Category:Archdiocese Of Boston Sexual Abuse

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Archdiocese of Boston Sexual Abuse

Archdiocese of Boston sexual abuse Whole system of sexual abuse of children in the archdiocese involving at least 237 priests and 13 other church employees and at least 789 minors over six decades. Much of this occurred with the full knowledge of Cardinal Bernard F. Law, archbishop of Boston and all his bishops who repeatedly reassigned known pedophiles. Furthermore, 41 priests faced allegations of sexual misconduct with adults.

Reilly report Attorney General Thomas Reilly, top prosecutor in the state of Massachusetts, found more than 1,000 children in and near Boston had been sexually abused by 237 Roman Catholic clergy, 1940-2000. The abuse of children, the report charged, was “so massive and so prolonged that it borders on the unbelievable.”

Archdiocese of Boston Cover-up

Archdiocese of Boston cover-up Everything was kept secret with Church lawyers settling out of court as many as 1,000 cases with confidentiality agreements. In 1992, when the Boston Globe exposed a sexually abusing priest, Cardinal Law accused the paper of sensationalism, saying, “We call down God’s power on the media, particularly the Globe.”

McCormack cover-up In 1994 the Boston Archdiocese was being deluged with complaints that scores of its priests had sexually molested hundreds of children, but the Rev. John B. McCormack, then the top church official handling the complaints for Cardinal Bernard F. Law, insisted on shielding the identities of accused priests from unsuspecting parishioners, despite the repeated pleas of his top aide Sister Catherine Mulkerrin, who fielded complaints about more than 100 priests. McCormack’s services were rewarded leaving Boston to become a bishop in Manchester, September 1998.

  1. Mulkerrin deposition Sister Catherine Mulkerrin, former aide to Rev. John McCormack said she repeatedly urged church officials to warn parishioners about priests who had been accused of sexually abusing children, but her pleas were ignored. In a deposition released 7 April 2003, Sister Mulkerrin said she received allegations against more than 100 priests in the Boston archdiocese from 1992 to 1994, while she was working as an aide to McCormack, who was then Cardinal Bernard Law’s delegate on clergy sexual misconduct.

Seminary classmates John B. McCormack entered Cardinal O'Connell Seminary 1952, where John Geoghan, the pedophile priest whose case would one day cross his desk was also enrolled. When he entered St. John's Seminary in the late 1950s, McCormack's life was rigidly circumscribed by rules crafted to instill humility and acquiescence.

  1. Clerical West Point Sobriquet given to St. John's Seminary because of its reputation of producing church leaders.
  2. Class of 1960 Set of notorious graduates from St. John's Seminary that included John B. McCormack, Joseph E. Birmingham (Birmingham case), Paul R. Shanley (Shanley case), Bernard J. Lane, and James D. Foley. When those priests were accused of sexual misconduct, they found a firm ally at the chancery in Boston in McCormack. He directed the accused priests to lawyers and therapists, sometimes clearing the way for their return to ministry despite ample evidence in church files about their sexual misconduct.
    1. Ordination reunion Joseph E. Birmingham and John B. McCormack were close friends, even though McCormack would later deny this. They had lived in the same rectory in Salem after ordination. And McCormack traveled with Birmingham and three other priests to France and Italy where they celebrated the 25th anniversary of their ordination in 1985.

Victim treatment When John B. McCormack came face-to-face with victims, he reacted to their charges skeptically, and even dismissively. In one case, he told a parent that a priest could not have molested children, when he knew otherwise.

Office of Healing and Assistance Ministry Set up for alleged victims after the clergy sexual abuse scandal erupted 2002 that was used to trick alleged victims by offering counseling but using it against them in court.

Therapy trap Three months after the Archdiocese of Boston publicly reached out to sexual abuse victims and promised to pay for their counseling, church lawyers began requiring therapists treating them to answer questions under oath about their patients' emotional condition and then use their private therapy sessions against them: “It is every survivor's worst fear.” January 2003.

