Fr. Leonardo Mateo – Diocese of Brooklyn

Father Leonardo Mateo 

Diocese of Brooklyn

Leonardo Mateo Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1959

Removed: 1991

Died: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • 1956-1959: Cathedral (Tagbilaran City, Philippines) 
  • 1960: St. Anastasia (Los Angeles, CA)  
  • 1961-1965: Greenpoint Hospital (Brooklyn, NY) 
  • 1966-1975: Diocesan Procurator, Diocese of Tagbilaran (Philippines)  
  • 1976: St. Patrick’s Cathedral (El Paso, TX)  
  • 1976-1979: Santa Isabel Catholic Church (Los Angeles, CA)  
  • 1978-1982: Immaculate Conception (Elmhurst, IL)   
  • 1983-1984: St. Petronille (Glen Ellyn, IL)  
  • 1985: St. Nicholas (Virginia Beach, VA)  
  • 1986: Veterans Administration Hospitals and Chaplains (North Chicago, IL)  
  • 1987-1989: Immaculate Conception B.V.M. (Waukegan, IL)
  • 1990-1991: Veterans Administration Hospitals and Chaplains (North Chicago, IL) 
  • 1992: St. Bede (Ingleside, IL)  
  • 1997-2003: Our Lady of the Rosary of Talpa Catholic Church (Los Angeles, CA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Leonardo Mateo:

Fr. Leonardo Mateo was ordained in the Archdiocese of Cebu, Philippines. He arrived in the United States in 1959 and worked for many years as an extern priest throughout the country. Mateo has served in the Philipines, California, New York, Texas, Illinois, and Virginia.

According to media reports, he was accused of child sexual abuse multiple times while working in the Diocese of Tagbilaran, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and the Diocese of Joliet. In August 1960, he left Los Angeles to pursue studies at Fordham University.

In 2003, Mateo was named in a lawsuit alleging he sexually abused a child in 1959, while at St. Anastasia’s in Los Angeles, California. In 2004, he died in the Philippines and was named on the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.

In March 2013, Mateo’s name appeared on the Diocese of Joliet’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. In April 2014, his personnel files were released as part of the settlement of another lawsuit filed by three men, two of whom are brothers, alleging child sexual abuse by the priest in 1980, while he worked at Immaculate Conception in Elmhurst, Illinois. 

According to the suit, from 1980 to 1982, Mateo invited the children, ages of 6 through 10, out for ice cream and fast food. He also took the boys to swim at the YMCA in Elmhurst, where he allegedly repeatedly molested them in the pool or locker room. A settlement of $1.4 million was reached in August 2018.

In 2019, Mateo was named on the Diocese of Richmond’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. It noted his ordination year as 1956.

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