Fr. John R. Butler – Diocese of Richmond

Father John R. Butler

Diocese of Richmond

John Butler Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1957

Removed: 2002

Laicized: Unknown

Assigned as follows:

  • 1957-1958      Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Richmond, VA)
  • 1958-1960      St. Mary Star of the Sea (Fort Monroe, VA); (Mission – St. Joseph’s  (Buckroe Beach, VA)
  • 1960-1961      St. Peter’s (Richmond, VA); (Parish Chaplaincy at Penitentiary)
  • 1961-1965      St. Joseph’s (Kings Park, NY); (Incardinated in Diocese of Rockville Centre)
  • 1966                Unknown
  • 1966-1968      On duty outside the Diocese of Richmond (unspecified location)
  • 1968-1969      Assumption (Keyser, WV (Missions – Our Lady of the Valley  (Petersburg, WV); Our Lady of Grace (Grace, WV)
  • 1969-1970      St. Paul’s (Richmond, VA)
  • 1970-1974      Saints Philip and James (Phillipsburg, NJ)
  • 1974-1975      St. Barnabas (Bayville, NJ)
  • 1975-1978      St. Thomas the Apostle (Old Bridge, NJ)
  • 1978-1979      St. Robert Bellarmine (Freehold, NJ)
  • 1980                Unknown
  • 1980-1984      St. John Vianney (Colonia, NJ)
  • 1985-1986      Unknown
  • 1986-2002      St. John Vianney (Colonia, NJ)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father John R. Butler:

Father John R. Butler was ordained for the Diocese of Richmond, and also served in the West Virginia, Rockville Centre, Trenton and Metuchen dioceses. According to media reports, in April 2002, he was removed from ministry in Metuchen after a man reported to the Diocese of Rockville Centre that he was sexually abused by Father Butler from ages 7 to 12, when he was a choirboy at St. Joseph’s in Kings Park. Father Butler had been the choirmaster.

The man also alleged that more than a dozen other boys had also been abused by Butler. He said he told church officials about the abuse when he was still a teen, but no action was taken. Years later learned that Father Butler was sent to Brooklyn, and eventually transferred to New Jersey.

“These men were moved only to hide them or get rid of the problem,” the man said in an interview. “It’s clear in these cases that the children were the last thought. The first thought: Avoid scandal.”

Father Butler also allegedly abused at least one minor in Metuchen, who was included in a group settlement of cases against the Diocese of Metuchen in February 2003.

In May 2019, Butler was named in a lawsuit accusing over 300 clergymen in New Jersey. 

Butler is the subject of at least one claim filed in the Diocese of Richmond’s IRP claims program.

In February 2019, Father Butler‘s name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Richmond’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. He was eventually laicized. His current whereabouts are unknown. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Richmond.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Richmond, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Richmond 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.