Deacon James Rush – Diocese of Harrisburg

| Apr 15, 2020 | Abuser Profiles

Deacon James Rush

Diocese of Harrisburg 


Ordained: 1979

Retired: 2015

Died: 2016


Assigned as Follows:

  • 1979-2001 Archdiocese of New York
  • 2002-2005 St. Richard Catholic Church (Manheim, PA) Our Lady of Good Counsel (Marysville, PA) St. Bernadette Mission (Duncannon, PA)


Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Deacon James Rush:

Deacon James Rush was affiliated with the Archdiocese of New York prior to moving to the Harrisburg Diocese in Pennsylvania in 2001. His name was included on the Harrisburg diocese’s list of accused clergy released in August of 2018, and the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report that same year.

In 2015, two women came forward and accused James Rush of inappropriate behavior that “crossed boundary lines.” When Rush was confronted by the diocese, he retired immediately. He was allowed to minister only with “explicit permission.” 

A year later, a report was made to the Children and Youth Services and to the Diocese of Harrisburg again, stating that Rush was engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl. The alleged behavior included hugging and kissing the girl, holding her hand, and telling her that she was his “girlfriend.” The Diocese of Harrisburg stated that the behavior was simply “grooming” and not abuse. 

In February 2020, the Diocese of Harrisburg filed for bankruptcy protection. As part of its bankruptcy, the Diocese of Harrisburg will be reviewing and paying claims for anyone sexually abused by diocesan priests and lay employees. This will likely include claims filed on behalf of anyone whose case may be beyond the statute of limitations. Ahead of the grand jury report, the Diocese of Harrisburg released the names of 71 priests, seminarians and laypersons accused of sexually abusing children since 1941. This was from an updated list that the diocese released in August of 2018. After the report was released, the total was over 301 identified and accused priests in Pennsylvania alone.

His case falls under the category of inappropriate behavior; where the abuse was first alleged while the accused was still living. James Rush has since died as of 2016. 


Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania. The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

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