Fr. David Leary – Archdiocese of Baltimore

by | Jul 28, 2023 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father David Leary

Archdiocese of Baltimore

David Leary Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1956

Died: 1994

Assignment History

  • 1956-1957: St. Patrick (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1958-1961: St. Joseph (Fullerton, MD)
  • 1961: St. Patrick (Havre de Grace, MD)
  • 1961-1967: St. Thomas Aquinas (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1967-1971: Diocese of Paranagua (Brazil)
  • 1972-1994: Shrine of the Little Flower (Baltimore, MD)

Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father David Leary:

Father David Leary was ordained a Catholic priest and worked in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Maryland. 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 David Leary.

According to the Attorney General’s report, in 2013, a man reported that Fr. Leary sexually abused him in 1971 when the victim was in the fourth grade. The abuse occurred at the Shrine of the Little Flower when the victim practiced reading for Mass. Fr. Leary pulled down the victim’s pants and touched his hips. The summary compiled for the Archdiocese’s Independent Review Board noted that the victim “was reluctant to share more information.” 

The report states that there were memos written about Fr. Leary from when he was assigned to St. Patrick in Havre de Grace in 1961. Apparently, there were complaints regarding his violent outbursts and temper, including from the pastor. Leary was then transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas. In 1966, Leary requested to do missionary work in South America. The bishop in Brazil knew Leary for seven years and told the archdiocese of Baltimore that Father Leary has had problems of various kinds since his ordination and would not be a good fit, but ultimately concluded that he would “gladly accept Father Leary” in his home. A few months later, the Cardinal expressed some reservations he had about Leary going to Brazil and wanted to discuss them in person with the bishop.

Ultimately, Leary did go to Brazil from 1967-1971. Upon his return, the Archdiocese of Baltimore considered Leary to be placed as the chaplain of the Newman Center in Baltimore, but the Vice Chancellor wrote a letter to Reverend Manuel R. Roman of the Newman Center that said, “After very careful consideration and consultation, both with the Personnel Board and the Cardinal’s staff and Bishop Nolker, I do not think it would be advisable for Father Leary to be made a Newman Chaplain at this time, but possibly an associate chaplain under the supervision of a competent man to supervise his ability. He was appointed to the Shrine of the Little Flower in 1971. 

Fr. Leary died in 1994. Fr. Leary has not been listed as credibly accused by the archdiocese. 

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.