Sex Abuse Claim against Former Brockton Priest Settled
April 13, 2012
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has reached settlements in sexual abuse cases involving two priests, including a priest at St. Colman Church in Brockton during the 1950s and 1960s who later served at Sacred Heart in Weymouth.
The Rev. Richard J. O’Donovan died in August 2000, before the allegation was raised against him.
The other case involved the Rev. James Lane, a former Boston police chaplain whose only previous connection with the scandal was as a whistleblower.
The Rev. Lane died in 2007.
Boston lawyer Mitchell Garabedian says on his firm’s web site that he settled both cases with the archdiocese in the last 14 months. Garabedian said he will reveal on Wednesday the names of 12 other priests whose cases were recently settled. He added that each of the settlements were five- to six-figure amounts. None included an admission of guilt.
An archdiocese spokesman confirmed the settlements in the cases involving the Revs. O’Donovan and Lane but said church investigations into the priests were inconclusive and the allegations went back 40 years. Each priest was accused by a single person.
The Rev. O’Donovan was ordained in 1949 and was first assigned to St. Colman’s in Brockton. He was there for 16 years and came back in 1969 to celebrate the funeral Mass for boxing champ and Brockton native Rocky Marciano who was killed in a plane crash.
The Rev. O’Donovan’s work with CYO units in Brockton led to his appointment by the late Cardinal Cushing as CYO director of Plymouth Deanery in 1954, and later as deanery moderator of the CYO. He was also the director of vocations and served as chaplain of the Guild at St. Paul. He was deanery moderator and division chaplain of the Ancient Order of Hibernians of Brockton.
His subsequent assignments included as senior curate at Most Precious Blood in Hyde Park and pastor of Sacred Heart in Weymouth Landing. His final assignment was to St. Dorothy's in Wilmington where he was pastor at the time of his death.
Bernard Cardinal Law was the celebrant at his funeral Mass in Wilmington.