Father Michael Swierzy
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Inpatient treatment: 1997-1998
Guilty plea: 1998
Named in civil lawsuit: 2002
Resigned ministry: 2003
Laicized: March 2005
Died: July 2005
Assigned as follows:
- 1975-1977: St. Laurentius (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1975-1977: Assoc. Director, Regional CYO
- 1977-1982: St. William (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1982-1992: Cardinal Dougherty High School (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1982-1985: Holy Angels (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1985-1992: St. William (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1992-1997: St. John the Evangelist (Morrisville, PA)
- 1997-1998: Leave of Absence (Villa St. John Vianney)
- 1998-2003: Leave of Absence (Villa St. Joseph)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Michael Swierzy:
Father Michael Swierzy was ordained a priest in 1975 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. According to media reports, in 1997, the Archdiocese received information that he sexually abused a fifth grader who served as an altar boy at St. John the Evangelist in Morrisville. Swierzy was placed on administrative leave and sent to Villa St. John Vianney, a notorious treatment facility for pedophile priests in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Soon thereafter, law enforcement discovered photographs of young boys in their underwear in Swierzy’s rectory room.
He was ultimately arrested for his abuse of the altar boy. In January 1998, he pled guilty to one count of corruption of the morals of a minor; he was sentenced to five years probation. Upon his discharge from SJV in March 1998, he moved to Villa St. Joseph, a retirement home where the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was known to house its accused priests who could not be returned to ministry.
In 2002, a second victim came forward and reported that he was abused by Swierzy at Cardinal Dougherty High School between 1986 and 1988, while Swierzy was on faculty at the school but before he became principal. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia found these allegations to be credible and forwarded the matter to the Vatican for involuntary laicization.
Swierzy was removed from the priesthood (laicized) in early 2005. He died only a few months later.
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.