Category: Clergy Abuse

Fr. Gregory Littleton – Diocese of Charlotte

Father Gregory J. Littleton

Diocese of Charlotte


Ordained:1990

Removed from duty and sent to therapy: 1993

Allowed to come back: 1997

Accused: 2002 and 2004

Removed and resigned from ministry: 2004

Assigned as Follows:

  • St. Philip and St. James (Phillipsburg, NJ)
  • Our Lady of Victories (Sayreville, NJ)
  • Our Lady of Mount Virgin Parish (Middlesex, NJ)
  • St. Elizabeth- St. Brigid Parish (St. Peapack, NJ)
  • St. John the Baptist Church (Tryon, NC)
  • Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church (Charlotte, NC)

Summary of Sexual abuse Allegations against Father Gregory J. Littleton:

In 1993, Father Gregory Littleton released information himself to the Diocese of Metuchen that he had been involved in the sexual abuse of two minors due to his involvement with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. There were no witnesses willing to come forward, and no case was formally brought against him. He was simply removed from duty that year and was sent to evaluation and therapy for three years.

He was allowed to return to the ministry and was full time again in 1997 and was considered a priest in good standing. He transferred to Charlotte, North Carolina, where more allegations from the Metuchen Diocese were made in 2002. He was not removed from his post in Charlotte until 2004, where the accusations against him were found credible from the review board. Since the news has broken in 2018 of McCarrick abusing clergy members as well, Littleton has come out as a victim of his sexual misconduct. He has also since confessed and shared information about almost 20 other victims of Archbishop McCarrick and himself. Gregory Littleton’s name has since been on several lists and lawsuits that the Diocese of Metuchen have been slowly giving out. Settlements have been made on behalf of the accused priests that have been accused of sexual misconduct during the 1990’s.

As of 2006, Littleton is now a private citizen living in North Carolina and no criminal charges have been formally made against him.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Charlotte in North Carolina.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in North Carolina, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Charlotte now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in North Carolina and nationwide. We can help.

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

 

Fr. Frederick George – Diocese of Charlotte

Father Frederick George 

Diocese of Charlotte/Benedictine

Ordained: 1975

Removed: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • St. Michael Catholic Church (Gastonia, NC)
  • Belmont Abbey (Belmont, NC)
  • St. Benedict (Richmond, VA)
  • Belmont Abbey (Belmont, NC)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Frederick George:

Father Frederick George, a Benedictine monk, moved to a Richmond priory in 1975 from Belmont Abbey in North Carolina, where he had been briefly assigned to St. Michael Catholic Church in Gastonia. 

According to media reports, in 1987, an allegation of child sexual abuse by Father George was reported. The alleged abuse occurred in the late 1970s at St. Benedict Parish in Richmond, VA. He was removed from ministry and sent for psychological evaluation. In 1991, he was cleared to return to Belmont Abbey, and in 1994 was made college chaplain. He left Belmont Abbey in 1998, and was permanently dismissed by the Vatican in 2004.

In November 2018, his name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Savannah’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.  In February 2019, his name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Richmond’s list as well.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Charlotte in North Carolina.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in North Carolina, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Charlotte now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in North Carolina and nationwide. We can help.

Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Leo Courcy Jr. – Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee

Father Leo Courcy Jr.

Archdiocese of New York

Leo J Courcy Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1962

Leaves of Absence/Sick Leave: 1965-1966, 1979-1980

Inpatient Evaluation/Treatment: 1967-1970

Removed: 1993

Laicized: 2009 

Assigned as follows:

  • 1962 – 1965: St. Anthony (Burlington, VT)
  • 1965 -1967: Absent from Burlington Diocese on “Sick Leave”
  • 1966Don Bosco Home (Burlington, VT)
  • 1966St. Francis Xavier (Winooski, VT) 
  • 1966: St. Mark (Burlington, VT)
  • 1967 – 1970: Servants of the Paraclete (Santa Fe, NM) (inpatient treatment)
  • 1967 – 1969Holy Ghost (Albuquerque, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1968 – 1969St. Pius X High School (Albuquerque, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1969 – 1970St. Francis Xavier (Clayton, NM)  (during treatment)
  • 1970: Unidentified parish(Amarillo, Texas) (during treatment)
  • 1969/1970: St. Anthony (Questa, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1970: Clayton High School (Clayton, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1971: St. John Vianney (South Burlington, VT) 
  • 1971: St. Mary (Cambridge / Johnson, VT)
  • 1971: St. George (Ottawa, ONT Canada)
  • 1971-1979: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1973-1974: Ottawa Archdiocese, Director of Education
  • 1974: Our Lady of Visitation (South Gloucester, ONT Canada)
  • 1975: Bayonne, NJ (per his father’s obituary)
  • 1977: St. Mary of the Assumption (Deal, NJ)
  • 1977-1979: Various assignments in Pensacola, Florida
  • 1978-1979: Pensacola Catholic High School (Pensacola, FL)
  • 1979-1980: Leave of Absence
  • 1979: Chaplain, unknown Queens, NY High School
  • 1980-1984: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1984-1985: St. Frances de Chantal (Bronx, New York)
  • 1986-1989: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1988-1990: New York Archdiocese Parish Mission Team (Suffern, NY)
  • 1991-1992: St. Mary (Fishkill, NY)
  • 1992-1993: St. Augustine (New York, NY)
  • 1993-1997: Listed in Official Catholic Directory as “On Duty Outside Diocese”

