Fr. Thomas J. Smith – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

| Dec 3, 2018 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Thomas Smith

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Ordained:  1973

Removed from ministry: 2003

Removed from parish residence: Dec. 2004

Laicized: 2007

Assigned as follows:

  • 1973-1978: Immaculate Heart of Mary (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1974-1976: Chaplain, Boy Scouts of America
  • 1978-1982: St. Francis de Sales (Lenni, PA)
  • 1982-1987: Annunciation B.V.M. (Havertown, PA)
  • 1982-1986: Archbishop Pendergast High School (Drexel Hill, PA)
  • 1987-1991: St. Andrew (Drexel Hill, PA)
  • 1988-1990: Assoc. Director, CYO
  • 1989-1991: Archbishop Pendergast High School (Drexel Hill, PA)
  • 1991-1996: Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1991-1993: Assoc. Director, CYO
  • 1996-1998: Good Shepherd (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1998-2003: St. Francis of Assisi (Springfield, PA)
  • 2003-2007: Leave of Absence (in res., St. Francis of Assisi)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Thomas Smith:

Father Thomas Smith was ordained a priest in 1973 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. According to the Philadelphia 2005 Grand Jury Report, he engaged in “depraved and sadistic behavior with many boys” throughout the course of his ministry, yet he was allowed to reside at St. Francis of Assisi until December 2004.  While there, he was in contact with the children of the parish grammar school, celebrated masses, and heard confessions.

In March 2004, nine months before he finally left the parish, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s review board found multiple allegations to be credible – meaning it was likely true that the incidents of sexual abuse occurred as reported by the victims.  The Review Board found that, in multiple parishes, Smith had a common modus operandi to abuse the boys playing Jesus in the parish passion plays; in some cases they were forced to disrobe completely while other boys took turns whipping them to the point of giving them cuts, bruises, and welts.  At least one said that Smith would kneel in front of the nude boy, and, with pins his mouth, prick the boy’s penis until he bled with the pins in his mouth.

He also required boys to be nude when using the hot tub at a local health club; Smith told all the boys the club required nudity.

Also contained in the secret archives of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia – accessible only the archbishop – were allegations that Smith took boys camping and fondled at least one of them.

Cardinal Bevilacqua knew of all of the allegations in early 2002, but chose to leave Smith in ministry.

Smith is believed to be living but his current whereabouts are unknown.

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.