Msgr. Francis Feret – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Msgr. Francis Feret

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Fr. Francis Feret Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1962

Suspended: 2011

Permanently Restricted: 2012

Named in civil lawsuit: 2012

Assigned as follows:

  • Immaculate Conception (Levittown, PA)
  • Our Lady of Mercy (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Cardinal Dougherty High School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • St. Peter (Pottstown, PA)
  • St. Adalbert (Philadelphia, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Monsignor Francis Feret:

Monsignor Francis Feret was one of 21 priests placed on administrative suspension following the release of the second grand jury report in 2011.  The second grand jury identified more than 30 priests in active ministry despite the fact that they had allegations of sexual misconduct in their personnel files.

No details were offered to the public about the allegation(s) against Feret or why he was left in ministry despite an allegation of misconduct in his file.

In May 2012, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s internal review board concluded its investigation and determined that Feret did not commit “sexual abuse” of a child but did violation standards of ministerial behavior and boundaries.  The violation was enough to deem him unsuitable for future ministry. Cardinal Rigali agreed and announced that he would not be returning Feret to ministry.

No additional information about Feret’s violations was provided to the public, except for a general statement that priests removed for that reason generally had “boundary issues with children.” According to media reports, “Church officials have declined to release details on specific accusations but say boundary issues can include inappropriate talk or contact, sharing alcohol or pornography with minors or other conduct that may be construed as “grooming” a victim.”

Nor was any explanation offered as to why Feret was allowed to remain in ministry despite an allegation of misconduct that apparently could be easily proven.

Feret was named in a civil lawsuit filed in late 2012. The plaintiff alleged that he was sexually abused by Feret regularly and repeatedly for several years in the early 1970s at St. Timothy parish.

Feret is now 81 years old.  His current location and affiliation with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, if any, is unknown. Public records suggest he resides at the Villa St. Joseph retirement home, where priests accused of sexual misconduct living “supervised lives of prayer and penance” are also living.  The Archdiocese has not announced his laicization (removal from the priesthood) by the Vatican, as it has with other priests accused of misconduct, so he may still be an ordained priest.

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