Category: Clergy Abuse

Fr. Christopher Lucas – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Christopher Lucas

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Christopher Lucas Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1985

Removed: September 2019

Assignment History:

  • St. Christopher Parish, Philadelphia (1997-2000)
  • Our Lady of Consolation Parish, Philadelphia (2000-2002)
  • St. Martha Parish, Philadelphia (2002-2004)
  • St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls, Philadelphia (2000-2004)
  • Bishop Shanahan High School, Downingtown (2004-2005)
  • SS. Philip and James Parish, Exton (2004-2005)
  • Old St. Mary Parish, Philadelphia (2005-2006)
  • St. John the Baptist Parish, Philadelphia (2006-2010)
  • John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School (2005-2010)
  • Immaculate Conception Parish, Levittown (2010-2013)
  • Conwell-Egan Catholic High School, Fairless Hills (2010-2013)
  • St. John the Baptist Parish, Philadelphia (2013-2019)
  • John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School (2013-2019)
  • placed on administrative leave, priestly faculties restricted, and found unsuitable for ministry (2019)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Christopher Lucas:

On September 16, 2019, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that Fr. Christopher Lucas has been permanently removed from ministry following an allegation of sexual misconduct.  The Archdiocese’s internal review board investigated the matter and determined that Lucas was “unsuitable for ministry.”

The sexual misconduct occurred when Lucas was 17 years old, in 1974, and involved a minor child. No additional details were released by the Archdiocese, except to say that it first learned of the allegation in the fall of 2018.

At the time of his removal, Lucas was assigned as campus minister at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School.

Lucas was originally ordained as a Franciscan priest and incardinated into the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 2002.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Philadelphia may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so please do not delay in reaching out to us.

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

Msgr. Thomas J. Mohan – Diocese of Orange

Monsignor Thomas J. Mohan

Diocese of Orange

Ordained: 1935

Removed: 

Died: 2003

Assigned as follows:

  • 1936                St. Mary of the Lake Seminary (Mundelein, IL)
  • 1937                Collegio S. Maria Del Lago (Rome, Italy)
  • 1938-1945      Blessed Sacrament (Chicago, IL)
  • 1938-1952      Quigley Preparatory (Chicago, IL)
  • 1946-1950      St. Mary’s of the Lake (Chicago, IL)
  • 1951-1955      Archdiocesan Clergy House (Chicago, IL)
  • 1956-1958      St. Edward’s (Chicago, IL)
  • 1959-1966      Cardinal Stritch Retreat House (Mundelein, IL)
  • 1967-1972      St. Genevieve (Chicago, IL
  • 1973-2002      Retired Anaheim (Fullerton ,CA)
  • 1973-2002      Retired, St. Genevieve (Chicago IL)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Monsignor Thomas J. Mohan :

According to media reports, Monsignor Thomas J. Mohan was first publicly accused in a lawsuit filed in October 2018 by a man who said Monsignor Mohan sexually abused him as a child for two years beginning in 1978, when the man was age 10 and Monsignor Mohan was serving at St. Anthony Claret Church in Anaheim. The man filed a suit against all Catholic Bishops in California and the Archdiocese of Chicago, alleging they had engaged in a covered up of Monsignor Mohan’s sexual abuse for decades.
The man said he had heard from another one of Monsignor Mohan’s victims. The Archdiocese of Chicago received a second complaint of misconduct in California.

“This lawsuit is to find justice — to get the clerics at the top to come clean and tell the truth,” the man said.

“I struggle with it every day simply because I lost my faith, I lost my virginity, I lost the trust that I had in people that I should have trusted,” he said. “And that damaged not only myself, but my family.”

Monsignor Mohan retired in 1973 and died in 2002. In December 2018, his name was included on the archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse. It noted a report in 2018 of incidents occurring in 1974 or 1975 and from 1978-1980.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Orange.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Orange, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Orange now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Richard Coughlin – Diocese of Orange

Father Richard Coughlin

Diocese of Orange

Ordained: 1953

Suspended: 1993

Died: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • 1954-1959      St. Patrick’s (Boston, MA)
  • 1960-1965      St. Mary’s (Lynn, MA)
  • 1966-1967      Immaculate Heart of Mary (Santa Ana, CA)
  • 1968-1972      St. Anthony Claret (Anaheim, CA
  • 1973-1974      St. John the Baptist (Costa Mesa, CA)
  • 1975-1985      St. Michael’s Norbertine Junior Seminary (Orange, CA)
  • 1986-1989      Unknown
  • 1990-1993      Special Assignment

