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Angry Catholics Keep Up The Pressure


Angry Catholics Keep Up The Pressure

Accused paedophile priest arrested in US


Accused paedophile priest arrested in US

From the link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-112721/Accused-paedophile-priest-arrested-US.html

An accused paedophile priest at the centre of a sex-abuse scandal in Boston that has engulfed Cardinal Bernard Law and the Vatican was arrested on tonight by police in San Diego, prosecutors said.

Father Paul Shanley, who faces three counts of child rape, was arrested at about 10:45 a.m EDT (1445 GMT), according to the Middlesex County District Attorney in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Cardinal Law, the senior U.S. Catholic Church prelate, met secretly with Pope John Paul II last month after documents revealed the cardinal supported Shanley even though he knew the priest was accused of sexually abusing children.

Law told the pope about pressure for his resignation over Shanley and other sex-abuse cases but the cardinal has not resigned.

Between 1983 and 1990, according to authorities, Shanley, now 71, raped the male victim, now 24, when the victim was between 6 and 13 years old. The alleged incident took place at St. Jean’s parish in Newton, outside Boston.

Shanley’s whereabouts have been unknown since revelations about his alleged abuse were made public. The Newton, Massachusetts police department got a warrant for his arrest on Wednesday night, according to prosecutors.

While the archdiocese was under the leadership of the late Humberto Medeiros and Law, Shanley admitted to superiors that he raped and sodomized children, according to documents released in April under a court order.

The documents also showed that Shanley advocated sex between children and adults and that he was an early adherent of a group that later became the North American Man-Boy Love Association.

The documents rocked the Catholic Church in Boston, already reeling from the accusations against another priest, John Geoghan, who is serving a prison sentence for fondling a 10-year-old boy.

Revelations about Geoghan, accused by more than 130 people of abusing them during his 30 years as a Boston priest, triggered the mushrooming clergy sexual abuse scandal in the United States.

Law is at the center of the turmoil roiling the church in the United States for allowing accused pedophile priest to keep assignments that put them near children.

Law and other U.S. cardinals met with the pope in Rome last month in an unprecedented council to discuss the scandal in America and at meeting in Texas next month American Catholic leaders hope to establish national standards for dealing with priests involved in sex abuse.

The sex-abuse scandal, however, has not been confined to the United States and has swept many countries across Europe and Africa.

There have been sex scandals in the Catholic Church from Mexico, to Brazil and even in the pope’s native Poland.

Protests in predominately Catholic Ireland last month forced the resignation of a bishop because of the way he had dealt with allegations of sexual abuse by a priest.

Last year, a French court gave a three-month suspended sentence to Bishop Pierre Pican, who was accused of covering up for a priest who has since been jailed for 18 years for the rape of a boy and sexual abuse of 10.

But Why Isn’t Bernard Law in Jail? (Part 2)


But Why Isn’t Bernard Law in Jail? (Part 2)

By Dahlia Lithwick   Updated Thursday, Dec. 19, 2002, at 6:33 PM

From the link: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2002/12/but_why_isnt_bernard_law_in_jail_part_2.html

Almost a year ago, Slate‘s “Explainer” answered the question: Why isn’t Boston’s Cardinal Law in jail? The question was somewhat rhetorical. Since Massachusetts didn’t have a mandatory reporting law, the answer was that the cardinal was under no legal obligation to come forward with information about sexual abuse of children by priests he’d supervised.

Almost a year later, more lawsuits have been filed, depositions have been taken, church documents have been turned over, and we have a clearer picture of what precisely the cardinal has done, or not done, over the past decade and a half. What’s emerged is horrifying. Law was not only aware of egregious sexual misconduct among his subordinates but was apparently engaged in elaborate efforts to cover up incident after incident of child rape. Worse yet, he breezily reassigned clergy known for sexually abusing children to work with more children—conduct not all that distinguishable from leaving a loaded gun in a playground.

Last week, under increasing pressure, Law resigned. Many Americans breathed a sigh of relief. But many also wondered, silently: “Is that all? Does Law get to pack up his hat and retire to Orlando and a second career in canasta?” And the question lingers, more urgently than it did a year ago: Why haven’t criminal charges been filed against him? What Law has done goes far beyond “not reporting” suspected child abusers. This was no crime of omission. It is now clear that Law affirmatively engaged in a pattern of shielding child rapists and recklessly allowing them unfettered access to yet more victims. A high-school principal or the CEO of any company in America would have been indicted months ago.

