Abuse victims say Gary Catholic officials are not being transparent

Abuse victims say Gary Catholic officials are not being transparent

Seven names should be added to their “credibly accused” list, group says

SNAP ‘outed’ four in January but has since found three more

One, from Chicago, was deemed a ‘sexually violent predator

Another one was nicknamed by police “Chester the molester

Victims, witnesses & whistle blowers are urged to call law enforcement


Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, two clergy sex abuse victims will disclose names and information about seven publicly accused child molesting clerics who spent time in the Gary area but who have attracted virtually no public attention in the area.

They will also

--prod Gary’s Catholic bishop to add more names to his “credibly accused” clergy list,

--urge victims to “step forward, get help, protect kids and expose perpetrators,” and

--beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Indiana to contact the attorney general, who is conducting  a statewide investigation into clergy abuse.


Thursday, March 14 at 2:30 p.m.


On the sidewalk outside the Holy Angels Cathedral, 640 Tyler St. in Gary (219 882 6079)


One-two abuse victims including an Illinois man who is the Chicago volunteer leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)


1--Gary Bishop Donald Hying has posted names of 10 "credibly accused" abusers on his website. 


In January, SNAP discovered and disclosed the names and details of four publicly accused clerics who were ‘outed’ elsewhere but also spent time in northwestern Indiana. SNAP raised concerns because none of them appeared on the diocese's ‘credibly accused’ list.


Now, SNAP has learned of THREE MORE publicly accused clerics who were ‘outed’ elsewhere but who spent time in northwestern Indiana as well. They also do not appear on the diocese's ‘credibly accused’ list.

The ‘new’ three are:

--Fr. Walter George DeRoeck, who was a Chicago priest ordained in 1971. He resigned in 2001 and in 2006 was listed on the Chicago list of archdiocesan clergy with "substantiated" allegations of abusing children. He “often” took boys to a Michigan City cottage he owned with other priests, according to church records. (see AOC 012852)


http://www.bishop-accountability.org/docs/chicago/2014_11_06_Archdiocese_of_Chicago_Single_Documents_and_Parts/Parts/DeRoeck_Rev_Walter_George_Part_2_of_2.pdfAOC 012852

Page 363



-- Fr. Stephen J. Muth, who was ordained in Toronto in 1982. He also worked in Ohio, Missouri, Texas, Kansas and three cities in California (San Francisco, Sacramento and Santa Clara). A Byzantine Catholic priest, Fr .Muth later worked in several U.S. Roman Catholic dioceses as well as U.S. Byzantine Rite eparchies. He was accused in 2006 of having sexually abused a 12 year-old boy in Wichita, KS in 1992. From 2010-2011, Fr. Muth was at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Whiting Indiana but since then, his whereabouts are unknown



--Fr. Chester (Czelaw) Pryzbylo, who was educated in Poland but worked most of his career in Chicago. He worked in the Joliet, Allentown, Syracuse, Madison and Milwaukee dioceses. Most recently he was at Our Lady of the Rosary Shrine in Whiting IN. In a lawsuit filed in 2006 a man charged that from 1987-1992, the priest repeatedly abused the then 13 year old Polish immigrant boy in Chicago. According to church documents, Fr. Przybylo also allegedly sodomized a different teenager. In 1984, a high-ranking Milwaukee archdiocesan staffer wrote that he thought Fr. Przybylo "is paranoid," "crazy," and that the cleric "tried to proposition a priest." Another Chicago archdiocese document states that "Fr. Przybylo was known as ‘Chester the Molester’ by the police officers in the neighborhood." In 2007, after an abuse case against him settled for $1,375,000. Fr. Przybylo sued the victim, the victim's attorneys, SNAP, and a national research group called BishopAccountability.org, claiming defamation. 




All seven of these priests, SNAP says, “for the safety of kids and the healing of victims,” should be included on the Gary list of  ‘credibly accused" clerics, and church officials should publicly explain these omissions.

SNAP’s ‘old’ list of Gary area perpetrator ‘under the radar’ (disclosed in January) includes Fr. Thomas M. Gannon, Fr. Eugene Patrick Burns, Fr. Daniel McCormack (who was found to be a sexually violent predator), and Fr. Richard J. McCormick.


2--Gary’s list of "credibly accused" priests also omits the photos and whereabouts of those priests. Those details should be provided, SNAP says, because they will help survivors identify their abuse as well as protect kids.

Where these priests are now is important because nearby parents and prospective employers should be warned about their presence. That is the single best step the diocese could take to prevent more horrific crimes against more innocent kids.

How they looked in the past is important because that information helps victims identify them. It usually takes decades for survivors to come forward. They might only recall that everyone called him "Father Mac," not knowing whether he was Fr. Mack Smith or Fr. McGillicuty or Fr. MacArthur. Even parents who are long-time parishioners may have trouble remembering a priest who worked in their church just a few months.

Every time an abuser remains hidden, kids remain at risk, SNAP maintains. “Disclosing the truth is the best way to safeguard the vulnerable, heal the wounded and help the church move forward,” the group says.

Finally, SNAP is begging anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or cover ups in Indiana to contact local law enforcement. SNAP is also urging all citizens to report clergy sex crimes to the Indiana’s attorney general office via its new online complaint form.



David Clohessy 314 645 5915 AND 314 566 9790, [email protected], Zach Hiner 517 974 9009, [email protected] 

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant