Br. Thomas Behnke – Diocese of Little Rock

Brother Thomas Behnke 

Diocese of Little Rock/Carmelites

Thomas Behnke Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1949

Died: 2008

Assignment History:

  • 1949-1950: Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Teresa (San Antonio, TX)
  • 1950-1954: Mount Carmel Preparatory Seminary (Dallas, TX)
  • 1954-1955: Monastery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Little Flower (Oklahoma City, OK)
  • 1955-1963: Immaculate Heart of Mary (Pearsall, TX)
  • 1963-1965: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Therese (San Antonio, TX)
  • 1965-1966: Immaculate Heart of Mary (Pearsall, TX)
  • 1966-1968: Holy Rosary (Harthorne, OK)
  • 1968-1969: Immaculate Heart of Mary (Pearsall, TX)
  • 1969-1974: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Therese (Oklahoma City, OK)
  • 1974-1978: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Therese (San Antonio, TX)
  • 1978-1984: St. Mary of Carmel (Dallas, TX)
  • 1984-1988: Cathedral-Santuario de Guadalupe (Dallas, TX)
  • 1989-1992: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Therese (San Antonio, TX)
  • 1992-1997: Marylake-Carmelite Novitiate (Little Rock, AR)
  • 1997: Servants of the Paraclete (Jemez Springs, NM)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Brother Thomas Behnke:

Br. Thomas Benkhe was ordained a priest in 1949. Behnke was assigned to parishes in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and New Mexico. 

In 2002, a lawsuit was filed alleging that Behnke abused a boy at St. Mary of Carmel in 1978-1980. Behnke denied the charges. Five more plaintiffs joined the suit and in 2009, the lawsuit was settled for $4.65M. All but $500K of the settlement came from the order.

Behnke was accused of sexually abusing at least six boys in several dioceses, all beginning when the boys were in about the sixth grade. There were at least two formal complaints to religious authorities, one in 1959 and another in 1963. The abuse is said to have occurred in parish rectories and on trips. Behnke organized religious retreats for boys under the age of 15 to Mexico, Japan, Ireland, Greece, and France. 

Behnke lived at the Servants of the Paraclete in New Mexico from the mid-1990s until his death.

In 2019, Behnke was included on the Diocese of Dallas, Archdiocese of San Antonio, and Archdiocese of Oklahoma City list of credibly accused clergy of sexual abuse of a minor. 

Behnke died in 2008.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Little Rock in Arkansas. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arkansas, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Arkansas and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.