Archdiocese of Chicago adds 10 names to its list of clergy with substantiated allegations

By Michelle Martin | Staff writer
Friday, November 30, 2018

Cardinal Cupich added the names of 10 current and former priests and deacons to its public list of clergy with substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse on Nov. 28.

Four were priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago, two were deacons of the Archdiocese of Chicago, two were extern priests from dioceses outside of the United States and two were religious order priests. All six of the archdiocesan priests or deacons have died; none of the men has been in public ministry since 2004.

William Kunkel, general counsel for the Archdiocese of Chicago, said the additions mean the list now includes every priest or deacon investigated by the archdiocesan Independent Review Board or similar archdiocesan processes and found to have credible allegations against them.

“The cardinal made the decision to expand the list to whoever had substantiated allegations against them that were investigated by the review board,” Kunkel said.

The list previously contained only priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago who were alive when the first allegation against them was received and whose allegations were substantiated by the review board or similar archdiocesan processes.

The four archdiocesan priests who were added – Edmund F. Burke, who died in 1989; Thomas Carroll Crosby, who died in 1987; Dominic Aloysius Diedrich, who died in 1977; and Thomas Francis Kelly, who died in 1990 – were all deceased when the archdiocese first received allegations against them.

The archdiocese reports allegations against deceased members of the clergy to civil authorities but does not generally do its own investigation since there is no question of ongoing risk to children or fitness for ministry.

Kunkel said it is not clear why the archdiocese investigated those four.

The two deacons added to the list are Patricio William Batuyong, who was removed from public ministry in 1993, was laicized in 1996 and died in 2009; and Louis Wojtowicz, who was removed from public ministry in 1999, was dismissed from Mundelein Seminary in 2000 and died in 2013. They are the only archdiocesan deacons to have substantiated sex abuse claims against them, Kunkel said.

Extern priests Sleeva Raju Policetti, who was ordained for the Archdiocese of Hyderabad, India, in 1987; removed from public ministry in 2002; and laicized in 2008; and Czelaw Przbylo, who was ordained for the Diocese of Tarnow, Poland, in 1976; incardinated in the Diocese of Rzeszow, Poland; and removed from public ministry in 1993, also were added to the list.

Two religious order priests were also included: Eusebio Pantoja, CMF, ordained as a Claretian in Mexico in 1969, voluntarily withdrawn from ministry in 1970, separated from the Claretians in 1973 and removed from public ministry by the Diocese of Celaya, Mexico, in 2004; and Carlos Peralta, SDB, ordained a Salesian of Don Bosco in 1990 and removed from public ministry in 1999.

As a matter of policy, the archdiocese reports allegations against extern priests – those from other dioceses, often other countries – and religious order priests to civil authorities, withdraws their faculties to minister in the archdiocese and refers them to their home dioceses or religious communities for further investigation.

The additions were made to the list following conversations between the archdiocese and the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who continues looking into how the six Catholic dioceses in Illinois have handled abuse allegations, although she did not require the names to be made public, Kunkel said.

In a Nov. 29 statement, Madigan said: “My investigation will continue in order to provide victims, parishioners and the public with a complete and accurate accounting of sexually abusive behavior with minors involving priests in Illinois.”



  • clergy sexual abuse

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