Fr. John Carney – Archdiocese of Baltimore

On Behalf of | May 9, 2023 | Abuser Profiles

Fr. John Carney

Archdiocese of Baltimore

John Carney Horowitz Law


Ordained: 1963

Removed: 1995

Died: 2020

Assignment History:

  • 1963 – 1972: Our Lady of Victory (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1965: Archbishop Keough High School (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1968 – 1969: St. Peter (Westernport, MD)
  • 1969 – 1970: St. Philip Neri (Linthicum, MD)
  • 1972 – 1982: Caton Nursing Home and Mt. Wilson State Hospital (Lansdowne, MD)
  • 1973 – 1977: St. Agnes (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1977 – 1981: St. Peter (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1982 – 1995: Misericordia Hospital (Philadelphia, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father John Carney

Father John Carney was ordained a Catholic priest in 1963 and worked in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In 2002, Fr. Carney was listed on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minors list. In April 2023, Maryland’s Attorney General released a report alleging 156 Catholic clergy members sexually abused at least 600 children over six decades. The report lists the names of the abusers, including Father Carney.

According to the AG’s report, in 1991, a woman disclosed that, in 1970 or 1971, when she was ten years old, Carney fondled and kissed her on numerous occasions. Carney, at that time, admitted kissing the girl but denied any inappropriate behavior. In 1995, the woman again brought her allegations to the Archdiocese. In a letter written to Archbishop Keeler, the woman recounts that Carney would drive with her in his car and “rub her chest.” He would also lie on top of her on the sofa in the Our Lady of Victory rectory. Carney would sit the 10-year-old on his lap and move her body to rub against Carney’s penis. 

The woman and her mother were interviewed by the Archdiocese in March 1995. The victim’s mother said that she observed Carney put his hands up the victim’s skirt and would often sit with the victim between his legs. She reported that, although she did not tell anyone about the incident, she took steps to ensure that Carney did not have further access to her daughter. When confronted, Carney admitted that he “hugged and kissed” the 10-year-old girl in a “romantic fashion.” Carney retired in 1995 at the time of the second investigation. The Archdiocese made the mandatory report of abuse to authorities in 1995. Carney’s faculties as a priest were removed in April 1995.

In 2009, upon investigations into Carney’s past, it was noted that in May 1972, Carney wrote the “Personnel Board” and requested a one-year leave of absence from the priesthood, citing “personal reasons I care not to discuss.” He received treatment for an anxiety disorder. Several months later, he wrote to an Archdiocesan official to say that he had not heard from the Personnel Board, but his doctor had told him that he could not remain in the priesthood. He was then moved to a nursing home. A memorandum to Archbishop O’Brien in response to a “request for background” on Carney showed that Carney was a retired priest whose faculties were removed “after he admitted to sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl in 1975 at Our Lady of Victory.” The memorandum also noted that Carney’s name was included in a “2002 archdiocesan disclosure of priests who admitted or were proven to have sexually abused a minor.” 

In 2014, a memorandum to “file” from an Archdiocesan official indicated that Carney was wearing the Roman collar in public and holding himself out as a priest. Another Archdiocesan official said that he would meet with Carney to reiterate that he was unable to minister or present himself as a priest. According to a 2017 letter from an attorney, Carney physically abused a 6th-grade boy who was a student at Archbishop Keough during the 1960s. Carney beat the student’s legs and feet with a rubber hose, punched the student in the stomach, and placed his hands around the student’s throat.  During the course of this investigation, the Office of the Attorney General spoke with a woman who reported that Carney was present when she was sexually abused by Joseph Maskell, another abuser described in this report when she was a child. The man who reported physical abuse at the hands of Carney was also interviewed and repeated his reports of abuse. He also reported being sexually abused by Maskell. 

The woman who was sexually abused by Carney in 1970 was also interviewed. She confirmed her report of abuse and indicated that one incident of abuse occurred in a swimming pool. Father John Peacock, another abuser described in this report at Our Lady of Victory, was informed of this incident. (Peacock was later credibly accused of child sexual abuse.) The parish was not informed and was told Carney was going on “a retreat.” The victim said that when she was between 18 and 20 years old, she reported the abuse to the Baltimore County Police, Towson Precinct. She reported that Carney admitted the abuse on a recorded phone call; however, no prosecution was initiated. The victim reported that she met with the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and they did not want to speak about the abuse. The victim reached a settlement with the Archdiocese in the amount of $50,000. 

Carney was listed as credibly accused by the Archdiocese in 2002. He died in 2020.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in Maryland. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Maryland, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse nationwide. We can help. Contact us at 888-283-9922 or email [email protected] to discuss your options today.