Archdiocese Releases List of Priests Accused of Abuse

By Julia Spitz
MetroWest Daily News
August 26, 2011

The Archdiocese of Boston released the names of more than 125 accused pedophile priests yesterday, and within 15 minutes the archdiocese's website was on the verge of crashing.

"Heavy traffic" caused problems getting onto by 2:15, archdiocese spokesman Terrence Donilon said. At 5 p.m., the site was inaccessible.

While most names have been made public previously, the archdiocese lists unveiled yesterday mark the first time the Boston Catholic Church has offered a compilation in a central location.

The format is similar to that used on, a Waltham-based nonprofit group that has been listing information about accused priests since 2003.

The church site includes names of those found guilty, either by the state or church; those voluntarily removed from the priesthood after accusations of abuse of a child; those who have been publicly accused, but were already defrocked when accusations were made; and deceased priests publicly accused of abusing a child.

Priests with local ties whose names are on the list of those found guilty of abuse include: Robert Barrett, who served at St. George in Framingham from 1963-69 and died in 2008; Anthony Buchette, an assistant at Our Lady of Fatima in Sudbury, 1957-60, dismissed from the clerical state in 2005; Robert Fay, St. Thomas in Millis, 1967-72, also dismissed in 2005; Robert Gale, St. John in Wellesley, 1968-70, and St. Jude, Waltham, 1979, pleaded guilty to criminal charges in 2004 and defrocked in 2005; John Geoghan, St. Julia's, Weston, 1984-93, dismissed in 1998 and convicted on criminal charges in 2000, was named as an abuser by 87 people before his death in 2003.

Also, John Hanlon, St. Mary's, Franklin, early 1970s, convicted on criminal charges in 1994 and defrocked in 2005; Bernard Lane, St. Linus, Natick, 1999, dismissed from the clerical state in 2004; Anthony Laurano, 1966, St. John, Wellesley, dismissed and deceased in 2007; Eugene O'Sullivan, Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted, Waltham, 1962-63, pleaded guilty to criminal charges in 1984, dismissed in 2005; and Paul Tivnan, Our Lady Comforter in Waltham and Our Lady of Fatima in Sudbury in the 1970s, and Immaculate Conception in Marlborough, 1983-85, assigned to a life of prayer and penance after admitting to a relationship with a 15-year-old boy.

The archdiocese has published a separate listing of clergy publicly accused of sexually abusing a child but whose allegations were found unsubstantiated or the priest was acquitted after a canonical process.

"Having met with hundreds of survivors, I know firsthand the scars you carry," Cardinal Sean O'Malley said in a letter published with the list. "And I carry with me every day the pain of the church's failures. I express once again my sorrow for your pain and my apology for any way the church and its clergy have failed you."

Since 2002, the archdiocese has had a policy to immediately report all allegations of clergy sexual abuse of children to law enforcement officials.

The archdiocese asks anyone with more information or corrections to the lists to contact the Delegate for Investigations at 617-746-5639.

Julia Spitz can be reached at 508-626-3968 or


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