The evidence speaks for itself: Last spring, Law admitted in a deposition that he was aware that John Geoghan had reportedly raped at least seven young boys in 1984 yet nevertheless approved the transfer of Geoghan to another parish, working with other boys. Other documents revealed that Law similarly knew of and ignored decades of reported child abuse by Paul Shanley, placing Shanley in ministries with access to other children. Shanley is currently facing trial on 10 charges of child rape and six counts of indecent assault and battery. Law is jetting back and forth to Rome.

Throughout his tenure, Law seemed to reserve his warmest sympathy for the abusers, not the victims. He lied to a West Coast bishop about Shanley’s history. He signed a document attesting that another known child-molesting priest, Redmond Raux, had “nothing in his background” to make him “unsuitable to work with children.” Last week, more court documents revealed that the archdiocese gave new jobs to two priests, one of whom was known to have molested boys while the other had supplied cocaine to a teenage lover. Law’s responses to these and earlier disclosures? The molesters had been cleared by physicians; the church kept bad records; his subordinates vetted the transfers; he forgot; he never knew; he’s sorry.

“Sorry” may not be good enough. Not for the victims—many of whose lives would not have been devastated but for Law’s recklessness—and not for the rest of us. According to a summer poll conducted by ABC News and Beliefnet.com, eight out of 10 Americans believe bishops who failed to act on abuse allegations should be prosecuted criminally.

This message may finally be getting through. It’s been suggested that Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly was being soft on Law to protect his elected position among Catholic voters. Similarly, the Los Angeles Times reported that L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley went far too easy on Los Angeles’ Cardinal Roger Mahoney because, as a Catholic himself, Cooley was too conflicted to zealously pursue the investigation. But the tide seems to be turning, and finally prosecutors have begun to empanel grand juries to investigate criminal wrongdoing in the upper echelons of the church. While only individual priests and no church leaders have so far been charged with crimes, over a dozen states have started to turn their criminal law machinery on the supervisors.

And last week, Law and seven bishops who worked for him were subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury. Attorney General Thomas Reilly is finally making noises suggesting that the cover-up on the part of the church leaders was indeed criminal. For months, he had been insisting that there were simply no criminal laws on the books under which Law could be charged.

Reilly should consider taking a page from John Ashcroft’s book. The U.S. attorney general, never a man to be deterred by a shortage of enforceable laws, alternately invents new ones or rejiggers existing ones to suit his ends. It’s long past time that Reilly, Cooley, and their counterparts around the country started filing indictments. And their legal theory should be simple: A church official who knowingly puts a habitual child molester in a position to abuse more vulnerable children is aiding and abetting a crime.

The conventional wisdom is that getting criminal convictions won’t be simple. Reilly is correct that without child endangerment statutes, Massachusetts will have a tough time finding a hook for criminal prosecutions. (Child endangerment statutes were finally enacted in September in Massachusetts, but they cannot be applied retroactively). One tack being considered by Reilly’s office is to pursue church leadership under a state statute that criminally prosecutes companies for failures to stop wrongdoing by their employees—corporate vicarious criminal liability. Under this rule, the archdiocese could be sued as a corporation, just like any other, and Law would be liable merely because he was in a position of authority to prevent the crimes but didn’t. The penalty is fines, not jail time, but it’s a start.

Another route involves prosecuting church leaders for obstruction of justice. Some experts say that the Boston Archdiocese hasn’t actually obstructed any criminal investigation; it did turn over its documents. But in Phoenix, Ariz., prosecutors have suggested that Bishop Thomas O’Brien may soon face criminal obstruction charges for allegedly counseling victims’ families not to approach police.

One more tack being considered by the Massachusetts AG’s office is to file charges against Law as an accessory after the fact to the abuse. But to be an accessory, experts insist that you must intend for the abuse to occur; in other words, it’s not enough that Law knew his subordinates would molest again. It seems that not caring one way or another is insufficient.

In some jurisdictions RICO suits have been filed, using racketeering laws to prosecute the seemingly untouchable higher-ups in the church. Although early this month, a Cleveland grand jury cleared two bishops of racketeering charges, finding that their mishandling of sex abuse claims didn’t amount to criminal racketeering. This was a pretty creative use of the RICO laws, and it might work in other cases where the supervisors were more complicit in the coverups.

Last week, New Hampshire got a taste of how criminal indictments—or the threat of criminal indictments—may play out in the coming months. In settling a civil case, the Diocese of Manchester admitted that, had criminal charges been filed, the diocese itself would likely have been found guilty. Whether this kind of admission will embolden other prosecutors to file criminal charges or just use the threat as leverage in civil suits remains to be seen. But what’s becoming clear across the country is that the taboo is broken; that the church can still be a holy institution, but its criminals are not sacred. Civil suits and cash reparations are just not enough. Church elders who unloosed monsters on suffering children for decades cannot be treated as though they were above the law. Shakespeare wrote: “The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept.” It’s past time for the law to wake up and punish the guilty.

