Father John David Crowley
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Assigned as Follows:
- 1954-1968: St. Elizabeth (Pleasant Hills, PA)
- 1968-1969: St. Margaret (Green Tree, PA)
- 1969-2003: Holy Angels Parish (Hays, PA)
Summary of Allegations Against Father John David Crowley:
Father John David Crowley was ordained a priest in 1954, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to documents subpoenaed from the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Father Crowley had complaints against him since being ordained. When he was released from seminary, he was said to always look for loopholes and “special privileges.” Most importantly, his pre-ordination evaluation by seminary faculty said he would need “constant supervision.”
The first allegations of sexual abuse against Crowley were made in 1992. A mother reported that her twin daughters were abused by Father John Crowley when one of the twins was 16 years old. The age of the other twin at the time of her sexual abuse by Crowley is unclear from the text of the grand jury report. Crowley was presented with these allegations and was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation at St. Michael’s Community in St. Louis, Missouri. He remained assigned to Holy Angels.
After one week, staff at St. Michael’s determined that neither abuse allegation was true (without any information other than Crowley’s denials) and recommended that he simply receive therapy for obsessive-compulsive behaviors and low self-esteem. He was discharged after one week and returned to his ministry at Holy Angels.
The mother and her twin daughters renewed their allegations with the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 2002. This time, the Diocese’s internal Review Board deemed the allegations to be credible (after investigation) and recommended that Crowley should be requested to resign from his current assignment at Holy Angels in Hays and allowed to retire from the ministry voluntarily.
After he was presented with his options, Crowley resigned. Bishop Donald Wuerl let him tell his parish that he had requested early retirement. Father John David Crowley’s ministerial faculties were officially revoked in 2003.
According to media reports, in 2008, a diocesan official created records of a meeting with a male victim who claimed to have been 11 or 12 years old when he was sexually abused by Father Crowley in the 1970s. The Diocese of Pittsburgh forwarded this accusation to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office in 2009.
Crowley died in 2006. He was first named publicly as accused in a priest profile in the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. 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 Diocese of Pittsburgh may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.