Father Michael Kolodziej, a former Minister Provincial of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, has been suspended from all public ministry by the Franciscans. Furthermore, the Archdiocese of Baltimore has withdrawn his faculties so that he can no longer serve as a priest.
Sounds as if the priest must have been convicted of something serious. In fact, Father Kolodziej has not been found guilty of anything. His accuser says he was abused by the priest while they were wrestling at Baltimore’s Archbishop Curley High School in the mid-to-late 1970s. That’s it.
This is insanity. Priests evidently have no rights. To top things off, the Order has posted an 800 number asking anyone else who was abused by the priest to come forward. No other organization, religious or secular, acts this way. By the way, Father Kolodziej, who is 69, has never had an accusation made against him until now.
This is another sad chapter in the way priests are being treated. Priests involved in a contact sport in front of spectators can be accused of groping a wrestler several decades ago and be treated as if he were guilty. This isn’t Christian—it’s an abomination. It’s also the worst possible advertisement to young men contemplating the priesthood.
To read an astute article on this subject that was published November 6, see “Priests ‘Credibly’ Accused?” by Father Thomas Guarino, professor of Systematic Theology at Seton Hall University; click here.