March 16th, 2010
01:11 PM ET

Video: Accused priest still preaches

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

Why would the Archdiocese of Chicago pay a former alter boy 1.4 million dollars to settle a molestation lawsuit, even though the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services said that credible evidence of abuse had not been found? To answer this question Gary Tuchman and I went to Winfield, Illinois earlier this winter.

The wind was sharp and biting with snow covering the ground when we pulled up to The Shrine of Christ the King church. We braved the weather to meet Father Chester Przybylo, who agreed to an interview about the allegations he was vigorously fighting.  Allegations by former altar boys, Peter Galica and Paul Gil, both of whom say they were sexually abused by Father Przybylo 2 decades ago at a catholic church in Chicago, where Father Przybylo was serving at the time.

We wanted to ask Father Przybylo about our interviews with Peter Galica and Paul Gil.  We also wanted to ask him about documents handed to us by Galica’s attorney.  These documents, held in church archives until recently, uncovered suspicions some priests and parents had about physical and sexual abuse inside the church.

When we entered The Shrine of Christ the King, we were greeted by many supporters of Father Przybylo.  They all said they love their priest and have no concerns about the allegations against him.  This church is independent and not recognized by the Catholic Church so it can’t prevent the priest from conducting mass here, which he does regularly.  The Archdiocese of Chicago says Przybylo, originally from Poland, is no longer affiliated with them and hasn’t been for many years.

He insists he never touched his accusers and he is extremely upset at the archdiocese for paying out so much money.  What does the Archdiocese have to say about the reason it paid out such a large sum? Watch our story and interview with Father Przybylo.

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Nichol

    Is it so hard to believe that an accused priest may not actually be guilty?

    March 16, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
  2. paul mitchell

    what is funny and sad is that nowhere in he bible does it say a priest or any type of clergy cannot marry and have sex. this is something the catholic church has made up.

    March 16, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
  3. Mari

    I do not care if he is no longer a Catholic priest. He is a monster and has no business preaching.

    When will the Vatican do the right thing and clean house?

    When will we, Catholics, rise up and refuse to tithe until the Vatican cleans up its parishes of pedophiles?

    March 16, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
  4. Roberta

    Please do some follow up reporting on this situation. The preist needs to be removed.

    March 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  5. Tim Gibson

    This story just makes me throw up in my mouth a little. Why has the membership of the priesthood been left untouched by laws that put others behind bars even while the church hides the facts.

    March 16, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  6. Caden

    Anderson, thanks for airing this story. Does no one in the hierachy of the Catholic Church have any authority or influence over this man? Please continue your focus on this story. Sometimes the media is the only thing, and the best thing to get some action going on in these type of situations.

    Great job AC. Keep up the awesome work!.

    Could we hear more about Haiti and Chile sometimes on your show, please?

    March 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  7. Sergio

    He is no longer a Roman Catholic priest. He is independent.

    March 16, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  8. C. Ann Kelly Amherst NY

    From my perspective, this priest holds on to a title of power as of to reign over his parishaners, delusional in thought that he can do no wrong and takes pride in flaunting that letter that only comfirms no proof can be concluded of his actions.
    I feel bad that the parishaners of the church are blinded by his title, not being able to see his misconstrude sense of empowerment.

    March 16, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  9. GF, Los Angeles

    If this wasn't the Catholic church but was another group -say Scientologists – would the police and public be so lax about not prosecuting the accused and allow them to continue their practice?

    March 16, 2010 at 1:42 pm |