Assignment Record– Rev. James E. Braley

Summary of Case: A priest of the Boston archdiocese ordained in 1975, Braley was placed on administrative leave in February 2012 after an allegation surfaced that he sexually abused a child in the early 1980s. Braley denied the allegation. In November 2013, a woman and man each came forward saying that Braley had sexually abused them as children in the 1970s while he was assigned to St. Peter's in Cambridge MA. The woman said she was age 10 when Braley allegedly raped her in the confessional. The man was a 14-year-old altar boy when his alleged abuse began. It cannot be determined from news reports if either of the allegations reported in November 2013 was the basis for Braley's removal in 2012. 

Born: 1949
Ordained: 1975


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Boston archbishop was Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970-1983).

1975 St. Charles' Woburn MA 4/5 St. Charles' had a grade school with 625 students, and a high school with 127 students.
1975 1981 St. Peter's


Braley was accused in November 2013 of sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl in the 1970s at St. Peter's. The abuse reportedly occurred in a confessional; Braley is said to have warned the girl that if she told, she wouldn't get into heaven because whatever happens during confession is confidential.

In November 2013 it was also publicly alleged that Braley sexually abused an altar boy during his time at St. Peter's. The abuse was said to have started when the boy was 14 years old and continued until he was 27.

In February 2012, the archdiocese stated publicly that Braley was being placed on administrative leave because of alleged abuse of a child in the "early 1980s." The archdiocese did not say where Braley was assigned when the alleged abuse took place.


4/4, 4/5



St. Peter's had a grade school with 342-245 students, and a high school until 1978 with 105-37 girls.


Medeiros was succeeded by Bernard Francis Law (1984-2002).

1986 Archbishop Williams' High School Braintree MA chaplain Archbishop Williams' 385-409 boys and 482-418 girls.
1986 1990 St. James' Salem MA 3/4, 2/3  
1987   Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission        
1990 1994 St. Mary's Lynn MA 3/4, 4/4 St. Mary's had a high school with 291 students.
1994   Our Lady Star of the Sea Marblehead MA   This assignment is per news reports.
1994 2000 St. Catherine of Siena Norwood MA 4/4, 3/3, 2/2, 2/3 St. Catherine's had a school with 472 students.
2000 2001 Vatican II Institute Menlo Park CA Priestly Renewal Program This assignment is per news reports.
2001   Emergency Response Team Boston MA    


Law was replaced by Sean Patrick O'Malley, o.f.m. Cap. (2003- ).

February 2012 Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Plymouth MA 1/1, 1/2

Blessed Kateri had a religious education program with 369 students.

Braley was placed on leave in February 2012 after an allegation surfaced that he sexually abused a child in the early 1980s.

February 2012 March 2016 Administrative Leave       Braley remained on administrative leave for several years; in Cardinal O'Malley's published list of accused clergy, from at least January 2013through February 2016, he appeared under category C,  "Cases Involving Living Archdiocesan Clergy That Already Have Been Publicized, But Where The Canonical Proceedings Against Those Clergy Have Not Yet Been Resolved." Braley's status was described as"Administrative Leave; Case in Process."
March 2016   Restricted/Senior Priest       In March 2016, Braley's status in Cardinal O'Malley's list changed. His name was removed from Category C (see above) and placed in the archdiocese's List of Unsubstantiated Cases. The status of the case/his ministry is now described as "Found unsubstantiated; Restricted; Senior Priest."



Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1975-2014)

Pastor Placed on Leave after Allegations of Sexual Abuse Surface, by Matt Rocheleau, Boston Globe, February 13, 2012 
Plymouth Reverend Accused of Sexually Abusing Child in 1980′s, CBS Boston, February 12, 2012                                 
Pastor of Plymouth Church Suspended over Child Sex Abuse Allegation, Patriot Ledger, February 12, 2012                      
Reverend on Leave Pending Sex Abuse Allegations, Boston Channel, February 12, 2012
Plymouth Priest Placed on Leave, The Enterprise, February 12, 2012
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Pastor Rev. James E. Braley Facing Child Sex Abuse Allegations, by Casey Meserve, The Patch, February 12, 2012                                                                                                                                                           
Plymouth Priest in Sex Abuse Rap, by Chris Cassidy, Boston Herald, February 13, 2012                                                   
Priest Accused of Abuse Has Served on North Shore, by Tom Dalton, Salem News, February 14, 2012                            
Former Archbishop Williams Chaplain Suspended on Abuse Charge, by Bob Aicardi, Wicked Local Braintree, February 15, 2012            
Priest with Braintree Connection Denies Sexual Abuse Allegations in Plymouth, by Casey Meserve , The Patch, February 16, 2012
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Church: Keeping the Faith, by Rich Harbert, Wicked Local Plymouth, February 17, 2012      
St. James Employee Remembers Braley, by Sarah Thomas, Wicked Local Salem, February 23, 2012
Publication with Respect to Archdiocesan Clergy Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Child, Archdiocese of Boston website, January 9, 2013
Boy, Girl Allege Sexual Abuse by Priest at St. Peter’s Church in Cambridge, by Erin Baldassari, Wicked Local Cambridge, November 1, 2013

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Braley's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on March 28, 2016.