The Catholic priest who plunged to his death from one of Chicago’s most recognizable skyscrapers this week was being investigated by police for "questionable text and telephone communications with a minor,” the Catholic Diocese of Columbus has revealed.
Rev. James Csaszar, a pastor of the Church of the Resurrection in New Albany, Ohio, died Wednesday after leaping from the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, part of the 82-story Aqua skyscraper. The 44-year-old priest’s death was ruled as a suicide.
The diocese described the allegations, in a statement, as "excessive and questionable text and telephone communications with a minor and potential misuse of church funds" during Csaszar’s time as a pastor at St. Rose of Lima Parish in New Lexington. It added that church officials placed Csaszar on administrative leave last month when it learned of the allegations on Nov. 7.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation began reviewing the allegations and had contacted police in New Lexington, about 55 miles southeast of Columbus. Csaszar worked at the church there for 11 years, 10TV reported.
An email from the chief of New Lexington Police to an agent at the bureau of criminal investigation that was viewed by the station had a subject line of "inappropriate relationship between Priest and 16yom."
Police told 10TV that the investigation was in its preliminary stages, no charges were filed yet and the allegation involved a child at the church. Media devices were seized and being looked at for evidence.
“It is with deep shock and sadness that we have learned of the death of Father James Csaszar, pastor of the Church of the Resurrection in New Albany, who took his own life yesterday in Chicago,” Bishop of Columbus Frederick F. Campbell wrote Thursday on the Church of the Resurrection’s website.
“We are reminded throughout sacred scripture that God our Father is loving, merciful, compassionate and forgiving. We also know that in his years of priestly ministry Fr. Csaszar did many good things for the people that he served in his parish assignments,” Campbell added. “And so we ask that everyone pray for Father Csaszar, his family, friends, and parishioners during this most difficult time.”