Assignment History– Rev. James P. McSorley, O.M.I.


Summary of Case: James P. McSorley was a priest of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, ordained in 1946. His first fifteen years of priesthood were spent in the Philippines, where he worked in parishes and helped establish a school. He returned to the United States in the early 1960s, and was moved often thereafter. McSorley went from the diocese of Oakland CA to the archdioceses of Los Angeles CA and Portland OR, then to Germany as a military chaplain. In 1971 he was assigned briefly to a Diocese of Boise ID parish, then as sole priest at another. By 1977 he was back in the Diocese of Oakland, at Bishop O’Dowd High School and then a parish in Pinole. From there he moved through the Diocese of Monterey CA, the Archdiocese of Seattle WA, the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings MT, the Archdiocese of Miami FL, and back to Seattle. His last stop was the Oblate’s Mission House in Oakland CA, where he was based from 1985 until his death in 2005.

McSorley’s Order knew of concerns about his behavior with children at least as early as 1965, when the pastor of St. Alice’s in Springfield OR alerted them and asked that he not be returned to the parish. In a 2001 lawsuit McSorley was accused of having sexually abused a boy at St. Alice’s in 1964. In 1993 a man reported to the diocese that McSorley molested him and other boys at Sacred Heart in Boise during 1971-72. This accuser went to the diocese again in the early 2000s. The diocese never contacted police. McSorley has also been the subject of allegations stemming from his time in Germany and Washington.

Born: April 3, 1921
Ordained: March 6, 1946
Died: May 27, 2005

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