Father Bernard Kaczmarczyk
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Faculties withdrawn: 1994
Assigned as Follows:
- 1957-1959: St. Robert Bellarmine, (McKeesport PA)
- 1959-1961: St. Ladislaus (Natrona, PA)
- 1961-1967: St. Adalbert (South Side, PA)
- 1967-1968: St. Stanislaus (Ambridge, PA)
- 1968-1970: Holy Family (Lawrenceville, PA)
- 1970-1992: Holy Name of Mary (Donora, PA)
- 1992: Leave of Absence
Summary of Allegations Against Father Bernard Kaczmarczyk:
Father Bernard Kaczmarczyk was ordained a priest in 1957, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to media reports, allegations against him were first reported to the Diocese in early 1994. The abuse allegedly involved a family of three young boys who were 11, 14, and 15 at the time of the report. Their mother was raising them alone and Father Kaczmarczyk was a long-time family friend who helped out. The boys’ aunt reported to the Diocese of Pittsburgh that Kaczmarczyk abused all three of the boys from approximately 1991 until the report in 1994.
When the oldest nephew was 12, Father Kaczmarczyk would meet with the boy in his bedroom, go into the bathroom while he was showering, and sleep with the boy. The aunt also said that Kaczmarczyk slept in his sister’s dresses. There was one instance in which this victim woke up to find Father Kaczmarczyk giving him oral sex. Kaczmarczyk said he would hit him if he told anyone.
The boys’ mother said that her oldest son had been friendly with Father Bernard Kaczmarczyk since he was seven. He would sometimes stay in the rectory with him, and once woke up and realized his underwear had been removed. In 1993, the boy told his mother that Kaczmarczyk had once tried to anally rape him. Concerning the vows, he said that Kaczmarczyk did not want him involved with girls and urged him to make the vows with him annually that he would not “look” at girls in a romantic way.
According to his assignment history, Kaczmarczyk was suspended as a result of these allegations, and later went to live in a halfway house of some type for a year. The grand jury report does not offer any insight on why the Diocese of Pittsburgh made the unusual move to put him in a halfway house temporarily.
In 1995, Kaczmarczyk was named in a criminal indictment against Fr. Francis Bolek, who was accused of stealing more than $340,000.00 from the Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary Shrine. While he was not indicted himself, Kaczmarczyk was named as “a participant in the scheme.” According to statements by the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the Bishop did not even know how to contact Kaczmarczyk in 1995, which means that he was living freely and unsupervised as a priest accused of sexually abusing children.
A note on Kaczmarczyk’s entry on the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s list of credibly accused priests states that the allegations against him were “disclosed during public trial in 1996,” but we have been unable to locate any information to suggest that Kaczmarczyk was arrested or even investigated for any reason other than his role in Fr. Bolek’s embezzlement.
Kaczmarczyk was first named publicly as accused in a priest profile in the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report.
Kaczmarczyk is still alive and no longer functioning as a priest. He is approximately 90 years old and is believed to be living in the Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, area.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.