Fr. James Dux – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father James M. Dux

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Fr. James Dux Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1948

Retired (in good standing): 1994

Faculties restricted: 1995

Permanent restriction: 2005

Died: 2006

Assigned as follows:

  • 1948-1955 Our Lady of Hungary (Northampton, PA)
  • 1955-1960 St. Paul (Reading, PA)
  • 1960-1965 St. Philip Neri (Lafayette Hill, PA)
  • 1965-1966 St. Philip Neri (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1966-1974 St. Eugene (Primos, PA)
  • 1974-1975 St. Anthony of Padua (Ambler, PA)
  • 1975-1994 St. John the Baptist (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1994-2006 Villa St. Joseph (in residence)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father James Dux:

According to the 2005 grand jury report, Father James Dux was a prolific serial predator with nearly a dozen victims known to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as of 2005.  The amount of victims who have come forward since 2005 is not known as the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has never disclosed that information publicly except under subpoena.

According to the grand jury report’s summary of allegations:

  • In 1975, Dux was accused by three boys, at least one of whom was in seventh grade, of some type of sexual misconduct that is not detailed in the catalog of allegations.  However, the allegations were serious enough to cause the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to tell Dux to start seeing a psychiatrist. He was also immediately transferred to St. John the Baptist.  Dux continued in ministry unrestricted.
  • In July 1985, Dux was found in possession of “inappropriate sexual material, including child pornography.”  The material was all destroyed and no further action was taken.
  • In 1992, a man alleged that he and other boy were sexually abused by Dux while they served as his altar boys at St. Philip Neri in Lafayette Hill in the 1960s.  There was no investigation or follow-up by the Archdiocese.
  • In 1994, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia received reports that several “eighth grade boys and girls (altar servers)” were the object of inappropriate conduct (that was not outlined in detail) by Dux in his then-current assignment, St. John the Baptist.  According to grand jury notes, Dux was “encouraged” to retire from active ministry, and Cardinal Bevilacqua accepted his request to retire in March 1994.
  • In 1995, a man reported that he was molested at St. Eugene in Primos during the 1960s while he was a fifth-grade altar boy.  After questioning Dux about the allegation, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia restricted Dux’s ministry faculties to performing private mass only.  He was also directed to have no contact with minor children for any reason.
  • In 1998, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia received information that a 10 year old boy was molested by Dux during a time period and at a parish that are not disclosed in the grand jury report.  It may be that the accuser opted not to pursue his report and did not provide that information. Notes suggest that Msgr. William Lynn, the former Secretary for Clergy, had a telephone conversation with the accuser.  Lynn has a history of telling victims that the priest is dead or out of ministry so there is no sense in pursuing the allegation; in this case, Dux was retired and in restricted ministry so he may have convinced the accuser to drop the matter.
  • In 2000, another man approached the Archdiocese to report molestation by Dux at St. Eugene in Primos when the victim was an 8 or 9 year old altar boy.  The period of abuse is not specified but Dux was assigned there from 1966 to 1974.
  • In 2002, another man reported that he was sexually abused as a sixth grade altar boy at an unspecified parish and during an unspecified time.  Similar to the other “vague” allegation, notes in the grand jury report state that Lynn “informed the complainant that Rev. Dux was retired and not in active ministry,” so that information may not have been provided by the victim.
  • Later in 2002, another man came forward to report his abuse by Dux.  He alleged sexual abuse as a 9 year old boy at his family’s summer home, where Dux was an honored guest.  He said that the abuse occurred repeatedly during the summers from 1969 to 1972, while Dux was assigned to St. Eugene in Primos.  These particular allegations were investigated and reviewed by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s newly formed internal review board. The board concluded that the allegations were credible and recommended additional restrictions on Dux’s ministry faculties.  The Cardinal agreed, and forwarded the matter to the Vatican to request Dux’s laicization (removal from the priesthood).

In 2004, when it became clear that Dux (and other priests) would not be involuntarily removed from the priesthood by the Vatican without a full-blown canonical trial, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia began offering priests a compromise.  Dux agreed to surrender his remaining limited faculties and live a “supervised life of prayer and penance” at Villa St. Joseph (where he already lived). Technically, he was still a priest but he had no faculties.

Dux resided at Villa St. Joseph until his death in 2006.  The exact extent of his “supervision” during that time is unclear; Cardinal Bevilacqua told the grand jury that he did not know what “supervision” the Villa St. Joseph priests had when he testified in 2004.

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 Philadelphia now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.