Statement of Archdiocesan Actions Regarding Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse by Father Brian Cox
In responding to allegations of child abuse, the highest priorities for the Archdiocese of Baltimore are the safety of children and concern for victims. Our consistent reporting of child abuse allegations, cooperation with authorities, and offers of assistance to victims are vital to meeting these priorities.
In July 1995 the Archdiocese received allegations of child sex abuse against Father Brian Cox. On August 7, 1995, he was placed on leave of absence and his faculties to perform the functions of a priest were removed. That status has remained in place since then. Father Cox was sent for an evaluation and a report of the alleged abuse was made to the State’s Attorney’s Office for Carroll County.
At the time, the Archdiocese notified parishioners and others of the allegations, seeking information on possible additional victims. A Statement from the Archdiocese disclosing that Father Cox had acknowledged engaging in inappropriate activity with a minor was published in parish bulletins on September 3, 1995 at St. John, Westminster and St. Peter, Libertytown and in The Catholic Review, the Archdiocesan newspaper, on September 6, 1995.
In June 1996, the Archdiocese learned that Father Cox, without faculties as a Catholic priest, was planning to return to Resurrection Farm, a non-profit, privately owned facility that is not affiliated in any way with the Archdiocese. He did so without the recommendation or support of the Archdiocese. In June 1996, letters indicating that the Archdiocese did not approve of Father Cox’s return to Resurrection Farm, that Archdiocesan schools and parishes were not to use Resurrection Farm for any youth activities, and that Father Cox had no assignment or faculties within the Archdiocese were sent to all pastors in the Archdiocese, nearby high schools, the Diocese of Harrisburg, Father Cox himself, and Resurrection Farm. In June 1996, another statement reiterating Father Cox’s admission of misconduct and planned return to Resurrection Farm was again made in the parish bulletins of St. John and St. Peter.
Father Brian Cox was a priest of the Josephite Order until 1983 when he was incardinated into (made a priest of) the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He was an associate pastor at St. Pius V parish 1968-1973. He also served as a chaplain at Archbishop Keough H.S. 1975-1978. From 1978 until 1989, he served as Associate Pastor at St. John, Westminster. Beginning in 1989, Father Cox did not have a formal assignment from the Archdiocese while he resided and worked full-time at Resurrection Farm. Father Cox did continue to assist at St. Peter, Libertytown and St. John, Westminster until 1995 when faculties to function as a priest were removed.
The Archdiocese stands ready to cooperate fully with any criminal investigation that may follow Father Cox’s arrest yesterday by Maryland State Police.