Fr. Vance Z. Thorne – Archdiocese of Los Angeles

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

Father Vance Thorne

Archdiocese of Los Angeles (Society of the Divine Word)

Ordained: 1953

Removed: 1987

Died: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • 1954-1957:      Unknown
  • 1961-1971:      Diocese of Austin TX
  • 1958-1959:      St. Leo (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 1980-1987:      Diocese of Jackson MS; Diocese of Trenton NJ
  • 1960-2003:      Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Vance Thorne:

Father Vance Thorne was ordained a priest of the Society of the Divine Word in 1953, who served in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. According to media reports, multiple survivors have come forward alleging child sexual abuse by him in the 1970s and the 1980s. One plaintiff claimed Father Thorne sexually abused him from 1980 to 1986 beginning when he was age 14, at Holy Ghost in Jackson, Mississippi. Another alleged abuse at the same parish as a 9-year-old boy.  Multiple criminal indictments and civil lawsuits have been filed against the priest, and he was arrested in 1986.

Father Thorne reportedly remained a member of the Divine Word Missionaries after his arrest and was placed on administrative leave in 1987. His name appeared on the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. It was also included on the Diocese of Jackson’s list in March 2019. It noted an allegation of abuse in 1986 reported the same year. His whereabouts from 1960 until his death in 2004 are unknown.

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