Rev. James Lawbaugh, c.m.

Summary of Case: A priest of the Vincentian order, Lawbaugh was accused in 2008 of having sexually abused a 10 year-old boy for about a year, beginning in 1968. Lawbaugh left the priesthood to marry in 1969. He is last known to be living in Florida. Lawbaugh denied the allegations.

: 1966


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Kansas City-St. Joseph bishop was Charles Herman Helmsing (1962-1977)

1969 St. Vincent's

Kansas City

Lawbaugh was accused in a 2008 Lawsuit of having molested a 10 year-old Baptist boy at St. Vincent's in 1968. Lawbaugh's accuser said he was part of a program at St. Vincent's for inner-city youth, and that the abuse lasted about a year.

MO 2/5, 2/4, 3/5

Lawbaugh left the priesthood in 1969 to marry. He denied the accusations, saying he doesn't remember the program for inner-city youth. His accuser said Lawbaugh took the children in the program horseback riding, swimming, and to movies.

Lawbaugh was known in 2008 to be living in Florida.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1967-1970)

John Doe Lawsuits Allege Sexual Abuse by Priests Years Ago, By Joe Lambe, Kansas City Star, February 25, 2008
The Priests Involved, Kansas City Star, August 20, 2008
Tentative Settlement Reached in Kc Priest Abuse Cases, By Mark Morris, Kansas City Star, August 20, 2008

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.

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 Lawbuagh's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation 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 Feb. 3, 2012