Mr. Philip Hower – Diocese of Harrisburg

| Apr 13, 2020 | Abuser Profiles

Mr. Philip Hower

Diocese of Harrisburg


Assigned as Follows:

  • Pontifical College Josephinum (Columbus, OH)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Mr. Philip A. Hower:

Philip A. Hower was a seminarian who was sponsored by the Diocese of Harrisburg in 1985. After the diocese discontinued the sponsorship, they released a letter stating that he was “brusque and officious in his dealings with others,” and he asked sexual inquiries of people and was too negative of a person. 

Philip Hower’s own sister later wrote to the Diocese of Harrisburg in 1988, and reported that he had molested her son when he was between the ages of five and seven. She alleged Hower had even preformed oral sex on his own nephew. At the time of the report, Hower was a seminarian for the Diocese of Tucson, and was never ordained. The diocese informed the Diocese of Tucson of the allegations made by Hower’s sister. 

In 2004, Philip Hower filed a RICO lawsuit against the U.S. Church, claiming that he was blocked from ordination for “blowing the whistle on homosexual priests.” The case was settled in 2005. His name was included on the Diocese of Harrisburg’s list of credibly accused priests in August of 2018. 

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 the 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.  Philip A. Hower has been listed as still living, but his current whereabouts are unknown. 

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.