Assignment Record– Rev. Bernard J. Lane
Summary of Case: Lane was accused of sexually abusing dozens of boys at two residential counseling centers in Massachusetts, and at his New Hampshire cottage. Accusations included oral and anal rape. Lane was first accused in 1978 by two boys and was removed after admitting the abuse. He was treated at the House of Affirmation in Boston MA and at St. Luke's in Silver Spring, MD. Lane worked unsupervised until 1999, including with youth programs, as a pastor, and at a home for retired priests. His laicization was announced in February 2005.
Boston archbishop was Richard James Cushing (1944-1970).
Cushing was succeeded by Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970-1983)
|1978||Malden||MA||Lane established "AcID" (Adolescent Counseling in Development), a residence and counseling center for teens in trouble with the law.|
|1973||1978||Alpha Omega House||
• Lane was accused of molesting a boy in 1978, and was removed from Alpha Omega. Another boy came forward shortly thereafter, reporting that Lane was engaging in "lewd behavior" and that boys were sleeping nude in Lane's bed. Lane eventually admitted to investigators that year that the allegations were true. Many more complaints followed in subsequent years. There were "dozens" of accusations by 2002. (Pattern and Practice Brief, 7-21-03)
Lane established this home for troubled boys along with Rev. C. Melvin Surette. Surrette is also accused of child sexual abuse. (August 5, 2004
Rev. Thomas Gillespie warned Cardinal Medeiros in 1973 that he had "serious misgivings" about Lane's assignment to Alpha Omega. (Pattern and Practice Brief, 7-21-03)
|1968||1978||Malden Catholic High School||Malden||MA||Chaplain||This was a Xaverian high school with 372-719 students, all male.|
Lane is not indexed in the 1979 Directory.
Lane was sent for an evaluation at the House of Affirmation in Boston. This was a treatment center for priests with psychological and psychosexual problems.
Parish had a school wtih 262 students.
Lane asked to be reassigned to work with youth, in particular with Rev. Paul McLaughlin at St. Peter's. Bishop Daily enthusiastically granted Lane's request.
|1979||Christian Youth Witness Corps||Lowell||MA|
|1980||1981||St. Maria Goretti||
• Lane continued to abuse children.
Bernard Francis Law replaced Medeiros (1984-2002).
|1985||St. Charles Borromeo||
• Abuse continued here.
|1985||1986||St. Anthony's (Portuguese)||Cambridge||MA||3/3|
|1986||1993||Our Lady of Grace||
• There were several complaints of abuse by Lane in the early 1990s.
|MA||1/4, 1/3, 1/2||
Parish had a school with 258-147 students.
In 1993, Bishop McCormack, who had been Lane's seminary classmate, wrote in a memo to Bishop Hughes that Lane "must have been overextended and probably was not using good judgment at times" as a reason for the earlier allegations against him, which Lane had admitted to. McCormack also characterized the victims as "vindictive". He wrote that he did not encourage the case go before the Sexual Misconduct Review Board. (Pattern and Practice Brief, 7-21-03)
Lane is not indexed in the 1994 Directory.
He was sent to St. Luke Institute, a Maryland treatment center for troubled priests, for an assessment after several more men reported on 1993 and 1994 that they had been molested by Lane in the 1970s.
|1994||1996||Absent on Sick Leave|
|1996||1999||Office of Senior Priests, Regina Cleri||Associate Director||Regina Cleri was a retirement home for priests. This assignment is per news reports. (Boston Globe
January 27, 2002) Lane is not indexed in the 1997-1999 Directories.
Lane is not indexed beyond the 2002 Directory.
Lane was defrocked by the Vatican in February 2005. He was known at that time to be living in New Hampshire. (Boston.com, Feb. 12, 2005)
Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1961-2002)
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 Lane'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 March 29, 2010.