Rev. J. Brendan McNulty

Summary of Case: McNulty was suspended from ministry in 2003 due to allegations that he had sexually abused "several" of seven brothers of a devout Catholic family for more than ten years. In a 1982 letter to one of the brothers, he apologized and mentioned that the older brothers had been hurt as much. McNulty was laicized in 2007.

: 1974


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Cleveland bishop was James Aloysius Hickey (1974-1980)

1979 St. Patrick's

West Park

• McNulty was accused in 2003 of having sexually abused "several" of the seven boys in a St. Patrick's family who had befriended him. The abuse began while McNulty was at St. Patrick's, and continued for more than ten years. (Plain Dealer [Cleveland Ohio]
November 4, 2003)


3/3 ,3/4, 2/3, 3/5


St. Patrick's had a school with
1,013-985 students.


Anthony Michael Pilla replaced Hickey as bishop (1980-2006)

1984 St. Luke's Lakewood OH 2/3, 2/4 St. Luke's had a school with 330 students.
1984 1989 St. Thomas More Brooklyn OH 3/3, 3/4 St. Thomas More had a school with 542-462 students.
1989 2004 SS. Philip and James Cleveland OH 1/3, 1/2 SS. Philip and James had a school until 1997, with 148 students.


Pilla was replaced by Richard Gerard Lennon (2006- )

2007 Administrative Leave    



Suspended from ministry in Nov. 2003. (Akron Beacon Journal [Ohio]
November 4, 2003)

McNulty was defrocked by the Vatican in 2007. (Associated Press, carried in News Journal
December 1, 2007)

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1973-2009)

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 McNulty'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. 18, 2009

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