Leonard Adolph Bogdan: Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor Have Been Admitted, Established or Determined to Be Credible

Leonard Adolph Bogdan

Leonard Adolph Bogdan

Ordained: 1960

  • 1960-1966: St. Camillus, Chicago, IL (CHI)
  • 1966-1970: St. Isidore the Farmer, Blue Island, IL (CHI)
  • 1968-1974: Tribunal (CHI)
  • 1970-1974: St. Symphorosa and Seven Sons, Chicago, IL (CHI)
  • 1974-1976: North American College, Rome, Italy (CHI)
  • 1976-1988: St. Symphorosa and Seven Sons, Chicago, IL (CHI)
  • 1977-1988: Diocesan Offices (CHI)
  • 1979-1983: Sacred Heart of Jesus, Chicago, IL (CHI)
  • 1988: Sabbatical
  • 1993: Resigned from Archdiocese of Chicago (CHI); Incardinated into Diocese of Kalamazoo (KAL)
  • 1987-2003: Diocesan Offices (KAL)
  • 1988-1992: St. Augustine Cathedral, Kalamazoo, MI (KAL)
  • 2000-2013: Retired (KAL); Sun City Center, AZ
  • 2014-2018: Retired (16611 N.W. Point Pkwy, Surprise, AZ) (KAL)
  • 2019: Unknown

Fr. Leonard Adolph Bogdan was first accused of sexually abusing a minor child in 1981. Due to family pressure, the alleged victim recanted their allegation but shortly thereafter, a second alleged victim reported he had been molested by Fr. Bogdan a year earlier. Fr. Bogdan was transferred to the Kalamazoo Diocese in approximately 1988. Fr. Bogdan was eventually incardinated into the Diocese of Kalamazoo in approximately 1993. Fr. Bogdan became a high-ranking priest and worked as a Judicial Vicar in both the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Kalamazoo. After he retired in 2000, Fr. Bogdan’s first victim came forward again and affirmed his change to prior allegations. The Archdiocese of Chicago Review Board found the allegations to be credible, but the Archdiocese made no public announcement regarding the risk Fr. Bogdan posed to the community. At around the same time, Fr. Bogdan was given the honorary title of Monsignor by Pope John Paul II. In 2006, the Archdiocese of Chicago named Fr. Bogdan on their list of “Archdiocesan Priest with Substantiated allegations of Sexual Misconduct with Minors.” Fr. Bogdan was believed to be residing in Surprise, Arizona as of 2018. His status as a priest and whether he has access to children are unknown.

On the face, Leonard Bogdan was a high-ranking priest who was a judicial vicar in both Chicago and Kalamazoo. But behind closed doors, he was an admitted sex addict and many-time-accused priest who was not even allowed to live in a rectory out of fear that he may molest more children.

The first known allegation against Bogdan surfaced in 1981, but the victim recanted soon afterward because of family pressure. A second victim soon followed, saying that the priest had molested him a year earlier. Cardinal Bernardin told other officials that Bogdan was suffering from depression and unable to take a position teaching in Rome.

Bernardin’s reach went even further. When Bogdan reviewed his own personnel file, he was shocked to see that letters he thought were destroyed were included. The letters also contained a note saying “to be opened only by the Cardinal.”

Soon after in 1988, Bogdan was transferred to the Kalamazoo Diocese, where he was supposed to be monitored, have no access to children, and be a full-time member of the tribunal. Within a few years, however, the Archbishop of Chicago told Kalamazoo that they must comply with “strong cautionary measures” and that Bogdan must be supervised by the rector of the cathedral.

By 1992, the climate in Chicago is so “bad,” that Bernardin insisted that Bogdan live with the Bishop of Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo bishop did not review Bogdan’s secret personnel file until 1993. Bogdan was incardinated to Kalamazoo later that year. Bogdan remained in Kalamazoo until his retirement in 2000.

In 2001, the victim who earlier recanted restated and affirmed his allegations against Bogdan. The Chicago Review Board deemed the allegation credible and did a “site inspection” of Bogdan’s Arizona home to ensure he did not have access to minors. He was placed under no 2 additional monitoring and there is no public announcement of the risk. During this time, Bogdan was given the honorary title of Monsignor by Pope John Paul II.

In 2006, Bogdan was put on the Archdiocese list of priests with credible allegations. Bogdan only learned of the list after a reporter called to ask him about it. According to the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Phoenix, Bogdan has not been involved in any ministry in Arizona. He is still a priest. He currently lives in Surprise, Arizona.

After his retirement in 2000, he is under no type of supervision in Arizona, where he has relocated.

Fr. Leonard Bogdan Timeline 


5/03/1960        Ordained

7/06/1960 – Assistant Pastor, Saint Camillus (Parish school had approx. 627 children)

5/16/1966 – Assistant Pastor, Saint Isidore Church (Parish school had approx. 332 children)

2/18/1969        Appointed as full-time staff member of Archdiocesan Metropolitan Tribunal. Continues as assistant at St. Isidore.

