Father John A. Close – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

| Dec 6, 2018 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father John Close

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

John Close Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1969

Suspended from ministry: 2011

Retired: 2012

Deceased: 2018

Assigned as follows:

  • 1969-1972: Christ the King (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1971-1972: Serra Club of (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1972: Saint John the Evangelist (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1972-1984: Cardinal O’Hara High School (Springfield, PA)
  • 1982-1987: Sisters of Saint Francis, Assisi House (Aston, PA)
  • 1984-1987: Saint James Catholic High School for Boys (Chester, PA)
  • 1987-1990: Saint Pius X High School (Pottstown, PA)
  • 1987-1990: Saint Mary of Providence Center (Elverson, PA)
  • 1990-1994: Wood High School (Warminster, PA)
  • 1991-1994: Regina Coeli Residence for Priests (Warminster, PA)
  • 1994-1996: Saint Michael the Archangel (Levittown, PA)
  • 1996-2000: Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary (Overbrook, PA)
  • 1997-2011: Legatus, Philadelphia Chapter (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 2000-2006: Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 2006-2011:  St. Katherine of Siena (Wayne, PA)
  • 2011: Placed on administrative leave

Summary of Allegations Against Father John Close:

Father John Close was ordained a priest in 1969 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. According to media reports, in March 2011 he was one of 21 priests placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation into allegations involving sexual abuse or inappropriate behavior with minors.  The suspensions came shortly after the release of the second grand jury report, which identified more than 30 priests in active ministry who had been accused of sexual misconduct.

As of June 2011, there were two known accusers, both male and both who claimed that Father Close had sexually abused them as young teens, one in 1969, the other from 1992-1994. Father Close denied the allegations. One of the victims claims that he had tried to report the abuse to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1998, but they did not respond to his call. Both accusers said they reported the abuse to police but were told that Father Close could not be investigated due to the statute of limitations. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia internal review board deemed all of the allegations unsubstantiated, and he was returned to ministry.

On August 9, 2023, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia agree to pay $3.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a man whom Father Close sexually assaulted on one occasion in 2006 when the victim was 14 years old.  The man reported that the assault occurred after the priest heard his confession when he attended religious classes at St. Katherine’s of Siena, in Wayne, Pennsylvania.  The victim’s attorney obtained evidence that the Archdiocese knew Close was a danger to children in the 1970s, after a priest reported teenage boys were sleeping overnight in Close’s room.  “We deeply regret the pain suffered by any survivor of child sexual abuse and have a sincere desire to help victims on their path to healing,” Kenneth A. Gavin, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, said in a statement.

Father close died in March 2018.

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