A Catholic priest in Ohio under investigation for “questionable” communications with a minor and possible misuse of church funds killed himself Wednesday, the Catholic Diocese of Columbus said in a statement Thursday. Rev. James Csaszar jumped to his death from a Chicago hotel. Csaszar, who was pastor of Church of the Resurrection in the Columbus suburb of New Albany, suffered multiple injuries and was later declared dead after jumping from Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, a skyscraper reaching 82-stories into the downtown skyline. Csaszar was placed on administrative leave last month after the diocese learnt about his “questionable text and telephone communications with a minor.” Police were also investigating a “possible misuse of funds” while Csaszar was the pastor at St. Rose of Lima Parish in New Lexington, roughly 55 miles southeast of Columbus. “You could always talk to him and felt comfortable speaking with him and he was always there to listen to you no matter where he was on the street or what it was,” Cheryl Dodson, a New Lexington business owner, told the NBC 4. “He was one of my favorites. Out of all the Catholic priests I’ve known and affiliated with, he was one of my favorites.”
While announcing his death, the diocese asked that everyone “pray for Father Csaszar, his family, friends, and parishioners during this most difficult time.” “We are reminded throughout sacred scripture that God our Father is loving, merciful, compassionate and forgiving,” the statement said. “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.” Read the full statement from Rev. Frederick F. Campbell below: 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. On Nov. 7, Father Csaszar was placed on an administrative leave by the Diocese of Columbus after diocesan officials were made aware of excessive and questionable text and telephone communications with a minor and potential misuse of church funds while serving as pastor of St. Rose Parish, New Lexington. Following a diocesan review of the matter, the New Lexington Police were contacted and all information was turned over to them and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for their review; an investigation was being conducted at the time of Father Csaszar’s death. 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. And so we ask that everyone pray for Father Csaszar, his family, friends, and parishioners during this most difficult time.