Fr. Cornelius Carr (Jesuits) – Diocese of Buffalo

Father Cornelius Carr

Diocese of Buffalo

Ordained: 1951

Removed: 2002

Laicized: 2005

Died: 2013

Assigned as follows:

  • Provincial of Jesuits’ New York
  • Canisius High School (Buffalo, NY)
  • Jesuit High School (New Orleans, LA)
  • McQuaid High School (Rochester, NY)
  • St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, NJ)
  • Cathedral-Basilica (St. Augustine, FL)
  • Christ the King Parish (Arlington, Jacksonville, FL)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Cornelius Carr:

Father Cornelius Carr was ordained a Jesuit priest of the New York Province. Throughout his career, he has held many leadership positions, and was appointed provincial superior in the Buffalo region in 1966. He spent years as the principal of several high schools. 

According to media reports, Father Carr has been accused of multiple child sexual abuse for decades. He consistently denied all allegations against him. In January 1990, shortly after being sent to the Institute of Living for treatment, he was cleared to return to ministry when he denied the accusations during his initial meeting with doctors. A few months later, more accusations were reported and he was sent back to the institute for a more extensive evaluation.

In 1995, Father Carr was accused of sexually abusing two minor boys who were parishioners at Our Lady of Fatima in Wilton, Connecticut in the early 1980s. After a civil suit was filed that March, Bishop Egan suspended him. He was permitted to return to work in a restricted capacity, in 1999, after receiving more treatment.

In March 2001, the Diocese of Bridgeport settled complaints against seven priests that involved 23 plaintiffs, for $12 million to $15 million. Four of the claims were against him. He was removed from ministry in 2002, and Bishop Egan acknowledged that he had mishandled Father Carr’s case.

“Looking back, if I had it to do again, I would not reassign a priest like Father Carr, even with restrictions and even with the best of professional advice,” Bishop Egan said in a statement to The Hartford Courant.

In 2005, diocesan officials said they received two credible allegations of child sexual abuse during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The incidents occurred while Father Carr was serving as a summer priest at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. He was laicized that year. 

By January 2006, Father Carr was was being investigated by his Order for more allegations of child abuse. In 2012, he was accused of walking in on janitor raping a teen boy at Jesuit High in the 1970s. He didn’t stop it, but proceeded to masturbate while the boy was being raped. His accuser received a $450,000 settlement from the church. 

In November 2018, Father Carr’s name appeared on the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. One month later in December, citing multiple allegations, his name appeared on the Jesuits Central and Southern Province list of priest with credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors since 1950. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Buffalo, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.