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Richard Coughlin:

Father Richard Coughlin worked in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Archdiocese of Boston, and Diocese of Orange. In 1970 Coughlin founded the All-American Boys Choir, which was not funded by or affiliated with the Church. The choir traveled internationally and performed for Pope Paul VI at the Vatican. According to media reports, in 1985, a man reported to the Archdiocese of Boston that he was sexually abused by Father Richard Coughlin when he was a child from 1958 to 1962. He said the abuse occurred in Massachusetts and on trips to New Hampshire and New York. 

In December 1992 four men reported separately that Father Coughlin had molested them as boys. The men were ages 23-45, and all had been Boys Choir members between 1970 and 1983. One said his father told the Los Angeles archdiocese of the abuse in 1974, and to choir board members in 1990. Also in December 1992, the man who had reported Father Coughlin in 1985 again went to Father McCormack in Boston with his allegations. He was initially told that there was no record of his previous report. 

In April 1993, Father McCormack informed him that the complaint was found and that Bishop Banks had forwarded it to the Diocese of Orange. Orange officials said in 2002 that the complaint was never received. In February 1993, another man, who was a Boys Choir member from 1977 to 1980, reported abuse by Father Coughlin. He said he told choir management in 1979 that Father Coughlin was abusing him and two other boys. 

In April 2002, a man reported to the Oklahoma City archdiocese “inappropriate conduct” by Father Coughlin from 1968 to 1971. The report was forwarded to Los Angeles. In December of that year, Father Coughlin was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy in Lynn, Massachusetts during 1962-1965.

Father Coughlin was suspended from ministry in January 1993, and ordered to sever ties with the Boys Choir. In 2016 he was permanently restricted from ministry. In March 2016, he was included on Attorney Garabedian’s list of accused clerics named in civil claims resulting in settlements or arbitration awards.

Father Coughlin was included in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of priests accused of sexual misconduct involving minors. He was also included in the Diocese of Orange’s list of clergy removed from ministry resulting from a credible allegation of sexual abuse. Lawsuits against him in Southern California resulted in more than $3 million in settlements. His status, per the Diocese of Orange in August 2016, was a “Life of Prayer and Penance.” In February 2017, another lawsuit was filed alleging abuse of a Boys Choir member beginning at age 10. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Orange.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Orange, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Orange now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Msgr. Michael Harris – Diocese of Orange

Monsignor Michael Harris

Diocese of Orange

Ordained: 1972

Removed: 1994

Laicized: 2001

Assigned as follows:

  • 1972-1974      Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (Monrovia, CA)
  • 1975                St. Philip Neri Catholic Church (Lynwood, CA)
  • 1976-1977      St. Polycarp Church (Stanton, CA)
  • 1978-1987      Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, CA)
  • 1988-1994      Santa Margarita High School (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)
  • 1995-2000      Inactive leave

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Monsignor Michael Harris:

Monsignor Michael Harris worked for over twenty years in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Orange. According to media reports, he was the founding principal of Santa Margarita High School, where he worked until being accused of sexual abuse in January 1994. The allegations claimed Monsignor Harris had sexually abused a boy while he was at Mater Dei High School from 1977 to 1979. The boy’s mother made the allegations after her son died of AIDS. While her son was suffering from AIDS several years earlier, she suggested that he call Monsignor Harris, a trusted family friend for counseling.

“He became extremely distraught and angry. He told me he had been molested by Father Harris and never wanted to see him again,” she said. “He swore me to secrecy.”

Monsignor Harris was accused of sexually abusing another male student at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana in 1991. The Los Angeles Archdiocese and the Diocese of Orange agreed to pay a third accuser a total of $5.2 million in 2001. 

Shortly after the allegations, he resigned from his position at Santa Margarita High School for unrelated reasons. In the years following this accusation, Monsignor Harris was accused of sexually abusing a number of other boys and has been the subject of multiple settlements. Monsignor Harris, once nicknamed “Father Hollywood” for his charisma and energy, has repeatedly denied all allegations of sexual abuse.

