Fr. Joseph Davies – Archdiocese of Baltimore

On Behalf of | May 25, 2023 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Fr. Joseph Davies

Archdiocese of Baltimore

Joseph Davies Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1943

Retired: 1991

Died: 1992

Assignment History:

  • 1943-1963: St. Katherine’s of Siena Parish (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1952-1963: Calvert Hall College (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1958-1990: Boy Scouts 
  • 1963-1990: St. Joseph’s Church (Hagerstown, MD) 
  • 1963-1990: Maryland Correctional Institution (Hagerstown, MD) 
  • 1990: Resigned 

Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father Joseph Davies

Fr. Joseph Davies was ordained a Catholic priest in 1943 and worked in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In 2015, Fr. Davies 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 Fr. Davies.

According to Bishop Accountability, Davies sexually abused at least eight boys in the 1950s and 1960s who were either students at Calvert Hall College, connected to St. Katherine’s parish, or connected to St. Joseph’s parish. Although he was elevated to Monsignor and praised publicly by the archdiocese, he resigned in 1990 after serious concerns were raised about his use of funds at St. Joseph’s. After an audit was conducted by the archdiocese, they found significant deficits, including $20,000 missing in parishioner contributions to a building fund. He was also questioned about the large sums he transferred to a man he brought to live with him, whom he met in his prison work. The reports of sexual abuse began soon after his death in 1993. 

According to the AG’s report, in 1993, a man reported that he was sexually abused by Fr. Davies from 1952 to 1956. He claimed it began when he was an altar boy at St. Katherine’s. Davies was in charge of the altar boys and gave out written punishment for misbehavior. When the boy didn’t complete his assignment in time, Davies took him to another part of the rectory and raped him anally. The victim described his bloody underwear. The second time, the boy said he would tell his mother, but Fr. Davies became aggressive and said he wouldn’t be believed. When the victim told Davies he was hurting him, Davies said, “it won’t take long. I need this.” Davies continued to rape him two to three times a month, causing intense pain and shame as well as medical problems. Later in high school, the boy attempted suicide because of the years of abuse. 

The Archdiocese Independent Child Abuse Review Board discussed Davies at the November 1993 and April 1998 meetings, but all notes were redacted. In December 1997, a man reported that he was sexually abused by Davies in the 1962-1963 school year at Calvert Hall. Davies called him out of math class three times that year and fondled him and kissed him on the mouth. 

In October 2002, a man reported that he was sexually abused by Fr. Davies when he was a student at Calvert Hall. He grew up attending St. Katherine’s and after his father left, Davies stepped in to help the family. He assisted the victim with a partial scholarship for Calvert Hall. When the victim needed guidance about sex, his mother asked Davies to speak to him. He went to Davies’ office at the school, and Davies made him kneel in front of him. He reported Davies made the boy take out his penis and hold it while he spoke about sex. 

In 2003, a man reported that he was sexually abused by Davies in the 1960s in the rectory at St. Joseph’s Church. 

In August 2003, another man said he was sexually abused by Davies when he was at St. Joseph’s in the 1960s when he was approximately ten years old. The victim lived a few doors down from St. Joseph and shoveled snow off the church sidewalks. On days of snow, Davies invited him to stay at the rectory between masses. Davies eventually took him on day trips and bought him presents. Davies once asked him why he didn’t take communion, and the boy said it was because he had masturbated. Davies persuaded the boy to come to the rectory and give a confession. During confession, Davies told the boy to describe his masturbation then Davies went into the bathroom and masturbated himself. Then Davies made him lie on the bed and masturbate in front of him. The abuse lasted for years until the victim was in his mid-teens. The abuse consisted of masturbation and Davies orally raping the victim. The victim described the impact on his life as “hellish,” and he lost all trust in the Catholic Church. 

In 2005, a man reported to Calvert Hall that he was sexually abused by Davies when he was a senior at Calvert Hall in 1962. When he went to the school’s weekly confession in Davies’ office, he knelt down in front of a screen, behind which was Davies. Davies asked him to come and kneel directly in front of him. He then put his hands on the boy’s face and kissed him on the lips. The victim described it as a passionate kiss lasting several seconds. The victim said he was “stunned, shocked, and frightened.” He received a penance, left, and avoided Davies for the rest of his time at Calvert Hall.

In September 2016, a woman reported that her husband was sexually abused by Davies in the 1950s and 1960s at St. Katherine’s Parish and Calvert Hall College. The victim was a boy and adolescent in the 1950s and 1960s while attending St. Katherine as a parishioner and later a student at Calvert Hall. Upon learning of the allegations, the archdiocese provided a self-reporting letter to civil authorities.

Fr. Davies died in 1992.

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 protected] to discuss your options today.