Father Robert Brennan
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Leave of Absence: 1992-1993; 2005
Suits filed: 2005; 2013
Assigned as follows:
- 1964-1970: St. Pius X (Broomall, PA)
- 1968-1970: CYO Regional (Region 13 – Mid Delaware County)
- 1970-1974: Our Lady of Calvary (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1974-1975: Stella Maris (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1975-1976: The Eucharist Congress (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1975-1981: Stella Maris (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1977-1985: Conference of Christian Doctrine (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1981-1986: St. George (Glenolden, PA)
- 1986: Archbishop Prendergast High School (Drexel Hill, PA)
- 1986-1988: St. Helena (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1988-1989: St. Ignatius (Yardley, PA)
- 1989: St. Eleanor (Collegeville, PA)
- 1989-1992: St. Mary (Schwenksville, PA)
- 1992-1993: Leave of Absence
- 1992-1993: Saint John Vianney Center (Downingtown, PA)
- 1993-2004: Resurrection of Our Lord (Philadelphia, PA)
- 2004-2005: Camilla Hall (Immaculata, PA)
Summary of Allegations Against Father Robert Brennan:
Father Robert Brennan was ordained a priest in 1964 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. He was made a pastor by Archbishop Bevilacqua in 1988. Since that time, the Archdiocese has learned of inappropriate or suspicious behavior by Father Brennan with more than 20 boys from four different parishes. He was psychologically evaluated or “treated” four times. Depending on the level of scandal threatened by various incidents, Cardinal Bevilacqua either transferred Father Brennan to another parish with unsuspecting families or ignored the reports and left the priest in the parish with his current victims.
According to the Philadelphia 2005 Grand Jury Report, several complaints against Father Robert Brennan were made about inappropriate or suspicious behavior with more than 20 boys dating back to 1988. However, he remained active as chaplain at a nursing home for nuns until 2005 when the Grand Jury Report was released and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia removed him from ministry.
Father Brennan remained an assistant pastor with full and unsupervised access to
children for more than 10 years despite continuing complaints of inappropriate touching of boys. When Cardinal Bevilacqua retired, Father Brennan was still a parochial vicar at Resurrection parish in Philadelphia, despite reports from parish staff that he had inappropriate contact with several students from Resurrection’s grade school. In June 2004, Father Brennan was appointed Chaplain at Camilla Hall, a retirement home for nuns.
Additional complaints of his abuse from the 1960s were substantiated and he was placed on permanent leave in 2007. According to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Father Brennan was arrested in 2013 after a new report of abuse was filed. It alleges that Father Brennan abused a boy for 4 years in late ’90s beginning when the boy was age 11. However, the charges dropped when the alleged victim died at age 26 of a drug overdose. The family then filed a civil suit in 2013 and settled in 2018.
Brennan was laicized (removed from the priesthood by the Vatican) in 2017. He was arrested in April 2019, charged with lying to the FBI claiming that he did not know an accuser from his years at a northeast Philadelphia parish from 1993 to 2004. He was later convicted and sentenced to five years probation for his lies, but was never charged for the sexual abuse itself due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.
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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 Archdiocese of Philadelphia may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so please do not delay in reaching out to us.