(TMU) — This week, in a St Louis courtroom, a 74-year-old Catholic priest pled guilty to molesting two young boys between the years of 1991 and 1994. According to testimony given in the case, the priest, Frederick Lenczycki, even made the children dress up as baby Jesus before he violated them.
Lenczycki is due to be sentenced for his crimes on August 15th.
Victims told the court that Lenczycki would dress them as the baby Jesus, telling the boys and their parents that they were going to be in some type of religious pageant. However, these pageants never took place. Instead, they were an excuse for Lenczycki to to be alone with the children while having them participate in his roleplaying fantasies. The assaults reportedly occurred while he was chaplain of DePaul Health Center in St. Louis.
This is not the first time Lenczycki has been accused of sexually assaulting children. In fact, he previously spent five years in prison after admitting to sexually abusing three other young boys in Chicago during the 1980s.
Lenczyki has admitted to abusing up to 30 boys across Illinois, Missouri and California over the course of 25 years.
According to the Saint Louis Dispatch, in 2008, Lenczycki was the first former clergy member committed under Illinois’ Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, which allows prosecutors to seek commitment in a state facility for sex offenders they believe will hurt more people.
Randy Kanaday, one of the people traumatized by Lenczycki as a child, said he is relieved to finally see justice:
“I am so relieved that justice finally didn’t give up on me. For all those years, people looked the other way, it felt like. And now, finally, something’s being done.”
Richard Sipe, a psychotherapist and psychiatrist assistant in the state of Maryland, who was professed as a Benedictine monk in 1953 and ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1959, conducted an extensive report on the history of sexual abuse within the church. Sipe’s research showed that high ranking members of the Catholic Church were aware of pedophilia within their ranks since at least the 1950s. His report detailed a long list of cases that go back decades, many of which were covered up by the church.
According to a PBS report last year, many of the victims to come forward in an investigation of Pennsylvania churches showed that some of the victims were now in their 70s and 80s.
Last year, the Catholic Church was caught paying off a lobbying firm to “persuade” politicians into blocking bills related to sex crimes against children. Between 2007 and 2015, the Catholic Church in New York spent more than 2.1 million dollars lobbying on various bills, mostly related to sex offenses.
Earlier this year, former Pope Benedict had the audacity to blame the Catholic Church’s string of pedophilia scandals on the sexual revolution of the 1960s. In an open letter, the former pope said that the changes ushered in by the 1960s destroyed morality and created a world where “there could only be relative moral judgments.” He went on to say that this culture has infected the priesthood and is causing them to act immorally.
The 91-year-old man was apparently unable to tell the difference between consensual sexual relationships and forced sexual activity with a child who is too young to give consent.