Fr. Jack Kennington – Archdiocese of New York

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Jack Kennington

Archdiocese of New York/Redemptorists

Ordained: 1959

Sued: 1993

Assignment History:

  • 1959-1961: Student Priest at Mount St. Alphonsus (Esopus, NY)
  • 1961-1970: Aquidauana (Mato Grosso, Brazil)
  • 1970-1979: Antonina (Paraná, Brazil)
  • 1979-1981: Sacred Heart of Jesus (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1979-1981: Holy Redeemer Chapel/St. Gerard’s Chapel (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1981-1983: Georgetown University (Washington, DC)
  • 1983-1990: Most Holy Redeemer (New York City, NY)
  • 1993-1994: Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Opa Locka, FL)
  • 1995-2003: Mount St. Alphonsus (Esopus, NY)
  • 2003-2020: Unknown

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Jack Kennington:

Fr. John “Jack” Kennington was ordained a Redemptorist priest. He spent his first two decades of the priesthood in Brazil before heading back to the US. In 1989, a woman was told by her teenage daughter that Kennington had sexually abused her and her younger brother from 1984 to 1987 when they were 8 and 13 years old. Kennington, a close family friend, had stepped in to help the newly divorced mother, including childcare. The family was Most Holy Redeemer parishioners, where Kennington served.

The abuse was said to have occurred in the family’s apartment, on vacations in the Hamptons, and during visits to the mother’s parents’ home in Florida. Kennington allegedly played strip poker to the point of nakedness with the children, molested one child at a time while having the other watch, and masturbated in the children’s presence while viewing pornography. Kennington admitted to playing strip poker with the children but denied ever abusing them.

The brother filed suit in 1993 against the Redemptorists and the Archdiocese of New York. The suit was settled in 2001, after eight years, and included a confidentiality agreement. The sister was unable to sue due to New York’s statute of limitations.

Despite the lawsuits and allegations, Kennington was honored in 2009 on his ordination’s 50th anniversary. By 2010, he was living in Brooklyn, near the Order’s Basilica. As of 2016, he remains an active Redemptorist.

According to media reports, in 2019, the sister was finally able to file suit due to the statute of limitations being extended under the Child Victims Act. As of 2019, Kennington was living at the Redemptorist Fathers residence in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

His status as a priest, whereabouts, and whether he had access to children from 2003 to the present is unknown.

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