Fr. Leo Courcy Jr. – Diocese of Trenton

| Mar 4, 2021 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Leo Courcy

Diocese of Trenton

Ordained: 1962

Leaves of Absence/Sick Leave: 1965-1966, 1979-1980

Inpatient Evaluation/Treatment: 1967-1970

Removed: 1993

Laicized: 2009

Assigned as follows:

  • 1962-1965: St. Anthony (Burlington, VT)
  • 1965-1967: Absent from Burlington Diocese on “Sick Leave”
  • 1966: Don Bosco Home (Burlington, VT)
  • 1966: St. Francis Xavier (Winooski, VT)
  • 1966: St. Mark (Burlington, VT)
  • 1967-1970: Servants of the Paraclete (Santa Fe, NM) (inpatient treatment)
  • 1967-1969: Holy Ghost (Albuquerque, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1968-1969: St. Pius X High School (Albuquerque, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1969-1970: St. Francis Xavier (Clayton, NM)  (during treatment)
  • 1970: Unidentified parish(Amarillo, Texas) (during treatment)
  • 1969/1970: St. Anthony (Questa, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1970: Clayton High School (Clayton, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1971: St. John Vianney (South Burlington, VT)
  • 1971: St. Mary (Cambridge / Johnson, VT)
  • 1971: St. George (Ottawa, ONT Canada)
  • 1971-1979: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1973-1974: Ottawa Archdiocese, Director of Education
  • 1974: Our Lady of Visitation (South Gloucester, ONT Canada)
  • 1974-75: Marist High School  (Bayonne, NJ)
  • 1977: St. Mary of the Assumption (Deal, NJ)
  • 1977-1979: Various assignments in Pensacola, Florida
  • 1978-1979: Pensacola Catholic High School (Pensacola, FL)
  • 1979-1980: Leave of Absence
  • 1979: Chaplain, unknown Queens, NY High School (believed to be Msgr. McClancy High School)
  • 1980-1984: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1984-1985: St. Frances de Chantal (Bronx, New York)
  • 1986-1989: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1988-1990: New York Archdiocese Parish Mission Team (Suffern, NY)
  • 1991-1992: St. Mary (Fishkill, NY)
  • 1992-1993: St. Augustine (New York, NY)
  • 1993-1997: Listed in Official Catholic Directory as “On Duty Outside Diocese”

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Leo Courcy Jr.:

The saga of Fr. Leo Courcy is a complicated one and, after an extended investigation, we have done our best to reconstruct what we believe is his trial of abuse across America. You may notice some assignments that are not listed and that is likely because there are big gaps in the publicly available information, particularly in the 1970s. For example, Courcy appears in a 1970 high school yearbook in New Mexico and then again in a 1978 yearbook in Pensacola, Florida. His whereabouts during that time are not entirely clear but he may have worked at other parishes and high schools in Canada or New Jersey, including in the Diocese of Trenton in the late 70s.

Here is what we do know for certain: Leo Courcy Jr. served in Vermont for only approximately 3½ years. He remained a priest of the Burlington Diocese even though he rarely worked there after 1967. According to the Diocese of Burlington, Bishop Kenneth A. Angell revoked Courcy’s priestly faculties in February 1993, though the exact reason is not clear. However, media reports show him celebrating a funeral mass in the New York area well after that date.

Courcy was laicized in June 2009, according to the Diocese of Burlington, while serving in NYC. It is not clear what prompted this action more than 15 years after the Diocese said Courcy was not able to work as a priest.

There are numerous “red flags” in Courcy’s assignment history that would merit further investigation in a sex abuse lawsuit. For example, Courcy has several leaves of absence, which may be indicative of temporary removals and quiet transfers following allegations of sexual abuse. The assignment to the Servants of the Paraclete in 1967 very likely means that Courcy was the subject of at least one allegation of abuse around that time. It could also mean that he was the subject of repeated allegations as of 1967, because, in our firm’s experience, shipping an accused priest to the Jemez Springs, New Mexico treatment facility typically came only after repeated allegations and an inability to handle the matter quietly within the diocese. Of course, these questions would be answered with more certainty if either the Burlington Diocese or Archdiocese of Santa Fe provided full and complete disclosure of Courcy’s history, rather than the limited ones they each published in response to public pressure.

In 1994, according to media reports, a civil lawsuit was filed against the Burlington Diocese and Archdiocese of Santa Fe alleging that Courcy and Fr. Joseph Anthony Gallegos sexually abused an altar boy in New Mexico after Courcy’s treatment at the Servants of the Paraclete facility in Jemez Springs. According to media reports, the lawsuit alleged that Courcy left treatment at the facility and returned to ministry against the advice of at least one psychologist.

According to media reports, in September 2017, Courcy was named in a lawsuit alleging that he sexually abused an altar boy in 1969 while serving as a priest at St. Anthony’s in Questa, New Mexico. That same month, his name appeared publicly on the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.

In May 2019, Courcy was named in another lawsuit against the Servants of the Paraclete, alleging that Courcy sexually abused two boys during an overnight stay at the rectory of St. Anthony’s in Questa, New Mexico, in 1969. According to the suit, one boy was raped and the other molested. According to the lawsuit, the Servants had sent Courcy to St. Anthony’s as a supply priest four days after his arrival for his second round of treatment for child sexual abuse.

In August 2019, Courcy‘s name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Burlington’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. While the Diocese included certain information about Courcy’s background in its disclosure, we have found that much of it is inaccurate and overall it is totally incomplete.

In 2021, Courcy was named in a sexual abuse and coverup lawsuit filed by Horowitz Law against the Diocese of Burlington in Vermont.

Courcy is now in his 80s and believed to be living in the Syracuse, New York, area. To our knowledge, he has never been criminally charged for his sexual misconduct and is not a registered sex offender.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Trenton in New Jersey. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Trenton now have legal options, 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 New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.

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