Assignment Record – Bishop George E. Rueger

Summary of Case: A priest of the Worcester diocese, Rueger was named Auxiliary Bishop in 1987. He was accused in a 2002 lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy, aged 13-14, in the 1960s, after giving the boy alcohol. Rueger denied the accusation. A diocesan investigation found no proof of the charges and a Pope's representative to the US agreed with the findings. Rueger retired in 2005. In October 2012 he is known to be in residence at the Worcester parish that had been his home since 1987. Rueger died April 6, 2019.

Ordained: 1958
Incardinated: Worcester
Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Worcester: January 19, 1987
February 25, 1987
Retired: 2005
Died: April 6, 2019


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Worcester bishop was John Joseph Wright (1950-1959), who was succeeded by Bernard Joseph Flanagan (1959-1983)

1963 Our Lady of Lourdes

East Millbury

Rueger was accused in a 2003 lawsuit of having raped a 13 year-old Our Lady of Lourdes altar boy in the early 1960s. Rueger's accuser said the abuse happened at a summer vacation home in Scituate on several occasions, and that Rueger plied him with alcohol.

MA 2/2  
1963 1965 St. Peter's Worcester MA 4/5, 3/5 St. Peter's had a school with 315-376 boys and 269-316 girls.
1965 1966 Our Lady of Mercy School for Exceptional Children Worcester MA 2/3 In residence. Per the Directory, this was a private elementary school for the "educable mentally retarded", with 34 girls, and 43 boys.


Marian High School Worcester MA Headmaster Marian High had 420-740 students, all girls. Rueger is not listed as at Marian High School in the 1973 Directory (someone else is listed as Headmaster for that year).
1966 1974 St. George's Worcester MA 3/3 In residence.  
1974 1977 Our Lady of the Lake Whalom-Fitchburg MA 2/2  
1978 1980 Diocesan School Department Worcester MA Superintendent  
1977 1981 Sacred Heart Hopedale MA 1/3, 1/2  


Flanagan was replaced by Timothy Joseph Harrington (1983-1994)

1987 St. Peter's Worcester MA 1/5, 1/3, 1/4 Rueger was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Worcester Jan. 19, 1987 and consecrated Feb. 25, 1987.


Daniel Patrick Reilly succeeded Harrington as Worcester bishop (1994-2004), followed by Robert Joseph McManus (2004-)

2012 Vicar General Worcester MA   Rueger was kept in ministry after an accusation surfaced in 2002 that he had sexually abused a boy in the early 1960s. Rueger denied the accusation.
1987 2005 Diocesan Educational Services Worcester   Director  
1987 2011 Diocesan Consultors Worcester      
1987 2005 Building Commission Worcester      
1990 2005 Diocesan Expansion Fund Worcester      
1990 1995 Pro-Life Office Worcester   Director  
1993 2005 Diocesan Archives Worcester   Archivist  
1996 2005 Presbyteral Council Worcester      
2002 2005 Collaborative for Education and Ministry: Institute for Academic and Pastoral Development Worcester   Chairman  
2002 2006 Holy Childhood Association Worcester   Director  
2003 2011 Propogation of the Faith Worcester      


St. Stephen's Worcester MA 3/3, 3/4, 2/2, 2/3 In residence. Rueger is listed as at 2 High Ridge, which was the Bishop's residence, in the 1997 and 1998 Directories, and is not listed as at St. Stephens for those years. He retired in 2005.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1959-2011)

Popular Pastor Placed on Leave, By Richard Nangle, Telegram & Gazette, August 3, 2002
Judge Rejects Lawyer's Attempt to Delay Trial of Rueger, By Richard Nangle, Telegram & Gazette [Worcester MA], Downloaded August 1, 2003
Diocese Awaits Court Ruling, By Kevin Luperchio, Catholic Free Press [Worcester MA], Downloaded July 20, 2003
Letter Implored Diocese to Take Accused Priest, By Richard Nangle, Telegram & Gazette [Worcester MA],
April 21, 2003
Ruling Goes against Diocese on Questioning of Reilly, Richard Nangle, Worcester (MA) Telegram & Gazette, April 1, 2003
Bishop Reilly Set to Give Deposition - Man Says Bishop Rueger Molested Him, By Kathleen A. Shaw, Worcester Telegram & Gazette. April 8, 2003
Reporters Deny Church Bias, By Mark Melady, Telegram & Gazette [Worcester MA], Downloaded April 10, 2003
Rueger Accuser Found Dead, By Bronislaus B. Kush, Telegram & Gazette, July 7, 2006
Diocese Argues It Has Immunity in Braio Lawsuit, By Richard Nangle, Telegram & Gazette [Worcester, MA], Downloaded July 15, 2003
Accused U.S. Bishops,

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 Rueger'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 October 5, 2020.