Fr. Ronald J. Tully – Archdiocese of Washington

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Ronald J. Tully

Archdiocese of Washington

Ordained: 1966

Removed: 2004

Laicized: 2016

Died: 2018

Assigned as follows:

  • Pope Pius XXII High School in (Passaic, NJ)
  • Sacred Heart Church (Dover, NJ)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Ronald J. Tully:

According to media reports, Father Ronald J. Tully was ordained for the Augustinian Order. In the 1960s, he taught in Washington, DC. In 1970, he left the Order and became became a Diocese of Paterson priest.

In April 1979, Father Ronald J. Tully  was charged with first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of child endangerment in Riverhead, NY. Two boys, ages 14 and 15 alleged Father Tully sexually abused them when they were teenagers, while attending Pope Pius XII High School. They said Father Tully took them to his summer home on Long Island and got them drunk. He fondled one boy, and pulled down the pants of the other boy and molested him. They said they locked themselves in a bedroom, and jumped out a window while Father Tully banged on the door. The boys, ran to a nearby house and the police were called.

In 1980, the charges were dismissed. According to court papers, Bishop Rodimer told the families of the alleged victims that if they did not pursue charges, Father Tully would be punished and not allowed access to children. A nun, then principal of the school, was accused of threatening family members to keep them quiet.

In 2004, both alleged victims came forward after learning Father Tully had been assigned to Sacred Heart parish since 1983 and had been promoted to monsignor. Church officials laicized Father Tully. Subsequently, the allegations raised questions about why he was not removed earlier. The national Catholic bishops’ conference approved a measure in 2002 that allowed the church to remove priests after one instance of child abuse.

In January 2007, a third claim was settled by the Diocese of Paterson with a Boston area man who said he was sexually assaulted by Father Tully in 1984. The man was 14 at the time and said the abuse occurred over a period of six months, with Father Tully fondling him occasionally before sexually assaulting him in the Sacred Heart rectory.

On one occasion, Father Tully became irate when the boy refused to give him oral sex, said the victim’s lawyer. “He’s suffered enormous emotional damages.”

In April 2008, two more claims were settled by the Diocese of Paterson. Later that year in December, a claim was settled with a man who said he was 14 years old and a student at Pope Pius XII High School in Passaic when Father Tully fondled him in 1977. At the time, Father Tully was an assistant principal at the school.

In March 2012, a claim was settled with a man who claimed he was 16 years old and a student at Pope Pius XII High School in Passaic, in 1976 when the alleged abuse took place.

In September 2015, a claim was settled with a woman who claimed that Father Tully fondled her 20 times in 1977 when she was a 16-year-old student at Pope Pius High School in Passaic. Father Tully was the high school’s vice principal at the time.

The Diocese of Paterson paid a total of $2.1 million in settlements with at least 9 claims of sexual abuse by Father Tully. Father Tully denied all charges.

In 2011, allegations of sexual abuse were reported to the Archdiocese of Washington DC. Father Tully was laicized in January 2016, .

In October 2018, Father Tully’s name first appeared publicly on the Archdiocese of Washington’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. He died one month later in November.

In February 2019, Father Tully’s name appeared publicly on the Archdiocese of Paterson’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.