Fr. Thomas J. Smith – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Thomas J. Smith

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Fr. Thomas Smith Horowitz Law

Ordained:  1973

Removed from ministry: 2003

Removed from parish residence: Dec. 2004

Laicized: 2007

Assigned as follows:

  • 1973-1978 Immaculate Heart of Mary (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1974-1976 Chaplain, Boy Scouts of America
  • 1978-1982 St. Francis de Sales (Lenni, PA)
  • 1982-1987 Annunciation B.V.M. (Havertown, PA)
  • 1982-1986 Archbishop Pendergast High School (Drexel Hill, PA)
  • 1987-1991 St. Andrew (Drexel Hill, PA)
  • 1988-1990 Assoc. Director, CYO
  • 1989-1991 Archbishop Pendergast High School (Drexel Hill, PA)
  • 1991-1996 Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1991-1993 Assoc. Director, CYO
  • 1996-1998 Good Shepherd (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1998-2003 St. Francis of Assisi (Springfield, PA)
  • 2003-2007 Leave of Absence (in res., St. Francis of Assisi)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Thomas J. Smith:

According to the grand jury report, Father Thomas Smith engaged in “depraved and sadistic behavior with many boys” throughout the course of his ministry, yet he was allowed to reside at St. Francis of Assisi until December 2004.  While there, he was in contact with the children of the parish grammar school, celebrated masses, and heard confessions.

In March 2004, nine months before he finally left the parish, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s review board found multiple allegations to be credible – meaning it was likely true that the incidents of sexual abuse occurred as reported by the victims.  The Review Board found that, in multiple parishes, Smith had a common modus operandi to abuse the boys playing Jesus in the parish passion plays; in some cases they were forced to disrobe completely while other boys took turns whipping them to the point of giving them cuts, bruises, and welts.  At least one said that Smith would kneel in front of the nude boy, and, with pins his mouth, prick the boy’s penis until he bled with the pins in his mouth.

He also required boys to be nude when using the hot tub at a local health club; Smith told all the boys the club required nudity.  

Also contained in the secret archives of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia – accessible only the archbishop – were allegations that Smith took boys camping and fondled at least one of them.   

Cardinal Bevilacqua knew of all of the allegations in early 2002, but chose to leave Smith in ministry.  

Smith is believed to be living but his current whereabouts are unknown.  He is 70 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.