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Leo Courcy Jr.:

The saga of Fr. Leo Courcy is a complicated one and, after an extended investigation, we have done our best to reconstruct what we believe is his trial of abuse across America.  You may notice some assignments that are not listed and that is likely because there are big gaps in the publicly available information, particularly in the 1970s. For example, Courcy appears in a 1970 high school yearbook in New Mexico and then again in a 1978 yearbook in Pensacola, Florida.  His whereabouts during that time are not entirely clear but he may have worked at other parishes and high schools in Canada or New Jersey. It is documented that he served in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee in the late 1970s in between his New Jersey and New York assignments.

Here is what we do know for certain: Father Leo Courcy Jr. served in Vermont for only approximately 3½ years. He remained a priest of the Burlington Diocese even though he rarely worked there after 1967.  According to the Diocese of Burlington, Bishop Kenneth A. Angell revoked Courcy’s priestly faculties in February 1993, though the exact reason is not clear.  However, media reports show him celebrating a funeral mass in the New York area well after that date. 

The Beginning of the End for Fr. Courcy

Father Courcy was laicized in June 2009, according to the the Diocese of Burlington, while serving in NYC.  It is not clear what prompted this action more than 15 years after the Diocese said Courcy was not able to work as a priest. 

There are numerous “red flags” in Courcy’s assignment history that would merit further investigation in a sex abuse lawsuit.  For example, Courcy has several leaves of absence, which may be indicative of temporary removals and quiet transfers following allegations of sexual abuse.  The assignment to the Servants of the Paraclete in 1967 very likely means that Courcy was the subject of at least one allegation of abuse around that time.  It could also mean that he was the subject of repeated allegations as of 1967, because, in our firm’s experience, shipping an accused priest to the Jemez Springs, New Mexico, treatment facility typically came only after repeated allegations and an inability to handle the matter quietly within the diocese. Of course, these questions would be answered with more certainty if either the Burlington Diocese or Archdiocese of Santa Fe provided a full and complete disclosure of Courcy’s history, rather than the limited ones they each published in response to public pressure.

In 1994, according to media reports, a civil lawsuit was filed against the Burlington Diocese and Archdiocese of Santa Fe alleging that Father Courcy and Father Joseph Anthony Gallegos sexually abused an altar boy in New Mexico after Courcy’s treatment at the Servants of the Paraclete facility in Jemez Springs. According to media reports, the lawsuit alleged that Courcy left treatment at the facility and returned to ministry against the advice of at least one psychologist. 

In September 2017, Father Courcy was named in a lawsuit alleging that he sexully abused an altar boy in 1969 while serving as a priest at St. Anthony’s in Questa, New Mexico. That same month, his name appeared publicly on the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. 

In May 2019, Father Courcy was named in another lawsuit against the Servants of the Paraclete, alleging that Courcy sexually abused two boys during an overnight stay at the rectory of St. Anthony’s in Questa, New Mexico, in 1969. According to the suit, one boy was raped and the other molested. According to the lawsuit, the Servants had sent Father Courcy to St. Anthony’s as a supply priest four days after his arrival for his second round of treatment for child sexual abuse. 

In August 2019, Father Courcy‘s name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Burlington’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.  While the Diocese included certain information about Courcy’s background in its disclosure, we have found that much of it is inaccurate and overall it is totally incomplete.  

Courcy is now in his 80s and believed to be living in the Syracuse, New York, area.  To our knowledge, he has never been criminally charged for his sexual misconduct and is not a registered sex offender.

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

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

diocese of fall river sexual

Are Bishops Living Up to Their Repeated Pledges of ‘Transparency’ in Clergy Abuse Cases?

Are you wondering “Are bishops living up to their repeated pledges of ‘transparency’ in clergy abuse cases?”  If so, you’ll want to keep reading.

After years of pressure, most Bishops in the United States have posted lists of their ‘credibly accused’ predator priests on their diocesan websites. (Those lists should also, of course, be posted on parish websites, which are far more popular with church-goers.)

But we at Horowitz Law are skeptical about these lists. We know most of them are not complete. We know lots of helpful information – work histories, photos, last known whereabouts, etc. – is missing from the majority of these lists.

Beyond that, however, we also suspect bishops have a quiet, ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ saying “Let’s try to make sure a predator is only listed in one place.”

