Henry Swider: Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor Have Been Admitted, Established or Determined to Be Credible

Henry Swider

Ordained: 1950

  • 1950-1959: St. Joseph, Summit, IL (CHI)
  • 1959-1960: Sick Leave
  • 1960-1966: Holy Innocents, Chicago, IL (CHI)
  • 1966-1967: St. Mary of Perpetual Help, Chicago, IL (CHI)
  • 1967-1969: St. Bridget, Chicago, IL (CHI)
  • 1969-1972: Leave of Absence
  • 1972: St. Casimir, Chicago, Il (CHI)
  • 1973-2007: Unknown
  • 2007: Died

Although the Archdiocese of Chicago had settled at least one sex abuse lawsuit with a victim of sexual abuse by Fr. Henry P. Swider, they did not publicly identify Fr. Swider as an abuser until 2006. In 2007, the Archdiocese admitted in a memo that there was “substantial” cause to believe that Fr. Swider sexually abused at least three boys. Throughout his time in the priesthood, Fr. Swider spent a great deal of time on leave, mostly in Acapulco, Mexico, with and without “justification.” Fr. Swider is included on the Archdiocese of Chicago’s 2018 list of “Clergy with Substantiated Allegations of Sexual Misconduct with Minors.”



7/5/50 – Temporary Assistant Pastor, St. Joseph (Summit)

9/30/59 – Sick Leave

7/6/60 – Temporary Assistant Pastor, Holy Innocents

According to a 2004 Report, Swider sexually abused a minor at Holy Innocents parish between 1959 and 1960. (AOC 005850)

1961-1963       According to a 2007 report, Swider sexually abused a minor at Holy Innocents parish. The abuse consisted of massages and “hand jobs”. (AOC 005856)

According to a 2002 memorandum of an interview with Swider, Swider denies sexually abusing altar boys and denied the allegations of oral sex, pornography, masturbation and ejaculation made against him. (AOC 005842)

5/10/66 – Assistant Pastor, St. Mary of Perpetual Help

3/29/67 – Assistant Pastor, St. Bridget

1/69 – Left priesthood

1969                Swider requested one year leave of absence from Cardinal Cody. Cody granted him “unlimited leave.” (AOC 005844)

10/24/69          According to Personnel Board Meeting Minutes, Swider feelings that his going to St. Josaphat would not work out. (AOC 005866)

11/14/69          According to Personnel Board Meeting Minutes, Swider reports that he is planning to leave and intends to write the Cardinal about it. (AOC 005869)

11/28/69          According to Personnel Board Meeting Minutes, Fr. Roche reports that Swider has sent his letter to the Cardinal asking for an appointment not later than 12/1. (AOC 005880)

12/5/69            According to Personnel Board Meeting Minutes, Swider has a one month leave of absence. (AOC 005873)

8/31/72 – St. Casimir

8/31/72            Letter from Fr. Keating to Archbishop stating that his impression of Swider is that “his sick-leave patterns of the last few years are clearly without bona fide justification.” (AOC 005848)

12/82 – Resigned from priesthood

7/8/83              According to Clergy Personnel Board Meeting Minutes, Swider wrote to Cardinal Bernadin about returning to the Archdiocese.

10/99               Letter for Vicar for Priests Lawrence McBrady to Swider informing him of the Office’s decision to cancel his gift pension. (AOC 005843)

The decision to cancel gift pension came from Goedert because the archdiocese was spending a great deal on settling a financial claim with a victim of Swider’s (AOC 005849)

2005                The Archdiocese helped Swider with hospital bills of $4,953.32. (AOC 005849)

1/19/07            Letter from Fr. Costello to Cardinal George that Swider wants about $19,000 and recommending that the Cardinal not help him. Costello writes that that George “should also know that at least three allegations of sexual misconduct made against Swider appear to have been considered substantial.” (AOC 005849)