Rev. Joseph J. Lang

Summary of Case: Lang was accused in 1987 of raping a young male parishioner in Cleveland. He was sent to treatment, where he is said to have admitted to the abuse, then "loaned" to the Diocese of Prince George in Canada. He was removed in April 2002 due to the 1987 allegation. The Vatican permanently removed him from active ministry in 2007, where he went on to live a "Life of Prayer and Penance".

: 1965


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Cleveland bishop was Edward Francis Hoban (1945-1966), followed by Clarence George Issenmann (1966-1974)

1969 St. Mary's Elyria OH



Parish had a school with 942-789 students.
1969 1971 St. Thomas More Cleveland OH 4/4 Parish had a school with 459-560 students.


James Aloysius Hickey replaced Issenmann (1974-1980), followed by Anthony Michael Pilla (1980-2006)

1987 St. Philomena


• In 1987 Lang was accused of raping a young male parishioner. The boy's parents told church officials of the abuse. The allegation was reported to Children and Family Services. (Cleveland Scene [Ohio]
January 15, 2003)

OH 1/5, 1/4, 1/2  
1987 1990 Absent on Leave       Sent for psychiatric treatment at teh Institute for Living in Connecticut, and is said to have admitted to the abuse. (Cleveland Scene [Ohio]
January 15, 2003)
1990 1991 Released from Diocesan Assignment; Retired    





Prince George bishop was Hubert Patrick O'Connor, O.M.I. (1986-1991), succeeded by Gerald William Wiesner (1992- )

1996 Christ Our Savior Prince George BC
1996 2002 Church of the Resurrection Fort St. John BC Canada    
  2002 Sacred Heart Terrace BC
  This assignment is per news reports. (Plain Dealer [Cleveland, Ohio]
April 9, 2002)
2002 2007 Administrative Leave       Ordered by the Vatican to be removed from ministry. (Diocese of Cleveland
June 14, 2007)


Cleveland bishop was Richard Gerard Lennon (2006- )

2009 Life of Prayer and Penance        

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1966-2009)

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 Lang'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 Nov. 13, 2009