Father Peter Foley Allegedly Abused Cardinal Dougherty Student In the 80s

Catholics4Change [Philadelphia PA]

November 19, 2021

The revolting revelations just keep coming. This lawsuit brings to light another example of the Philly Archdiocese’s dangerous waiting game. Link to The Philadelphia Inquirer coverage here.

As of this publication date, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia currently lists Father Peter Foley as having full faculties on its’ clergy list. Philly priests depend upon the clergy list to ensure the good standing of priests who visit their parish to celebrate weddings or participate in other ministry.

In the article Ken Gavin, Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office of Communication, claims that Foley has not served in active ministry in “several years,” however his last listed assignment is 2002 – almost 20 years ago. Foley would have only been in his early 60’s at the time. Retirement from active ministry at that age was and still isn’t typical for a diocesan priest. It makes one wonder. And there’s no chance of clarity coming from the Archdiocese.

My brother, cousins, brothers-in-law, and friends attended La Salle HS during Father Foley’s tenure as chaplain. I can’t help but wonder who knowingly put them at risk back then by not speaking out. I have a few guesses based on what investigations of the same time period have revealed. May they rot in hell.

And the Philly Archdiocese always and expertly adds insult to injury. The statement made by their spokesperson Ken Gavin is so misleading. He says, “law enforcement declined to press charges.” What he doesn’t include is that law enforcement couldn’t pursue charges due to Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations as it applies to this case. That’s why the suit was filed in New Jersey. 

A sickening but legal saving grace for some survivors is that Philly’s predator priests love their horrifying fun in the sun. When I was growing up, before the Grand Jury Reports, parents felt safe sending kids on beach retreats and vacations with priests. The 2005 and 2011 Grand Jury reports prove the Archdiocesan leaders were aware of issues then. They even launched a major risk prevention campaign. The problem is that it’s focused on protecting the hierarchy from risk. Kids don’t factor into their equation.