Ohio Priest Commits Suicide While Under Investigation

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

  • A 44-year-old man jumped to his death on Wednesday from Chicago’s ultra-modern skyscraper, the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel.
  • The jumper was identified as James Csaszar, a Catholic priest from Ohio.
  • The priest was placed on administrative leave after misconduct allegations involving a minor.

Ohio priest James Csaszar committed suicide according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office in Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Csaszar had served as a priest at the Church of the Resurrection in New Albany, Ohio until November. After misconduct allegations arose against him, he was placed on administrative leave.

In a press release, the church stated that the Diocese suspended Csaszar due to “questionable text and telephone communications with a minor.”  The diocese also added that a “potential misuse of church funds” while Csaszar was the priest at St. Rose of Lima Parish in New Lexington, Ohio, is also being investigated.

Columbus’s local station 10TV reported that New Lexington Police sent an email to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification with the subject line: “inappropriate relationship between Priest and 16yom.”

Authorities were only in the initial stages of the investigation when the Ohio priest committed suicide.

Csaszar was a well-loved figure in his community. He officiated baccalaureate masses to local Catholic high schools. He also hosted “Catholic Singles on Fire for Christ” socials.

New Lexington business owner Cheryl Dodson, told NBC 4: “You could always talk to him and felt comfortable speaking with him and he was always there to listen to you no matter where he was on the street or what it was.” Of all the Catholic priests I’ve known and affiliated with, he was one of my favorites.”

Even after the allegations surfaced last November, some church members stuck with Csaszar. They did an online petition to show support for the priest.

“Evidenced, in part, by the attendance at Sunday Mass, Father Jim (Csaszar) has been instrumental in growing Church of the Resurrection, in numbers, in spirituality, in community and in service,” the petition said.

“While we don’t know the circumstances and reason for the leave, it is critical that we stay steadfast as a Parish and stay in prayerful support of Father Jim. If you are a Parishioner of The Church of the Resurrection in New Albany, Ohio, please add your name to this petition as a show of your support.”

The Columbus Diocese issued a statement after the priest’s suicide.

“We know that in his years of priestly ministry Fr. Csaszar did many good things for the people that he served in his parish assignments. And so we ask that everyone pray for Father Csaszar, his family, friends, and parishioners during this most difficult time.”

Ohio authorities said the investigation into Csaszar will continue even after his death.

Source: The Washington Post

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