Lori Moving to Oust Priest in Sex Case

By Daniel Tepfer
Connecticut Post
October 20, 2002

Bridgeport - Bishop William E. Lori has begun the process of formally defrocking a priest accused of abusing more than a dozen children.

Bridgeport Diocese Spokesman Joseph McAleer said the bishop has taken the first steps to laicizing Rev. Raymond Pcolka.

McAleer also identified a priest accused of abuse, whose identity had previously been kept secret.

He confirmed the priest is the Rev. Stanley Bonaszek who is currently out of the diocese. [Note from This priest's full and correct name is Stanley F. Banaszek, M.M.]

Bonaszek was recently accused of sexually assaulting a former altar boy at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Bridgeport in 1985.

McAleer said Bonaszek is a member of the Maryknoll order of priests who left the diocese in 1987. He said the order had been informed by the diocese of the allegation against Bonaszek and the order has informed him that Bonaszek has no authorization to function as a priest.

"Bishop Lori in the spirit of the Dallas charter has opened the process and is investigating further," McAleer said of Pcolka.

As a result of the June conference in Dallas, U.S. Bishops sought the power to laicize priests. However, the recent ruling by the Vatican rejecting the Dallas charter has left that up in the air.

Sharon See, who last year received a settlement from the diocese as a result of her claim that she was sexually abused by Pcolka as a child, said she is skeptical of Lori's action in the case.

"Ultimately I would like to see Pcolka in jail because he is a serial pedophile but laicization is a first step," she said.

Like other priests who have been accused of molesting children Pcolka, 58, has been suspended. He cannot minister as a priest but is still technically one and is supported by the diocese.

He lives in a Southbury condominium with his mother.

Under laicization, he would be removed from the priesthood completely.

So far of the nearly dozen priests in the diocese accused of molesting children only one has been laicized, Joseph DeShan.

DeShan in 1988 began a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl while he was assigned to St. Augustine's Cathedral. The girl became pregnant in 1989 and DeShan was subsequently laicized.

While three accused abuser priests have since died, many of the others remain in the community.

Sixteen people claimed they were sexually assaulted by Pcolka in the rectories of Bridgeport and Stratford churches and at a cabin in New Hampshire where Pcolka would take children in the 1970s and early 1980s. Many said he would tie them to a bed in the cabin and beat them with a strap before sexually assaulting them.

In 1993 Pcolka left without permission a psychiatric treatment center where he had been sent by the diocese.

In a 1995 deposition, Pcolka refused to answer more than 100 questions, each time invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

According to court records, the only question he answered was to admit that he believes homosexual relationships violate the canon law of celibacy.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.