Edward L. Kryston
Diocese: Diocese of Pittsburgh
From Report I of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
On May 1, 1984, a letter was sent to Bishop Bevilacqua from Father Thomas Marpes of St. Pius X regarding his associate, Father Edward L. Kryston. In part, the letter stated:
“His major problem is his inordinate interest and association for and with grade school girls. Many unsavory remarks have been made to me relevant to this situation. He has even had these “little” girls in his room, behind closed doors. At times the girls have been of high school age. Climaxing all of this a few months ago was the incident involving a High School Junior girl, whom he took to his room. Evidently, advances were made which terrified her. The next day she reported this incident to her CCD teacher, who is a very fine person with shock, surprise, etc. The CCD teacher and the Religious Education Coordinator came to me with troubled minds. I suggested she write to Bishop Bosco. In the meantime, I spoke to Bishop Bosco about the problem, and he requested to speak to the teacher personally about the same matter. At this point it has been referred to Father Campbell. It is my understanding that Father Kryston has had this problem for some time.”
On May 3, 1984, a letter was sent to the Diocese of Pittsburgh from the president of the St. Pius Parish Council. A portion of the letter stated:
“Your Excellency, Over the past 2 ½ years, I have received several complaints, as President of St. Pius X Parish Council, about one associate pastor, Father Edward Kryston. The complaints deal with his negative attitude, his lack of concern for the Parish, and his seemingly strong interest in young women.“
On May 17, 1984, Father Philip Campbell questioned Kryston “regarding complaints that had been received by Bishop Bosco regarding his conduct with young women.” Kryston denied any inappropriate conduct or behavior. There was a notation in the memorandum that Kryston admitted that he took girls into his room to watch television. However, Kryston stated that the girls were always in “groups.” At the conclusion of the meeting, Campbell sent a letter to Bevilacqua, recommending that Kryston be transferred. Kryston was then transferred to St. Martin.
On November 1, 1984, a letter was sent to Bevilacqua from Judith Kanya, a CCD teacher associated with St. Pius. The letter stated:
“Last December one of my CCD students talked to me about how to handle a priest who was making passes at her. After talking to our Pastor Father Marpes and at his request writing to Bishop Bosco and then talking to him around February 1, 1984, I was assured that something would be done. In July, Kryston, the priest in question, was transferred to another parish. I was very prayerful that he was getting help with this problem. But I have been very concerned that he was just moved to shut me up. He has returned to St. Pius on many occasions and last Saturday he came to our home football game with four teenage girls (I did not know the girls so they were not from St. Pius) and sat at the game with a group of our young teenage girls. I keep worrying about these girls. . . I really feel disappointed in the hierarchy of the church that this problem is being glossed over . . . why is this being covered up?”
On December 17, 1985, Father Dattilo wrote notes pertaining to a meeting he had with Mona Rush, a CCD teacher. Rush reported that she was concerned about Kryston’s attention to eighth and ninth grade girls, while ignoring boys. Rush advised that Kryston invited girls to the rectory to talk at 11:15 p.m. He also circled the block of a young girl and then invited her to accompany him alone on a shopping trip. By January 7, 1986, Dattilo documented additional concerns regarding Kryston, including “drinking and fooling around with girls,” arranging a dinner for two in the rectory with an eighth grade girl, and asking a CCD class how they would feel if they were naked answering the telephone.
On November 8, 1995, a meeting was held with Father Guay, Father Zubik, Rita Flaherty and the mother of an eighth grade school girl. The mother reported that her daughter recently attended a school dance. Kryston was at the dance and encouraged the boys and girls to dance together. During the dance, Kryston reportedly lifted up two different school girls by grabbing them by the buttocks.
By November 15, 1995, additional information was obtained by Diocesan officials regarding Kryston’s actions at this same school dance. The additional information came from the mother of a 13-year-old girl. The girl reported that she felt uncomfortable with the way Kryston was holding her during a dance. Later, Kryston grabbed her buttocks as she walked by the DJ booth. The girl went home and cried over the incident. It was learned that Kryston committed a similar indecent assault on another seventh grade girl. Additionally, it was learned that Kryston had invited an 11-year-old girl to his room. It was reported that there were pornographic magazines under Kryston’s bed and that he had pictures of a young girl from the school on his wall. The young girl in the photographs was situated in various poses, such as sitting under a tree, in a bikini. The identity of this girl was known and it was reported to the Diocese that Kryston had invited the girl on an overnight trip to an amusement park. They were to share the same motel room. The young girl’s parents refused to give Kryston permission to take their daughter on the trip, however.
On November 27, 1995, Flaherty placed a telephone call to Sister Mary Ann Lostoski, Principal of the Holy Trinity school. Sister Mary Ann reported that Kryston was always around seventh and eighth grade girls and often smelled of alcohol. She added that a family had left the school because of Kryston’s interest in school girls. Sister Mary Ann stated that she did not “want her [Sister Mary Ann] name used” regarding this information.
On December 4, 1995, Guay, Zubik and Flaherty held a meeting with Kryston. Kryston was asked about his actions at the school dance. He “did not deny’ dancing with the two girls. He acknowledged physical contact, but “denied any sexual intent.” It was then explained to Kryston that he would be placed on administrative leave until he was evaluated at St. Luke Institute.
On December 28, 1995, the Diocese received an evaluation report from St. Luke’s. The report indicated that there was a disparity between Kryston’s self-report and the observations of others. The report stated that there was reason for “extreme caution” and that Kryston was at risk and in need of much support. It was recommended that he enter residential treatment as soon as possible and it was “very important that he have NO contact with adolescents.”
On July 26, 1996, Flaherty sent a letter to St. Luke’s regarding the release of Kryston from treatment. There was a question as to whether or not the issue of “ephebophilia” had been decided, because this issue would contribute to the decision about Kryston’s “assignability.” By August 14, 1996, Kryston was released from St. Luke’s and living with his mother in the Pittsburgh area. On August 26, 1996, Flaherty received a letter from St. Luke’s that advised that “treatment did not identify ephebophilia”; however, it would be wise to err on the side of caution and avoid ministry focused specifically with junior or high school students, and to avoid situations of being alone with vulnerable women. Flaherty forwarded this information to Bishop Wuerl.
On August 31, 1996, Wuerl met with Kryston regarding Kryston’s return to active ministry. Thereafter, on September 17, 1996, Wuerl appointed Kryston as parochial vicar at St. Albert the Great. The effective date of this appointment was September 23, 1996.
On February 28, 2002, Wuerl placed Kryston on administrative leave and assigned him to a residence at St. John Vianney Manor, a retirement home for priests. Situated on the same property and in close proximity to the retirement home is Bishop Canevin High School.
On August 4, 2002, Kryston wrote to Wuerl and asked for permission to withdraw from active ministry. On August 9, 2002, Wuerl granted Kryston permission to withdraw, while at the same time assuring him that the Diocese would continue to pay for his sustenance and benefits.
On May 17, 2016, Father Mark Eckman sent a letter to Kryston advising Kryston that he could continue to live at St. John Vianney.
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.