Francis X. Nelson: Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Francis X. Nelson

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Fr. Francis X. Nelson was a visiting priest from India who worked in the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Archdiocese of New York. In 2002, Fr. Nelson was arrested on charges of child sexual abuse. The abuse occurred in approximately May 1999, while Fr. Nelson was working in the Diocese of Brooklyn. The survivor’s family reported the abuse to the Diocese of Brooklyn and Fr. Nelson was subsequently removed from ministry. The diocese conducted an investigation, found the claim to be credible, and notified Bishop Tharmaraj of the Diocese of Kottar, India. However, after Bishop Tharmaraj wrote a letter of recommendation of behalf of Fr. Nelson, the Archdiocese of New York accepted Fr. Nelson back into ministry. He continued to work in the Archdiocese of New York until he was arrested in 2002. In 2003, Fr. Francis was convicted and sentenced to four months in jail.

Fr. Francis X. Nelson was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Kottar, India in 1989. In approximately 1996, he came to the United States and was assigned to work for the Diocese of Brooklyn. He worked at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea in Brooklyn, New York, from 1998 to 2001 and was enrolled in a doctoral program at Fordham University. Fr. Francis X. Nelson also worked for the Archdiocese of New York at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Harlem, New York. He has since returned to the Diocese of Kottar in southern India, and has been working in the office of the bishop.

(Sources: The Official Catholic Directory &