Father John Hummell
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Leaves of Absence: 1967, 2006-2008
Suspended from ministry: 2006
Faculties revoked: 2008
Assigned as follows:
- 1965-1966: St. Cecilia (Coatesville, PA)
- 1966-1967: Ss. Simon and Jude (West Chester, PA)
- 1967-1968: Corpus Christi (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1968-1979: Roman Catholic High School (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1968: St. Dominic (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1968-1976: St. Aloysius (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1976-1977: St. Joseph (Cheltenham, PA)
- 1977-1979: Epiphany (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1979-1990: Bishop McDevitt High School (Wyncote, PA)
- 1979-1981: St. Joseph (Ambler, PA)
- 1981-1985: Seven Dolors (Wyndmoor, PA)
- 1985-1990: St. John of the Cross (Rosyln, PA)
- 1990-1992: St. Gabriel (Norwood, PA)
- 1992-1999: St. Callistus (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1999-2006: Sacred Heart (Oxford, PA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Hummell:
According to media reports, in July 2006, Father John Hummell was removed from his position as pastor at Sacred Heart in Oxford after the Archdiocese of Philadelphia spent 10 months investigation an allegation that he sexually abused a minor at Roman Catholic High School in the 1970s. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia offered no explanation for why it left him in ministry for 10 months after learning he might be a danger to children, without warning parishioners, except say that the case was “complex.” It did not explain what that meant at that time.
No details have been made public as to the nature or context of the abuse alleged. The gender and age of the victim have not been disclosed.
In 2008, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia released a statement “updating” parishioners on the allegations against Hummell. According to the statement, the Archdiocese’s internal review board had determined that the allegations – whatever they were – were substantiated. It stated, the “behavior considered to be substantiated by the Review Board could best be described as ‘grooming behavior’…Hence, the penalties attached to the sexual abuse of minors (e.g. laicization or a supervised life of prayer and penance) could not be imposed.” However, the review board recommended that he not be returned to ministry because his behavior was bad enough that it could be a danger to return him to an active assignment.
The 2008 statement also stated that Hummell, who retired voluntarily by the time the review board decision was sent to Cardinal Justin Rigali, would have no faculties to minster following the review board’s recommendation.
Hummell is still alive and is believed to be residing in Margate City, New Jersey. He is 79 years old and still technically a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as he has not been laicized by the Vatican. He has no supervision in his daily life, and it is unclear if he adheres to the restrictions imposed on him by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that he not present himself as a priest or perform any type of ministry.
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.