Bishop Accountability

A Guided Tour of the Boston Archive

Over 45,000 pages of archdiocesan documents have been released in Boston, showing the archdiocese's policies and procedures regarding more than 141 priests accused of sexually abusing minors. A very useful summary of those documents and their significance is a July 21, 2003 Memorandum filed on behalf of Gregory Ford et al. in their case against Bernard Cardinal Law et al. has now posted the Memorandum together with over 1,500 pages of archdiocesan documents to which the Memorandum refers. This is the largest collection on the Internet of Boston archdiocesan files.

The Memorandum examines the characteristic records of 26 priests and alleges that Cardinal Law, Bishop McCormack, Bishop Daily, and the RCAB not only failed to take action to curtail abuse, but also took action that fostered abuse and purposefully concealed their own misdeeds. The Memorandum offers a detailed look at the procedures and policies of the Boston archdiocese, and one that grounds its analysis in the documents and depositions of the archdiocesan staff, as presented in the so-called Addendum to the Memorandum. has embarked on a project to post the entire Boston Archive, starting with this Memorandum and the documents to which it refers. We offer two ways for you to download and view the Memorandum, as well as links to the Addendum's source documents, as we post them:

  • If you have a fast modem (DSL or cable) you may click these links and access the Memorandum in three large parts: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
  • If you have a slower modem, you may access and download section-by-section the Memorandum and its discussions of 26 representative priests, by clicking the links in the following table of contents.
  • To view the hundreds of Boston documents referred to in the Memorandum, as presented in its Addendum, click here to access the archive.
Section Page
Relevant Facts

A. Paul R. Shanley


B. Other Priests


1. Joseph Birmingham


2. Richard Buntel


3. Robert Burns


4. Richard T. Coughlin


5. Paul J. Finegan


6. James D. Foley


7. Thomas P. Forry


8. John J. Geoghan


9. Daniel M. Graham


10. Richard Johnson


11. Edward Kelley


12. Bernard Lane


13. Robert V. Meffan


14. Robert Morrissette


15. David C. Murphy


16. Ronald H. Paquin


17. John Picardi


18. Arthur O'Leary


19. Eugene O'Sullivan


20. Anthony Rebeiro


21. George J. Rosenkranz


22. Paul P. Rynne


23. Paul V. Tivnan


24. Ernest Tourigney


25. Dozia Wilson

I. Relevant Evidentiary Standards
II. Evidence of the RCAB's Practices and Policies Concerning Sexually Abusive Priests Other Than Father Shanley Is Admissible to Rebut the Defendants' Key Defenses

1. Section 85K


2. Statute of Limitations and Proximate Causation


3. Other Key Defenses

III. Evidence of the RCAB's Practices and Policies Concerning Sexually Abusive Priests Other Than Father Shanley Is Admissible Based on the Passage of Time and the Defendants' Failed Memories
Conclusion [included in Discussion PDF]

Boston Archdiocesan Documents

This collection of Boston documents is unique on the Internet. When the crisis broke, the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald offered full copies of a few crucial documents, and the Los Angeles Times has also posted a small selection. Now offers over 1,500 pages of Boston archdiocesan documents and related deposition excerpts, organized for easy viewing and study. This is the largest collection of Boston archdiocesan documents available on the Internet.

Warning: These files are a shocking record of criminal behavior, and as such they will be sad and disturbing to read, especially for victims of sexual abuse. If you are a victim of abuse, please take a moment to read a message from fellow-survivors about this issue. The lawyers involved have carefully redacted the documents, but we would ask victims and other readers to be alert for redaction errors. If you spot a redaction error, please notify us at, and we will take the file down until the error is corrected. In order to view the files, please read the following statement and click "I agree." (Your click does NOT store any personal information about you in our files.)


I understand that these documents, filed with the court and hence publicly released, contain detailed descriptions of abuse by priests. These descriptions could be triggering to victims and disturbing to other readers. I acknowledge that I have been warned about this content, and I take full responsibility for viewing it. I agree to release and hold harmless and the law firm of Greenberg Traurig for any alleged errors of selection or redaction in these public documents.

In making these public documents more accessible, the staff at has taken the precaution of providing this gateway page, so that visitors to the site are aware of the nature of these files before they read them.

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