Fr. Donald J. Whelan – Archdiocese of New York

| Aug 12, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Donald J. Whelan (Whalen)

Archdiocese of New York

Ordained: 1957

Died: 1988

Assigned as follows:

  • 1957-1964: St. Margaret’s (Pearl River, NY)
  • 1964-1968: St. John Vianney (New York City, NY)
  • 1968-1979: St. Ann’s (Nyack, NY)
  • 1979-1985: St. Patrick’s (Newburgh, NY); Our Lady of the Lake (Orange Lake, NY)
  • 1985-1987: St. Ann’s (Nyack, NY)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Donald J Whelan (Whalen):

Fr. Donald J Whelan was a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, ordained in 1957. He served as an assistant in Pearl River, the Bronx, and Nyack parishes before being named Administrator of a Newburgh parish in 1979. He left Newburgh in 1985 to return to Nyack as a lead priest.

According to media reports, in February 2004, Whelan was named in a lawsuit alleging he repeatedly sexually abused an 11-year-old boy from 1964 to 1965, when he was assigned to St. John Vianney in the Bronx, New York. The suit alleged Whelan stepped in to help the boy’s mother after her divorce, leaving her alone with seven children. The alleged abuse, including penetration, occurred in the parish rectory, in a beach cabana, and during overnight trips to the Rockaways. Whelan told the boy not to tell because it would hurt his mother, and no one would believe him.

In April 2019, Whelan’s name appeared on the Archdiocese of New York’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. Claims against him are eligible to be settled through the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP).

Whelan died in 1988.

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