Fr. Eleuterio Ramos – Diocese of Orange

Father Eleuterio Ramos

Diocese of Orange

Ordained: 1966

Removed: 1991

Died: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • 1966-1971      St. Thomas the Apostle (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 1971-1972      St. Mariana de Paredes (Pico Rivera, CA)
  • 1972-1975      Resurrection (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 1975-1978      St. Joseph (Placentia, CA)
  • 1975-1978      St. Therese’s (Atwood, CA)
  • 1976-1978      Diocesan Tribunal (Garden Grove, CA)
  • 1977-1980      Hispanic Commission
  • 1978                Immaculate Heart of Mary (Santa Ana, CA)
  • 1979-1980      St. Luke Institute at Marsalin (Holliston, MA)
  • 1980-1983      St. Angela Merici (Brea, CA)
  • 1983-1984      Our Lady of Guadalupe (La Habra, CA)
  • 1984-1985      St. Anthony Claret Church (Anaheim, CA)
  • 1986                Unknown
  • 1987-1992      On Duty Outside The Diocese
  • 1993-2001      Inactive Leave

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Eleuterio Ramos:

According to media reports, when the Diocese of Orange was created in 1976, Father Eleuterio Ramos, also known as “Father Al,” was already under the psychological care of a doctor. Multiple allegations of taking children to inappropriate movies and possessing pornography followed during the 1970s and 1980s. 

In August 1985, Father Ramos was accused of abusing a 17 year old boy.  He was placed on leave in and sent to St. Luke Institute, an institution known for treating priests accused of child sexual abuse. Bishop Johnson provided him with a car and arranged for him to begin ministry in the Diocese of Tijuana, Mexico, where he was put in charge of a children’s ministry. In 1991, he was removed from ministry. In 2005, the Diocese of Orange settled several child sexual abuse claims against Father Ramos.

In 2017, a widow filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Dioceses of Orange and Los Angeles, alleging that her husband killed himself in 2015 because of depression over having been molested by Father Ramos when he was a 10-year old boy from 1975 to 1978 while Father Ramos worked at St. Joseph’s in Placentia, California. The suit states that he was an altar boy and served sacraments during Mass with Father Ramos, who began sexually molesting him and warned him not to tell anyone.

Father Ramos, abusing his role as a priest and mentor, “entrapped (the boy) in his web of sadistic abuse while simultaneously alienating (him) from his family and support system,” the suit states.

He carried with him a sense of violation and guilt “until he could not do so any longer” and killed himself in March 2015, the suit states.

Father Ramos was ordained by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and had already admitted to that body that he had molested one or more boys before he was sent to St. Joseph’s in Orange County, according to the lawsuit. Both archdioceses failed to properly supervise Father Ramos and provide warnings to the victim’s family of his “dangerous propensities and unfitness,” the lawsuit states.

Father Ramos died in March 2004 without being prosecuted. He was included in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of priests accused of sexual misconduct involving minors and was included in a press release issued by the Diocese of Orange in 2004 as a priest accused and removed from ministry. Church documents released in 2005 as part of a $100 million settlement between the Orange Diocese and 90 alleged molestation victims said that he had admitted to molesting at least 25 boys. The documents show the extent of the cover-up perpetrated by those in power, even dating back to when they were priests or auxiliary bishops.

Father Ramos was eventually dubbed the “King of County Pedophiles” by at least one reporter because he had so many victims. Father Ramos’ personnel file was released in January 2013. He was considered the worst-ever pedophile priest in the history of the Diocese of Orange, known to frequently invite other people to rape children while he took photos. 

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.