6/15/1970 – Vicarius Cooperator to Rev Francis Maniola at St. Symphorosa and Seven Sons (Parish school had approx. 1,238 children)

Continues as Notary of the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese

8/29/1974 – Assigned to post graduate studies in Rome at Pontificial Lateran University

11/23/1976 – Reappointed to Metropolitan Tribunal and reassigned as Associate Pastor at St. Symphorosa and Seven Sons

8/18/1979 – Vicar Econome, Sacred Heart

12/12/1979      Appointed Vice Officialis of Metropolitan Tribunal

12/07/82– Vicar Substitute, Sacred Heart

4/22/1983        Victim KR makes report of abuse occurring in approximately 1982 at Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, Chicago, IL when he was a student. (AOC 007033)

4/17/1984        Bernadin says that Bogdan would not be suitable at this time to teach Canon Law at the college as he is suffering from depression and has been for quite some time. (AOC 007040)

10/09/1986      Bogdan recently reviewed his personnel file at the Chancery and saw a letter in his file from a victim that he thought had been destroyed. When he saw the letter in his file with the note “TO BE OPENED ONLY BY THE CARDINAL” he became concerned. (AOC 007043)

10/14/1986      Victim Statement Abstract replacing handwritten notes summarizing a conversation about Victim MZ’s allegation against Bogdan. (AOC 007051)

6/23/1987        Bogdan is under on-site supervision and will continue regular meetings with Ray Goedert. (AOC 007059)

1/27/1988        Bogdan on 6 month sabbatical in CA through 4/25/88.

4/14/1988 – In residence at St. Mary’s Cathedral, San Francisco, CA

7/01/1988 – Judicial Vicar, Diocese of Kalamazoo, MI for a period of 3 years

6/06/1989        Victim KR wrote to the AD recanting his previous allegations against Bogdan that were made in the spring of 1983. (AOC 007044)

12/11/1989      Cardinal Bernadin allows Bogdan to remain active in the Diocese of Kalamazoo for an additional 2 years until July 1993.

1/3/1992          AB of Chicago writes to Bp of Kalamazoo to inform him that due to the incident AB described to him, Bogdan must be supervised by the pastor of the cathedral, where Bogdan is residing. Bogdan must not be in the presence of minors under age 18 without the presence of another adult. Bogdan should maintain a low profile. (AOC 007116)

2/01/1992        Bogdan has not been, nor has he intended to be in the presence of minors under 18 without the presence of another adult. The Cathedral elementary school is very accessible, but at no time has Bogdan shown the least interest to involve himself in any way. Bogdan agrees to continue to keep a low profile. (AOC 007121)

6/16/92            Cardinal in AD of Chicago requests that Bogdan move out of the rectory or parish setting as soon as possible in Kalamazoo and move in with the Bishop where he would have absolutely no contact with minors. (AOC 007123)

7/06/92            Cardinal Bernardin again requests Bogdan be removed from residency in the parish rectory due to the climate in Chicago. If they cannot accommodate him in a supervised out-of-rectory residence, then Bogdan will have to return to the AD of Chicago where he will have some ministry, but in a supervised setting. (AOC 007124)

4/26/93            Cardinal Bernardin extends Bogdan’s stay in the Diocese of Kalamazoo another 3 years until June 1, 1996. (AOC 007139)

8/04/93            Cardinal Bernadin grants Bogdan’s request for excardination from the AD of Chicago and instructs the Bishop of Kalamazoo that Bogdan should continue ministering under certain restrictions (AOC 007154)

8/10/93            Letter to Cardinal Bernadin from Bishop of Kalamazoo requesting to review Bogdan’s file and the secret archives pertaining to Bogdan. (AOC 007158)

10/26/93          Cardinal Bernadin grants Bishop of Kalamazoo permission to review Bogdan’s personnel file. (AOC 007163)

11/30/93 – Incardinated in Kalamazoo Diocese

12/31/93          Cardinal Bernadin gifted $45,000 to Bogdan’s retirement fund in the Diocese of Kalamazoo (AOC 007178)

11/01/94          Bogdan wrote to Fr. Paprocki, Canonical Advisor to the Cardinal to inquire clarification of the basis of which certain ecclesiastical restrictions have been placed on him. He states that the issues of supervision and restricted movement were made without formal due process. (AOC 007184 – 007185)

1998-02 – In residence at St. Augustine cathedral, Kalamazoo, MI

6/30/00 – Retired from Kalamazoo Diocese

8/16/01            Victim KR reasserts report of sexual abuse occurring from 1982-84 while Bogdan was at St. Symphorosa. (AOC 007191)

8/27/01            Bogdan advised that allegations have resurfaced. He is currently retired and has no contact with minors. (AOC 007194)

8/31/01            Archdiocese conducts site inspection of Bogdan’s home.(AOC 07199)

9/15/01            The Review Board deems the allegations to be credible. Will advise the Diocese of Kalamazoo and the Archdiocese of Phoenix. (AOC 007204)