Catholic Priest

James Rush

Diocese: Diocese of Harrisburg

From Report I of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

Diocesan documents provided that the Archdiocese of New York had authority over Deacon James Rush when he applied for employment in the Diocese of Harrisburg.  In 2015, two adult woman complained that Rush engaged in inappropriate actions that crossed boundary lines. After being confronted by the Diocese of Harrisburg, Rush retired. Bishop Ronald Gainer issued a penal precept that prevented Rush from ministering in the Diocese without explicit permission.

In 2016, a woman reported to Children and Youth Services and to the Diocese of Harrisburg that Rush had developed an inappropriate relationship with a 14 year old girl.  He recently took the girl to a hockey game and held her hand.  He told her he only had eyes for her and told her she was his “girlfriend.” The girl also told the woman who reported the allegation that Rush kissed her. Rush told the girl not to tell her mother because her mother would get the wrong impression.  Although retired, Rush was still assisting around the local parish.

In a letter to the Archdiocese of New York dated June 1, 2016, the Diocese of Harrisburg disclosed the two complaints, the penal precept, and the new allegations against Rush.  The Diocese of Harrisburg determined no sexual abuse occurred against the girl in relation to the most recent allegation, but the Diocese determined what happened, “we might deem grooming behavior.”

Additional information regarding the widespread sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Dioceses of Pennsylvania and the systemic cover up by senior church officials is compiled in the Pennsylvania Diocese Victim’s Report published by the Pennsylvania Attorney General following a two-year grand jury investigation.  A complete copy of the Report is available on the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s website.