Defrocked Pedophile Priest Hid From His Past in Oak Lawn Apartment

Neighbors were horrified to learn the truth about his crimes.

Philadelphia Daily News has a story today about James Brzyski, a priest who was defrocked due to his sexual abuse of 17 boys in Philadelphia in the 1970s and 1980s. Until last month he was living in an apartment complex in Oak Lawn.

At first his neighbors accepted his backstory of being a friendly retired Xerox employee when he moved there in October 2012, but they became suspicious after they saw him playing with young boys in the pool. He also bragged to them about going online to find males who looked underage, and that he liked “fat boys.”

When they looked into his history, they discovered the horrifying truth, and they’re upset that he could move into their community without their being notified of his past or his having to register as a sex offender. When they confronted Brzyski, he didn’t demonstrate remorse, commenting only that he had himself been abused by priests when he was younger, so that he thought it was OK.

David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Brzyski is among a diaspora of unregistered sex offenders unleashed by the Roman Catholic Church since 2002. Few safeguards prevent the former priests from abusing again.

“The reason these guys are walking free is because church officials shielded them. Were it not for the actions of the church hierarchy, many of these guys would be in jail,” Clohessy said. “I think that increases the moral and civic duty of bishops to say more than, ‘Well, he’s not in the diocese anymore.’ ”

Philadelphia Archdiocese spokesman Kenneth Gavin said the Archdiocese maintains current addresses for sex-offender priests who receive a pension and tries to keep track of those who, like Brzyski, are not receiving a pension.

“Like any other organization, we do not release that type of personal information publicly,” Gavin said.

Brzyski’s new home address is unknown.


  • Barbara Dorris

    What should happen now? Here’s what we think:

    Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, [email protected]

  • Judy Block-Jones

    This is exactly why the statute of limitations needs to be removed for child sex crimes in every state. so that all victims, no matter how old, can have their day in court. So that these child predators can be jailed and kept far away from kids, and then be registered on the sex offender list. If they can not be jailed, the church officials need to keep these child predator priests in a secure treatment center forever.

    Also the church officials need to be held accountable for enabling more kids to be sexually abused.
    Even defrocking a child predator priest does not work to protect kids. The church officials who trained and protected the priests just wipe their hands from these predators only to be set free to roam without being detected, so they can sexually abuse more children.

    It has become apparent that Pope Francis can not be counted on to remove and fire corrupt church officials who cover up sex crimes against kids.
    This past week in Geneva, at the UN interrogations of how the Vatican handles sex crimes against children, the Vatican officials claimed they are powerless over child predator priests. And none of the popes, including Francis. have taken any decisive actions to hold bishops accountable for enabling and covering up sex crimes against kids.
    Until high ranking church officials are held accountable by outside law enforcement for their crimes against humanity, nothing will change and children are still not safe within this archaic secret institution. As we can see by their ways of dealing with child predators in the past and today.

    We urge anyone who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by this serial child predator, James Brzyski, to speak up and contact police, prosecutors, lawyers, journalists, therapists or support groups, etc. Silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511, [email protected]
    SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,

  • Dubious Brother

    Brzyski and the Dallas neighbor that brought this to light both admitted to being sexually abused in the Philadelphia article. Studies indicate that up to 50% of adult males that identify as gay were sexually abused prior to their identifying as gay. These same studies also show that gay men have their first sexual experience 3-4 years earlier than hetero men on average. These predators seem to be recruiting by abusing and the Church is part of the system.
    It will be interesting to see what this Brzyski creep was living on in Dallas as he is not eligible for his Catholic Church pension yet but he will be and they will pay it to him when he is.
    A current picture would help track him down.

    • Brett Moore

      Please cite your studies.

  • Dubious Brother
  • Brett Moore

    Well, not to be too much of a blame the source type, I hardly think a Focus on the Family “study” is the best place to start. A quick google of the study you linked to yields numerous refutations and criticisms of methodology, to say nothing of the obvious agenda-driven nature of it.

    Do you have anything more scientific or less mouth-piecey to back your assertions?

  • Dubious Brother

    I don’t really have a dog in this hunt. There are links in the article to the referenced studies that they quote from. Two gay men from this article mentioned being sexually abused by predators. I think it needs to be part of the overall discussion and it never is.
    As a teenager a long time ago, I was stalked by a creepy old gay guy. When you are not gay, and I am not, the thought of gay sex not only has no appeal but it is disgusting. Sexually abusing children is also disgusting regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the people involved and we should do everything we can to prevent it. This ex-priest needs to be removed from the general population and the Church has done everything it can to prevent that.

  • Brett Moore

    You were stalked by a creepy old pedophile, not by a creepy old gay guy.

  • BradfordPearson

    “When you are not gay, and I am not, the thought of gay sex not only has no appeal but it is disgusting.”

    I am not disgusted by the thought of gay sex. I am straight.

  • Dubious Brother

    @Brett and Bradford – My opinions are just that and I am entitled to them just as you are to yours. I was in my late teens so I’m not sure that would qualify as a pedophile.
    The gay predator ex-priest needs to be caught and locked up, not protected by the Church. If there is a link between sexual abuse of young boys and identifying as gay as an adult man, that is relevant to the discussion and should be studied and revealed.

  • BradfordPearson

    I couldn’t agree more about opinions. But when you said, “When you are not gay…the thought of gay sex not only has no appeal but it is disgusting,” you dragged me and other straight people into your opinion. And that’s an opinion I do not share.

  • Brett Moore

    Of course you are entitled to your opinion. And I’m entitled to think your opinion is not only misinformed, but troglodytic.