Fr. Lynn Caffoe – Archdiocese of Los Angeles

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Lynn Caffoe

Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Ordained: 1971

Laicized: 2006

Died: 2009

Assignment History:

  • 1971-1975: St. Callistus (Garden Grove, CA)
  • 1976-1982: Our Lady of Peace (Sepulveda, CA)
  • 1982-1986: St. Bede the Venerable (La Canada, CA)
  • 1987-1991: St. James (Redondo Beach, CA)
  • 1992: Divine Saviour (Los Angeles, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Lynn Caffoe:

Fr. Lynn Caffoe was ordained a priest in 1971, and served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Los Angeles. According to media reports, in January 1975, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles received notice that Fr. Lynn Richard Caffoe sexually abused altar boys at St. Callistus in Garden Grove, CA. File summaries indicate that Father Caffoe sexually abused at least 15 victims during his career as a priest, and it occurred at every parish he was assigned.

He was suspected of sequestering young boys in his room, recording their crotches on videotape, then running up charges for phone sex while the boy was in his presence. Fr. Caffoe was removed from ministry in May 1991 and sent for treatment at St. Luke Institute from 1991 to 1992. His psychologist filed a Suspected Child Abuse Report and notified law enforcement. Shortly after, Father Caffoe disappeared from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles without notice.

In February 1994, a boy reported that Fr. Caffoe had abused him in 1988 through 1993, beginning at St. James parochial school and continuing while the boy was at Bishop Montgomery High School. In 2003, a newspaper reporter found him working at a homeless mission two blocks from a Salinas elementary school.

Father Caffoe’s name was included on the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ 2004 list of priests accused of sexual misconduct involving minors. He was laicized in January 2006. In September of that year, he asked an appeals court to block the release of his church personnel file to four people who had accused him of molesting them as children. He said disclosure of the confidential files to plaintiffs suing him over the alleged abuse would violate his rights. The U.S. Supreme Court ordered Cardinal Roger Mahony to turn over the documents to the county grand jury, and a trial judge ruled they must go to the Father Caffoe plaintiffs. The suit was settled in 2007.

Cardinal Mahony’s letter to the Vatican was quoted in a court filing by four people who said Father Caffoe victimized them. Their lawyers argued that the letter and other documents showed that Cardinal Mahony and other officials of the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles misrepresented the breadth and seriousness of the priest abuse reports in the years before to address the molestation problem fully. Father Caffoe’s personnel files were released in January 2013. Reports show that he lived in San Diego from 2008 until his death in late 2009.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in California.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in one of California’s Catholic dioceses, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles now have legal options due to a voluntary compensation fund created by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.