James F. Quinn
Summary of Case: Quinn is accused of repeated sexual abuse in the 1960s of a minor male, whom he allegedly got drunk for the purpose. During the period of the alleged abuse, Quinn became the director of the St. John & St. Joseph Home CYO in Utica and director of a diocesan camp nearby. The priest allegedly abused the boy on official CYO trips. The court of appeals upheld a state supreme court ruling that the suit was time-barred, after which the diocese reinstated Quinn, announcing that its internal investigation had found "insufficient evidence" of the abuse. But in 2005, the court of appeals reversed itself. This unusual development sets the stage for a significant statute-of-limitations decision in 2006. Quinn was also accused of negligent absence in the 1968 drowning death of an altar boy from the same parish, but a jury found that Quinn and the diocese did not conceal Quinn's role. The diocese received another complaint, in 2014, that Quinn sexually abused a boy, in Syracuse in the late 1980s. Quinn's name was included in 2018 on the diocese's list of those with credible allegations against them.
Born: September 21, 1932
Ordained: May 24, 1958
Died: Feb. 1, 2013
Bishop Walter A. Foery appointed 5/26/37; retired 8/4/70; died 5/10/78.
|8/27/58||St. John the Baptist||Syracuse||NY||5/5. Temporary assistant pastor. Pastor was Most Rev. David F. Cunningham, D.D., V.G., who was the vicar general. Cunningham would become coadjutor bishop in 1967 and bishop in 1970. Other priests were Revs. Philip J. Meaney, Francis J. Culkin, and Theodore C. Sizing.||School was run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and had 233 pupils.|
|8/27/58||9/16/59||St. Patrick's||Syracuse||NY||3/3. Assistant pastor. Pastor was Rt. Rev. Msgr. Thomas J. Driscoll, who was a diocesan consultor and a parish priest consultor. Other priest was Rev. Donald A. Wise.||Schools were run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Grammar school had 439 pupils. High school had 224 pupils.|
Rev. David F. Cunningham named coadjutor bishop 8/16/67; succeeded 8/4/70; retired 11/9/76; died 2/22/79.
• In 2003, John Zumpano sued Quinn, claiming that the priest repeatedly abused him 1963-70, beginning when the boy was 13 or 24. Quinn allegedly used alcohol in the abuse, molested Zumpano on CYO trips, and bribed Zumpano to remain silent. Quinn denies the charges, and the diocese reinstated Quinn after an internal investigation, citing "insufficient evidence." The diocese claimed this is the only accusation against Quinn. By 2018 the Review Board had determined that the allegations were credible.
|NY||3/3, 3/4, 3/3, 2/2, 2/3. Assistant pastor. Pastor was Rev. Edward A. Goulet until 1970, when Rev. James F. Larkin replaced him. In 1959, the other priest was Rev. Louis W. Barry. Rev. John H. Hill replaced Barry in 1961, with Quinn remaining #3. Thomas J. Leonard arrived in 1963 as #4. In 1964 Leonard left and Rev. Donald L. Gorman replaced Hill as #2. Gorman left in 1967 and Quinn became #2. In 1968 Rev. Thomas C. Bowman became #3.||
School was run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and had 402 pupils in 1959-60.
• In 1968, 12-year-old Albert Piacentino drowned during a church picnic at Camp Nazareth for St. Agnes altar boys. It is alleged that Quinn was supposed to be supervising the trip but was negligently absent when Piacentino died. Quinn The director of the camp at the time was Msgr. Francis J. Willenburg. In 2005, a jury in a civil trial found no concealment by Quinn or the diocese.
