who filed a lawsuit charging that their sons had been sexually assaulted by a priest, according to documents filed Monday in Fulton County Superior Court.

The details of the agreement between the archdiocese and [names redacted], including the amount paid to the family, are being kept confidential. Mr. and Mrs. [name redacted] had asked for $ 3 million from the archdiocese and the Rev. Stanley Idziak, who they say molested their sons. The [name redacted] family's attorney could not be reached Monday. "The settlement brings this matter to an end," said the Rev. Peter Dora, spokesman for the archdiocese. "The archdiocese has dealt with it in a forthright manner from the moment it came to our attention."

Since 1988, the church nationally has sought to be vigilant about dealing with such cases of sexual molestation by speedily removing the priest, cooperating with civil investigators and helping victims and their families. Atlanta's former archbishop, Eugene A. Marino, established such a policy locally in 1988.

Last weekend, at the meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in South Bend, Ind., Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk, president of the national conference, said the bishops are "redoubling our commitment to prompt action, as well as healing and reconciliation."

The [name redacted] suit, filed in Fulton County Superior Court last year, alleged that the Rev. Idziak, 57, abused the two [name redacted] boys between 1985 and 1988. Settlement papers name only one son, however.

According to the Rev. Dora, the [name redacted] family met the Rev. Idziak when he was parochial vicar at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Stone Mountain and continued a friendship with him after he was named pastor of St. Michael's parish in Gainesville in August 1985.

He has been in a treatment center in New Mexico since April 1988, according to archdiocesan officials.

DeKalb County District Attorney Robert E. Wilson said at the time the suit was filed that prosecutors were aware of the allegations against the Rev. Idziak but that the [name redacted] family had requested that the priest not be criminally indicted.

The Rev. Idziak was the second Corpus Christi priest to be accused of molesting children in the parish. Anton Mowat, a British priest who had lived in the parish, fled the country and eluded authorities for 21 months after being accused of fondling four altar boys.

Mowat pleaded guilty in DeKalb County Superior Court on May 24, 1990, and was sentenced to six years in prison to be followed by nine years on probation.


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