Father Ed Smith
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Assigned as follows:
- 1975 St. John Neumann High School (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1982 Archmere Academy (Claymont, DE)
- 1997 Archmere Academy (Claymont, DE)
- 1996 Immaculate Conception Priory (Claymont, DE)
- 1997 Claymont School Board of Trustees
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Ed Smith:
Father Ed Smith was ordained a Norbertine priest in 1973 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. was an English teacher, dean of student life, and later principal of St. John Neumann High School in South Philadelphia. According to media reports, in 2002, he was put administrative leave after a former student filed a complaint with the District Attorney’s Office against him. The student claimed Father Smith sexually abused him as a 13-year-old freshman in 1976. He said he had also watched the priest molest two other boys in the presence of another priest.
The former student wrote in a letter to Abbot Thomas De Wane, the administrator of the Norbertine Fathers, “Father Smith committed two additional criminal acts by sexually molesting me on two separate occasions, once on an elevator at the [faculty] dormitory attached to the school and the other time after school in the conference room. Edward Smith molested me physically, raped me spiritually, and slaughtered my childhood.”
After his removal from the school, Father Smith was assigned to a Salisbury, MD., parish for a year and then to Archmere Academy in Claymont, DE in 1982. There he taught religion, English and served as Archmere’s campus minister until he left the school in 1984.
In November 2005, Father Smith was named in a civil suit filed by a former Navy officer alleging the priest raped him as a 14-year-old boy more than 230 times over a three-year period in the 1980s while he was a student at Archmere Academy.
According to media reports, in March 2007, a U.S. District Court jury awarded the victim $41 million in damages.
“The jury spoke out very loudly that all Delaware officials must do everything in their power to hold these persons accountable for their past crimes,” the victim said at a news conference. “I want to thank the judge and jury for allowing me to expose the truth about matters which have been hidden away for far too long, and for seeing that justice was done not only for me, but also for all the many other victims who have been denied their day in court by armies of lawyers and church bureaucrats who are more interested in a cover-up than in protecting innocent children and revealing the truth of what happens behind closed doors in their church.”
The victim settled with the Diocese Wilmington in January 2008 and with the Norbertines and school in September 2008.
“Now that the child’s victim act is law, I have filed suit against those whose ‘I don’t care attitude,’ reckless attitude caused my rape by a renegade priest,” Whitwell said at a press conference. “I want them held fully accountable by a civil jury and punished for their role in my child abuse.”
In July 2019, Father Smith’s name appeared on the St. Norbert Abbey’s in WI list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. It noted multiple allegations, and that Smith was restricted from ministry.
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.