Boniface Ramsey

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J. Boniface Ramsey (born 6 October 1945) is an American Catholic priest who was ordained in 1973 as a member of the Dominican Order. From 1987 to 1996 Ramsay was a professor at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University.


From 1987 to 1996 Ramsay was a professor at Immaculate Conception Seminary (which serves the archdiocese of Newark). Ramsay was a member of the "voting faculty" that could express a formal opinion as to whether a student should be promoted to the next year. According to Ramsey, in the early 1990s, Theodore McCarrick, then Archbishop of Newark, removed Ramsay's voting prerogative because Ramsay was instrumental in the expulsion of one of the seminarians.[1]

In November 2000, Ramsey wrote the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, D.C., Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, regarding rumors of inappropriate conduct on the part of McCarrick's with seminarians. (As a Dominican, rather than a diocesan priest, Ramsay was not under McCarrick's immediate supervision.) Ramsay had heard reports that the Archbishop was in the practice of inviting a half-dozen seminarians to his beach house, which only had five beds, and sharing a bed with one of the seminarians. " I never heard that McCarrick touched anyone", said Ramsay.[2]

He said that "McCarrick’s behavior was viewed by many as “odd” or even “crazy,” but not necessarily immoral...The term, ‘sexual harassment,’” had not gained currency, and the seminary administrators didn’t know how to react".[3] Ramsay received no response from Montalvo, but a letter sent to him in October 2006 from the Vatican by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri indicated that his complaint had been received by Montalvo and been forwarded to the Vatican. Ramsay believes that between 2006 and 2015, there were those in the Vatican attempting to build a case against McCarrick.[2]

In 2004 he joined the Archdiocese of New York. A further letter to Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, written in June 2015, was never passed on to O'Malley. When the news broke in the summer of 2018 that McCarrick's behavior with his seminarians was known to church authorities, not only in the Vatican but apparently also by many American bishops and others, serious questions were raised as to how he could have been named archbishop of Washington (2000) and then been elevated to the cardinalate (2001).

Ramsey is the author or translator of several books on the Fathers of the Church, notably Beginning to Read the Fathers, and of numerous articles on various theological topics. He is the general editor of The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century. Ramsey currently serves as the administrator of the parish of Saint Joseph-Yorkville in Manhattan.