December 14, 2020
By Stephanie Perie
With the recent rise in child abuse in Sri Lanka, I believe it is as good a time as any to put in my two cents regarding the matter. Here’s a side to abuse most of us don’t talk of and some of us don’t know of.
John Joseph Geoghan was born to an Irish Catholic family in 1935 in Boston where he later attended local parochial schools. After graduating from Holy Cross College, he joined Cardinal O’Connell Seminary and was ordained in 1962. In an assessment conducted in 1954, his seniors inferred he had “pronounced immaturity.”
On February 13, 1962, he was appointed assistant pastor at the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Saugus, Massachusetts, where Anthony Benezevich observed and reported to church officials of Geoghan’s habit of escorting boys to his quarters. On September 22, 1966, Geoghan was assigned to St. Bernard’s Parish in Concord before being transferred out seven months later for unaccounted reasons. On April 20, 1967, he was installed at St. Paul’s Parish in Hingham where a man complained to church authorities of catching the priest molesting his son. Following this incident, Geoghan was admitted to Seton Institute in Baltimore, Maryland where he received treatment for pedophilia. On June 4, 1974, Geoghan was sent to St. Andrew’s Parish in Boston’s Jamaica Plain where he was ordered out after he uninhibitedly owned to having molested seven boys of an extended family. But through the intervention of Cardinal Humberto Medeiros, Geoghan was directed toward counseling and underwent both psychoanalysis and psychotherapy instead. On February 25, 1981, he was assigned to St. Bernard’s Parish in Dorchester where he allegedly raped and fondled a boy.
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