Fr. Charles Rourke – Diocese of San Bernardino

Father Charles Rourke

Diocese of San Bernardino

Charles Rourke Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1958

Suspended: 1984

Died: 1993

Assignment History:

  • 1958: St. Augustine Cathedral (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1958-1960: Immaculate Conception Parish (Douglas, AZ)
  • 1960-1961: Queen of Peace Parish (Mesa ()
  • 1961-1962: St. Joseph Parish (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1962-1965: All Saints Parish (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1966-1968: Newman Center (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1968-1969: St. Monica Parish (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1969-1973: Leave of Absence and Archdiocese of Santa Fe
  • 1973-1975: Sacred Heart Parish (Nogales, AZ)
  • 1981-1984: St. Andrew Parish (Sierra Vista, AZ)
  • 1984-1990: Absent on Leave
  • 1991-2018: Unknown

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Charles Rourke:

According to the Diocese of San Bernardino, Fr. Charles Rourke was accused of sexually abusing a child in 1979. According to a Special Pastoral Report from the Diocese of Tucson in 2003, records revealed a failure to report allegations against Rourke and that the Diocese of Tucson continued to give Rourke assignments after allegations came to light.

Rourke was suspended from ministry in 1984 for alcohol-related medical reasons. He took a leave of absence from 1969-1973 and was assigned to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. He returned to Tucson from 1973-1975 and 1981-1984, with another leave of absence from 1975-1981 between those assignments. He was removed from ministry in 1979.

Rourke died by suicide in April 1993, while under investigation for alleged sexual abuse of children in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Diocese of Tucson said it became aware of the child abuse allegations after his death.

Rourke has been named in at least one civil lawsuit, which was settled in 2006 as part of the Diocese of Tucson bankruptcy. In October 2018, Rourke was named in the Diocese of San Bernardino list and the Diocese of Tucson’s list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse, as well as on the Archdiocese of Santa Fe list.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in one of California’s Catholic dioceses, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino now have legal options due to a voluntary compensation fund created by the Diocese of San Bernardino, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.