In other words, if a child molesting cleric from New Jersey is quietly shuffled off to New York, and then caught abusing again in the Big Apple, very often you’ll find his name on only ONE of the two dioceses. And we don’t think that is a coincidence.

If the Catholic hierarchy feels they must – again, under pressure – divulge names of wrongdoers, it serves their interests as little as possible. (That’s why one has to spend a few minutes searching for these lists. They don’t immediately pop up on page one of the diocesan websites.)

Why do we suspect this? Well, look the Fall River Massachusetts dioceses, which did one of the more recent disclosures.

https://www.fallriverdiocese.org/diocese-of-fall-river-releases-list-of-75-clergy-accused-of-sexual-abuse-of-minors/

Dozens of proven, admitted or credibly accused Massachusetts molesters were ‘outed.’ But the only work locations for them provided were locations INSIDE the diocese itself.

https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2021/01/catholic-diocese-releases-names-of-credibly-accused-priests/

Just a little bit of on-line research, though, shows these dangerous men also worked in other places:

New York (Fr. Frank Genevive)

https://www.fallriverdiocese.org/diocesan-response-to-the-sexual-abuse-crisis/credibly-accused/

Florida (Fr. Thomas J. Mulryan)

https://www.fallriverdiocese.org/diocesan-response-to-the-sexual-abuse-crisis/credibly-accused/

Connecticut and Massachusetts (Fr. Francis J. McManus)

https://www.fallriverdiocese.org/diocesan-response-to-the-sexual-abuse-crisis/credibly-accused/

Texas and Japan (Fr. Roland “Rene” Gaudin)

https://www.fallriverdiocese.org/diocesan-response-to-the-sexual-abuse-crisis/credibly-accused/

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/news5/2001_06_30_SouthCoast_Roland_Gaudin.htm

California, Minnesota, Washington DC and the Bahamas (Fr. James R. Nickel).

http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Nickel_James_R_sscc.htm

In a category, called “other dioceses,” the diocese lists two more child molesting clerics in an odd, inconsistent way.

One is Fr. Anthony Andre Corbin who, Fall River officials say, also worked in North Carolina.

https://www.fallriverdiocese.org/diocesan-response-to-the-sexual-abuse-crisis/credibly-accused/

The other is Fr. George Carrier. But Fall River officials inexplicably refuse to say where he worked.

https://www.fallriverdiocese.org/diocesan-response-to-the-sexual-abuse-crisis/credibly-accused/

https://www.southcoasttoday.com/story/news/crime/2021/01/07/fall-river-diocese-releases-list-clergy-credibly-accused-sex-abuse/6588166002/

Finally, in the ‘pending cases’ category, Fall River lists a Fr. James F. Buckley. He had his faculties suspended but diocesan officials won’t say when. He retired in 2001.

https://www.fallriverdiocese.org/retired-priests-suspended-from-ministry/

But only now, 20 YEARS LATER, is Fall River Bishop Edgar da Cunha moving to have him defrocked.

(He worked at St. Margaret’s in Buzzards Bay. He had also been assigned to St. Mary Cathedral, Fall River; Sacred Heart, Fall River; Immaculate Conception, Fall River; St. Joan of Arc, Orleans; St. Augustine, Vineyard Haven; Holy Redeemer, Chatham.)

So much for those promises of ‘openness and transparency’ about abuse the church hierarchy repeatedly trots out.

https://www.fallriverdiocese.org/diocesan-response-to-the-sexual-abuse-crisis/cases-in-process/

We’ll never know how many boys and girls these predators hurt OUTSIDE of Massachusetts.

Before we close out here, a bit of context is in order.

Fall River isn’t just any old Catholic diocese. In the late 1980s, the first pedophile priest to garner national attention was in Louisiana’s Fr. Gilbert Gauthe.

In the early 1990’s, the second pedophile priest to generate coast-to-coast headlines was in Fall River. He was Fr. James R Porter. Besides Massachusetts, he molested in New Mexico, Minnesota, Texas and Nevada.

And which diocese is right next to Fall River? Boston, which is where decades of cover up, involving hundreds of predator priests and at least dozens of enablers, first came to light in 2002. (Remember the film Spotlight?)

Why is this relevant?

Because if any Catholic officials anywhere have the damage of both abuse AND cover up, it should be officials in Fall River.

And if any Catholic officials have had tons of time to make reforms, again, it’s church officials in Fall River.

Yet Fall River was among the very last United States dioceses to release a list like this one, and as we’ve noted, it’s far less thorough and helpful than it should be.

Fr. Leo Courcy Jr. – Archdiocese of New York

Father Leo Courcy Jr.

