Priest May Have Lied about Ph.D.

By Kathleen A. Shaw
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
February 10, 2002

Worcester — The Rev. Thomas A. Kane apparently did not receive a doctoral degree in psychology from the University of Birmingham in England as he has maintained for years.

A university spokeswoman said last week that the school has no record of Rev. Kane attending classes there or receiving a doctoral degree.Rev. Kane, who remains listed in the Catholic Diocese of Worcester directory of priests, left the area in 1993 after he was accused in a lawsuit of molesting a 9-year-old boy. He was associate pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Gardner at the time. The suit was settled out of court.

Rev. Kane, who had written books about psychotherapy, was co-founder and director of the House of Affirmation in Whitinsville, a treatment and counseling center for priests, including those suspected of committing sexual abuse.

The diocese listed Rev. Kane's address as the Chancery Building on Elm Street, but church officials questioned about his whereabouts in recent years have said they did not know where he was. It was discovered last week that he is living in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he runs the World Wide Teaching Institute, a teacher-training program.

The institute is registered with the Massachusetts Department of Education and has its own Web site. Although he is still a priest of the diocese, he is not allowed to celebrate Mass or administer sacraments, according to Raymond L. Delisle, diocesan spokesman.

An article appeared in the June 29, 1973, edition of The Catholic Free Press, the diocesan newspaper, that included a photograph of Rev. Kane dressed in what appeared to be academic robes. He told the newspaper that he had received his doctorate in psychology from the University of Birmingham, England, and would return to become director of the newly established House of Affirmation in Whitinsville.

Other newspaper clippings from the 1970s showed him delivering a speech to the Union of Superiors General in Rome and serving as director of the National Guild of Catholic Psychiatrists.


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