A Letter to Pope Francis

News: Commentary
by Fr. Paul John Kalchik  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  August 25, 2022   

A concerned priest sounds off

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Below is the full text of a letter written by Fr. Paul John Kalchik, a persecuted priest from the archdiocese of Chicago. Father Kalchik sent this letter to Pope Francis and to the papal nuncio to the United States, Abp. Christophe Pierre.

Relevant links have been added.


Your Holiness:

This letter to you is long overdue. In August 2018, I wrote you a letter to address the sexual predation crisis that is destroying our Church. As cited in my letter of Aug. 28, 2018, I myself am the victim of a homosexual priest predator. Father Lawrence Cozzi abused me 40 years ago this month. Father Cozzi also abused other young men in the course of his priesthood, as verified with other victims of his predation.


Pope Francis with Abp. Christophe Pierre

(Photo: Vatican News)

Father Cozzi has long since died, but his evil legacy endures in victims like me, who carry the scars we suffered from the wounds he inflicted upon us. In my case, I was forcibly sodomized by this man. This information was documented and forwarded to you personally in a letter four years ago. A copy of this letter was also mailed to our U.S. papal nuncio, Christophe Pierre.

I never received a response from you, our pope. Nor, for that matter, did I receive a response from our U.S. papal nuncio — despite my being a validly ordained priest who has worked for decades administering the sacraments of the Church.

I can live as a victim of clerical sexual predation without a direct response by you as our Holy Father, but what I can no longer endure is the complacency of our bishops, who are charged with fixing the problem but do nothing more than pay it lip service while neglecting to act.

Clerical sexual predation must be ended, once and for all.

Special Report: The Devil in Rome

A case in point has recently come to light in the American media. Specifically, it has been reported that Bp. Robert W. McElroy of San Diego, California, after being installed as ordinary, reinstated Fr. Jacob Bertrand to active ministry. Bishop McElroy reinstated this priest despite his confession to Church authorities of his ritual satanic rape of Rachel Mastrogiacomo.

What was particularly egregious for Rachel and other victims of Fr. Bertrand was how Bp. McElroy, with full knowledge of what this priest had confessed, put the priest back into a parish. Rachel had to pursue criminal charges against Bertrand before Bp. McElroy would remove the predatory priest, in 2016.

Clerical sexual predation must be ended, once and for all.

Other victims and I are deeply scandalized by Bp. McElroy's reinstatement of Fr. Bertrand. With this dark cloud of doubt swirling over San Diego, it makes no sense to me — as a priest and victim of sexual predation — that Bp. McElroy is to be elevated, later this week, to the College of Cardinals. The elevation at this juncture is at best premature until these serious questions are answered for the faithful.

May God bless Your Holiness with good health and a long life.


Rev. Paul John Kalchik

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