Fr. Thomas M. Kelly – Archdiocese of Baltimore

by | Jul 20, 2023 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Thomas M. Kelly

Archdiocese of Baltimore

Thomas M. Kelly Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1939

Died: 1987

Assignment History:

  • 1939: St. Paul Parish (Washington, DC)
  • 1940-1955: St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parish (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1955-1960: St. Matthew Parish (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1960-1970: St. Thomas More Parish (Baltimore, MD)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Thomas M. Kelly:

Fr Thomas M. Kelly was ordained a Catholic priest 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 Thomas M. Kelly.

According to the Attorney General’s report, in 2006, a woman reported to her parish priest that she was sexually abused by Fr. Thomas M. Kelly in 1971 when she was 8 years old. The woman claimed that while preparing her for her Communion, Fr. Kelly digitally penetrated her vagina while she sat on his lap. She was so traumatized when she reported that she was unable to say Kelly’s name but instead could only write it on a piece of paper. The Archdiocese made the mandated report, but never spoke to the victim or conduct any investigation. The allegation was deemed not to be credible.

Old memorandums revealed that in 1971, a few priests confronted Fr. Kelly about his drinking and irrational behaviors, but Kelly denied it was a problem and the other priests went to the Monsignor. Meeting notes from October 1971 said the “main areas of discussion were Kelly’s drinking habits, his actions with young girls and ladies of the parish, his rages, his pathological lying, his inability to make decisions and to take responsibility for them, and his using of individuals and groups of people.” The document then discussed Kelly’s conduct with young girls in the parish. Three priests reported that they have seen Fr. Kelly grabbing women outside the church on Sunday and that they had heard complaints about this from parishioners.” Kelly once cornered a nun in the supply room. It was decided that Fr. Kelly should retire that year.

Kelly was sent for treatment at Mercy Hospital on November 4, 1971, “because of personality changes noticed by his associates and parishioners due to drinking”; and he was discharged three weeks later. Reports from the psychiatrist stated that Fr. Kelly ““appears to be an emotional and personality disturbance of psychotic proportions.” The medical recommendation was that full retirement could lead to mental deterioration, so Kelly was assigned less demanding work. One month later, Kelly and moved into Stella Maris and continued to minister to residents there. Kelly’s continued drinking was documented at Stella Maris in 1976. In 1982, Kelly caused an automobile accident that killed another priest. Kelly was charged but the charges were dropped in exchange for him giving up his driver’s license.

Fr. Thomas M. Kelly died in 1987. Kelly has not been listed as credibly accused by the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

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.