One alleged victim said his stepmother asked Monsignor Harris to counsel him when he was a Mater Dei freshman, after the sudden death of his father six weeks after remarrying. During the first counseling session in Monsignor Harris’ Mater Dei office, the priest fondled him. Soon, he was forcing the boy to perform sex acts, both in his school office and his home in Orange, and continued throughout all four years of high school, the victim said.

“He said it was our secret and I was to tell no one,” the victim said. 

Another alleged victim was was close to suicide. He went with his family to tell Monsignor Urell that his counseling sessions in high school with Monsignor Harris had turned into weekly sexual molestations. In 2001, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Orange agreed to pay the student a total of $5.2 million, a record settlement.

“We apologized,” said a spokesman for the archdiocese. “The Catholic Church strongly condemns the kind of activity complained of in this case. We’re committed to ensuring the safety of our ministries for our people, especially our children.” 

Shortly after in November, Monsignor Harris was laicized. Three years later, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles listed 12 accusers of Monsignor Harris in a 2004 report on clergy sexual abuse. Monsignor Harris was included in a press release issued by the Diocese of Orange in 2004 as a priest accused and removed from ministry. A year later, in 2005, the Diocese of Orange settled with an additional nine accusers of Monsignor Harris. A final settlement was reached in 2012. 

His personnel file was released in May 2012. The latest case settled by the Diocese of Orange in June 2012 was for $2 million. The victim is a decorated military pilot who accused Monsignor Harris of abusing him in late 1986 or early 1987 when he was principal of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana and the victim was a student there. 

It is estimated that Monsignor Harris has cost the Diocese of Orange about $50 million in known settlements thus far. Monsignor Harris was included in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of priests accused of sexual misconduct involving minors. He was also included in the Diocese of Orange’s list of clergy removed from ministry and laicized through canonical process resulting from a credible allegation of sexual abuse. As of 2014, it is believed Monsignor Harris was living in Riverside, California. Monsignor Harris’ current whereabouts and whether he has access to children are unknown. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Orange.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Orange, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Orange now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Siegfried Widera – Diocese of Orange

Father Siegfried Widera

Diocese of Orange

Ordained: 1967

Died: 2003

Assigned as follows:

  • 1968                St. Mary De Nepomuc’s (West Allis, WI)
  • 1969-1972      St. Mary, Help of Christians (Slovene), Port Washington, WI)
  • 1973                St. Mary’s (Port Washington, WI)
  • 1974-1976      St. Andrew’s (Delavan, WI)
  • 1977-1981      Other assignments / St. Justin Martyr (Anaheim, CA)
  • 1982-1984      St. Edward Church (Dana Point, CA)
  • 1985                Immaculate Heart of Mary (Santa Ana, CA)
  • 1986                Sick Leave
  • 1987-2001      Inactive Leave

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Siegfried Widera:

According to media reports, in 1973, Father Siegfried Widera was convicted of sexual abuse and was sentenced to three years’ probation. He pleaded guilty to sexual perversion after admitting to sexually abusing an 11 year-old boy, to “fondling a number of boys’ privates and allowing at least 2-3 boys to commit sodomy on him” at St. Mary’s. Father Widera was allowed to continue working and was reassigned to St. Andrew’s in Delavan, Wisconsin. The parishioners of St. Andrew’s were not informed about Father Widera’s conviction or history of sexual abuse. 

In June 1976, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee was informed by a therapist that a boy under his treatment disclosed that he had been sexually abused by Father Widera. Following this revelation, Father Widera was kept in the parish for at least six weeks while he was still on probation, but after his probation ended, Father Widera was moved to the Diocese of Orange. Church officials knew of his behavior.  Shortly after his move to California, he was accused of sexually abusing multiple young boys at St. Pius V in Buena Park, St. Justin Martyr in Anaheim, and St. Martin de Porres in Yorba Linda. 

In 1985, someone reported to Orange Chancellor Michael Driscoll that Father Widera was seen molesting four or five boys in a swimming pool. A woman told Chancellor Driscoll that Father Widera inappropriately touched her son when he was tucking the boy into bed. 

After he was accused of sexual abuse in Orange County, Father Widera was removed from minstry in September 1985 and sent to Servants of the Paraclete in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, for treatment. He was diagnosed with pedophilia. He admitted to molesting at least 10 boys in Orange County. The center’s director tried to find another diocese to take Father Widera, despite his history and diagnosis. He dropped out of the treatment program early and went on to become a businessman in Tucson, Arizona. 

