PA/TX- Philly priest acts creepy in Dallas
For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 29 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A notorious and frightening now-defrocked Philly predator priest has recently moved to – and apparently from – a Dallas apartment complex where he repeatedly expressed sexual interest in kids.
Philly Catholic officials recruited, educated, ordained, hired, supervised, trained and repeatedly protected Fr. James Brzyski for more than three decades, giving him access to vulnerable kids and unsuspecting parents time and time again.
Then, when the heat got too intense, they cut him loose. Now, this dangerous man moves around the country continuing to act in scary ways around kids.
So what's Archbishop Charles Chaput – and the hundreds of Philly area church employees - going to do?
They could split hairs, dodge responsibility and feign powerlessness.
Or they could show real courage, compassion and leadership.
That's the choice: do nothing or step up.
We hope they step up.
Specifically, we hope Philly bishops, priests, and lay employees:
– turn over every shred of information about Brzyski to police in each town where Brzyski has lived or worked (Philadelphia, Dallas, West Hollywood, and Virginia Beach),
--post all this information on the diocesan websites in those three states, and
– beg each bishops in each state where Brzyski has lived to use pulpit announcements, church bulletins and diocesan websites to seek out anyone who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes or misdeeds.
They should not wait for subpoenas. Church officials and members should be proactive and take the initiative now. (Bishops always claim they “cooperate” with police and prosecutors. In reality, that means they respond when subpoenaed. Rarely, if ever, do they take the initiative and promptly and voluntarily give ALL information they have about proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics to secular authorities.)
We strongly suspect that several current or former Philly Catholic church employees or members have a good idea where Brzyski may be now or may go next. (Remember: he spent decades in the Philly area.) At some point, he may have told a Philly parishioner “I wish I could see my relatives in Miami more often” or “I once vacationed in Boulder and my allergies didn't bother me at all up in the mountains” or “My best friend from childhood likes in Milwaukee.”
It may seem far-fetched, but police often say that the smallest detail or hunch sometimes cracks a case wide open.
So we beg everyone who is or has been a Philly Catholic church-goer or staffer – think hard, find courage, and call police with even the slightest clue you may have. (Or send it to groups like SNAP and BishopAccountability.org)
And insist that your archbishop – who is quick to vigorously speak out about other issues – speak out and reach out now, to alert parents and parishioners in Texas, Virginia and California, and any other place where this dangerous man has lived or visited over the past decade.
This is an increasingly common and troubling pattern – hundreds of suspended or defrocked child molesting clerics going or being sent to far away places where no one knows of their crimes. Just yesterday, we disclosed the death of a priest (Fr. Richard Mataconis) who molested in New York and was later sent to Rome where he worked for years.
Whether it's Fr. James Beine (St. Louis to Las Vegas), Fr. Harry Walsh (Detroit to St. Paul),
Brother Damien Chong (Los Angeles to Chicago to Boston), Brother Gerald Chumick (Newfoundland to Santa Barbara), Fr. Carmin Sita (Newark to Jefferson City), Fr. Thomas Teczar (Worcester to Dallas to Amarillo), Fr. Carroll Howlin (Joliet to Lexington) or Fr. Thomas Cronin (Kansas City to Reno), this is a growing public safety crisis.
The same is true of bishops who send or let child molesting clerics go abroad. It's happening more and more.
Bishops basically have their cake and eat it too: they enjoy the financial benefits a priest brings to their diocese, but when he's caught molesting kids bishops think only of themselves. Instead of working towards criminal prosecution or housing and supervising the predator priests, bishops do the bare minimum and sit passively back while the offenders resurface elsewhere living or working around kids.
Bishops are powerful, not powerless. They should use their power to protect kids – from predators who are working, retired, suspended or even defrocked.
Finally, we beg every person in Philly who was hurt by Bryzski to overcome their fears and shame. Now more than ever, it's crucial that you call police.
And we applaud Brzyski's neighbors who talked among themselves about his suspicious behavior, told him he was inappropriate, “googled” him, and spoke with a reporter about him. We hope they will contact law enforcement and share every bit of knowledge they may have about Brzyski, especially if any of them have any hints whatsoever about where Brzyski may be now. We also hope they'll talk with every child who was near Brzyski, and gently ask if he hurt any of them in any way. In cases like this, we are confident that if every adult acts responsibly and aggressively, predators like Brzyski can be prosecuted, convicted and kept away from kids.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.