Bishop Thomas W. Lyons – Archdiocese of Washington

| Jun 5, 2019 | Catholic Church

Aux. Bishop Thomas W. Lyons

Archdiocese of Washington

Ordained: 1948

Died: 1988

Known Assignments in the Archdiocese of Washington:

  • St. Thomas the Apostle (Washington, DC)
  • Auxiliary Bishop of Washington (Washington, DC)
  • Regina High School (Hyattsville, MD)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Bishop Thomas W. Lyons:

According to media reports, an adult man submitted a statement to Maryland legislators that Monsignor Lyons abused him as a child as the legislature considered the Childhood Sexual Abuse Prevention Amendment of 2007.  He said the sexual abuse occurred in the summer of 1965 in the rectory at St. Thomas the Apostle.

The man said, “I felt his hard penis against my 10-year-old body. I was scared and confused and did not know what to do. I knew this was wrong but I submitted and he raped me in his bed. I was weeping but he continued to tell me that he loved me and that everything was good.”

“Monsignor Lyons was the superintendent of Catholic schools and later became a bishop in the Washington diocese. Though I wanted desperately to tell someone the truth about him, I knew no one would believe me. After all I was just a kid and he was somewhat of a celebrity,” the man said.

In 2010, several more men claimed that they were sexually abused by Lyons when he was a priest in Baltimore. One man claimed that he abused him from the time he was 7 to 17-years old.  Lyons purportedly did not deny it, but said that he too had been sexually abused by a priest when he was growing up and that “it was natural.” The Archdiocese of Washington took no action. Lyons remained in ministry.

In July 1974, Pope Paul VI appointed Lyons as the Auxiliary Bishop of Washington.  Lyons continued to serve in that capacity until his death in March 1988.

In October 2018, Lyons’ name appeared on the Archdiocese of Washington’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Washington.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Washington, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Washington now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected] to discuss your options today.