When the church’s national sex abuse scandal was brought to light in 2002, more victims came forward and Father Widera was charged with 33 felony counts of sexual abuse in California and 9 counts in Wisconsin. After being indicted, Father Widera fled to Mazatlan, Mexico. He became the subject of a manhunt, and finally in 2003, having his hotel surrounded by law enforcement, Father Widera jumped off a balcony. He had been on the run for more than a year, and authorities considered him one of the most wanted sex-crime fugitives in the Western Hemisphere.

Father Widera was included in a press release issued by the Diocese of Orange in 2004 as a priest accused and removed from ministry. In 2006, three more men came forward alleging Father Widera had sexually abused them while at St. Andrew’s in Delavan, Wisconsin. In total, at least 10 victims have settled civil suits with either the Archdiocese of Milwuakee and/or Diocese of Orange for $17.7million. That was part of a $100 million settlement with other victims—at that time the largest such payout in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States. The Orange County Register noted at the time that Father Widera’s victims were among “the most grievously abused.”

After Father Widera’s personnel file was released in July 2013, it was discovered that the Diocese of Orange was aware of his history of sexual abuse but chose to accept him into the Diocese nonetheless. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Orange.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Orange, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Orange now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Denis Lyons – Diocese of Orange

Father Denis Lyons

Diocese of Orange

Ordained: 1958

Removed: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • 1959-1963      Holy Trinity (San Pedro, CA)
  • 1964-1970      St. Bernard’s (Bellflower, CA)
  • 1971-1974      St. Genevieve’s (Van Nuys, CA)
  • 1975-1977      St. Pius V (Buena Park, CA)
  • 1978                St. Mary Church (Huntington Beach, CA)
  • 1979-1996      St. John the Baptist (Costa Mesa, CA)
  • 1997-2002      St. Edward (Dana Point, CA)
  • 2002                Administrative Leave

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Denis Lyons:

According to media reports, in 1993, Father Denis Lyons admitted to inappropriate behavior with two adults when he worked as pastor at St. John the Baptist in Costa Mesa. In 1994, he was sent to a residential treatment center for eight months after the parents of two boys contacted the Diocese of Orange regarding inappropriate advances occurring around 1979, when the boys were 14 and 16. It was determined that he was not a pedophile and did not pose a risk to minors. 

In April 2002, Father Lyons was placed on administrative leave from St. Edward Church in Dana Point after a man alleged that he was molested by the priest in 1979 at St. John the Baptist. He was arrested in April 2003 on charges he sexually abused a teenage boy in 1979 during counseling sessions at St. John the Baptist and during visits to the boy’s home. The charges were later dropped due to the statute of limitations. He left the priesthood in April 2004.

In March 2008, a man filed a lawsuit alleging Father Lyons sexually abused him when he was a third grader at St. John the Baptist School from approximately 1994 to 1995. The case was settled in February 2009. Prior to this settlement, the Diocese of Orange had already paid more than $4 million to settle sex-abuse lawsuits involving Father Lyons.

In July 2009, Father Lyons was arrested on new charges of child sexual abuse. On March 23, 2012, Father Lyons pleaded guilty to four felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14, and was sentenced to one year in jail, five years’ probation. He also had to register as a sex offender. The Deputy District Attorney who prosecuted the case, said the victim asked prosecutors to resolve the case without it having to go to trial, so as not to relive the pain from so many years ago.

“(Lyons) should probably spend the rest of his life in prison for the crimes he has committed over the past 20, 30 years,” she said. “But we have to take into consideration the victim’s wishes and we did that.”

Just days later, a new suit alleging child sexual abuse was filed.

According to the Diocese of Orange’s website in 2016 Father Lyons was living a “Life of Prayer and Penance.” He was included in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of priests accused of sexual misconduct involving minors. He was also included in the Diocese of Orange’s list of clergy removed from the ministry as a result of credible allegations of sexual abuse. According to the California Megan’s Law website, Father Lyons is believed to be living in Los Angeles. His current access to children is unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Orange.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Orange, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Orange now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. John Peter Lenihan – Diocese of Orange

Father John Peter Lenihan

Diocese of Orange

Ordained: 1969

Laicized: 2002

Assigned as follows:

  • 1970-1974      All Souls (Alhambra, CA)
  • 1975-1977      St. Angela Merici (Brea, CA)
  • 1978-1982      St. Norbert (Orange, CA)
  • 1983-1995      St. Boniface (Anaheim, CA)
  • 1996-2001      St. Edward Church (Dana Point, CA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against John Peter Lenihan:

Father John Peter Lenihan grew up in Ireland and was ordained in Los Angeles in 1969. According to media reports, in 1991, after being named in a civil lawsuit, Father Lenihan admitted to having sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl on multiple occasions during the summer of 1978. He was 32 at the time. In 1978, the step-father of the victim, wrote a letter to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Orange warning them of Father Lenihan’s conduct with his stepdaughter. 

