Fr. James E. McGuire – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

| Dec 14, 2018 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father James McGuire

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Ordained: 1970

Psychological evaluation: 1985

Suspended: 2002

Leave of Absence: 2002-2006

Laicized (removed from the priesthood): 2006

Assigned as follows:

  • 1970-1972: St. Alphonsus (Maple Glen, PA)
  • 1970-1972: Chaplain, Temple University
  • 1972:           All Saints Chapel (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1972-1974: Student, Pontifical North American Univ.
  • 1974:          St. Martin of Tours (New Hope, PA)
  • 1974-1977: BIshop Kenrick High School
  • 1974-1975: Mother of Divine Providence (King of Prussia, PA)
  • 1975-1976: St. Isaac Jogues (Wayne, PA)
  • 1976-1977: Epiphany (Norristown, PA)
  • 1977-1982: St. Dorothy (Drexel Hill, PA)
  • 1982-1987: Principal, St. Pius X High School (Pottstown, PA)
  • 1982-1987: St. Mary of Providence Center
  • 1987-1993: Chaplain, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1987-1993: St. Agatha/St. James (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1995-1996: St. Ignatius (Yardley, PA)
  • 1996-2002: St. Ephrem (Bensalem, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father James McGuire:

Father James McGuire was ordained a priest in 1970 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. According to the Philadelphia 2005 Grand Jury Report, he molested at least three children during his priesthood, starting with one before he even finished seminary, and that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia had actual knowledge of all three allegations by early 1985.

The first allegation related to a man who alleged he was sexually abused by McGuire in approximately 1966, when McGuire was still a seminarian at St. Charles Borromeo.  No additional information about the context of the allegation was offered by the grand jury.

The second allegation was made by a young man who says he was sexually abused by McKenzie as a 15 year old boy in 1977, while McGuire was on the faculty at Bishop Kenrick High School in Norristown.

The third allegation was made by a man who said that he was abused as a 14 year old boy in 1971, while McKenzie was the assistant pastor at St. Alphonsus in Maple Green.

It is unclear how the three different allegations came to the attention of the Archdiocese at the exact same time in February 1985, but what is clear is that McGuire was sent for a psychological evaluation as a result of them.  Most likely, this evaluation was performed at Villa St. John Vianney, a notorious pedophile priest treatment facility located in Downingtown, Pennsylvania and owned by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Strangely, he was allowed to have the evaluation conducted on an outpatient, rather than inpatient, basis.  He was never suspended from ministry and continued working as the principal at St. Pius X High School in Pottstown for the duration of the evaluation.

McGuire’s name also appeared on a secret February 1994 memo from William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Secretary for the Clergy, to James Molloy, the Vicar for Administration for the Archdiocese.  The purpose of the memo was to catalog the sexual abuse allegations kept in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Secret Archives, which are files traditionally accessible only by the archbishop and, sometimes, one of his designees.  Under Canon Law, the Archdiocese is required to maintain any potentially scandalous information in the Secret Archives. Of the summary nature Lynn wrote, “only basic information is contained in this report so as not to have too much in writing on this matter.”  McGuire’s name appears in the section labeled “Allegations of Sexual Misconduct with Minors with No Conclusive Evidence.”

McGuire was suspended from ministry in 2002, around the same time as other priests previously accused of abuse and months after the massive scale of the abuse epidemic in the Archdiocese of Boston became national news.

McGuire was laicized (removed from the priesthood by the Vatican) at his request in 2006.

McGuire is believed to be residing in the Sea Isle City, New Jersey, area.

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.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.