Fr. John Patrick Bertolucci – Diocese of Albany

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father John Patrick Bertolucci

Diocese of Albany

Ordained: 1965

Removed: 2002

Died: 2015

Assigned as follows:

  • 1965-1967: Sacred Heart (Castle-on-Hudson, NY)
  • 1967-1971: St. Peter’s Hospital (Albany, NY)
  • 1967-1971: St. John’s School (Rensselaer, NY)
  • 1967-1971: Maria College Convent of Mercy (Albany, NY)
  • 1967-1971: LaSalle School (Albany, NY)
  • 1971-1976: Diocesan Vice-Chancellor (Albany, NY)
  • 1976-1980: St. Joseph’s (Little Falls, NY)
  • 1979-1988: Holy Spirit Monastery (Steubenville, OH)
  • 1979-1988: University of Steubenville (Steubenville, OH)
  • 1979-1988: St. Helen’s (Schenectady, NY)
  • 1990-1992: St. Mary’s (Hudson, NY)
  • 1990-1992: Columbia-Green County Community College (Hudson, NY)
  • 1993-1994: “Special Assignment” (unspecified)
  • 1994-1997: Albany Medical Center Hospital (Albany, NY)
  • 1995-2001: St. Ambrose (Latham, NY)
  • 2001-2002: St. Anthony of Padua Friary (Catskill, NY)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father John Patrick Bertolucci:

According to media reports, in 2002, an adult man filed a lawsuit alleging that the chancellor of the Diocese of Albany, the Rev. Kenneth Doyle and Father John Patrick Bertolucci, conspired to intimidate him from lodging a formal complaint. The suit was filed under the U.S. Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law, also known as RICO. According to the man, a State Police trooper, Bertolucci sexually abused him when he was twelve years old, starting in 1976, and continued until 1979. He first made the allegations against Bertolucci in 1992. He and his family received counseling arranged by the Diocese of Albany during that time. He blamed his parents for bringing Bertolucci into their lives with invitations to family dinners and nudges to attend youth group events led by the well-known priest.

Bertolucci was a former vice-chancellor of the Diocese of Albany and a prominent member of the group called Charismatic Catholics. In the 1980s, he produced a nationally syndicated television program and was praised as a “Catholic Pat Robertson.”  

Bertolucci admitted to sexually abusing teenagers in the 1970s. “My lawyer tells me I could not call your son directly, so I am calling both of you,” Bertolucci said, according to the lawsuit.

“I did not have sexual intercourse with your son, I only fondled him,” Bertolucci allegedly said. “I was very proud of your son the way he repeatedly fought off my sexual advances most of the time. I want you to know that I still love your son after all these years.”

“John Bertolucci didn’t just hurt our son. He ripped apart our family,” said the victim’s mother.

Bertolucci was active in ministry until 2002 when he asked for early retirement.

The lawsuit was dismissed in 2003. It did not seek damages for the sexual abuse itself, which was out of reach from civil penalties under the state’s three-year statute of limitations.

In June 2002, the Diocese of Albany permanently removed him from ministry. He opted to live “a life of prayer and penance” over laicization.

“The most powerful form of penance I can do is to pray for the healing and reconciliation of any person I have sinned against and any person I have misled by my misconduct,” Bertolucci said.

In 2011, Bertolucci was named as one of five priests who sexually abused a boy between 1986-1991 in the Diocese of Albany. The abuse is said to have taken place at Our Lady of Mercy parish, where the accuser’s mother was a long-time employee. An internal investigation into the allegations was conducted.

Bertolucci died in May 2015.

In November 2018, Bertolucci’s name first appeared publicly on the Diocese of Albany’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 Diocese of Albany in New York.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New York State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Albany now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.