Fr. Charles Engelhardt (Oblates) – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

| Jul 14, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Charles Engelhardt


Ordained: 1977

Died: 2014

Assignment History

  • 1977-1983:      Salesianum School (Wilmington, DE)
  • 1983-1992:      Northeast Catholic High School Faculty House (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1992-2000:      Fr. Judge High School for Boys (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1998-2000:      St. Jerome’s (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 2000-2005:      Mater Dolorosa (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 2005-2007:      St. Anthony of Padua (Wilmington, DE)
  • 2007-2010:      Resurrection of Our Lord (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 2009-2011:      Villa De Sales Oblate Residence (Wyndmoor, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Monsignor Charles Engelhardt

Monsignor Charles Engelhardt, a priest of the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales, had been Secretary of Clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia under Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. According to media reports, in February 2011, Engelhardt was named in the Philadelphia Grand Jury Report by a man alleging he was sexually molested by Engelhard, along with Fr. Edward Avery and school teacher Bernard Shero, when he was a 10-year-old student at St. Jerome School in Philadelphia. The victim claimed that he was molested and orally sodomized during the 1998-99 school year. The victim was an altar boy and in the church choir.

The allegations stated that Engelhardt sexually abused the victim in the church sacristy after mass. In the first incident, Engelhardt poured the 10-year-old boy wine, asked him personal questions, and showed him pornographic magazines. He also allegedly told the boy that it was time for him to become a man, and that “sessions” with the priest should begin soon. A week later, Engelhardt and the boy were again in the sacristy when Engelhardt instructed him to take off his clothes to become a man. The victim claims that Engelhardt “jerked” him off and then performed oral sex on the boy. The priest told the boy to then touch his genitals and perform oral sex on him. 

After an investigation, the grand jury determined the allegations had merit, and both priests were subsequently charged and arrested. In 2013, Engelhardt pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse and conspiracy charges for knowingly putting children in harm’s way. Engelhardt was sentenced to six to twelve years in prison. He denied all accusations throughout the trial and appeal. In November 2014, Msgr. Engelhardt died while in the process of appealing his sentence.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply, so please do not delay in reaching out to us. Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.