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.

Born: 1934
: 1960
Laicized: 2005


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Boston archbishop was Richard James Cushing (1944-1970).

1968 St. Anne's Littleton MA 2/2  


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)

MA Director

Lane established this home for troubled boys along with Rev. C. Melvin Surette. Surrette is also accused of child sexual abuse. (August 5, 2004
Long Island Press)

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.
1978 1979 Administrative Leave      

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.

1979 1980 St. Peter's Lowell MA 2/2

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.

McLaughlin is also accused of child sexual abuse. (Boston Globe
January 18, 2003)

1979   Christian Youth Witness Corps Lowell MA    
1980 1981 St. Maria Goretti

Lynnfield Center

Lane continued to abuse children.

MA 2/2  


Bernard Francis Law replaced Medeiros (1984-2002).

1985 St. Charles Borromeo


Abuse continued here.

MA 2/3, 3/4  
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)

1993 1994        

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.
1999   St. Linus Natick MA    
1999 2002 Senior Priests      

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. (, Feb. 12, 2005)

: 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.