Bishop John McCormack files: Bishop offers apology to parents of a Shanley accuser


Bishop John McCormack files: Bishop offers apology to parents of a Shanley accuser

By Matt Carroll         Boston (MA) Globe         June 4, 2002

Manchester, N.H. — Bishop John B. McCormack apologized yesterday to the parents of a Newton man who allegedly was abused by the Rev. Paul         R. Shanley, a onetime Newton pastor who was investigated by McCormack for making past statements endorsing sex between men and boys.

Paula and Rodney Ford, the parents of Gregory Ford, said at a news conference that McCormack spoke to them directly at his deposition here, delivering an apology they described as “awkward” and unconvincing. “He apologized and said he was sorry for what happened,” said Paula Ford.

McCormack, who was a top deputy to Cardinal Bernard F. Law before being named bishop of the Manchester Diocese three years ago, made a brief statement after nearly six hours of sworn pretrial testimony in a lawsuit filed by the Fords.

“I tried to answer as thoroughly, as completely, and as honestly as I could,” said McCormack, who declined to take questions from reporters.

Shanley was arrested last month, accused of raping Paul Busa during the 1980s, when Busa was a child attending religion classes at the now-closed St. John the Evangelist Church in Newton. Shanley has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Roderick MacLeish Jr., the attorney for the Fords in their civil suit against Shanley and Law, is today expected to release copies of approximately         1,000 pages of church documents concerning alleged sexual abuse by 11 priests. MacLeish gained access to the documents through the lawsuit in         an attempt to show a pattern of negligent supervision of priests accused of sexual misconduct.

MacLeish is also scheduled to take pretrial testimony from Law in the Ford case tomorrow and again on Friday.

Meanwhile, Bishop Robert J. Banks, another former Law deputy who is now bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisc., will be deposed today by attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who is representing 86 alleged victims of convicted pedophile and former priest John J. Geoghan.

Yesterday, Rodney Ford said he found it difficult to sit through McCormack’s deposition.

“It was one of the most painful days of my life,” said Ford, adding that it was particularly difficult to hear McCormack say that in some cases he never informed alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse that he had discovered they were telling the truth.

McCormack wrote to Shanley about a letter from a New York woman who said Shanley had advocated man-boy love, and asked the priest for an explanation. The Fords also said that during his deposition McCormack said he did not have access to documents in what the bishop called a “secret archive” at the archdiocese.

A transcript of McCormack’s deposition will be made public after a Middlesex Superior Court judge holds a hearing to determine when the transcript should be filed.

At the news conference with the Fords, MacLeish, who has repeatedly condemned the archdiocese this year for hiding the extent of sexual abuse among priests, also criticized a Globe report yesterday that said he and other lawyers secretly settled claims against many priests during the 1990s,         all of them individual settlements that had the cumulative effect of masking the extent of the problem. “The last thing we were doing was keeping anything quiet,” said MacLeish.

In an interview last night, MacLeish said he brought the extent of the problem to the attention of Boston news organizations almost a decade ago, but insisted that reporters were uninterested in pursuing the issue.

In December 1993, the Boston Herald and then the Globe quoted MacLeish saying he had brought sexual abuse claims involving 20 priests and 28         alleged victims to the Boston Archdiocese.

In the articles, MacLeish praised the archdiocese for removing the unnamed priests from service, saying the church had done a “commendable job” of handling the issue.

In a letter to the archdiocese’s lawyer less than three months earlier, MacLeish raised complaints against 17 priests, and said that just two of them may have had “potentially hundreds of other” victims.

“It is clear that these cases together reflect a systemic pattern of abuse within the archdiocese and an alarming pattern of institutional negligence on a disturbingly large scale,” MacLeish wrote in the Sept. 27, 1993, letter to Wilson Rogers Jr., the church’s attorney.

The 24-page letter contains extensive details about the specifics of the sexual abuse by the priests. Many of their names, and the allegations,  did not become public until this year. MacLeish made the letter public yesterday, he said, because it shows that he and his clients, in addition to seeking monetary settlements, also wanted the archdiocese to ensure that the priests would no longer have access to children. In the letter, MacLeish told Rogers he wanted to have the claims mediated, which was done in private.

Asked last night why he did not make the letter public in 1993, or file lawsuits to get the matter before the public, MacLeish said he did not take those steps because of a need to protect the victims, and because caps on liability for charities like the church made lawsuits less attractive than negotiated settlements.

