Rev. Gregory G. Ingels

Summary of Case: Ingels was a prominent priest of the San Francisco archdiocese, and a nationally known canon lawyer and expert witness for the church against legal claims by victims of clergy sex abuse. He acknowledged in a police tape in 2003 that he had sexually abused a 15 year-old boy in 1972, when he was a deacon and teacher at the boy's high school, Marin Catholic. The victim reported the abuse to the archdiocese in 1996. Levada allowed Ingels to stay in ministry and he helped advance Ingels' career. Ingels was removed from public ministry in mid-2002 due to the U.S. bishops' new "zero tolerance" policy, but was allowed to help design the U.S. bishops' Dallas Charter. Ingels was charged in the 1972 case in 2003. It was then that he was placed on leave. Also in 2003, a woman reported to police that Ingels sexually abused her over a four year period, beginning in 1973, when the girl was a 15 year-old student at Marin Catholic. She produced nearly three dozen "love letters" that Ingels had written to her from 1974-1984. Both cases were dropped when the Supreme Court overturned a CA law that would have allowed prosecution. Ingels was last known to be living with retired bishop Quinn in Menlo Park, and to be an advisor for a support organizations for priests in trouble, Opus Bono Sacerodotii.

Ordained: 1974


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State/Country Position Notes


San Francisco archbishop was Joseph Thomas McGucken (1962-1977)


Marin Catholic High School



Ingels was charged in 2003 with molesting a 15 year-old boy in 1972. The boy was a Marin Catholic High School student.

In 2003 a woman reported that Ingels sexually abused her over a four year period, beginning in 1973, when she was a freshman at Marin Catholic High. She had lost her parents in a car accident at age 7, and was having trouble with her adoptive family. Ingels stepped in to "help" her.

CA deacon, teacher and theology department chair

This was prior to Ingels' ordination.

In police tape recordings in 2003, Ingels apologized to the male victim saying, among other things, "What I did to you was terrible."

In 2003 the female accuser gave police a stack of "love letters" written to her by Ingels from 1974-1984. They were written on stationery from the various parishes to which he was assigned.

1974   St. Raymond's Menlo Park CA   This assignment is per news reports.


McGucken nwas succeeded by John Raphael Quinn (1977-1995)

1978 St. Hillary's Tiburon-Belvedere CA


In residence.

Parish had a school with 250-280 students.
1974 1982 Marin Catholic High School Kentfield CA   Marin Catholic had 353-406 boys and 388-502 girls.
1981 1982 St. Isabella San Rafael CA 3/4 Parish had a school with 317 students.
1982 1984 St. Charles San Carlos CA 2/2 Parish had a school with 305-303 students.
1984 1985         Ingels is not indexed in the 1985 Directory.
1985 1986 Special Assignment/Studies in Rome Rome Italy    
1986 1988 Cathedral of St. Mary San Francisco CA

3/5, 3/4

In residence.

1986 1988 Associate Judicial Vicar San Francisco CA    




Judicial Vicar San Francisco CA    
1988 1991 Interdiocesan Appelate Tribunal San Francisco CA    
1989 1995 St. Thomas More Society San Francisco CA    


Quinn was replaced by William Joseph Levada (1995-2005)

1996 Canonical Consultant to the Archbishop San Francisco CA    
1993 1995 St. Mary's Cathedral San Francisco CA


In residence.

1995 1998 Adjudant Judicial Vicar

San Francisco CA   The archdiocese first learned of the 1972 accusations in 1996. Levada allowed Ingels to remain in ministry, including in prominent chancery positions. Ingels became a national leading church expert on clergy sexual abuse. He became an expert witness for the church and against victims' legal claims around the country. Ingels also provided legal and spiritual counsel to accused priests. He was even allowed to be the canonical prosecutor for the notorious pedophile priest, Oliver O'Grady.
1996 1998 Chancellor Pro Tempore San Francisco      
1998 2000         Ingels is not indexed in the 1999 or 2000 Directories.
2000 2003 Director of Formation/Permanent Diaconate Menlo Park CA   This position was at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park.
  July 2002 St. Bartholomew's San Mateo CA fill-in priest Parish had a school, grades k-8.
2000 2003 Defenders of the Bond San Francisco CA    


Levada was followed as archbishop by George Hugh Niederauer (2005-)

2010 Absent on Leave      

Ingels was removed from public ministry in July 2002 due to the accusation he abused a boy in 1972. He was allowed to continue work as a canon lawyer, and he was one of four chosen by the Canon Law Society of America to work on the Guide to the Implementation of the U.S. Bishops' Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons. It wasn't until charges were filed against Ingels that he was placed on leave, in May 2003.

The Marin County D.A. was preparing to file charges that Ingels sexually abused a high school girl in the 1970s when the Supreme Court overturned the 1994 law that extended the Statute of Limitations on sex crimes. As a result, neither case could be prosecuted .

Ingels was last known to be living in a mansion on the grounds of St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park with retired archbishop Quinn. Ingels was known in 2005 to be an advisor to Opus Bono Sacerodotii. Per its website, OBS "is a Catholic charity that in partnership with our benefactors, assist bishops, religious superiors, and Vatican officials in finding solutions for the proper care and treatment of priests who are experiencing difficulties. In the past nine years since our founding we have been contacted by thousands of priests and many bishops, including the Holy See."


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1975-2010)

Expert on Dealing with Abuse Accused, Bay Area Priest Faces Molestation Charge, By Don Lattin, San Francisco Chronicle, May 23, 2003
Law Expert Priest Charged with Sexual Abuse of Boy, Complaint Alleges Sexual Conduct with 15-Year-Old, By Beth Fouhy,Associated Press, carried in Daily Bulletin [San Francisco CA], May 24, 2003
The State, Priest Who Wrote Sex-Abuse Guide Faces Charges, By William Lobdell, Los Angeles Times, May 25, 2003
Priest Who Advised on Abuse Arraigned in Marin, By Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, May 29, 2003
Scuse Us, Folks, By Ron Russell, San Francisco Weekly [San Francisco CA], Downloaded June 9, 2003
Levada Takes Heat over Abuse Inquiry, By Don Lattin, San Francisco Chronicle, November 12, 2004
Fast Times at Marin Catholic High, By Ron Russell , SF Weekly, January 19, 2005
Zipped Up, By Ron Russell, SF Weekly, January 19, 2005
$21.2 Million Settlement for Victims of 5 Priests, By Wyatt Buchanan and Elizabeth Fernandez, San Francisco Chronicle
June 11, 2005
More Clergy Abuse Cases in Talks, By Don Lattin , San Francisco Chronicle [San Francisco CA] , June 14, 2005
Blind Eye Unto the Holy See, By Ron Russell , San Francisco Weekly, July 13, 2005
Ave Maria's Pass for Pederast Priests, AveWatch, December 22, 2008
Cardinal Has a Mixed Record on Abuse Cases, By Michael Luo, The New York Times, May 5, 2010

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This assignment record was last updated on Sept. 28, 2011