Fr. John McDevitt – Diocese of Camden

| May 25, 2021 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father John McDevitt

Diocese of Camden (Oblates)

Ordained: 1966

Dead: 1999

Assignment History:

  • 1967-1968: Salesianum School (Wilmington, DE)
  • 1968-1980: Northeast Catholic High School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1980-1982: Bishop McDevitt HS (Harrisburg, PA)
  • 1982-1989: Salesianum School (Wilmington, DE)
  • 1989-1994: Father Judge High School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1994-1999: DeSales Centre (Childs, MD)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John McDevitt:

Father John McDevitt, a member of the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales served on the Philadelphia City Council. He was one of the founders and served as the first president of the Summerdale Boys’ Club. He was also the founding president of the Northeast-Suburban Athletic Conference. In addition, he taught theology at several high schools in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. He retired in 1994.

According to media reports, in April 2009, Father McDevitt was named in a civil suit alleging he sexually abused a male student at Salesianum School in Wilmington, Delaware during his junior year from 1985 through 1986.

In June 2009, the nephew of Cardinal John J.O’Connor, the former head of the Archdiocese of New York, filed a lawsuit in Delaware alleging McDevitt sexually abused him as a 14-year-old student at Father Judge High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1990 through 1991. The order had already removed him from the school. The suit stated that the priest knew he was related to the cardinal and used that information to intimidate the boy. He left the school after his freshman year, stating in the suit that he could no longer take the abuse.

According to the suit, “He threatened him with low grades in his religion class in order to entice him into private tutoring sessions, and during the private tutoring sessions, he proceeded to sexually abuse the plaintiff.”

According to abuse survivor accounts, McDevitt also molested children at Camp Brisson, a boys’ summer camp in Cecil County, Maryland, which was run by the Oblates.

In August 2011, as part of the Oblates $24.8 million settlement resolving 40 civil lawsuits brought under the Delaware Child Victims act against the religious order, McDevitt was one of twelve names released.

In August 2018, McDevitt’s name was included on the Diocese of Harrisburg’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors, as well as the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, which included the account of a male who stated that McDevitt tried to forcibly kiss him while in high school.

McDevitt died in 1999.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Camden in New Jersey.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. In October 2020, the Camden Diocese filed for federal bankruptcy protection.  The Court will resolve all claims of sexual abuse in this process but strict filing deadlines will apply and no late claims will be considered, so contact us today.  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.