“I was in love with Mary,” Father Lenihan testified, “and I sought more intimacy.”This 15-year-old was not totally unaware. She was no child.” 

The church paid $25,000 to settle her lawsuit. He said that church officials knew of his conduct but still assigned him to St. Boniface in Anaheim. Again, he was allowed to continue to work in the Diocese of Orange.

Father Lenihan underwent therapy in 1982 for eight months to resolve his sexual conflicts. He was accused of impregnating a 16-year-old girl and paying for an abortion that same year. In December 2001, a second lawsuit was filed. 

“I struggle with the thoughts that my first sexual experience was with a man twice my age, who was trusted by my parents and other families because he was their priest. I have never been able to reconcile the fact that the priest who preached on subjects like `abortion is a mortal sin’ was the one who told me to have an abortion. 

“Right about that time,” the victim said, “he started backing off. I think he moved onto somebody else.” 

In 2002, her case was settled by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Orange for $1.2 million. “I was called a liar by priests in high places,” she recalled.

In 2001, Father Lenihan was allegedly sent to a counseling program in Canada, but he did not complete the program. In September of that year, he was removed after he, under the pseudonym “Father X,” revealed to a Los Angeles Times columnist that he had had several sexual relationships, including “four serious ones.” In 2002, he agreed to request laicization by the pope after investigations were made into the Diocese of Orange’s priests.

Father Lenihan was publicly named on the Diocese of Orange’s list of clergy accused of sexually molesting children. His personnel file, which is 269 pages, was released in November 2013. His current whereabouts and whether he has access to children are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Orange.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Orange, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Orange now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Msgr. Gerardo Jarencio Tanilong – Diocese of Orange

Monsignor Gerardo Jarencio Tanilong

Diocese of Orange

Ordained: 1962

Removed: 2004

Died: Unknown

Assigned as follows:

  • 1985                Immaculate Conception Church (Mount Vernon, WA)
  • 1986-1989      Our Lady of Lourdes (Santa Ana, CA)
  • 1990-1993      St. Joachim Church (Costa Mesa, CA)
  • 1994-1995      St. Boniface Church (Anaheim, CA)
  • 1996-1998      St. Callistus Church (Garden Grove, CA)
  • 1999-2002      Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (Santa Ana, CA)
  • 2003                Administrative Leave
  • 2004                Removed

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Monsignor Gerardo Jarencio Tanilong:

Monsignor Gerardo Jarencio Tanilong was ordained for a diocese in the Philippines in 1962, and came to the U.S. where he was incardinated into the Diocese of Orange in 1990. According to media reports, in 2003, he was charged on counts relating to child molestation that had occurred earlier that year. He was placed on administrative leave. 

In January 2004, Monsignor Tanilong pleaded guilty to charges of molesting a 15-year-old girl in the backseat of a car while her parents were in the front seat. He was sentenced to six months in jail, three years’ probation, and to register as a sex offender. Following his guilty plea, he was permanently removed from the priesthood. 

The victim no longer trusts priests or attends Mass, her father said in the probation report.

“This is the one person we thought we could trust to put our faith in, our priest. … Our daughter has been scarred by this crime.” 

