Fr. Charles Rourke – Diocese of San Bernardino

| Sep 29, 2019 | Catholic Church, Sex

Father Charles Rourke

Diocese of San Bernardino

Ordained: 1958

Removed: 1979

Died: 1993

Assigned as follows:

  • 1958                St. Augustine Cathedral (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1958-1960      Immaculate Conception, (Douglas, AZ)
  • 1960-1961      Queen of Peace (Mesa, AZ)
  • 1961-1962      St. Joseph’s (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1962-1965      All Saints (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1966                St. Augustine’s Chapel (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1967-1968      University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1968-1969      St. Monica (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1969-1977      Leave of Absence and Archdiocese of Santa Fe
  • 1973-1975      Sacred Heart (Nogales, AZ)
  • 1975-1981      On Leave of Absence
  • 1981-1984      St. Andrew (Sierra Vista, AZ)
  • 1984-1990      Absent on Leave

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Charles Rourke:

Father Charles Rourke was incardinated in the Diocese of Tucson and served in the Diocese of San Bernardino as an extern with faculties. He was known as a jazz musician and founded a youth mariachi band through Catholic Youth Services. He was suspended from ministry in 1984 for alcohol-related medical reasons.

According to the Diocese of San Bernardino, Father Rourke was accused of sexually abusing a child in 1979. He was removed from ministry. While under investigation in April 1993 for alleged sexual abuse of children in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he committed suicide. In a Special Pastoral Report from Diocese of Tucson released in 2003, a review of archival records revealed that there was a failure to report allegations against Father Rourke, and he was given assignments after there was awareness of an allegation in 1979.

Father Rourke was named in a civil suit, which settled in 2006 as a part of the Diocese of Tucson bankruptcy settlement. He was also named in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s list of clergy accused of child sexual abuse released in September 2017. In October 2018, he was named in the Diocese of San Bernardino and Diocese of Tucson’s lists of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in San Bernardino, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino 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.