Archdiocese of New York

Leo J Courcy Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1962

Leaves of Absence/Sick Leave: 1965-1966, 1979-1980

Inpatient Evaluation/Treatment: 1967-1970

Removed: 1993

Laicized: 2009 

Assigned as follows:

  • 1962 – 1965: St. Anthony (Burlington, VT)
  • 1965 -1967: Absent from Burlington Diocese on “Sick Leave”
  • 1966Don Bosco Home (Burlington, VT)
  • 1966St. Francis Xavier (Winooski, VT) 
  • 1966: St. Mark (Burlington, VT)
  • 1967 – 1970: Servants of the Paraclete (Santa Fe, NM) (inpatient treatment)
  • 1967 – 1969Holy Ghost (Albuquerque, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1968 – 1969St. Pius X High School (Albuquerque, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1969 – 1970St. Francis Xavier (Clayton, NM)  (during treatment)
  • 1970: Unidentified parish(Amarillo, Texas) (during treatment)
  • 1969/1970: St. Anthony (Questa, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1970: Clayton High School (Clayton, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1971: St. John Vianney (South Burlington, VT) 
  • 1971: St. Mary (Cambridge / Johnson, VT)
  • 1971: St. George (Ottawa, ONT Canada)
  • 1971-1979: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1973-1974: Ottawa Archdiocese, Director of Education
  • 1974: Our Lady of Visitation (South Gloucester, ONT Canada)
  • 1975: Bayonne, NJ (per his father’s obituary)
  • 1977: St. Mary of the Assumption (Deal, NJ)
  • 1977-1979: Various assignments in Pensacola, Florida
  • 1978-1979: Pensacola Catholic High School (Pensacola, FL)
  • 1979-1980: Leave of Absence
  • 1979: Chaplain, unknown Queens, NY High School
  • 1980-1984: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1984-1985: St. Frances de Chantal (Bronx, New York)
  • 1986-1989: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1988-1990: New York Archdiocese Parish Mission Team (Suffern, NY)
  • 1991-1992: St. Mary (Fishkill, NY)
  • 1992-1993: St. Augustine (New York, NY)
  • 1993-1997: Listed in Official Catholic Directory as “On Duty Outside Diocese”

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Leo Courcy Jr.:

The saga of Fr. Leo Courcy is a complicated one and, after an extended investigation, we have done our best to reconstruct what we believe is his trial of abuse across America.  You may notice some assignments that are not listed and that is likely because there are big gaps in the publicly available information, particularly in the 1970s. For example, Courcy appears in a 1970 high school yearbook in New Mexico and then again in a 1978 yearbook in Pensacola, Florida.  His whereabouts during that time are not entirely clear but he may have worked at other parishes and high schools in Canada or New Jersey. It is documented that he served in the Archdiocese of New York beginning in the late 70s until the mid 1990s. 

Here is what we do know for certain: Father Leo Courcy Jr. served in Vermont for only approximately 3½ years. He remained a priest of the Burlington Diocese even though he rarely worked there after 1967.  According to the Diocese of Burlington, Bishop Kenneth A. Angell revoked Courcy’s priestly faculties in February 1993, though the exact reason is not clear.  However, media reports show him celebrating a funeral mass in the New York area well after that date. 

The Beginning of the End for Fr. Courcy

Father Courcy was laicized in June 2009, according to the the Diocese of Burlington, while serving in NYC.  It is not clear what prompted this action more than 15 years after the Diocese said Courcy was not able to work as a priest. 

There are numerous “red flags” in Courcy’s assignment history that would merit further investigation in a sex abuse lawsuit.  For example, Courcy has several leaves of absence, which may be indicative of temporary removals and quiet transfers following allegations of sexual abuse.  The assignment to the Servants of the Paraclete in 1967 very likely means that Courcy was the subject of at least one allegation of abuse around that time.  It could also mean that he was the subject of repeated allegations as of 1967, because, in our firm’s experience, shipping an accused priest to the Jemez Springs, New Mexico, treatment facility typically came only after repeated allegations and an inability to handle the matter quietly within the diocese. Of course, these questions would be answered with more certainty if either the Burlington Diocese or Archdiocese of Santa Fe provided a full and complete disclosure of Courcy’s history, rather than the limited ones they each published in response to public pressure.

In 1994, according to media reports, a civil lawsuit was filed against the Burlington Diocese and Archdiocese of Santa Fe alleging that Father Courcy and Father Joseph Anthony Gallegos sexually abused an altar boy in New Mexico after Courcy’s treatment at the Servants of the Paraclete facility in Jemez Springs. According to media reports, the lawsuit alleged that Courcy left treatment at the facility and returned to ministry against the advice of at least one psychologist. 

In September 2017, Father Courcy was named in a lawsuit alleging that he sexully abused an altar boy in 1969 while serving as a priest at St. Anthony’s in Questa, New Mexico. That same month, his name appeared publicly on the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. 

In May 2019, Father Courcy was named in another lawsuit against the Servants of the Paraclete, alleging that Courcy sexually abused two boys during an overnight stay at the rectory of St. Anthony’s in Questa, New Mexico, in 1969. According to the suit, one boy was raped and the other molested. According to the lawsuit, the Servants had sent Father Courcy to St. Anthony’s as a supply priest four days after his arrival for his second round of treatment for child sexual abuse. 

