In the wake of an explosive grand jury report on sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, our experienced Pennsylvania attorneys have launched a new investigation into the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
In its report, the grand jury has documented over 1,000 cases of child sexual abuse committed by priests from Pennsylvania, casting a fresh spotlight on the myriad ways in which Pennsylvania’s dioceses have hidden and concealed sex abuse complaints.
Father John Bowe Removed From Ministry For Misconduct
Reverend John Bowe, a Bucks County priest, was found “unsuitable” for the ministry in 2012, after the Archdiocese of Philadelphia substantiated allegations of misconduct against him. The priest served at St. Agnes in Sellersville and St. Joseph in Warrington.
Archdiocese Substantiates Bowe’s “Boundary” Issues
A press release from the Archdiocese, published at the time, noted that Bowe was found to have “boundary” and “behavioral” problems. The Archdiocese denied that Bowe had sexually assaulted any young boys, but in light of recent revelations, it has become increasingly clear that Bowe’s disbarment from the ministry may have been related to the molestation of young children. As the new Pennsylvania grand jury report notes, “boundary” and “behavioral” problems are euphemisms commonly used by the Church to conceal allegations of child sexual abuse.
Bowe’s removal from the ministry came in the wake of a 2011 grand jury report that found widespread evidence of sexual abuse within Pennsylvania’s Catholic Church. The report found that at least 37 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests had been allowed to remain in the ministry “despite reports that they have engaged in improper behavior with minors,” CNN reports.
Bucks County DA Says He Was Never Informed
After the report was published, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia suspended 21 priests, including Father Bowe, pending an internal investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse. In statements provided at the time, the Archdiocese told reporters that it had submitted each case of alleged abuse to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.
However, Bucks District Attorney David Heckler disputed that claim, saying he had never been informed of the allegations against Bowe. As we now know from the Pennsylvania grand jury report, this is common practice within the Catholic Church.
Diocese officials routinely and frequently hide abuse reports from secular authorities, choosing instead to conduct faulty internal investigations.
Father Bowe’s Assignments In The Archdiocese Of Philadelphia
Bowe was ordained in 1973. He was assigned to St. Agnes, serving at the Sellersville parish from 1989 to 2005. He was then transferred to St. Joseph in Warrington, serving at the church until 2011, when he was placed on administrative leave pending the Archdiocese’s investigation. All told, Father Bowe served within the Church for nearly four decades. Between 1973 and 2011, the priest served at the following parishes and schools:
- Saint Agnes, West Chester (1973 – 1977)
- Saint Bridget, Philadelphia (1977 – 1982)
- John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School (1980 – 1982)
- Blessed Virgin Mary, Darby (1982 – 1987)
- Military Chaplain, Pennsylvania National Guard (1983 – 2004)
- Holy Martyrs, Oreland (1987 – 1989)
- Saint Agnes, Sellersville (1989 – 2005)
- Saint Joseph, Warrington (2005 – 2011)
Were you or a loved one abused by Father John Bowe? Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to you. We understand the terrible pain and trauma that sexual abuse survivors deal with throughout their lives. You are not alone.
Reach Out For A Free Consultation Today
This was not your fault. You are not to blame. We believe that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia should be held accountable for concealing sexual abuse complaints from the police and public. Across Pennsylvania, a new wave of sexual abuse survivors are standing up to demand justice. Many of these survivors could be eligible to pursue legal action.
Learn more about your legal options in a free consultation today. Our experienced attorneys have already helped countless abuse survivors step forward with confidence. We believe you, and we believe your story should be told.