Fr. Joseph Skelton, Jr. – Archdiocese of Washington

Father Joseph Skelton, Jr.

Archdiocese of Washington

Ordained: 2001

Removed: 2009

Assigned as follows:

  • St. Vincent Ferrer (Calape, Philippines)
  • Our Lady of Fatima Parish (Calape, Philippines)
  • St. John Provincial Seminary (Detroit, MI)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Joseph Skelton, Jr.:

According to media reports, in 1988, Father Joseph Skelton, Jr. pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy in his room while serving at St. John Provincial Seminary in Detroit. He was given three years probation and dismissed from seminary.

In 2001, he was ordained in the diocese of Tagbilaran in Bohol province of the Philippines. After learning that Father Skelton had been ordained, the Archdiocese of Detroit sent a letter about his conviction to the Tagbilaran diocese in early 2003. Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak, who ordained Father Skelton said he wouldn’t have made him a priest if he had known about the criminal conviction. Bishop Leonardo Medroso, an expert on Canon Law,  said he would investigate. But he added: “He was convicted, and that means to say he has served already the conviction. So what obstacle can there be if he has already served his punishment or penalty?”

In a 2008 civil suit, a man alleged that in the summer of 1984, he was abused by Father Skelton, and by Father Stallings when he was a 14-year old seminary student. The boy was helping Father Stallings remodel the rectory at St. Teresa of Avila. He stayed in the rectory’s attic to avoid a long commute.  

In November 2009, he was removed from ministry in central Tagbilaran city.

In October 2009, the civil case was settled for $125,000.

As of February 2019, Father Skelton is still active and working with young people in the Philippines.

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