Fr. James E. McGuire – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father James McGuire

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Fr. James McGuire Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1970

Psychological evaluation: 1985

Suspended: 2002

Leave of Absence: 2002-2006

Laicized (removed from the priesthood): 2006

Assigned as follows:

  • 1970-1972 St. Alphonsus (Maple Glen, PA)
  • 1970-1972 Chaplain, Temple University
  • 1972 All Saints Chapel (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1972-1974 Student, Pontifical North American Univ.
  • 1974 St. Martin of Tours (New Hope, PA)
  • 1974-1977 BIshop Kenrick High School
  • 1974-1975 Mother of Divine Providence (King of Prussia, PA)
  • 1975-1976 St. Isaac Jogues (Wayne, PA)
  • 1976-1977 Epiphany (Norristown, PA)
  • 1977-1982 St. Dorothy (Drexel Hill, PA)
  • 1982-1987 Principal, St. Pius X High School (Pottstown, PA)
  • 1982-1987 St. Mary of Providence Center
  • 1987-1993 Chaplain, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1987-1993 St. Agatha/St. James (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1995-1996 St. Ignatius (Yardley, PA)
  • 1996-2002 St. Ephrem (Bensalem, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father James McGuire:

The 2005 grand jury found that James McGuire molested at least three children during his priesthood, starting with one before he even finished seminary, and that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia had actual knowledge of all three allegations by early 1985.  

The first allegation related to a man who alleged he was sexually abused by McGuire in approximately 1966, when McGuire was still a seminarian at St. Charles Borromeo.  No additional information about the context of the allegation was offered by the grand jury.

The second allegation was made by a young man who says he was sexually abused by McKenzie as a 15 year old boy in 1977, while McGuire was on the faculty at Bishop Kenrick High School in Norristown.  

The third allegation was made by a man who said that he was abused as a 14 year old boy in 1971, while McKenzie was the assistant pastor at St. Alphonsus in Maple Green.

It is unclear how the three different allegations came to the attention of the Archdiocese at the exact same time in February 1985, but what is clear is that McGuire was sent for a psychological evaluation as a result of them.  Most likely, this evaluation was performed at Villa St. John Vianney, a notorious pedophile priest treatment facility located in Downingtown, Pennsylvania and owned by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Strangely, he was allowed to have the evaluation conducted on an outpatient, rather than inpatient, basis.  He was never suspended from ministry and continued working as the principal at St. Pius X High School in Pottstown for the duration of the evaluation.

McGuire’s name also appeared on a secret February 1994 memo from William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Secretary for the Clergy, to James Molloy, the Vicar for Administration for the Archdiocese.  The purpose of the memo was to catalog the sexual abuse allegations kept in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Secret Archives, which are files traditionally accessible only by the archbishop and, sometimes, one of his designees.  Under Canon Law, the Archdiocese is required to maintain any potentially scandalous information in the Secret Archives. Of the summary nature Lynn wrote, “only basic information is contained in this report so as not to have too much in writing on this matter.”  McGuire’s name appears in the section labeled “Allegations of Sexual Misconduct with Minors with No Conclusive Evidence.”

McGuire was suspended from ministry in 2002, around the same time as other priests previously accused of abuse and months after the massive scale of the abuse epidemic in the Archdiocese of Boston became national news.  

McGuire was laicized (removed from the priesthood by the Vatican) at his request in 2006.  

McGuire is still alive and is believed to be residing in the Sea Isle City, New Jersey, area.  He is 76 years old.

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 today.