Archdiocese of Washington on Military Chaplain, Fr. J.T. Matthew Lee

December 06, 2007

In late June 2007, the Archdiocese of Washington and the Archdiocese for the Military Services, U.S.A. immediately removed the faculties of Reverend J.T. Matthew Lee to function as a priest after he informed the Military Archdiocese that he was under investigation by the military for alleged adult sexual misconduct. Fr. Lee is a priest of Washington who had served since 1996 as a Navy chaplain under a joint program with the Military Archdiocese. The Archdiocese of Washington takes all allegations of misconduct very seriously and had received no prior allegations involving Fr. Lee.

Neither archdiocese received notice of the allegations from the military, nor information on its subsequent investigation. The details of the allegations and subsequent charges that were placed against Fr. Lee, who is a Naval officer with the rank of Lieutenant Commander, only became known to the Archdiocese of Washington within the last week. The charges indicate a grave violation of his priestly ministry and the trust that had been placed in him as a Navy chaplain. As is our policy, we are ready to assist the authorities in any way. We also keep all of those who have been affected by this terrible situation in our hearts and prayers.

Ordained in 1993, Fr. Lee served for three years as an associate pastor at St. Jerome parish in Hyattsville before becoming a Navy chaplain through a joint program with the Military Archdiocese. Priests in this program are ordained for a diocese or religious order. They typically have an initial assignment in their diocese of ordination – in this case, Washington – before beginning a career as a military chaplain under the auspices of the Archdiocese for the Military Services. As officers in the Armed Forces, their actual assignments are made by their individual services.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]