reporting on the defamation lawsuit filed by Father Chester Przybylo, the former pastor of at a Polish Parish in a western Chicago neighborhood. This is from the article by Cynthia Dizikes:
"A pastor of a west suburban church who was accused of molesting a 13-year-old Polish immigrant two decades ago filed a lawsuit against his accusers in Cook County Circuit Court on Friday, alleging they intentionally ruined his reputation. [The priest . . .] was accused of molesting a 13-year-old Polish immigrant two decades ago filed a lawsuit against his accusers in Cook County Circuit Court on Friday, alleging they intentionally ruined his reputation. The lawsuit comes about a month after the sex-abuse case was dismissed. It accuses the immigrant, his lawyers, and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) of defamation, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims. The Rev. Chester Przybylo, 59, is asking for at least $500,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.
'It is a matter of clearing his name, setting the record straight,' said Przybylo's lawyer, Walter Maksym. In 2006, Przybylo was accused of molesting the teen while serving at Five Holy Martyrs parish in Chicago in the late 1980s. The Chicago Archdiocese was named as a defendant. Przybylo, who for the last decade has been pastor of the Shrine of Christ the King in Winfield, denied the allegations. The archdiocese settled with Przybylo's accuser for nearly $1.4 million. But Maksym successfully moved to have the case against Przybylo dismissed in December based on an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that clarified the time frame in which sexual-abuse survivors can file lawsuits.
Przybylo is claiming that he 'suffered and endured acute nervousness, bodily pain and ruination and impairment of his reputation for honesty and integrity' because of the accusations and media attention. Barbara Blaine, president of SNAP, called the accusations 'frivolous' and defended the attention that her group paid to the allegations of abuse. An attorney for the accuser stressed that Przybylo's case was thrown out based on a technicality and not on its merits."
Disclosure: I know and I have worked with Barbara Blaine. She is a courageous lawyer, a social activist and one of the real reasons priests and the Catholic Church are held to account for sex crimes against children not just in the United States, but all over the world.
Father Przybylo has just stupendously blundered, and the attorney who filed this lawsuit is going to rue the day he drank Father Przybylo's koolaid.
Your archdiocese does pay a victim a million dollars+ away for no reason, had Father Przybylo actually been exonerated he would not be working a "shrine." In my opinion, Father who skated on a "statute of limitation" defense is confusing a dismissal based on the elapse of time with being deemed exonerated. Idiot!
Here's what would not surprise me. The archdiocese of Chicago is in the long drawn out process of "laicizing" or defrocking, Father Przybylo--who won't go quietly; Przybylo is fighting the archdiocese's canon lawyers who are seeking to defrock him. The civil lawsuit is part of his clerical defense. Do not be at all surprised when Przybylo quietly dismisses the defamation lawsuit. You see, when Przybylo filed this lawsuit and made allegations about his mental health, he opened himself up to "discovery" and suddenly every document in the hands of the archdiocese, every document in Father Przybylo's custody is suddenly fairgame in the defense of his accuser and SNAP. Not only that, Father Przybylo is subject to being psychologically assessed by the expert of the each of the named defendants, depending on how many named defendants, Father can be required to attend and submit to multiple evaluations. Father Przybylo will have to undergo deposition and answer all sorts of questions, that he apparently, thus far avoided by virtue of the statute of limitations defense.
I'm not a fortune teller, but I predict that Father's little legal show will go away quickly and quietly. It was ill-advised.