Catholic Priest

Andrew Pawlaczyk

Ordained: 1962
Diocese: Diocese of Erie

From the Report I of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

In a letter dated April 20, 2011 and addressed to Bishop Trautman, a victim reported abuse by Father Andrew Pawlaczyk.  The victim explained that it began when the victim was a student at Erie Cathedral Preparatory. and Pawlaczyk took him to football games where they were permitted to sit in the press box.  Soon after that, Pawlaczyk began taking the victim to steam baths, one on the East side, and another on West 8th Street.  They sat naked together and Pawlaczyk noted that it was not unusual for one man to whisk the back of another with a strange looking brush while in the steam bath.

Pawlaczyk built a fairly strong relationship with the victim’s parents and began visiting their home regularly. That type of relationship building continued for several months.  The following summer, Pawlaczyk picked up the victim and took him to a cottage on the lakefront. The first thing they did was go swimming without swim suits.  Although the victim thought it was strange, he attributed the behavior to simply being rebellious.  After swimming they went back to the cottage. Pawlaczyk took the victim into the bedroom and told him that he was going to give him a massage.  The victim was face down on the bed with no clothes on.  Pawlaczyk then sat on the victim’s buttocks – – wearing no clothes – – while he massaged him.  Then they reversed roles.  After they were done, the victim found ejaculate in the bed which was not from him.

When Pawlaczyk was serving in the United States Army and stationed at Walter Reed Hospital, the victim’s parents arranged for the victim to fly to Washington, D.C. by himself. When he arrived, Pawlaczyk took him to the Kennedy Center for a concert and to a basketball game to watch “Pistol” Pete Maravich. From the time he arrived, Pawlaczyk supplied him with cigarettes and alcohol.   After a few nights, Pawlaczyk suggested that instead of sleeping in separate rooms, they should sleep on fold out beds in the living room.  They again performed mutual massages and then Pawlaczyk fondled the victim’s genitals. Pawlaczyk asked him, “Have you ever had an erection like this?”  That same evening Pawlaczyk took the victim into the shower so they could wash each other.  Pawlaczyk also let the victim drink heavily and the victim did not recall what occurred the following night.  The next day, the victim left for home and never saw Pawlaczyk again.

The Grand Jury did not find any documentation that indicated that the Diocese ever reported the case to local law enforcement. Additionally, there is no indication that the Diocese offered any counselling to the victim.

Additional information regarding the widespread sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Dioceses of Pennsylvania and the systemic cover up by senior church officials is compiled in the Pennsylvania Diocese Victim’s Report published by the Pennsylvania Attorney General following a two-year grand jury investigation.  A complete copy of the Report is available on the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s website.