Father Joseph Hopkins
Archdiocese of Baltimore
- 1936-1943: St. Ambrose (Baltimore, Maryland)
- 1943-1949 Assistant Pastor, St. Cecilia (Baltimore, Maryland)
- 1949 Transferred to Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, WV
- 1949-1961 St. Peter’s (Wheeling, WV) and St. Xavier (Moundsville, WV)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Joseph Hopkins:
Fr. Joseph Hopkins was ordained a Catholic priest and worked in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In 2019, Fr. Hopkins 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 Joseph Hopkins.
According to the Attorney General’s report, in July 1995, a man reported that he was sexually abused by Fr. Hopkins when he was an altar boy in eighth grade during the spring through fall of 1948. At that time, Fr. Hopkins worked at St. Cecilia Church in Baltimore. The victim lived across the street from the church, and when he was 13 years old, he began working in the parish office. Fr. Hopkins invited the boy up to his suite to lay in his bed, and Hopkins “caressed, then masturbated.”
The abuse continued for a few months. Twice Hopkins drove him to Cumberland for “sightseeing,” and Fr. Hopkins fondled the victim while driving in the car. At the end of the summer, Hopkins disappeared. The Archdiocese made the mandated report. The victim said he believed there was another victim, but nobody has been contacted.
Upon investigation, documents were found stating that Fr. Hopkins was sent to Wheeling, West Virginia, in February 1949, for reasons unknown. Several letters in a file marked “Confidential” between Hopkins and the Archdiocese of Baltimore after Hopkins was sent to West Virginia indicate that Hopkins was sent away for some bad action on his part with legal ramifications.
In 1950, Hopkins wrote to Chancellor John Duggan asking if he could visit Baltimore during his summer vacation. Duggan responded and advised Hopkins that he should not come to Maryland or Washington, DC, for any reason because his case is “still active in the courts.” Hopkins died in 1961 while on leave of absence.
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.