I don’t post here very often anymore. But when an email arrived in the early morning hours this past Friday with a link to a story on PennLive.com about the death of a prolific Archdiocese of Philadelphia pedophile I felt the need to pass the information along.
James Brzyski, alleged to have had more than 100 victims while a priest in the Archdiocese during the 1970s and 1980s died in Texas a few days ago. The Archdiocese sent him to “treatment” (read that as hidden from civil authorities by the Archdiocese) after being credibly accused of sexual assault. He walked out of treatment and left the ministry. The Archdiocese only told parishioners that he departed for “medical reasons.” Like most predator priests in Pennsylvania, he was neither charged or prosecuted for his sex crimes against children because of the statutes of limitation.
Brzyski was living in the Dallas, Texas area when an investigative reporting team from The Philadelphia Inquirer found him. He declined a request to be interviewed. Within a month of being discovered, he was found dead at the Super 7 Motel in Fort Worth. You can read the article from the Inquirer here.
I want to send my condolences to his victims. The truth and extent of his crimes may have died with him. I know from personal experience that the death of the priest who raped children brings a broad range of emotions for a survivor. There is relief that the monster is dead. There is also anger that he made it out of this life without having to answer for his sins, face his victims or pay for his crimes. What may be potentially worse for survivors is the knowledge that the Archdiocese is breathing a sigh of relief that another of the pack of wolves they have protected and supported for years is no longer causing a scandal for the church.
When Robert Gibson died in 2012, I was numb, confused and angry. Not so much at him, but at the Diocese of Scranton for choosing to shield him, deny the truth and not make the simple decision to protect children.
The death of James Brzyski tears the scab off the wound for all his victims and their families. His death does not make the pain any better, it just makes it different. If you were one of his victims, reach out. Don’t shoulder this burden alone. What he did to you was not your fault.
I do not believe in heaven or hell. I don’t have the option of wishing he would burn in hell along with the rest of the Roman collar criminals. I would like to see the wrath of the survivor community come down on those in the hierarchy of the church that protected monsters like James Brzyski. I really don’t care if that justice is awarded in a courtroom or on the streets.
Link to the section on James Brzyski in the Grand Jury Report on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Dallas News Report on Brzyski’s death
2 thoughts on “The Passing of a Predator Priest”
I know what you mean. It really gets old, seeing them get away with it.
Dear Michael. Thank you so much for posting the news of James Byzyski. The priest who abused me was also from Pennsylvania and also died and left another whole set of difficult emotions to be dealt with. I appreciate your writing because it made me feel less alone this morning. I agree with everything you wrote and I am grateful you “spoke up”.