Fr. Sean Leo Rooney – Archdiocese of New York

| Aug 16, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Sean Leo Rooney

Archdiocese of New York/Salesians of Don Bosco

Ordained: 1966

Laicized: 2008

Assigned as follows:

  • 1959-1968: St. Dominic Savio High School (Boston, MA)
  • 1968-1971: Salesian Day High School for Boys; Salesian Junior Seminary; Camp Salesian for Boys; Salesian Retreat House for Boys; Salesian Boys Club,  (Cedar Lake, IN)
  • 1971-1975: Don Bosco Technical High School (Paterson, NJ)
  • 1975-1979: Archbishop Shaw High School (Marrero, LA)
  • 1979-1981: Salesian Junior Seminary (Goshen, NY)
  • 1981-1983: Don Bosco High School for Boys (Ramsey, NJ)
  • 1983-2003: St. John Bosco (Birmingham, AL)
  • 1983-2003: Holy Rosary (Birmingham, AL)
  • 2003-2012: Salesian Provincial House (New Rochelle, NY)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Sean Leo Rooney:

Fr. Sean Leo Rooney was ordained a priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco. He served in the Boston, Gary, Paterson, New Orleans, New York, Newark, and Birmingham (arch)dioceses during his 50-year career. He was laicized in 2008, but his name is listed in the Official Catholic Directory for another four years.

According to the suit, in December 2013, Rooney was accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a 14-year-old male student in 1980, at Salesian Junior Seminary in Goshen, New York where Rooney was a theology and physics teacher. The alleged abuse included removing the boy’s clothing, touching and fondling the boy’s naked buttocks and genitals skin-on-skin, and masturbating on the boy on multiple occasions at the seminary and during a school bus trip to Sacred Heart Retreat House in Ipswich, Massachusetts. A settlement was reached in 2014.

In February 2020, Rooney was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a 13-year-old male at Don Bosco Technical High more than 100 times from 1973 to 1975 at the school. He was a chemistry teacher and soon after the boy enrolled, he began “grooming him and giving him special treatment,” and gave the boy alcohol along with showing him pornography, the suit said.

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