When the Globe reported on Jan. 31 this year that the Boston Archdiocese had secretly settled claims involving more than 70 priests in the last         decade, MacLeish disclosed that his law firm accounted for more than 50 priests.

Philip Saviano, a victim of clergy sexual abuse who hired MacLeish to represent him in the early 1990s, said the lawyer did not go far enough a decade ago to expose the problem.

“What I’m saying is, whether [MacLeish] sees it this way or not, he was part of the big web of secrecy,” said Saviano, who is director of the New England chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “Maybe he thinks he took steps to protect kids, but ultimately I’d say he didn’t go nearly as far as he should have.”

MacLeish, who represented more than 100 victims of former priest James R. Porter in the Fall River Diocese 1992, said the attention to that case         and the subsequent private claims he filed against the Boston Archdiocese forced the church to create new policies and remove priests.

Sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic archdiocese of Boston


Sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic archdiocese of Boston

The sexual abuse scandal in Boston archdiocese was part of a series of Catholic sex abuse cases in the United States and Ireland. In early 2002, Boston Globe coverage of a series of criminal prosecutions of five Roman Catholic priests thrust the issue of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests into the national limelight.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] The coverage of these cases encouraged other victims to come forward with their allegations of abuse resulting in more lawsuits and criminal cases.[11]

As it became clear that there was truth to many of the allegations and that there was a pattern of sexual abuse and cover-up in a number of large dioceses across the USA, what had originally appeared to be a few isolated cases of abuse exploded into a nationwide scandal. The resulting scandal created a crisis for the Catholic Church in the United States, encouraging victims in other nations to come forward with their allegations of abuse, thus creating a global crisis for the Church.

Ultimately, it became clear that, over several decades in the 20th century, priests and lay members of religious orders in the Catholic Church had sexually abused minors on a scale such that the accusations reached into the thousands. Although the majority of cases were reported to have occurred in the United States, victims have come forward in other nations such as Ireland, Canada and Australia. A major aggravating factor was the actions of Catholic bishops to keep these crimes secret and to reassign the accused to other parishes in positions where they had continued unsupervised contact with youth, thus allowing the abusers to continue their crime.

History

Boston Globe coverage

In 2002, criminal charges were brought against five Roman Catholic priests in the Boston area of the United States (John Geoghan, John Hanlon, Paul Shanley, Robert V. Gale and Jesuit priest James Talbot) which ultimately resulted in the conviction and sentencing of each to prison.[12] The ongoing coverage of these cases by The Boston Globe thrust the issue of “sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests” into the national limelight.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][13] The coverage of these cases encouraged other victims to come forward with their allegations of abuse resulting in more lawsuits and criminal cases.[11]

In 2003, the series of articles in the Boston Globe received a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The Globe was honored, according to the Pulitzer website, “for its courageous, comprehensive coverage … an effort that pierced secrecy, stirred local, national and international reaction and produced changes in the Roman Catholic Church.”

Alleged cover-ups

Grassroots public advocacy groups like Voice of the Faithful focused on Cardinal Law after documents revealed his extensive role in covering up incidents of sexual misconduct of his priests. For example, Cardinal Law moved Paul Shanley and John Geoghan from parish to parish within the diocese despite repeated allegations of molestation of children under the priests’ care. Later, it was discovered that Father Shanley even advocated the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Under questioning, the cardinal stated that, when a priest committed a sex crime, the cardinal said his practice was to seek the analysis of psychiatrists, clinicians and therapists in residential treatment centers before deciding whether a priest accused of sexually abusing a child should be returned to the pulpit.

In 1984, John Brendan McCormack became Secretary for Ministerial Personnel in the Archdiocese of Boston. In this position, McCormack was Cardinal Law‘s point person on hearing complaints against priests accused of sexual misconduct and removing some of them from active duty.[14] He was later accused of taking too little action in handling John Geoghan, a Boston priest who allegedly molested over 130 children during his ministry.[14]

In 1990, after receiving complaints from an alleged victim, he removed one priest from duty and sent him to treatment, only for the same priest to later serve as a hospital chaplain.[15] He also wrote conciliatory letters to another priest accused of pedophilia and who once defended the North American Man/Boy Love Association,[16] then failing to notify the diocese to which that priest was later transferred of the accusations made against him.[15]

Cardinal Law’s response

Cardinal Law’s term as Archbishop of Boston began in popularity but quickly declined into turbulence towards the end of his term. Allegations and reports of sexual misconduct by priests of the Archdiocese of Boston became widespread causing Roman Catholics in other dioceses of the United States to investigate similar situations there. Cardinal Law’s actions and inactions prompted public scrutiny of all members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the steps they had taken in response to past and current allegations of sexual misconduct at the hands of priests. The events in the Archdiocese of Boston exploded into a national Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.