In August 2019, Father Courcy‘s name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Burlington’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.  While the Diocese included certain information about Courcy’s background in its disclosure, we have found that much of it is inaccurate and overall it is totally incomplete.  

Courcy is now in his 80s and believed to be living in the Syracuse, New York, area.  To our knowledge, he has never been criminally charged for his sexual misconduct and is not a registered sex offender.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of New York.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest or other Catholic clergy in New York State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of New York now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help.

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

Catholic sexual abuse

Parishes Can Be Victimized Too

If you’re a bishop, what do you do with parishioners when their beloved priest is accused of child sexual abuse?

One option: Do virtually nothing.

Another option: Express compassion.

A third option: Give them information, context and guidance.

That’s the smartest and most caring choice.

Sadly, however, most Catholic officials opt for saying nothing or token expressions of sympathy. (A common one is “Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone touched by these allegations.”)

What do we mean by “information, context and guidance.”

—“Information” is easy. Tell the flock as much as you can without jeopardizing the privacy of the accuser. For example, “Fr. Bob allegedly molested a boy on a camping trip.” That way, other parents whose kids went camping with Fr. Bob are more apt to ask their children “Did Fr. Bob ever do anything that made you hurt or feel uncomfortable?”

—“Context” is a little bit harder, but just as crucial. By definition, a “beloved priest” is popular. And no one wants to believe they and their loved ones are or have been at risk of horrific abuse. So naturally, the accused predator’s congregants desperately hope and believe he’s innocent.

But a real leader would make sure the flock knows that fewer than two percent of abuse reports against priests are false. There’s a bunch of evidence proving this at BishopAccountability.org

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/data.htm#falseallegations

Wouldn’t you, as bishop, want to spare Catholics more pain by explaining that the likelihood of Fr. Bob being exonerated and returning to work is pretty low?

—“Guidance” means teaching parishioners how to act in the wake of the accusation. Let’s face it: to most church-goers, having their pastor charged, publicly or criminally, with such a heinous crime is highly unusual. They’re in uncharted waters. They need guidance from spiritual figures.

And they can either help or hurt others through their actions. Here’s a short, simple list of recommendations, from survivors themselves, on how to make a dreadful situation less dreadful.

https://www.snapnetwork.org/links_homepage/when_priest_accused.htm

The tragedy is that we at Horowitz Law have rarely seen church authorities, in any denomination, offer such guidance to wounded, confused congregants.

We bring this up now because of the case involving Fr. Michael Pfleger in Chicago. He’s been a popular community crusader, taking on drug dealers, violence, disrespectful depictions of women in the media and other causes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Pfleger

But he’s also been accused of child sexual abuse of two boys and sexual abuse of a then-18 year old. Thankfully, his superior Cardinal Blasé Cupich, has suspended Fr. Pfleger.

But sadly, Pfleger’s flock is aggressively rallying around him. By doing so, they’re making the investigation into the abuse reports tougher. And they’re very likely scaring other witnesses, victims and whistleblowers who might shed light on the situation into keeping quiet.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/investigations/ct-pfleger-abuse-new-accuser-20210303-mayzala3afhchkhhfifttzyeki-story.html

Let’s not, however, blame the parishioners entirely. Much of the fault here lies with Cupich. He has the experience, resources, education and, in fact, the duty to teach his flock how they can privately express support for their ousted pastor while at the same time protecting the privacy of accusers.

Cupich hasn’t done so, however. And virtually none of his clerical colleagues have either.

He’s acting selfishly, doing and saying little, when he should be acting responsibly, doing and saying lots to make sure a tough situation isn’t made tougher for all.

Fr. Leo Courcy Jr. – Archdiocese of Newark

Father Leo Courcy Jr.

Archdiocese of Newark

Leo J Courcy Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1962

Leaves of Absence/Sick Leave: 1965-1966, 1979-1980

Inpatient Evaluation/Treatment: 1967-1970

Removed: 1993

Laicized: 2009 

Assigned as follows:

