The Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend says that a priest who died last summer in a bike crash in South Bend also allegedly abused a minor while serving in the diocese.
On Friday, it added the Rev. Jan Klimczyk’s name to the diocese’s list of clergy, linked here online, who’ve been “credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.”
But it doesn’t specify when or where the alleged abuse occurred. A diocese spokeswoman said the abuse claim was announced over the weekend at each of the parishes where he had served.
Ordained in his native Poland in 1981, Klimczyk served in the diocese since 1992. He served in parishes throughout the diocese, including St. Stanislaus Kostka in New Carlisle, St. Patrick in Walkerton and St. Adalbert, St. Hedwig, Holy Family and St. John the Baptist in South Bend. He also had placements in Albion, Huntington and Fort Wayne.
Klimczyk, 67, was retired and staying at Holy Family Catholic Parish in South Bend when he headed out on his own to bike along the side of Western Avenue on Aug. 22. That evening, he died after a pickup truck hit him. A story in The Tribune last year explored Klimczyk’s penchant for walking outside and the safety concerns of biking along busy thoroughfares.
Oct. 21, 2022:How a busy road claimed an adventurous priest on his bike
In a statement, embedded in this story online, the diocese said it is following protocols that the Catholic Church requires for responding to allegations of sexual abuse of minors. The statement reiterates the diocese’s “commitment to investigate any allegation of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy and to listen to and support anyone who has been abused.”
The statement advises anyone who believes a child has been abused or neglected to contact law enforcement or the Indiana Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 800-800-5556.
Those who are victims of abuse by clergy or someone doing church ministry may contact Mary Glowaski, the victim’s assistance coordinator for the diocese, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 260-399-1458.