Archdiocese of Boston exposure The Boston Phoenix exposed local priest John Geoghan as a serial child molester who was being sued by his victims. Capitalizing on its competitor's scoop, the Boston Globe challenged a confidentiality order in the Geoghan case, seeking to obtain thousands of pages of discovery material. In January 2002, Globe revealed that Cardinal Law had known about scores of abuse claims against Geoghan, but looked the other way while the pedophilic priest was reassigned from one parish to another. Thereafter, a further 500 abuse victims appeared by mid-April 2002.

St. Paul’s record One of the first Catholic churches on the South Shore in Hingham built in 1871. St. Paul’s was home to some of the worst sexual abuse offenders. John Geoghan (Geoghan case), pastor , ruined lives there in the 1960s and 1970s. A former pastor (1985-1992), John Hanlon (Hanlon case ), is serving a life sentence for raping an altar boy. “Kids from this parish who were abused have killed themselves over the years," Sheldon Daly said. “I know of six. There’s probably more."

Jack Connors Revelation

Connors revelation Just after New Year's Day in 2002, as the Boston Globe's Spotlight Team was putting the finishing touches on a story about the Archdiocese of Boston's handling of a sexually abusive priest, Cardinal Bernard F. Law asked Boston's most successful adman Jack Connors Jr., a devout Catholic, for advice. Connors says he asked Law how many other cases of abusive priests there were, and the long-time archbishop of Boston told him “there may be one or two.” Connors soon learned that was not true, and his alienation from the hierarchy had begun. He says he told Law he believed the archbishop had either lied to him, or did not know what was happening in his own archdiocese. In the months that followed, Connors urged Catholics to withhold contributions as a way to force change, and ultimately he called on Law to resign.

Two priest announcement Archdiocese announced it had discovered accusations that two active priests had been involved in sexual abuse, 2 February 2002.

Six priest announcement Cardinal Bernard F. Law announced that six priests had been suspended from all assignments because of allegations that they had sexually molested children, 7 February 2002.

Note Four of the priests were not assigned to parishes, two of whom had not been assigned since 1994, suggesting that the archdiocese may have already been aware of accusations against them.

Eighty priest announcement Cardinal Bernard F. Law announced that 80 priests in his diocese had been implicated in sexual abuse crimes that had been covered-up by the cardinal and his bishops, 8 were still active priests only suspended at the time of the announcement, (? 10) February 2002.

Boston civil lawsuits Cardinal Bernard F. Law admitted knowing of the accusations of pedophilia since 1984, and five other bishops were also accused in civil lawsuits of negligence: they knew of the abuse and did nothing to stop it. The diocese tentatively agreed to pay $20 to $30 million to settle scores of cases, giving 86 plaintiffs in the 84 lawsuits $232,000 to $348,000 each, reported 5 March 2002. But the archdiocese reneged on the settlement 3 May 2002.

  1. Garabedian lawsuits Attorney Mitchell Garabedian who represented more than 100 alleged clergy sexual abuse victims filed 70 new cases against the Archdiocese of Boston dating from 1941 through the 1980s, including complaints involving five priests not previously accused who remain in good standing in the church, 29 January 2003. “Of the 70 complaints, 23 are rapes. Eleven of the 23 are multiple rapes. Three of those involve (victims) molested by two priests.”

Archdiocesan policy Thomas V. Daily, later Bishop of Brooklyn, asked if the policy in the Boston diocese was “to avoid scandal where possible,” to which the bishop, “yes.” As one professor of religious education put it, the crimes of Geoghan had caused extraordinary damage to the parishioners and their children “was not in their consciousness.”

  1. Immunity theory Bishop Thomas V. Daily of Brooklyn, as secretary to Cardinal Humberto Medeiros of Boston 1971-75, was complicit in the Geoghan case cover-up because he believed that priests had “immunity.”

Boston zero tolerance Cardinal Bernard F. Law’s new policy requiring members of the clergy to report accusations of child sexual abuse and the beginning of a zero tolerance policy, 9 January 2002.