  • 1962 – 1965: St. Anthony (Burlington, VT)
  • 1965 -1967: Absent from Burlington Diocese on “Sick Leave”
  • 1966Don Bosco Home (Burlington, VT)
  • 1966St. Francis Xavier (Winooski, VT) 
  • 1966: St. Mark (Burlington, VT)
  • 1967 – 1970: Servants of the Paraclete (Santa Fe, NM) (inpatient treatment)
  • 1967 – 1969Holy Ghost (Albuquerque, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1968 – 1969St. Pius X High School (Albuquerque, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1969 – 1970St. Francis Xavier (Clayton, NM)  (during treatment)
  • 1970: Unidentified parish(Amarillo, Texas) (during treatment)
  • 1969/1970: St. Anthony (Questa, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1970: Clayton High School (Clayton, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1971: St. John Vianney (South Burlington, VT) 
  • 1971: St. Mary (Cambridge / Johnson, VT)
  • 1971: St. George (Ottawa, ONT Canada)
  • 1971-1979: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1973-1974: Ottawa Archdiocese, Director of Education
  • 1974: Our Lady of Visitation (South Gloucester, ONT Canada)
  • 1975: Bayonne, NJ (per his father’s obituary)
  • 1977: St. Mary of the Assumption (Deal, NJ)
  • 1977-1979: Various assignments in Pensacola, Florida
  • 1978-1979: Pensacola Catholic High School (Pensacola, FL)
  • 1979-1980: Leave of Absence
  • 1979: Chaplain, unknown Queens, NY High School
  • 1980-1984: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1984-1985: St. Frances de Chantal (Bronx, New York)
  • 1986-1989: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1988-1990: New York Archdiocese Parish Mission Team (Suffern, NY)
  • 1991-1992: St. Mary (Fishkill, NY)
  • 1992-1993: St. Augustine (New York, NY)
  • 1993-1997: Listed in Official Catholic Directory as “On Duty Outside Diocese”

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Leo Courcy Jr.:

The saga of Fr. Leo Courcy is a complicated one and, after an extended investigation, we have done our best to reconstruct what we believe is his trial of abuse across America.  You may notice some assignments that are not listed and that is likely because there are big gaps in the publicly available information, particularly in the 1970s. For example, Courcy appears in a 1970 high school yearbook in New Mexico and then again in a 1978 yearbook in Pensacola, Florida.  His whereabouts during that time are not entirely clear but he may have worked at other parishes and high schools in Canada or New Jersey. It is documented that he served in the Archdiocese of Newark in the mid 70s, possibly while on assignment at Marist High School (although this has not been confirmed.) 

Here is what we do know for certain: Father Leo Courcy Jr. served in Vermont for only approximately 3½ years. He remained a priest of the Burlington Diocese even though he rarely worked there after 1967.  According to the Diocese of Burlington, Bishop Kenneth A. Angell revoked Courcy’s priestly faculties in February 1993, though the exact reason is not clear.  However, media reports show him celebrating a funeral mass in the New York area well after that date. 

Father Courcy was laicized in June 2009, according to the the Diocese of Burlington, while serving in NYC.  It is not clear what prompted this action more than 15 years after the Diocese said Courcy was not able to work as a priest. 

There are numerous “red flags” in Courcy’s assignment history that would merit further investigation in a sex abuse lawsuit.  For example, Courcy has several leaves of absence, which may be indicative of temporary removals and quiet transfers following allegations of sexual abuse.  The assignment to the Servants of the Paraclete in 1967 very likely means that Courcy was the subject of at least one allegation of abuse around that time.  It could also mean that he was the subject of repeated allegations as of 1967, because, in our firm’s experience, shipping an accused priest to the Jemez Springs, New Mexico, treatment facility typically came only after repeated allegations and an inability to handle the matter quietly within the diocese. Of course, these questions would be answered with more certainty if either the Burlington Diocese or Archdiocese of Santa Fe provided a full and complete disclosure of Courcy’s history, rather than the limited ones they each published in response to public pressure.

In 1994, according to media reports, a civil lawsuit was filed against the Burlington Diocese and Archdiocese of Santa Fe alleging that Father Courcy and Father Joseph Anthony Gallegos sexually abused an altar boy in New Mexico after Courcy’s treatment at the Servants of the Paraclete facility in Jemez Springs. According to media reports, the lawsuit alleged that Courcy left treatment at the facility and returned to ministry against the advice of at least one psychologist. 

In September 2017, Father Courcy was named in a lawsuit alleging that he sexully abused an altar boy in 1969 while serving as a priest at St. Anthony’s in Questa, New Mexico. That same month, his name appeared publicly on the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. 

In May 2019, Father Courcy was named in another lawsuit against the Servants of the Paraclete, alleging that Courcy sexually abused two boys during an overnight stay at the rectory of St. Anthony’s in Questa, New Mexico, in 1969. According to the suit, one boy was raped and the other molested. According to the lawsuit, the Servants had sent Father Courcy to St. Anthony’s as a supply priest four days after his arrival for his second round of treatment for child sexual abuse. 

In August 2019, Father Courcy‘s name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Burlington’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.  While the Diocese included certain information about Courcy’s background in its disclosure, we have found that much of it is inaccurate and overall it is totally incomplete.  

Courcy is now in his 80s and believed to be living in the Syracuse, New York, area.  To our knowledge, he has never been criminally charged for his sexual misconduct and is not a registered sex offender.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Newark in New Jersey.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Newark now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.

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

Fr. Leo Courcy Jr. – Diocese of Trenton

Father Leo Courcy Jr.

