Fr. Francis Dennehy – Diocese of Paterson

Father Francis X. Dennehy

Diocese of Paterson

Ordained: 1950

Died: 1995

Assigned as follows:

  • Our Lady of Victories (Paterson, NJ)
  • Chaplain U.S. Navy
  • Assumption (Morristown, NJ)
  • Chaplain, St. Joseph Hospital (Paterson, NJ)
  • St. Nicholas, (Passaic, NJ)
  • St. Vincent DePaul (Stirling, NJ)
  • St. Therese (Paterson, NJ)
  • St. Pius X (Montville, NJ)
  • St. Thomas (Ogdensburg, NJ)
  • St. Christopher (Parsippany, NJ)
  • Immaculate Conception (Franklin, NJ)
  • Our Lady Queen of Peace Cathedral (Honolulu, Hawaii)
  • Chaplain, Wayne General Hospital and Chilton Hospital (Wayne, NJ)

Summary of Allegations against Father Francis X. Dennehy:

In 2002, the Diocese of Paterson received a report from an adult man, who alleged he was sexually abused by two priests, including Father Francis X. Dennehy. The victim alleged the abuse began at age 10, over the course of three years between 1958 and 1961 while he served as an altar boy. The allegations were brought to the attention of now retired Bishop Frank J. Rodimer, as well as to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.

Early in his career, Father Dennehy spent a year as a U.S. naval chaplain and was reportedly released by the military. Dennehy was accepted as a priest in the Diocese of Paterson where he served for more than thirty-five years.

Dennehy died in 1995.

In July 2004, the 2002 victim filed a civil suit against the Diocese of Paterson that was later settled. 

Dennehy’s name appears on the February 2019 list of credibly accused priests published by the Diocese of Paterson.  According to the Diocese, Dennehy was the subject of “multiple” allegations of abuse, but it released no details about the allegations such as the age/gender of his victims or Dennehy’s assignments at the time of the abuse.

According to Bishop Seratelli, the Dicoese of Paterson, “has found that each of these persons [on the list] has been credibly accused of illegal sexual abuse involving minors. In the cases of several of the 28 individuals, they were also convicted of a criminal offense. As to others on the list, the Diocese of Paterson received information concerning possible misconduct by the individual, investigated the matter for corroborating evidence and determined that the report was credible. Accordingly, while those individuals may deny having engaged in illegal behavior involving a minor and they are entitled to be presumed innocent in a criminal court of law, the Diocese has determined that the information it received was credible and it has thus included their names on this disclosure.”

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Paterson.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Paterson now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or today.