Boston Priests Forum Co-founded to combat the secrecy in the church by Rev. Robert Bullock, who stated that the lesson of the clerical sex abuse crisis that began in his own archdiocese is simple: Priests cannot risk remaining silent and subservient. “What made us so passive, so supine, so unwilling to take risks? We can't be that way again. Those things are going to happen again. We can't be complicit.” Group has been credited by some with playing a role in the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law.

Boston new claims Archdiocese of Boston faced at least 140 new claims of abuse involving charges against priests that span the 1950s to the 1980s, after the $85 million settlement, reported 12 September 2004.

Phinn cover-up Rev. Gilbert Phinn (d. 2005) as archdiocese personnel director in 1980, reportedly told a priest with a history of sexual abuse to keep his past a secret from the pastor when assigned to a new parish, originally reported in 2002.

Cuenin affair Rev. Walter H. Cuenin long feared that archdiocesan officials would find a way to remove him as pastor of his Newton parish because of his embrace of divorced Catholics and gays and lesbians, his emphasis on finding prominent roles for women, his sharp critique of the church hierarchy's handling of sexual abuse, and his activism in pulling together priests to call for the resignation of Cardinal Bernard F. Law. The archdiocese ousted Cuenin for alleged financial wrongdoing: accepting from his parish a $500 monthly stipend for the performance of baptisms, weddings, and funerals, and a leased Honda Accord he shared with visiting priests. The archdiocese did not give him a new assignment. The forced resignation heightened fears among many Catholics that the archdiocese, led by Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley but overseen on a daily basis by aides held over from Law's administration, was slowly purging from public ministry priests who are viewed as troublemakers. Cuenin was replaced by Rev. Christopher Coyne, Law's chief spokesman during the abuse scandal, who was told in June 2005 of the possibility of a leadership change at Our Lady's and asked if he would be interested in the pastorate. “He said he would think about it, but it was not finalized until shortly before the appointment was made,” September 2005.

Two priests case Two priests who served at Cambridge's St. Paul's parish were named in a sexual abuse suit filed in Suffolk Superior Court 5 February 2004. The Revs. Joseph Fratic, currently of Arlington's St. Jerome's Parish, and Paul W. Hurley, who is awaiting trial in Middlesex Court on child rape charges at another Cambridge church, were named by a 38-year-old man who claims that in 1979 Hurley lured him to his home, where Fratic molested him. “Father Hurley provided alcohol and pornography to (Hurley's) house, [Fratic] engaged in explicit sexual behavior.

Boston Sex Abuse Cost

Archdiocese of Boston deficit $150 million was paid in settlements and other costs associated with the sex abuse scandal. As a result of this expenditure, as well as shrinking donations in the wake of the scandal, the Boston Archdiocese amassed a $46 million deficit, believed to be the largest deficit of any diocese ever. Reported 3 May 2006.

Clergy Retirement/Disability Trust Pension plan faced an $85.4 million gap between the money on hand and what it is expected to have to spend for hundreds of priests, active and retired as of April 2006. At least $70 million in donations collected between 1986 to 2002 from parishioners -who were often told the money would fund priests’ retirements - went instead to other purposes, notably a fund drawn on extensively by former Cardinal Bernard Law before he left Boston, the Clergy Benefit Trust.

  1. Clergy Benefit Trust Account that takes in the Christmas and Easter donations used to pay millions of dollars for legal bills, psychological treatment and other expenses associated with dozens of priests accused of sexual abuse, according to church documents, interviews, letters and memos signed by Law.

Archdiocese settlements From 1992-2001 settled some 50 lawsuits against dozens of priests for a total of more than $10 million, plus $40 million more to 86 victims in the Geoghan case, then reneged on the Boston civil lawsuits saying it could not pay, and still had hundreds more plaintiffs, with the first criminal trial beginning 14 January 2002.

  1. $85 million settlement Archbishop O'Malley delivered a record-setting $85 million agreement between the church and 552 abuse victims, 9 September 2003.