Diocese of Trenton

Leo J Courcy Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1962

Leaves of Absence/Sick Leave: 1965-1966, 1979-1980

Inpatient Evaluation/Treatment: 1967-1970

Removed: 1993

Laicized: 2009 

Assigned as follows:

  • 1962 – 1965: St. Anthony (Burlington, VT)
  • 1965 -1967: Absent from Burlington Diocese on “Sick Leave”
  • 1966Don Bosco Home (Burlington, VT)
  • 1966St. Francis Xavier (Winooski, VT) 
  • 1966: St. Mark (Burlington, VT)
  • 1967 – 1970: Servants of the Paraclete (Santa Fe, NM) (inpatient treatment)
  • 1967 – 1969Holy Ghost (Albuquerque, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1968 – 1969St. Pius X High School (Albuquerque, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1969 – 1970St. Francis Xavier (Clayton, NM)  (during treatment)
  • 1970: Unidentified parish(Amarillo, Texas) (during treatment)
  • 1969/1970: St. Anthony (Questa, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1970: Clayton High School (Clayton, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1971: St. John Vianney (South Burlington, VT) 
  • 1971: St. Mary (Cambridge / Johnson, VT)
  • 1971: St. George (Ottawa, ONT Canada)
  • 1971-1979: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1973-1974: Ottawa Archdiocese, Director of Education
  • 1974: Our Lady of Visitation (South Gloucester, ONT Canada)
  • 1975: Bayonne, NJ (per his father’s obituary)
  • 1977: St. Mary of the Assumption (Deal, NJ)
  • 1977-1979: Various assignments in Pensacola, Florida
  • 1978-1979: Pensacola Catholic High School (Pensacola, FL)
  • 1979-1980: Leave of Absence
  • 1979: Chaplain, unknown Queens, NY High School
  • 1980-1984: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1984-1985: St. Frances de Chantal (Bronx, New York)
  • 1986-1989: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1988-1990: New York Archdiocese Parish Mission Team (Suffern, NY)
  • 1991-1992: St. Mary (Fishkill, NY)
  • 1992-1993: St. Augustine (New York, NY)
  • 1993-1997: Listed in Official Catholic Directory as “On Duty Outside Diocese”

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Leo Courcy Jr.:

The saga of Fr. Leo Courcy is a complicated one and, after an extended investigation, we have done our best to reconstruct what we believe is his trial of abuse across America.  You may notice some assignments that are not listed and that is likely because there are big gaps in the publicly available information, particularly in the 1970s. For example, Courcy appears in a 1970 high school yearbook in New Mexico and then again in a 1978 yearbook in Pensacola, Florida.  His whereabouts during that time are not entirely clear but he may have worked at other parishes and high schools in Canada or New Jersey, including in the Diocese of Trenton in the late 70s. 

Here is what we do know for certain: Father Leo Courcy Jr. served in Vermont for only approximately 3½ years. He remained a priest of the Burlington Diocese even though he rarely worked there after 1967.  According to the Diocese of Burlington, Bishop Kenneth A. Angell revoked Courcy’s priestly faculties in February 1993, though the exact reason is not clear.  However, media reports show him celebrating a funeral mass in the New York area well after that date. 

Father Courcy was laicized in June 2009, according to the the Diocese of Burlington, while serving in NYC.  It is not clear what prompted this action more than 15 years after the Diocese said Courcy was not able to work as a priest. 

There are numerous “red flags” in Courcy’s assignment history that would merit further investigation in a sex abuse lawsuit.  For example, Courcy has several leaves of absence, which may be indicative of temporary removals and quiet transfers following allegations of sexual abuse.  The assignment to the Servants of the Paraclete in 1967 very likely means that Courcy was the subject of at least one allegation of abuse around that time.  It could also mean that he was the subject of repeated allegations as of 1967, because, in our firm’s experience, shipping an accused priest to the Jemez Springs, New Mexico, treatment facility typically came only after repeated allegations and an inability to handle the matter quietly within the diocese. Of course, these questions would be answered with more certainty if either the Burlington Diocese or Archdiocese of Santa Fe provided a full and complete disclosure of Courcy’s history, rather than the limited ones they each published in response to public pressure.

In 1994, according to media reports, a civil lawsuit was filed against the Burlington Diocese and Archdiocese of Santa Fe alleging that Father Courcy and Father Joseph Anthony Gallegos sexually abused an altar boy in New Mexico after Courcy’s treatment at the Servants of the Paraclete facility in Jemez Springs. According to media reports, the lawsuit alleged that Courcy left treatment at the facility and returned to ministry against the advice of at least one psychologist. 

In September 2017, Father Courcy was named in a lawsuit alleging that he sexully abused an altar boy in 1969 while serving as a priest at St. Anthony’s in Questa, New Mexico. That same month, his name appeared publicly on the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. 

In May 2019, Father Courcy was named in another lawsuit against the Servants of the Paraclete, alleging that Courcy sexually abused two boys during an overnight stay at the rectory of St. Anthony’s in Questa, New Mexico, in 1969. According to the suit, one boy was raped and the other molested. According to the lawsuit, the Servants had sent Father Courcy to St. Anthony’s as a supply priest four days after his arrival for his second round of treatment for child sexual abuse. 