|1966||9/17/71 ?||St. John & St. Joseph Home
|NY||Director. In the 1971 Directory, two other staff are listed: John E. DaPrano as administrator and Francis W. Love as program director. In the 1972 Directory, DaPrano and Love keep these positions and Quinn is gone. In the 1973 Directory, Love is the director.||Quinn took over this position from Very Rev. Msgr. Francis J. Willenburg, who remained director of Catholic Charities in Utica, director of the St. John & St. Joseph Home, and director of Bethlehem Day Camp and Camp Nazareth.|
|1968||9/17/71 ?||Bethlehem Day Camp||Utica||NY||Director. In the 1971 Directory, John E. DaPrano is listed as administrator. In the 1972 Directory, DaPrano has become director and Quinn is gone.|
|9/17/71||1975||St. Paul's||Rome||NY||2/3. Assistant pastor. Pastor was Rev. William E. Bishop. Other priest was Rev. Donald H. Karlen, in residence. In 1972, Rev. Msgr. Edgar M. Holihan, who was a diocesan consultor, became pastor. In 1974, Rev. William M. Kelly became pastor, and Rev. Thomas J. McGrath replaced Karlen in residence.|
|9/17/71||1972||Chapel at Oneida County Home||Rome||NY||Station attended from St. Paul's. But chaplain is listed as Rev. John H. Comeskey.|
|1972||1973||Oneida County Home||Rome||NY||Chaplain. The home is still listed as a station of St. Paul's in the 1973 Directory, but in the 1974 Directory the home is not listed at all.|
Bishop Frank J. Harrrison appointed 11/9/76; retired 6/16/87.
|7/1/78||St. Therese of the Infant Jesus||Munnsville||NY||1/1. Pastor.|
|1975||7/1/78||St. Joan of Arc||Morrisville||NY||1/1. Pastor. Mission attended from St. Therese.|
Bishop Joseph T. O'Keefe appointed 6/16/87; retired 4/4/95.
When O'Keefe arrived from the NY archdiocese, two of Syracuse's regional episcopal vicars were, it would later be learned, accused priests: Msgrs. Francis J. Furfaro and H. Charles Sewall.
||Whitesboro||NY||1/2, 1/3. Pastor. Other priest was Rev. John R. DeLorenzo. In 1982, Rev. Gerard F. Lupa replaced DeLorenzo. In 1983, Rev. David R. Sambor replaced Lupa. In 1984, Rev. Vincent P. Long replaced Sambor. In 1985, Rev. Francis Wapen was added as #3. In 1986, Rev. Louis Galluppi replaced Long.||School run by the Sisters of the Third Franciscan Order had 302 pupils in 1978-79.|
|1987||1988||Priests' Senate||Senator.||So listed only in the 1988 Directory, and as James Quinn, with no middle initial.|
• In 2014 the diocese received a complaint that Quinn abused a male minor in the late 1980s.
1/5. Pastor. The pastor emeritus was Rev. Francis E. Horrigan. Other priests were Revs. Paul Alciati, Daniel C. Muscalino (in res.), and Matthew J. Doran (in res.). In 1993, Rev. Daniel J. O'Hara replaced Alciati.
The parish attended a station at the Brighton Towers senior housing facility.
School run by the Sisters of the Third Franciscan Order had 190 pupils in 1988-89.
In the 1988 Directory (the first volume in which this information was given), Quinn's ordination year had been correctly listed as1958. But in the 1989 and 1990 Directories (the first volumes that list this Syracuse pastorship), Quinn's ordination year is incorrectly listed as 1964. During the first years of his reassignment to Syracuse, this made it more difficult to connect Quinn with his previous Syracuse assignments in the late 1950s. In 1991 the ordination is listed as 1958 again.
Bishop James M. Moynihan appointed 4/4/95.
|2000||Most Holy Rosary||Syracuse||3/3, 2/2, in residence. Pastor was Rev. John V. Ahern. Other priest was Rev. Thomas E. Neary (retired). In 1995, Rev. Peter M. Creed replaced Ahern as pastor. Neary is not listed in the 1998 and later Directories. In 1998, Rev. Frederick R. Mannara replaced Creed as pastor.||
So listed in the 1995-2000 Directories, but this assignment is not listed in the diocese's summary, where Quinn is listed as being in residence at St. Ann's in Manlius starting 7/1/94.