Boston School for the Deaf

Boston School for the Deaf abuse Nine former students of a Massachusetts school for the deaf in Randolph, a suburb of Boston operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, filed a lawsuit in Suffolk County Superior Court 11 May 2004 saying they had been sexually, physically and emotionally abused by the Roman Catholic nuns who operated the institution. The plaintiffs ages 4 to 18 at the time, all of whom are deaf and mute, said they were raped, fondled, beaten, stuffed into lockers, had their heads submerged in toilets and forced to drink others’ urine, 1944-77. The lawsuit names 14 nuns, one priest, a staff member and Bishop Thomas V. Daily as defendants. It seeks unspecified monetary compensation. The school was closed in 1994.

Victim evidence William Ross said he was 9 years old when a nun force-fed him soup, causing him to vomit and when he was 12, the same nun locked him in a dark closet for long periods of time. He was 16 when another nun fondled his genitals, put his hand to her breasts and had sexual intercourse with him. Violet Guertin said that when she was a 9-year-old student at the school a nun put her head in a toilet bowl until she passed out and the same nun also raped her with a finger and locked her in a closet at the school for extended time periods. Her brother, James was the same age when another nun made him walk through the public corridors of the school after removing his pants and underwear, as an alternative to the usual punishment of being placed in a cafeteria trash barrel. James Sullivan was about 12 when a nun “under the guise of punishment” slammed his head against a window that broke and later forced his head in and out of a toilet bowl full of his own vomit. Lawsuit 11 May 2004.

  1. Braddock evidence Penny Braddock inmate at the Boston School for the Deaf 1955-67 testified that when she was about 9 years old, she saw a nun follow a young girl into the bathroom and emerge with a metal bowl filled with urine, then she saw the nun pour it into a brown bottle who later, the nun made all the girls line up and forced them to drink spoonfuls from the bottle.

Boston School for the Deaf lawsuits In two separate lawsuits, 18 former students at the Boston School for the Deaf claim they were beaten, sexually molested and emotionally tormented by the nuns who ran the school. In a second suit, attorney Mitchell Garabedian said he has 80 clients altogether who claim they were abused at the school between 1936 and 1991, when they were between the ages of 4 and 17, filed 17 August 2004. Most of the claims were withdrawn.

Sisters of St. Joseph (Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston) Brighton-based religious order who staffed The Boston School for the Deaf, 1899-1994.

(database of allegations of sexual abuse by priests)

[Nk offenders acknowledged, 14 listed]

Anon nun I Accused in Murphy lawsuit, withdrawn or dismissed.

Anon nun II Accused in Murphy lawsuit, withdrawn or dismissed.

Anon nun III Accused in Murphy lawsuit, withdrawn or dismissed.

Anon nun IV Accused in Murphy lawsuit, withdrawn or dismissed.

Anon nun V Accused in Murphy lawsuit, withdrawn or dismissed.

Anon nun VI Accused in Murphy lawsuit, withdrawn or dismissed.

Anon nun VII Accused in Murphy lawsuit, withdrawn or dismissed.

Anon nun VIII Accused in Murphy lawsuit, withdrawn or dismissed.

Anon nun IX Accused in Murphy lawsuit, withdrawn or dismissed.

Anon nun X Accused in Murphy lawsuit, withdrawn or dismissed.

Anon nun XI Accused in Murphy lawsuit, withdrawn or dismissed.

Anon nun XII Accused in Murphy lawsuit, withdrawn or dismissed.

Anon nun XIII Accused in Murphy lawsuit, withdrawn or dismissed.

Murphy affair Rev. Charles J. Murphy (1943-) ordained in 1960, served as a chaplain at the Boston School for the Deaf, part-time priest at St. Francis Xavier Church in Weymouth and a chaplain at Norfolk State Prison,

  1. Murphy lawsuit Accused of walking in on a girl at the Boston School for the Deaf while she was partially clothed, 11 May 2004. Later complaint alleged fondling as well. Murphy denied the charge. Placed on administrative leave 21 August 2004. Initial suit named 9 plaintiffs and 14 defendants, of whom 13 were nuns. More suits were filed. Witnesses regarding pattern and practice at the school were barred; all suits were withdrawn or dismissed.
  2. Murphy reinstated Murphy cleared of sex abuse charges by the Boston Archdiocese and reinstated at his church, 11 April 2006.
  3. Murphy Stepped down Murphy voluntarily removed himself from ministry after a man accused him of sexually abusing him four decades earlier. The archdiocese said it learned of the allegation about a week ago and immediately notified civil authorities, 3 April 2010.

