Father Robert Foley
Diocese of Orange
Assigned as follows:
- 1980 St. John Neumann (Irvine, CA)
- 1981-1983 St. Justin Martyr (Anaheim, CA)
- 1984-1985 St. Hedwig (Los Alamitos, CA)
- 1986-2018 Unknown
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Robert Foley:
Per 2002 report, in 1985, Michael Driscoll, then chancellor of the Orange diocese, later Bishop of the Diocese of Boise, wrote to a priest in Liverpool, England, begging him to take Foley. Foley had just admitted to molesting an 8-year-old boy during a camping trip organized by St. Justin Martyr parish. Boy’s mother threatened to go to the police; Foley was in jeopardy of arrest and possible imprisonment in he stayed in U.S. Foley left for England and never faced prosecution for the molestation. Per the diocese’s website in 8/16, Foley’s status was “voluntary permanent leave”. The diocese’s list updated 4/2/19 notes that he is living a life of prayer and penance.
According to media reports, in 1983, Father Foley was accused of sexually abusing an 8-year-old boy during a Boy Scouts camping trip organized by St. Justin Martyr in Anaheim. The civil suit brought against him alleged that Father Foley molested the boy and then warned him to remain silent or else “the devil would get him.” He admitted it. When the boy’s mother threatened to go to police, Bishop Michael Driscoll wrote a letter to a priest in England urging him to take Father Foley otherwise he “is in jeopardy of arrest and possible imprisonment if he remains here.” Father Foley left the U.S. for England soon after. He never faced prosecution for the molestation. The Diocese of Orange settled the civil suit.
Father Foley was included in a press release issued by the Diocese of Orange in 2004 as a priest accused and removed from ministry. His status as a priest, whereabouts, and whether he has access to children since 1986 are unknown. The Diocese of Orange’s list updated in April 2019 noted that he is living a life of prayer and penance.
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