Rev. Allen F. Bruening
Summary of Case: Bruening has multiple accusations against him. Two brothers reported that he had sexually abused them when they were in grade school, 20 years apart. They and others who came forward said he molested boys on outings, in a swimming pool and in a shower. One accuser said he teamed up with another priest in sexually abusing him. Bruening worked in the dioceses of Cleveland and Amarillo, serving as Chancellor and on the Diocesan Tribunal in Amarillo beginning in the late 1980s. The first known allegation against him was in 1984 in Cleveland. Bruening's name is included on the Cleveland diocese's list of those against whom there are credible allegations. He died in March 2015.
Died: March 3, 2015
Cleveland bishop was Edward Francis Hoban (1945-1966)
4/4, 3/4, 2/3, 3/3, 3/4
|Parish had a school with 670-850 students.|
|1957||1963||St. Joseph's||Cleveland (Collinwood)||OH||3/3, 2/3||Parish had a school with 610-539 students.|
Hoban was succeeded as bishop by Clarence George Issenmann (1966-1974)
|1970||St. Mary Magdalene||Willowick||OH||2/3, 2/4, 3/5||School with 1,845-1,384 students.|
|1970||1972||St. John Vianney||Mentor||OH||
|1970||1973||Lake County Catholic High School||Mentor||OH||
|School had 658-925 students.|
|1973||1974||Cleveland||OH||Bruening was indexed as at the Chancery Building, but a listing in the Cleveland diocesan pages of the Directory was not found.|
|1974||1980||Comptroller of Diocesan Schools Office|
|1977||1980||Board of Catholic Education|
James Aloysius Hickey replaced Issenmann as bishop (1974-1980)
|1980||St. Vitus (Slovenian)||Cleveland||OH||3/4, 3/5|
Replacing Hickey as bishop was Anthony Michael Pilla (1980-2006)
|1982||St. Monica's||Garfield Heights||OH||2/5 Administrator||Parish had a school with 545-531 students.|
|1983||1984||Dean of Cuyahoga County NW|
|1983||1987||Diocesan Finance Council|
• A mother reported to church officials in 1984 that her 13 year old son told her that Bruening played strip poker with him and other boys, suggestive word games, and that the priest asked the boy to shower with him. The boy's older brother said that 20 years before, when he was in fifth to eighth grades, similar things had happened with Bruening, including skinny dipping. (United Press International
• In a 1999 lawsuit, a man accused Bruening of sexually abusing him when he was a sixth grader at Ascension School in 1984. The man said the abuse occurred in a hotel swimming pool, on several outings, and during showers that he was forced to take with Bruening. (Plain Dealer [Cleveland Ohio]
• In a 2001 lawsuit, Bruening was accused, along with Rev. Gary Berthiaume, of molesting a boy in Ascension school's shower over three years in the 1980s. Bruening was supposed to be watching Berthiaume "like a hawk", due to his known past conviction and lawsuits for child sexual abuse in Michigan. (Plain Dealer [Cleveland, Ohio]
|OH||1/4, 1/3, 1/2||
Parish had a school with 606-620 students.
|1985||1987||St. Ladislaus (Hungarian)||Lorain||OH||2/2 In residence|
|1985||1987||Lorain Community Hospital||Lorain||OH||Chaplain|
|1987||1989||Absent on Leave|
Amarillo bishop was Leroy Theodore Matthiesen (1980-1997)
|1990||St. Thomas the Apostle||Amarillo||TX||2/2 In residence|
|1989||1992||Madres Clarisas Capuchinas Capuchin Nuns of St. Clare, Convent of the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of Guadalupe||Amarillo||TX||Chaplain|
|1989||1992||Diocesan Tribunal (Defender of the Bond)||Amarillo||TX|
|1990||1991||St. Laurence Cathedral
||Amarillo||TX||3/4||Parish had a school with 101 students, and a CCD program with 165 students.|
|1992||1993||Sacred Heart||Spearman||TX||1/1||Parish had a CCD program with 127 students.|
|1992||1993||Cristo Redentor||Gruver||TX||This was a mission of Sacred Heart in Spearman TX.|
Richard Gerard Lennon followed Pilla as Cleveland bishop (2006- )
|2007||Administrative Leave||The Vatican ordered that Bruening be removed from ministry. (Plain Dealer [Cleveland]
May 26, 2007)
|2007||2015||Life of Prayer and Penance||Bruening died March 3, 2015. His name is included on the Diocese of Cleveland's list of those with substantiated allegations. (Diocese of Cleveland, June 21, 2019)|
Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1952-2010, 2016)
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 Bruening'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 April 2, 2021.