Msgr. James Hopkins – Diocese of Erie

Monsignor James P. Hopkins

Diocese of Erie

Msgr. James Hopkins Horowitz Law

Ordination: 1900 (Diocese of Buffalo)

Death: 1957

Assigned in the Diocese of Erie as follows:

  • St. Joseph (Sharon, PA)
  • St. Titus (Erie, PA)
  • St. Eusebius (East Brady, PA)
  • St. Walburga (Titusville, PA)
  • St. Thomas the Apostle (Corry, PA)

Summary of Allegations against Monsignor James P. Hopkins:

In 1993 a letter was sent to the Diocese of Erie regarding a sexual abuse from a woman who says that she was sexually abused by Monsignor James P. Hopkins in approximately 1945 when she was 13.  According to the letter, it was well-known among the priests at St. Titus that Hopkins would sexually assault the girls that worked in the parish rectory, including the letter writer. Whenever concern was expressed about Hopkins inappropriate behavior, fellow priests and clergy of the Diocese would allegedly reply with some variation of, “Oh well, he’s old, he doesn’t mean anything by it.”

According to an internal summary of Hopkins’ file prepared by the Secretary of Clergy after the woman’s letter was received, there were no other documented complaints of abuse.  

No one from the Diocese of Erie ever responded to the woman’s letter.

In 1994, she wrote a second letter to Trautman with another copy of the first letter and begging him to please respond. Trautman finally did, glibly telling the woman that, since Hopkins died in 1957, they had no way to investigate the veracity of her claims.

Hopkins’ name now appears on the Diocese of Erie’s list of credibly accused priests.

Hopkins died in good standing as a priest in the Diocese of Erie.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie.  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 Diocese of Erie now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or today.