Fr. Michael Swierzy – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Michael Swierzy

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Fr. Michael Swierzy Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1975

Inpatient treatment: 1997-1998

Guilty plea: 1998

Named in civil lawsuit: 2002

Resigned ministry: 2003

Laicized: March 2005

Died: July 2005

Assigned as follows:

  • 1975-1977 St. Laurentius (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1975-1977 Assoc. Director, Regional CYO
  • 1977-1982 St. William (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1982-1992 Cardinal Dougherty High School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1982-1985 Holy Angels (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1985-1992 St. William (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1992-1997 St. John the Evangelist (Morrisville, PA)
  • 1997-1998 Leave of Absence (Villa St. John Vianney)
  • 1998-2003 Leave of Absence (Villa St. Joseph)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Michael Swierzy:

In 1997, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia received information that Father Michael Swierzy sexually abused a fifth grader who served as an altar boy at St. John the Evangelist in Morrisville.  Swierzy was placed on administrative leave and sent to Villa St. John Vianney, a notorious treatment facility for pedophile priests in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Soon thereafter, law enforcement discovered photographs of young boys in their underwear in Swierzy’s rectory room.

He was ultimately arrested for his abuse of the altar boy.  In January 1998, he pled guilty to one count of corruption of the morals of a minor; he was sentenced to five years probation.  Upon his discharge from SJV in March 1998, he moved to Villa St. Joseph, a retirement home where the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was known to house its accused priests who could not be returned to ministry.

In 2002, a second victim came forward and reported that he was abused by Swierzy at Cardinal Dougherty High School between 1986 and 1988, while Swierzy was on faculty at the school but before he became principal. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia found these allegations to be credible and forwarded the matter to the Vatican for involuntary laicization.  

Swierzy was removed from the priesthood (laicized) in early 2005.  He died only a few months later.

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.