Cushing Hall

Cushing Hall, Inc. Catholic Boys Guidance Centre, Scituate MA.

Atwater affair Rev. John J. Atwater, M.S.W., A.C.S.W. was accused of sexual abuse.

Elm Bank Junior Seminary

Elm Bank Junior Seminary Stigmatine Fathers, the religious order that ran the seminary, Wellesley, MA. Victims, left the tiny school after they were sexually abused by members of the Stigmatine Fathers. We went there thinking it was a holy institution, said John Vellante, who attended as a freshman in 1958 but left a year later. It turned out it was a hunting lodge, and we were the captured prey. Their accounts describe sexual misbehavior by an extraordinary percentage of the priests who were entrusted with their care. Abuse ranged from single incidents of fondling to several years of sex. One seminarian said he was victimized by three of the priests, and two of the others said they were each molested by two priests. The men attended the school between 1955 and 1961.

  1. Leonard accusation David Leonard alleges he was molested twice by Stigmatine priests, once as an 11-year-old at a summer camp and again at Elm Bank. Leonard said he told the Rev. Joseph Henchey, his prefect, and Henchey tried to have the abusers punished but was instead punished himself by the order. Leonard said he has had mental health problems for decades. In 1978, he doused himself with gasoline and tried to set himself on fire outside a Stigmatine building in Newton. But the matches wouldn't light. He was committed to a state mental hospital for nearly a year. He has reached a financial settlement with the order.

Ahern affair Rev. Richard J. Ahern CSS (deceased) was accused of sexual abuse.

  1. Six men accusations Alleged that they were molested as boys by either the Revs. Richard J. Ahern or Joseph E. Flood. The alleged abuse occurred in Springfield, Agawam, and in New Hampshire during approximately the same time period as the abuse at Elm Bank.
  2. Neely accusation John Neely was abused by two Stigmatine priests. Stigmatines settled his claim for $15,000. When he was 14 he was masturbated by Ahern and later, while at a summer camp at Elm Bank, by Landry. He said he sunk into years of alcoholism and recently ended his third marriage. He said the abuse twisted his moral compass for years. When a trusted authority figure violates the innocence of a child, what they do is turn north to west, so you never know where you are going, he said. You trust untrustworthy people and don't trust trustworthy people.

Flood affair Rev. Joseph E. Flood CSS (deceased) was accused of sexual abuse. See above.

Fowler affair Br. John Fowler CSS was accused of sexual abuse.

Landry affair Rev. Leo P. Landry CSS was accused of sexual abuse. He left the seminary in 1959 and subsequently served as a parish priest in Somersworth, N.H. Landry, and left the priesthood in 1972.

  1. Vellante accusation John Vellante was molested by the Rev. Leo P. Landry at Elm Bank, 1959. Vellante, said Landry, under the guise of providing the 13-year-old with sex education, would have him drop his pants and would masturbate him. Almost always, immediately or within days, Landry would don the stole priests use to hear confessions and have Vellante confess to the sin he had just committed. We were brought up to believe the priest was God and that he was to be revered and obeyed, that anything he said was right and that he could do no wrong.
  2. Anon I accusation molested by the Rev. Leo P. Landry at Elm Bank.
  3. Anon II accusation molested by the Rev. Leo P. Landry at Elm Bank.
  4. New Hampshire civil lawsuits Rev. Leo P. Landry faced several civil lawsuits in New Hampshire for abusing minors.

Riley affair Rev. Leo Thomas Riley CSS (d. 1995) was accused of sexual abuse.

  1. Anon accusation Anon businessman recalled he was molested at the school for four years by Riley, a teacher. He was also molested by Landry While at school, he told the Rev. Charles F. Egan, at the time the head of the order in North America, and the priest was transferred. When the businessman in spring 2002 raised more questions about the abuse, the order questioned Egan. I did not conduct any further investigation, Egan wrote in a letter. I cannot remember sharing this information with others, or entering this matter into any record. He did not even tell the victim's parents.

