National News

Priest Commits Suicide After Charges Are Made

COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNS) – A priest being investigated for “excessive and questionable” communications with a minor and possible misuse of church funds committed suicide, the bishop of the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, said.

Father James C. Csaszar, 44, died Dec. 20 in Chicago, Bishop Frederick F. Campbell said in a statement.

The priest, pastor of the Church of the Resurrection in suburban New Albany, Ohio, jumped to his death from the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, an 82-story mixed-use building in downtown Chicago, according to authorities.

The bishop said Father Csaszar was placed on administrative leave in November after the diocese learned about the communications and possible misuse of church funds while serving as pastor of St. Rose Church in New Lexington, Ohio. He was at the parish from 2005 to 2016.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and New Lexington police were leading the investigation, the statement said. Columbus media reported that while no charges had been filed, media devices had been confiscated as part of the inquiry.
In announcing the death, the diocese asked for prayers for Father Csaszar.

“We are reminded throughout sacred Scripture that God our Father is loving, merciful, compassionate and forgiving,” the diocesan statement said. “We also know that in his years of priestly ministry, Father Csaszar did many good things for the people that he served in his parish assignments.”