Fr. Robert Callahan – Archdiocese of Baltimore

On Behalf of | May 9, 2023 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Robert Callahan

Archdiocese of Baltimore


Ordained: 1957

Laicized: 2017

Died: 2019

Assignment History:

  • Pre-1957: Counselor at Camp St. Vincent’s Orphanage
  • 1957-1962: St. Elizabeth’s Parish (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1962-1965: St. John Parish (Frederick, MD)
  • 1962-1965: St. Bernard Parish (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1965-1972: St. Rita Parish (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1972-1973: Fort Holabird 
  • 1973-1978: Christ the King (Edgemere, MD)
  • June 1978: Leave of Absence 

Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father Robert Callahan

Father Robert Callahan was ordained a Catholic priest in 1957 and worked in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. 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 Callahan.

According to the AG’s report, in 1978, Fr. Callahan was civilly sued in a lawsuit alleging that he had an extramarital affair with a neighbor’s wife and, consequently, “began a leave of absence” in June 1978, to which he never returned. In 1988, a man reported that he was sexually abused by Fr. Callahan from 1967 to 1974, from the age of 11 to the age of 18. The victim alleges that Callahan raped him anally him on several occasions when he slept at the rectory. He reported that Callahan encouraged [the victim] to drink large quantities of alcohol prior to engaging in sexual acts with him. The abuse occurred in various locations, including the victim’s house, Callahan’s house, St. Rita’s Rectory, Christ the King Rectory, Callahan’s car and houseboat, a Glen Burnie parking lot, and even the victim’s parents’ car. The victim believed that someone had to know about the abuse because of how often he slept in the rectory and because Callahan was so frequently around him at the church, at his school, and in his house. The archdiocese did not make the mandated report to civil authorities until June 13, 2002.

Reverend Wojciechowski was also assigned to St. Rita from 1970 to 1972 and lived in the same house as Callahan. In 1990, he said that Callahan was close to many young people, including the victim and his family. Callahan would play sports with the teenage boys, and take them out on his boat, sometimes on overnight trips. “They worshipped the ground he walked on.”

In 2017, the archdiocese reached out to Callahan to say that “it has come to our attention that the allegations regarding child sexual abuse on your part were not reported to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as was required by canon law.” The letter asked if Callahan “would be willing to voluntarily seek laicization” based on “how long you have been out of active ministry and that you have civilly married.” During their communication, Callahan claimed that he met and married his wife after he left the ministry and believed he had been “exonerated” from the situation. He agreed to seek laicization and received it that year. Callahan died in 2019.

Callahan was quietly listed as credibly accused by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2023 after the Attorney General’s report.

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.