Fr. Michael Lowell Barnes

Ordained: 1975
Status: Convicted

Died: 05/20/2017
Diocese: Archdiocese of Baltimore MD

A 6/2009 lawsuit against the Baltimore Archdiocese filed in DE alleged Barnes molested a boy 1977-1982 while at St. Clare School in Essex. The abuse occurred in the rectory and on out of state trips, and involved alcohol. Baltimore contacted plaintiff in 2002 after a review of files; he denied abuse. He contacted them in 2003 but refused counseling/mediation. Barnes left the priesthood in 1988. Arrested in NC in 10/2009 on charges of abuse of the same boy. Extradited to MD in 2/2010. Pleaded no contest in 6/2010. Sentenced to six months in jail. Civil case settled in 8/2010 for $50K. Laicized in 2013. Died in 2017. Included in the 4/5/2023 MD Attorney General’s Report. It reveals indications of issues with Barnes during seminary, as well as treatment and several leaves of absence during his priesthood. At one point a woman reported to the Archdiocese that Barnes was having young men and boys sleep over in the rectory. The woman’s husband told the A.G. in 2021 that the Archdiocese sent a “monk” to speak to his wife, who told her “it would cost the Archdiocese money.” A note in Barnes’ file said the woman “could be dangerous.” After leaving the priesthood, Barnes volunteered at a Jessup parish until 2002, and was employed at a D.C. parish until 2009.

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