School run by the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary had 265 pupils in 1994-95.
Office of Vocations
|Director of Recruitment (another priest was director for seminarians). In the 1997 Directory, these jobs were renamed Vocation Promotion and Vocation Formation.||This "special assignment" is first listed in the 1996 Directory, although the diocese's summary indicates that this assignment began on 7/1/94.|
||Manlius||NY||2/2, in residence. The pastor was Rev. Msgr. Charles H. Eckermann. In 2001, Rev. Kevin Hannon replaced Eckermann.||Catechism classes had 385 students in 2000-2001.|
|2002||2013||Quinn died Feb. 1, 2013 His name was included in 2018 on the diocese's list of those with credible allegations against them.|
Source: Renee K. Gadoua, "Abuse Suit Seeks $150 Million" (Syracuse Post-Standard, May 8, 2003). On the abuse and its effects see William Kates, Man Claims Abuse by Priest Made Him Insane (Associated Press, November 18, 2003). On Judge Siegel's initial decision regarding statute of limitations, see William Kates, Judge Dismisses Sexual Abuse Lawsuit against Priest (Associated Press, November 20, 2003). On the affidavits and the diocese's investigation, see Elizabeth Cooper, Priest Abuse Probe Unresolved (Utica Observer-Dispatch, May 25, 2004). On the diocesan attorney's prior knowledge of Zumpano's abuse allegation and possible conflict of interest, see William Kates, Attorney: Diocese Law Firm Has Conflict of Interest in Abuse Case (Associated Press, June 10, 2004). For the appeals court's order affirming the Supreme Court's dismissal, see Memorandum and Order in Zumpano v. Quinn et al. (November 19, 2004). For the Syracuse diocese's reinstatement of Quinn see Renee K. Gadoua, Diocese Clears Priest of Abuse (Syracuse Post-Standard, December 16, 2004) and Rocco LaDuca, Diocese: No proof against Quinn (Utica Observer-Dispatch, December 16, 2004). On the Court of Appeals' reversal and decision to hear the case, see Rocco LaDuca, High Court to Hear Priest Abuse Case (Utica Observer-Dispatch, July 8, 2005) and John Caher, NY High Court Reverses Itself (NY Law Journal, July 18, 2005).
On the 1968 drowning death of Albert Piacentino, see Associated Press, Documents Allege Priest, Diocese Covered Up Altar Boy's Drowning (July 28, 2003); Renee K. Gadoua, Priest's Role in Drowning Is Raised (Syracuse Post-Standard, July 29, 2003); Elizabeth Cooper, Quinn Faces Negligence Allegation in Drowning (Utica Observer-Dispatch, June 15, 2004); William Kates, Hearing to Determine Whether 1968 Drowning Lawsuit Will Proceed (Associated Press, August 18, 2004); Rocco LaDuca, Judge Weighs Lawsuit against Priest (Utica Observer-Dispatch, October 19, 2004); Associated Press, Jury Determines Church, Priest Did Not Hide Facts (July 1, 2005).
Reverend James F. Quinn Obituary, Syracuse.com, February 15, 2013. Syracuse clergy abuse scandal: Priest cleared in life, blacklisted in death (Syracuse.com, December 18, 2018), Clergy with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor (Diocese of Syracuse, December 3, 2018)
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 Quinn's career history as it is represented in news reports and the Official Catholic Directory with the allegation as it is reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report. We remind our readers that in the U.S. judicial system, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty.
A Note on Nomenclature: We use the term "assignment record," instead of the more common "service record," because "service" is not an appropriate word for the activities of an abusive priest. Dioceses are often less than forthcoming about the activities of retired priests, but when we can determine those activities, we list them in these assignment records, particularly if they involve ministry. Retired priests remain under obedience to their bishop, and even the activities of laicized priests should be a concern to the diocese.
This assignment record was last updated on March 30, 2021.