Fr. John J. Murray – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father John J. Murray

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Ordained:  1947

Removed from ministry: 1992

Inpatient treatment: 1992-1993

Retired (with limited faculties): 1993

Fully restricted faculties: 2004

Died: 2006

Assigned as follows:

  • 1947-1948 St. Ambrose (Shuylkill Haven, PA)
  • 1948-1953 Sacred Heart (Havertown, PA)
  • 1953-1958 Our Lady of Fatima (Secane, PA)
  • 1958-1963 St. Paul (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1963-1965 St. Bridget (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1965-1970 St. Joachim (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1970-1978 St. Bernard (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1978-1992 St. Patrick (Kennett Square, PA)
  • 1992-2004 Leave of Absence (Villa St. Joseph)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Murray:

Father John Murray has been accused of sexual abuse of girls during his priesthood.  

According to the 2011 grand jury report, Murray was accused of sexually abusing a young female student who worked in the St. Patrick’s rectory in late 1991.  In April 1992, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia put him into limited ministry, though he was still allowed to celebrate masses in certain locations. Murray was also sent for a psychological evaluation at Villa St. John Vianney, the notorious pedophile priest treatment center owned by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  He never returned to a formal parish assignment, but continued to exercise priestly faculties until 2004.

A second girl made similar allegations not long after the first, also alleging that she was sexually abused as a 15 year old girl over the course of several months in late 1991 as well.  

Murray’s name appeared on a 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 summaries Lynn wrote, “only basic information is contained in this report so as not to have too much in writing on this matter.”  Murray’s name appears in the section labeled “Guilty of Sexual Misconduct with Minors.” Lynn’s summary states only that Murray “fondled a teenage girl while under the influence of alcohol” in 1992, so this reference refers to a third girl.

Murray died in 2006.  At the time of his death, Murray was still a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, though he was in restricted ministry.

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.