Fr. James Patrick Foley – Diocese of San Diego

Father James Patrick Foley

Diocese of San Diego

James Patrick Foley Diocese of San Diego Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1973

Suspended: 2010

Removed: 2015

Assigned as Follows:

  • 1973-1974: St. Michael (San Diego, CA)
  • 1974: Our Lady of Grace (El Cajon, CA)
  • 1974-1977: University High School (San Diego, CA)
  • 1977: St. Therese (San Diego, CA)
  • 1977-1978: University of San Diego (San Diego, CA)
  • 1982-1983: Blessed Sacrament (San Diego, CA)
  • 1983-1984: St. Mary Magdalene (San Diego, CA)
  • 1984-1990: St. Francis Seminary (San Diego, CA)
  • 1990-1991: University of San Diego (San Diego, CA)
  • 1991-1994: Christian Brothers High School (Sacramento, CA)
  • 1994-1995: Jesuit High School (Sacramento, CA)
  • 1998-1999: Santa Rosa Diocese 

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father James Patrick Foley:

Father James Patrick Foley was ordained a priest in 1973, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of San Diego. He also worked in campus ministry, administration, and in high schools and colleges as a teacher. Missions and retreats were his focus since 1995. According to media reports, in 2010, he was accused of abusing two boys in the early 1990s, while assigned to the Christian Brothers High School. The boys’ parents had been friends of the priest. In 1995, he was “directed to not engage in ministry.”

Two years later, Father Foley’s faculties were “formally denied” and he was told to withdraw from the diocese. According to San Diego news reports, Foley had already been accused of inappropriately touching a child in 1989. Foley was then temporarily suspended from ministry in 2010. His position was restored two years later when the verdict from the Canonical trial was found to be “inconclusive.” That same year, he was approved by the Diocese to lead a retreat in the neighboring Diocese of Orange.

In 2015, Father Foley was again stripped of his priesthood but continued to receive letters of recommendation from the San Diego diocese until 2018. His name has publicly appeared on multiple dioceses lists of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse including the Diocese of San Diego, Santa Rosa, Sacramento, Stockton and Oakland’s list.

Father Foley is currently retired and living in Northern California. 

In September 2019, Foley filed a defamation lawsuit against the Diocese of San Diego. He claimed the Diocese promoted a “reckless disregard for the truth,” when his name was one of eight men added to a list of accused priests. Foley is seeking punitive damages for “severe humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress.” 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of San Diego 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 Diego now have legal options due to a temporary change in the law, 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 to discuss your options today.