Assignment Record– Rev. James G. Kiffmeyer

Summary of Case: James Kiffmeyer was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1985. He taught at Fenwick High School in Middletown OH while assisted in two subsequent area parishes. In 1991 he was assigned to Elder High School in Cincinnati, residing for several years in a nearby parish.

In April 2002 Kiffmeyer went on personal leave after an allegation surfaced that he had engaged in "sexual misconduct" with a Fenwick High senior in 1986. Soon thereafter the mother of another Fenwick graduate reported to the county prosecutor's office that Kiffmeyer had molested her son as a Fenwick senior, too, in 1990. That case was quietly settled by the archdiocese in 1997. Kiffmeyer denied both accusations. During his leave he taught pharmacy at a local college. In 2006 the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrination of the Faith reinstated Kiffmeyer, instructing him "to avoid situations and persons which might endanger his living up to his priestly commitment.... ." Kiffmeyer proceeded to help out in area parishes and in 2008 was installed as pastor of Holy Family. In July 2012 he resigned, telling the bishop he had no intention of returning to priestly ministry.

: 1985


Start Stop Assignments Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Archbishop was Daniel Edward Pilarczyk (1982-2009).

1991 Fenwick High School


An accusation surfaced in April 2002 that Kiffmeyer engaged in "sexual misconduct" with a Fenwick male senior in 1986. The student was 18 years-old at the time. The "misconduct" allegedly occurred toward the end of the boy's senior year and after graduation, and involved drinking.

After the first accuser came forward, the mother of another Fenwick graduate told the Butler County Prosecutor's office that her son had been molested, too, by Kiffmeyer, also toward the end of his senior year when the boy was age 18 in 1990. Kiffmeyer also allegedly gave this student alcohol. The diocese settled quietly with the former student in 1997.


Fenwick had 338-258 students.

Kiffmeyer denied the accusation.







Kiffmeyer also denied these allegations.

1985 1988 St. Mary's Middletown OH 2/3, 2/2  
1988 1991 St. John's Westchester OH 2/3, 2/2  
1991 1993 St. Jude the Apostle Cincinnati OH 4/4 In residence St. Jude had a school with 364 students, and a CCD program with 220 students.
1991 April 2002 Elder High School



OH religion and chemistry teacher

Elder had 860-1023 students, all male.

Kiffmeyer aka "Fr. Kiff" was highly popular at Elder. He went on personal leave in April 2002 after he was accused of sexual misconduct in the late 1980s toward a Fenwick High student. Unbeknownst to Elder's principal, there was a previous allegation, settled in 1997.

2002 2003 Leave of Absence        
2003 2006        

Kiffmeyer is not indexed in the 2003-2006 Directories.

Beginning in 2004 Kiffmeyer taught Pharmacology at Cincinnati-Raymond Walters College in Blue Ash.

2006 2008 On Special Archdiocesan Assignment Cincinnati OH  

Kiffmeyer was reinstated in December 2006 by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the stipulation that  he was to "avoid situations and persons which might endanger his living up to his priestly commitment, and he is to closely guard his own personal behavior so that no further scandal be caused by any of his actions."

Kiffmeyer went on to help out in area parishes.

May 2008

Pilarczyk was succeeded as Cincinnati archbishop by Dennis Marion Schnurr (2009-).

2012 Holy Family Cincinnati OH 1/1 Holy Family had a school with 171-155 students, and a CCD program with 211-220 students.
2012 2013 Priests on Personal Leave Cincinnati OH   In July 2012 Kiffmeyer resigned from Holy Family and requested a personal leave, informing Bishop Schnurr that he did not intend to return to ministry.
2013 2015         Kiffmeyer is not indexed in the 2014 or 2015 Directories.

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (Kenedy & Sons, ).

Teacher at Elder Denies Misconduct, By Richelle Thompson, Cincinnati Enquirer, May 1, 2002
 Second Allegation Reported against Ohio Priest, By Sheri King, Cox News Service, May 2, 2002
 Abuse Case Wasn't Disclosed to School, By Richelle Thompson, Cincinnati Enquirer, May 4, 2002
 Some in Parish Stand by Priest, By Janice Morse and Dan Horn, Cincinnati Enquirer, June 12, 2002
 Policy Shift Could Oust Eight Area Priests ,By Tom Beyerlein, Dayton Daily News, June 27, 2002
 Alumni Are Solidly behind Elder, By Dan Horn, Cincinnati Enquirer, May 24, 2003
 Priests in Sex-Abuse Cases Keep Their Teaching Certificates, By Jim Provance, Toledo Blade, October 6, 2006
 Alleged Molesters Fall through Cracks, By Jim Provance, Toledo Blade, October 7, 2006
 Priest Returns to Ministry after Leave for Sex Allegations, WCPO, December 29, 2006
Priest's Suspension Is over, By Janice Morse, Cincinnati Enquirer, December 30, 2006
 Vatican Restores Ex-Fenwick Teacher's Ministry, Dayton Daily News, December 30, 2006
 Vatican Overturns Decision in Abuse Case, Kentucky Post, December 30, 2006
Vatican Reinstates Priest Accused of Abuse, CBS 5, December 31, 2006
Priest on Extended Leave Returns to Ministry after Vatican Actionpriest on Extended Leave Returns to Ministry after Vatican Action, Catholic Online, January 8, 2007
 SNAP Plans Protest against Priest at Reading Church, By Laura Hornsby, WCPO, February 2, 2007
Church Debates Hiring Priest, By Amber Ellis, Cincinnati Enquirer, March 31, 2008
Archdiocese Appoints Fr. Kiffmeyer to Holy Family Parish, Local 12, May 1, 2008
Holy Family Head Faced Abuse Claims, By Dan Horn, Cincinnati Enquirer, May 2, 2008
• Closing Prayer Priest Served Past Suspension, By Dan Horn and Jane Prendergast, Cincinnati Enquirer, December 5, 2011
No Intention, CatholicBuckeye , Over the Rhine and Into the Tiber, December 4, 2012

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Kiffmeyer's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with the allegations against him, as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegations we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on January 23, 2016.


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