Sex charges dropped against retired priest

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The Windsor Star

06 March 2013

Sarah Sacheli
Mar 06, 2013 – 3:54 PM EST

The Ontario Court Of Justice.The Ontario Court Of Justice.

Charges against a Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing boys more than four decades ago were withdrawn and stayed in a Chatham court this week.

Piotr Sanczenko, 86, had faced three counts of indecent assault stemming from allegations that date from 1963 to 1973 when Sanczenko served at Our Lady of Victory Church in Chatham. The Crown Tuesday withdrew two of the counts and stayed one.

A stay means the Crown has one year to resurrect the charge.

“The Crown assessed the entire situation,” defence lawyer Andrew Bradie said Wednesday. “It won’t be a surprise to anyone. Everyone was consulted.”

Sanczenko was ordained in 1954 and last served at Holy Trinity in Windsor. The Polish-born priest retired in 2003 and has been living in Windsor since.

When he was first charged in 2010, former parishioners rose up in his defence, calling the allegations unbelievable.

Sanczenko gained the loyalty of many Polish families in Chatham whom he helped. Our Lady of Victory was established by Polish immigrants. Sanczenko was the parish’s third priest.

13 Responses to Sex charges dropped against retired priest

  1. Deborah Kloos says:

    I am glad the charges are dropped. I always believed after meeting him that he was innocent.

  2. 1yellowknife says:

    Ms Kloos:
    So you know – just from meeting someone – if they are guilty/not guilty. How unique! What happens? Does a glowing dot appear on the foreheads of the guilty?

    From what I can ascertain, there is only one certainty here: he had a slick lawyer.

    • Deborah Kloos says:

      How do you know someone is guilty? What if they are innocent? He told me he was not guilty when I asked him. I believe him. If he was lying then he must deal with God’s wrath.

      • PJ says:

        “He told me he was not guilty when I asked him. I believe him.”
        Wow…I’m glad not everyone believes that. With all the pervert collars pleading “not guilty” in a court of law only to be convicted later as guilty, how can you trust them? They know in their heart of hearts what they did and instead of pleading guilty to their actions, they drag the victims through the mud in hopes of getting away with their perverted crimes. So much for truth and honesty…that church and it’s collars should be ashamed. As far as your declaration?? Time will tell.

      • Lina says:

        Hi Deborah,

        Didn’t you at one time say you were a victim of clergy abuse but dropped the charges. That certain priest is dead you stated.

        If I remember correctly you said you got some counselling from the Catholic Church.

        Every clergy abuse victim deals with their pain and suffering in different ways.

        I wish you well!

  3. Deborah Kloos says:

    I know everyone deals with their pain and suffering differently. I feel really sad about it especially reading all the articles about the scandals. I know most of those people are guilty. My heart goes out to other people who have been abused because it really hurts and the church does not want to talk about it. I want the church to pick a day that a mass will be said dedicated to the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy. There is so much hurt and the walls have to come down to bring healing, mercy, and forgiveness. The forgiveness is not to benefit the abuser, but to bring peace to the person who was violated so they can move on. The church does not want to talk about what happened. It is in the paper because it went to court. I want to see them have a mass for those hurt because that would show true remorse and be more valuable than money. People of the church would acknowledge the pain of the victims. I believe in God and His message of forgiving and praying for those who hurt you. It is a difficult road because of the breach of trust, pain, secrets, stigmas, sadness, anger, but it is the way of Christ and the road to healing. God bless those who were hurt and are still hurting. I am still hurting too but I really believe Fr Peter is innocent after meeting him over this past 3 years. Originally I wanted to meet him to find out why???????????? I admit that I was angry, but I also feel I have to be fair to people. If he is guilty then he will answer to God not me. He said he is innocent and the charges were dropped so we have to have some faith in people. I understand the anger people who were hurt have because I have been there. God bless you and bring you healing.


  4. PJ says:

    “…want to see them have a mass for those hurt because that would show true remorse…”
    True remorse because of a mass??? That is an insult to victims! That church says a mass for the pervert collars when they are dead!! So much for true remorse. You want a sign of true remorse from that pathetic church? Try defrocking convicted collars immediately, stop any legal defense against litigation when a collar was found guilty, and start showing more support for victims instead of the perverts.

    • Jean-Louis says:

      I find it difficult to understand why convicted sex offending priests are NOT defrocked automatically!

      When I was in the Canadian Forces, military law stated that Commissioned Officers could not serve jail time… HOWEVER, they could be “busted” down to the rank of Private and thrown in the slammer… The same should apply to priests – take away not only their “abilities to serve as priests” but also their very title, rank, and privileges.

  5. Deborah Kloos says:

    I agree that the priests guilty of abuse must immediately be defrocked instead of all the silence and avoidance and denial. Immediate defrocking would have prevented a lot of suffering. Not every Catholic priest is bad. The ones who protected the abuser instead of the victims should be defrocked. I want a mass for those effected by clergy sexual abuse once a year because we must always remember and pray for victims. The Catholic Church should acknowledge the victims and bring the darkness into the light. It is easy to pay the lawsuits, but it takes true remorse to say a mass in the church for the victims. It is something the church does not want to do. I have asked so many times. We need to bring our pain to God and give it to Him. I have asked Bishop Fabbro and Fr. Sharp and they don’t respond or want to talk about it. It hurts a lot. Lent is a time of repentance and all day Confession. Why can’t they acknowledge the sins of the church and pray for the victims??????????? I keep asking and I will always ask because we should remember and pray for those who are wounded if we are sincerely sorry. Money given out of lawsuits is not remorse to me. They did it because court said to do it under law. Remembering the victims at mass during Lent is true remorse.

  6. Deborah Kloos says:

    ” Faith shines in darkness, comes forth under trial, sings it’s song under pain.”

    Catherine Doherty

    “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

    Mother Teresa

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me……….Phillipians 4:13

    To err is human……to forgive is divine. Alexander Pope

    • PJ says:

      “When Benedict dies, he will have the pleasure of standing before whatever furious God he believes in, to answer for how it was that he knew for undeniable fact that one — if not dozens — of his priests repeatedly molested, abused and/or raped young children for decades, and he did nothing to stop it. How much does God believe the pope’s argument that Vatican PR trumps pedophilia? Joe Ratzinger, 82, will soon find out.”
      ― Mark Morford

  7. Don Brunelle says:

    Don Brunelle · Posted in the Windsor Star, Windsor Ontario
    The courts in Chatham have also failed to bring Justice for victims of Childhood Abuse by clergy.
    Earlier this week Judge Dean of Windsor failed the Victims at his second time at bat for all 19 Victims.
    How do these Judges get appointed in the first place? The Catholic church is a still a very powerful entity in our world and it seems to heavily influence our Legal system regionally…follow the money!
    Our times seem ripe for change in these matters lately with many victims coming forward.
    and many more to come.
    To the die hard faithful I say keep the rivers of cash flowing to the Church as there are thousands more lawyer bills and settlements to come.
    I believe we can judge our system on how we treat and protect our kids and so far our legal system seems broken and very much slanted to give the perpetrators a heavy advantage and all consideration over innocent victims.
    Political change is needed to bring laws into effect which also punish the enablers who cover these war like crimes against our precious children.
    Those who judge us should be elected and not appointed.
    Protect your Children and Grandchildren.

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