In August 2019, Father Courcy‘s name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Burlington’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.  While the Diocese included certain information about Courcy’s background in its disclosure, we have found that much of it is inaccurate and overall it is totally incomplete.  

Courcy is now in his 80s and believed to be living in the Syracuse, New York, area.  To our knowledge, he has never been criminally charged for his sexual misconduct and is not a registered sex offender.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Trenton in New Jersey.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Trenton now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide.  We can help. 

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

Diocese of Rockville Centre Horowitz Law

Sex Abuse Claims Filing Deadline Set in Rockville Centre Diocese Bankruptcy

On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court set the deadline for filing all sexual abuse claims against Rockville Center’s Diocese for August 14, 2021. The Diocese filed for Chapter 11 protection earlier this year to resolve all pending sex abuse claims against the Diocese with the bankruptcy court’s assistance. This bankruptcy impacts the rights of Sexual Abuse Survivors against the Diocese in the case, In re: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York.

Contrary to what you might think, a bankruptcy filing does not mean the Diocese is broke: it implies the Diocese is asking for the Bankruptcy Court for help resolving the rest of the sexual abuse claims against it. Its assets will be allocated among all of its creditors, including an unknown number of sexual abuse claimants, known and unknown. It is also a means by which a Catholic Diocese can continue to protect itself and its secrets. For that reason, it is often criticized by survivor advocates and attorneys. The Diocese of Rockville Centre will not likely have to publicize any priest personnel files as part of this process, for example.

The August 14 filing deadline is also referred to as a “bar date” in bankruptcy law. It is a strict, non-negotiable deadline by which all existing claims must be filed against the Diocese of Rockville Centre, or claimants will be forever barred from seeking relief in the future. Regardless of how old the sexual abuse survivor is today or when the abuse occurred, they need to file their claim to receive it by 5 pm on that day. If the victims do not file a timely Sexual Abuse Claim, they may lose rights against the Diocese and Diocese related entities, including any right to compensation. Anyone who was sexually abused on or before October 1, 2020, and believes the Diocese may be responsible for the sexual abuse must file a claim.

For survivors of sexual abuse by anyone employed by the Diocese of Rockville Centre such as a priest, teacher, sacristan, or lay volunteer, this likely means that even if New York lawmakers extend the statute of limitations and otherwise allow you to file a lawsuit, your claim will barred by the bankruptcy bar date. That makes it critically important for anyone who a Rockville Centre Diocese employee victimized to contact competent counsel as soon as possible to discuss your options: the fact is that you probably won’t have any options after August 14, 2021.

The August 14 deadline is a strict filing deadline set by the Court and will not likely be extended by the Court for any reason. Therefore, you should contact us immediately for a free and confidential consultation about your legal options as a survivor of abuse in the Rockville Centre Diocese.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Rockville Centre and throughout New York.  The Diocese of Rockville Centre filed for federal bankruptcy protection in October 2020.  Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Rockville Centre may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines have been set by the Bankruptcy Court.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Rockville Centre will never be able to take against against the Diocese of Rockville Centre if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your legal options today.

Msgr. Thomas J. Robillard – Diocese of Ogdensburg

Monsignor Thomas J. Robillard

Diocese of Ogdensburg

Thomas J. Robillard Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1944

Retired: 1993

Died: 2009

Assignment History:

  • Church of the Assumption (Redford, NY)
  • Our Lady of Victory Church (Plattsburgh, NY)
  • St. Henry’s Church (DeKalb Junction, NY)
  • St. Mary’s Church (Constableville, NY)
  • St. Mary’s of the Fort Church (Fort Covington, NY)
  • St. John the Baptist Church (Keeseville, NY)
  • St. Catherine’s Church (Keeseville, NY)
  • St. Francis Solanus (Harrisville, NY)
  • St. Rita’s (Lake Bonaparte, NY)
  • St. Martin’s Church (Port Leyden, NY)
  • St. John’s Church (Lyons Falls, NY)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Monsignor Thomas J. Robillard:

In February 2021, a lawsuit was filed in the state Supreme Court against the Diocese of Ogdensburg, naming Monsignor Thomas J. Robillard as allegedly committing acts of sexual assault, battery, and rape.

According to the suit, Robillard sexually abused a child between 1970 and 1973 at St. John the Baptist Church in Keeseville, NY. No further details about the abuse have been released.

Robillard, an Ogdensburg native, served at various other churches in St. Lawrence and Lewis counties throughout his career with the Diocese. He retired in 1993 and resided in Norfolk until he died in 2009. He was 91 years old.

The claim also states that the Diocese of Ogdensburg knew or “reasonably should have known” of Robillard’s propensities to commit the claimed acts of sexual assault.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Ogdensburg in New York.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused as a child in New York State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Ogdensburg now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help. 

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