Monsignor Tanilong’s most recent whereabouts and whether he had access to children is unknown. He had been in violation of registration requirements since October 2009. Monsignor Tanilong was listed, as deceased, on the Diocese of Orange’s list of members and former members of the clergy who have been removed from ministry resulting from a credible allegation of sexual abuse in 2016. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Orange.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Orange, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Orange now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Msgr. Daniel Murray – Diocese of Orange

Monsignor Daniel Murray

Diocese of Orange

Ordained: 1973

Laicized: 2019

Assigned as follows:

  • 1974-1975      St. Mark Church (Venice, CA)
  • 1976-1977      St. Columban (Garden Grove, CA)
  • 1978                On Duty Outside
  • 1979                Educational Leave
  • 1980                St. Joseph’s (Placentia, CA)
  • 1981-1982      Pastoral Service Center (Orange, CA)
  • 1983                Unknown
  • 1984-1995      St. Boniface Church (Anaheim, CA)
  • 1996-1999      St. Callistus (Garden Grove, CA)
  • 2000-2005      Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Newport Beach, CA)
  • 2004-2011      Administrative Leave
  • 2012-2014      Unknown
  • 2015-2017      Administrative Leave

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Monsignor Daniel Murray:

According to media reports, Monsignor Daniel Murray, former vocations director of the Diocese of Orange, was accused of sexual misconduct in 1991. He denied the charges. The Diocese of Orange reported that they were unable to substantiate the claims. In 2003, he was named in a child sexual abuse lawsuit. The suit alleged Monsignor Murray sexually abused one youth from 1973 to 1979.

In September 2004, a support group for clergy abuse victims sent a letter to a Catholic lay group asking it to declare that Orange County Bishop Tod D. Brown violated the U.S. Bishops Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in a case involving Monsignor Daniel Murray of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The letter outlined three separate violations of the charter: that Monsignor Murray remained in his post; that the $500,000 settlement was kept secret for almost a year; and that the Diocese of Orange  refused to make the case public.

Monsignor Murray was included in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of priests accused of sexual misconduct involving minors. According to the Diocese of Orange’s list, he was laicized, in 2019.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Orange.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Orange, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Orange now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Msgr. Patrick O’Keefe – Diocese of Orange

Monsignor Patrick O’Keefe

Diocese of Orange

Ordained: 1959

Removed: 1994

Laicized: 2006

Assigned as follows:

  • 1960-1965      St. John The Evangelist (San Diego, CA)
  • 1966-1974      St. Charles Borromeo (San Diego, CA)
  • 1975-1976      St. Adelaide (Highland, CA)
  • 1977                St. Joseph Church (Loma Linda, CA)
  • 1978-1983      St. Peter and St. Paul (Alta Loma, CA)
  • 1984-1986      Unknown
  • 1987-1990      Junipero Serra House of Formation (Riverside, CA)
  • 1990-1992      St. Margaret Mary Church (Chino, CA)
  • 1993                Unknown
  • 1994                Holy Family Church (Hesperia, CA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Monsignor Patrick O’Keefe:

According to media reports, Monsignor Patrick O’Keeffe, a Native of Ireland, served Southern California for nearly thirty years before being appointed Monsignor in 1988. He served as Monsignor for several years before having his faculties removed in April 1994. According to records Monsignor O’Keeffe was dismissed from all parish duties after a lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct was settled by the Diocese of San Diego. 

Monsignor O’Keeffe and the church also faced a separate civil lawsuit containing accusations of sexual abuse from more than a dozen girls and women.

In the second case, a woman accused Monsignor O’Keeffe of molesting her at a Chula Vista church in 1958. He was targeted in two other lawsuits, which accused him of molesting two girls in Chula Vista in the late 1950s and a 14-year-old student at St. Margaret Mary School in Chino in 1990.

In 2002, Monsignor O’Keeffe was criminally charged with 15 counts of child abuse with a 17-year-old girl at St. Adelaide Catholic Church in Highland in 1972. The suit states that he admitted in a letter that he molested her and other girls at various parishes in San Diego and San Bernardino. According to court documents, over several months, he introduced the girl to oral sex, then intercourse, all while professing his love and promising to leave the clergy and marry her. Then he dumped her, leaving the girl confused, angry, alienated from her faith and family. He left her with severe psychological scars. Her father, who had befriended Monsignor O’Keeffe and became a priest himself after her mother died, did not speak to her for years after she disclosed her secret to him in 1992.

Monsignor O’Keeffe returned to Ireland days before a warrant was issued for his arrest. The charges were dropped in 2003 after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California law that had extended the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases. He was laicized in 2006.

In March 2007, Monsignor O’Keeffe was included on the Diocese of San Diego’s list of 38 priests in which the Diocese has received a credible allegation involving sexual abuse of a minor. The Diocese of San Diego filed bankruptcy one day before the civil trial. The claims were settled in September 2007 for $198.1 million. His personnel file was released in October 2010.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Orange.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Orange, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Orange now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.