Nazareth Orphanage

Nazareth Orphanage Run by Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Jamaica Plain MA. and for 121 years served as a residential program for children who needed a place to stay before being placed in foster care. The children were housed in the 10 cottages on the 35-acre property in Jamaica Plain. The center closed in 1985, partly because of financial difficulties.

Hightower affair Paul Hightower (seminarian) was accused of sexual abuse.

Holmes affair Br. Edward Anthony Holmes SS.CC. (Brother Tony) at the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary was accused of raping two boys during the 1970s and early 1980s while he was a resident counselor at the Nazareth Child Care Center in Jamaica Plain. Holmes allegedly began abusing the first accuser, a 10-year-old, in 1976. The abuse continued until 1980, when the child turned 14. He began abusing the second boy, a 9-year-old, in 1977 and stopped in 1983, when the child turned 15. He photographed the second accuser during the assaults. In 1989, while he was living in Milton, his housemate found numerous photographs of Holmes and a young boy engaged in sexual activity. Holmes left the community in 2002.

  1. Holmes trial Holmes pleaded not guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to six counts of rape of a child, five counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, five counts of indecent assault and battery on a child over 14, and one count of photographing a nude child. He was sentenced to five years and one day in prison.

Sacred Heart School for Boys

Sacred Heart School for Boys Brothers of the Sacred Heart, Andover MA, a religious order that owns a Roman Catholic school in Nashua had a "lax and tolerant attitude" about teachers accused of molesting minors, a class-action lawsuit charges, filed 12 February 2003. In a lawsuit, members of the order were accused of abusing minors for more than 60 years, a period when the order owned several schools around New England.

Order of the Sacred Heart Rhode Island-based order that runs Bishop Guertin High School. Though international, the order is divided into autonomous provinces. The New England province, the subject of Hutchins' lawsuit, also operates Mount St. Charles Academy in Woonsocket, R.I., and formerly owned schools in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut. Members of the order also have taught at a Catholic summer camp in Gilmanton. The camp is owned by the Diocese of Manchester.

(alphabetical listing)

Argencourt affair Br. Roger Argencourt SC (Brother Odillon) (deceased) was accused of sexual abuse. Argencourt worked in Andover, but there is no public allegation that he abused a child there. He is accused of abuse at Bishop Guertin HS in NH and Mount Saint Charles Academy in RI. Argencourt left Bishop Guertin in January 2002 when an Afton, Va., man accused him of raping and molesting him as many as 40 times in 1974, once allegedly in front of another teacher. Argencourt admitted to the abuse in court documents, but was not charged because the statute of limitations had expired. He also told police he assaulted another New Hampshire student around the same time.

Beaulieu affair Three men said they were molested by Brother Guy Beaulieu while attending the school during the 1970s. In a deposition for another lawsuit against him, Beaulieu said he molested 15 to 20 Bishop Guertin students. Beaulieu taught at Bishop Guertin from 1971 to 1991.

Labbe affair Leo Labbe SC (Brother Gerald) was accused of sexual abuse.

Unlocated Cases

Anon priest At a Catholic school in Hudson, Mass.. c. 1983.

  1. Anon accusation Man said the advances began when he was 10 years-old. He was a fourth-grader and an altar boy at a Catholic school in Hudson, Mass. He said the priest would try to touch the altar boys when they were putting on their robes, and he'd invite them to the rectory, one at a time. "He'd want to show us pornographic magazines, and ask us to take our pants down, and he'd take his pants down and expose himself and things like that," he said. The man, who asked not to be identified, told the nuns that something was wrong with the priest, but they did not believe him. For 38 years, he stayed silent — even after the Catholic sex abuse scandal broke. But when he saw the allegations against former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, something snapped. Reported 16 November 2011.

Note (possibly) Hudson Catholic High School (Hudson Catholic) was a private coeducational Catholic school in Hudson, Massachusetts, within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, established 1959, closed 2009.

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