Father Dennis Chludzinski
Diocese of Erie
Leave of Absence: 1978 – 1979
Assigned as follows:
- 1976-1977: Sacred Heart (Sharon, PA)
- 1977-1978: Holy Rosary (Erie, PA)
- 1979-1980: Unassigned/Under Father Kelly’s Supervision
- 1980-1984: Faculty at Villa Maria High School (Erie, PA)
- 1980-1984 St. Benedict’s Academy (Erie, PA)
- 1980-1984: Mercyhurst Preparatory (Erie, PA)
- 1984-1984: Attending Gannon University, Our Lady of Mercy
- 1985-1986: No information provided by the Diocese of Erie
- 1986-1987: Sisters Community at Mercyhurst College (Hamot, PA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Dennis Chludzinski:
Fr. Dennis Chludzinski was ordained a priest in 1976, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Erie. According to media reports, in 2018, he was named publicly as accused in the PA Grand Jury report. Files of the Diocese of Erie proved the Diocese had existing knowledge of Fr. Chludzinski’s sexual misconduct as early as 1984. The files held a notarized testimony in which Chludzinski admitted to the 1984 abuse of an 18-year-old boy who was a high school senior at Mercyhurst High School.
According to Chludzinski, the abuse began in 1984 and may have continued into 1985, though he could not remember for sure, and also involved a second man who was a friend of Chludzinski’s. In response, Chludzinski was placed on leave from his chaplaincy at the high school, and was sent to further his own studies at Gannon University.
In a second notarized testimony, Chludzinski admitted that he sexually abused a 14 year old boy after the initial Mercyhurst allegations became known and after he was placed on leave from his chaplaincy. According to Chludzinski, he abused this victim from 1984-1985.
In 2004, Vicar General Msgr. Robert J. Smith received a letter from another priest reporting that the father of an underage parishioner reported that Chludzinski molested his son a camping trip. The victim eventually met with Chancery officials and reported that his abuse occurred while he was an altar boy at Our Lady of Mercy from 1983-1985. According to the victim another altar boy was involved in the abuse however there is no further information listed in the Grand Jury report as to whether the allegation was investigated further.
In 2004, Bishop Donald W. Trautman notified the Erie County District Attorney’s office of the allegation against Chludzinski. Trautman followed up with a memorandum in which he informed Chludzinski of the accusations against him and received a trite, “Sorry,” in response. Trautman wrote also that later, “Dennis Chludzinski called and admitted sexual involvement with (the victim).”
Chludzinski’s name was included on Erie diocese’s list released April 6, 2018 of priests, lay employees and volunteers accused of sexually abusing minors. He was noted to have been laicized and to be living in Erie.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie. 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 Erie may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so please do not delay in reaching out to us.