Father Richard Jones
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Leaves of absence: 1988-1990, 1990-1993
Inpatient treatment: 1988-1990
Left ministry voluntarily: 1993
Laicized (removed from priesthood): 2005
Assigned as follows:
- 1963-1968: St. Joseph (Spring City, PA)
- 1968-1970: Our Lady of Grace (Penndel, PA)
- 1970: St. Martin of Tours (New Hope, PA)
- 1970-1987: Cardinal O’Hara High School (Springfield, PA)
- 1970-1973: Immaculate Conception (Marcus Hook, PA)
- 1973-1987: Our Lady of Angels Convent
- 1982: St. Mary Magdalen (Media, PA)
- 1987-1988: Resurrection of Our Lord (Chester, PA)
- 1988: St. Thomas the Apostle (Chester Heights, PA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Richard Jones:
In 1988, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia received a report that Father Richard Jones sexually abused a 16 year old boy, though the Philadelphia 2005 Grand Jury Report is not clear on when the abuse allegedly occurred (except to say during the 1980s).
As a result of the allegation, Jones was sent to St. John Vianney, a notorious treatment facility for pedophile priests in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, for an evaluation. He remained there for almost two years for treatment, at which point he continued his leave of absence in Florida. He never returned to active ministry. That he was sent to SJV and remained there for some time suggests that he admitted to the allegation.
Jones’ name appears on a secret 1994 memo drafted by former Secretary for Clergy Msgr. William Lynn, summarizing the sexual abuse allegations contained in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s secret archive files. By his own admission in the memo, Lynn did not include much information in the 6-page memo beyond the names of the accused priests so as to avoid having “too much in writing on this matter.” Jones’ name appears in the section titled “Guilty of Sexual Misconduct with Minors.” The memo states only that multiple adult males and one 17-year old boy accused him of having sexual contact with them, and that the actions occurred sometime before 1989. It lists his status as “inactive, encouraged to seek laicization, living in Florida.” In our experience, that he was “encouraged to seek laicization” suggests that either he admitted to abusing multiple victims and that it could cause a scandal to the Church if he was returned to ministry, but we cannot say that with certainty without seeing the contents of Jones’ personnel files.
Since the age of the victim referred to in the 1994 is different than the age of the victim in the 1988 report, this suggests that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was aware of another victim at some point prior to 1994, and possibly even before 1988. The grand jury does not expand on this point because it did not have the benefit of the 1994 memo at the time of its investigation.
In 2004, a second victim came forward to report being abused as a 17 year old boy. By this point, Jones was a priest with restricted faculties who was residing in Bradenton, Florida, permanently. In late 2004, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia informed Jones that his faculties would be further restricted and that he should consider laicization (removal from the priesthood). The Archdiocese offered him a financial compensation package to consider leaving the priesthood.
Jones apparently accepted the offer, and was formally laicized in 2005.
According to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Jones lived in the Bradenton, Florida, area after leaving ministry in 1993 until his death in 2016.
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.