Bishop Accountability

Geoghan's troubled history

July 21, 1954   The seminary rector at Cardinal O’Connell Seminary writes a letter saying that John J. Geoghan has a "very pronounced immaturity."

1962  Geoghan ordained.

FEB. 13, 1962 – SEPT. 27, 1966
Blessed Sacrament, Saugus
1962-1966  The Rev. Anthony Benzevich reportedly tells church officials that Geoghan brings boys into his bedroom. Benzevich later denies it. In 1995, Geoghan admits molesting four boys over 2 1/2 years while in Saugus.

SEPT. 27, 1966 – APRIL 20, 1967
St. Bernard’s, Concord
No reason given for abbreviated stay in church records.

APRIL 20, 1967 – JUNE 4, 1974
St. Paul’s, Hingham
About 1968  Hingham father complains to church authorities that he caught Geoghan molesting his son, one of several accusations that emerged from St. Paul’s.
About 1968  Treated at Seton Institute, Baltimore.
Early 1970s  Joanne Mueller, single mother and member of St. Mary’s parish, Melrose, says Geoghan molested her four young boys at this time. Mueller says she informed the Rev. Paul E. Miceli at St. Mary’s. Mueller also says Miceli asked her to keep quiet. The family later sues and settles. Miceli disputes her account.
Sept. 8, 1970  Humberto Medeiros named archbishop of Boston. Appointed cardinal on March 5, 1973. Cardinal Richard J. Cushing dies Nov. 2, 1970.

JUNE 4, 1974 – FEB. 12, 1980
St. Andrew’s, Jamaica Plain
1977-1978  Geoghan is accused of molesting seven boys in the extended Dussourd family. Six of the children and the mothers later file suits, which are settled.
Feb. 9, 1980  The Rev. John E. Thomas tells Bishop Thomas V. Daily that Geoghan admitted to molesting the Dussourd children. Daily calls up Geoghan and tells him to go home. Geoghan admits the abuse and says he "does not feel it serious or a pastoral problem."
Feb. 12, 1980  Placed on sick leave. Counseling ordered by Medeiros. Geoghan undergoes psychoanalysis and psychotherapy with Drs. Robert Mullins and John H. Brennan.

FEB. 25, 1981 – SEPT. 18, 1984
St. Brendan’s, Dorchester
Early 1980s  Allegedly rapes and fondles Jamaica Plain boy. (Criminal counts 1 and 2 for the pending Suffolk trial.)
July 24, 1982  Dussourds complain to Daily that Geoghan met one of the molested Dussourd children at an ice cream shop in Jamaica Plain. Was allegedly also seen there with another boy.
Aug. 10, 1982  Margaret Gallant writes to Medeiros, complains that Geoghan is "still functioning," despite molesting her nephews, the Dussourds.
Sept. 17, 1983  Medeiros dies.
March 23, 1984  Bernard F. Law installed as archbishop of Boston. Appointed cardinal on May 25, 1985.
Sept. 18, 1984  Law removes Geoghan from parish after complaints he molested boys there.

NOV. 13, 1984 – JAN. 12, 1993
St. Julia’s, Weston
Nov. 13, 1984  Assigned by Law to St. Julia’s, where Monsignor Francis Rossiter is "aware of past allegations." Geoghan is put in charge of three youth groups, including altar boys.
Dec. 7, 1984  Auxiliary Bishop John M. D’Arcy writes to Law and complains about Geoghan’s assignment to St. Julia’s because of his "history of homosexual involvement with young boys."
Dec. 11, 1984  Dr. Mullins: Geoghan "fully recovered."
Dec. 14, 1984  Dr. Brennan: no restrictions on his work as a parish priest.
Feb. 26, 1985  D’Arcy appointed bishop of Fort Wayne/South Bend, Ind.
1986  Patrick McSorley of Hyde park says he is molested by Geoghan. Geoghan allegedly molests boys at the Waltham Boys & Girls Club. Bishop Robert J. Banks is told Geoghan is accused of molesting boy at a pool.
March 9, 1989  Banks learns of another 1986 accusation.
April 3-12, 1989  St. Luke’s Institute, Maryland. Diagnosis: homosexual pedophilia.
April 28, 1989  Geoghan is told by Bishop Robert J. Banks he had to leave ministry.
May 24 - Nov. 17, 1989  Placed on sick leave.
Aug. 10, 1989 - Nov. 4, 1989  Treated at Institute of Living, Hartford. Called "moderately improved" on release and recommendation is that he be returned to assignment.
Nov. 30, 1989  Banks is unhappy with the Discharge Summary from the Institute for Living because it is different from what he understood and he used it to base his decision on allowing Geoghan to return to St. Julia’s.
Dec. 13, 1989  Letter to Banks explaining the Discharge Summary: "The probability he would act out again is quite low. However, we could not guarantee that it would not re-occur." Return to parish OK'd.
Nov. 28, 1990  Note from Banks: "I would recommend him for parish, but decision left up to [another bishop] and BFL"–Cardinal Law.
Dec. 7, 1990  Letter from Dr. Brennan: Geoghan OK for pastoral work.
Oct. 23, 1991  Complaint about Geoghan "proselytizing" at a pool with a boy.

Regina Cleri residence for retired priests
April 4, 1994  Mother says Geoghan abused her son while he was at St. Paul’s in Hingham. Geoghan denies the accusation.
Nov. 1994  Single mother from Waltham calls church to say Geoghan molested her four boys and made obscene phone calls to them. Placed on pre-trial probation. The case was dropped.
Jan. 16-25, 1995  St. Luke’s report states: He "has a long history of pedophilic behavior ... Father Geoghan should have no interpersonal contact with male minors that is unsupervised."
1995  Geoghan allegedly molests a Weymouth boy, including at the christening of boy’s sister. (Criminal counts 3 and 4 in Suffolk.)
July 29, 1996  Spends four to six months in Southdown Institute, Ontario, for therapy.

Clergy personnel office

1998  Geoghan defrocked. Church settles 50 sex abuse cases against Geoghan for more than $10 million; 84 other cases pending.

Globe Staff
Sources: Court documents and medical records


Bishop Accountability © 2003