Fr. Charles Rourke – Diocese of Tucson

| Aug 28, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Charles Rourke

Diocese of Tucson

Ordained: 1958

Died: 1993

Assigned as follows:

  • 1958                 St. Augustine Cathedral (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1958-1960       Immaculate Conception Parish (Douglas, AZ)
  • 1960-1961       Queen of Peace Parish (Mesa ()
  • 1961-1962       St. Joseph Parish (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1962-1965       All Saints Parish (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1966-1968       Newman Center (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1968-1969       St. Monica Parish (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1969-1973       Leave of Absence and Archdiocese of Santa Fe
  • 1973-1975       Sacred Heart Parish (Nogales, AZ)
  • 1981-1984       St. Andrew Parish (Sierra Vista, AZ)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Charles Rourke:

According to media reports,  Father Charles Rourke was suspended from ministry in 1984 for alcohol-related medical reasons. He took a leave of absence from 1969-1973 and was assigned to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. He returned to Tucson from 1973-1975 and 1981-1984, with another leave of absence from 1975-1981 between those assignments. He was removed from ministry in 1979.

According to a Special Pastoral Report from the Diocese released in 2003, a review of archival records revealed that there was a failure to report allegations of sexual misconduct with minors against Father Charles Rourke, and that he remained in ministry after allegations were reported.

He died by suicide in April 1993, while under investigation for alleged sexual abuse of children in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Diocese of Tucson said it became aware of the child abuse allegations after his death.

Father Rourke has been named in at least one civil lawsuit which was settled in 2006 as part of the Diocese of Tucson bankruptcy.

In October 2018, Father Rourke was named in the Diocese of San Bernardino’s list of “Clergy Credibly Accused of Child Sexual Abuse.” According to this list, Father Rourke worked in the Diocese of San Bernardino as an extern priest with faculties and was accused of sexually abusing a child in 1979, of which the Diocese of San Bernardino was aware.

Father Rourke was also included on the Diocese of Tucson’s “List of clergy and other Church personnel identified by the Diocese of Tucson with assignments, employment or ministry service within the Diocese about whom the Diocese is aware of credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving a minor.”

In September 2017, he was included on the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s “List of Priests, Deacons, & Religious Accused of Sexual Abuse of Children,” as well.

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