Law’s public statements and depositions during the abuse crisis claimed that the Cardinal and Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston did not initially have the expertise to understand pedophilia and ephebophilia and relied upon doctors’ recommendations.[17] In January 2002, Law stated, “I promulgated a policy to deal with sexual abuse of minors by clergy. This went into effect on Jan. 15, 1993,” and also noted that the, “policy has been effective.”[18] His depositions echoed those sentiments.[17]

Impact on the diocese

Settlements in the Boston, Massachusetts suits were estimated to be up to $100 million. In some cases insurance companies have balked at meeting the cost of large settlements, claiming the actions were deliberate and not covered by insurance. This was additional financial damage to the Archdiocese, which already faced the need to consolidate and close parishes due to changing attendance and giving patterns. In June 2004, much of the land around the Archdiocese of Boston headquarters was sold to Boston College, in part to raise money for legal costs associated with scandal in Boston.[19][20]

Resignation of Cardinal Law

Law submitted his resignation to the Vatican and Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation on December 13, 2002.

In a statement and apology Cardinal Law said, “To all those who have suffered from my shortcomings and mistakes I both apologize and from them beg forgiveness”. He remained cardinal, which is a separate appointment, and participated in the 2005 papal conclave.

Handling by Bishop Lennon

Bishop Richard Lennon‘s appointment as apostolic administrator of the Boston archdiocese, following the resignation of Cardinal Law, brought criticism from some sex-abuse victims’ groups. This criticism increased after Bishop Lennon‘s appearance in the Frontline Documentary “Hand of God.” The movie documents the history of a Salem, Massachusetts sex scandal and its effects on the film maker’s own family. Lennon closes the Salem parish despite the fact it is not losing money for the Church. Then, when the movie’s filmmaker attempts to film the administrative building where his brother reported his own sexual abuse, Lennon exits the building, shoves the camera, declares he won’t “feel bad about this” after being told why the filmmaker wants to film the building’s exterior, attempts to avoid any discussion of the sex scandal by refusing to talk about anything other than the Church’s private property rights, and responds to the film maker’s claim that he doesn’t care by calling the filmmaker a “sad little man.”

Archbishop O’Malley

Bishop Sean O’Malley was appointed Archbishop of Boston on July 1, 2003, having already dealt with sexual abuse scandals in the dioceses of Palm Beach and Fall River.

In September 2003, the Archdiocese settled most of the abuse-related claims for $85 million.[21]

In June 2004, the archbishop’s residence and the chancery in Brighton and surrounding lands were sold to Boston College, in part to defray costs associated with abuse cases.[22][23][24] The offices of the Archdiocese were moved to Braintree, Massachusetts; Saint John’s Seminary remains on that property.

On August 25, 2011, Cardinal Seán O’Malley released a list of 159 names of priests who had been accused of sexually abusing a minor.[25] The publication mentioned that 250 priests in the archdiocese had been accused but 69 names were omitted because they were either deceased, weren’t active ministers, had not been publicly accused, or were dismissed or left prior to canonical proceedings. An additional 22 names were omitted because the accusations could not be substantiated; nine of these priests were still in active ministry

Sexual abuse cases in the Boston archdiocese

John Birmingham

In 1987, after at least 23 years of child molesting by Father Joseph Birmingham during which time he was shuffled to various parishes, the mother of an altar boy at St. Anns wrote to Law asking if Birmingham had a history of molesting children. Cardinal Law wrote back “I contacted Father Birmingham. … He assured me there is absolutely no factual basis to your concern regarding your son and him. From my knowledge of Father Birmingham and my relationship with him, I feel he would tell me the truth and I believe he is speaking the truth in this matter.” [26]

As a result of the unlawful sex, the Archdiocese of Boston lost millions of dollars in fines and settlements. It also funded the legal defense of accused priests. The archdiocese slipped into large financial deficits.[citation needed] The Archdiocese closed sixty-five parishes before Cardinal Law stepped down from service.

In response to the scandal, over fifty priests signed a letter declaring no confidence in Cardinal Law and asking him to resign [27] – something that had never before happened in the history of the Roman Catholic Church in America.

Paul Desilets

Paul Desilets, a retired Quebec priest, has been indicted on 27 counts of indecent assault and battery dating back to his time as a parish priest in Bellingham, Mass., between 1978 and 1984. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is seeking extradition.[28]

Robert V. Gale

Robert V. Gale was sentenced to 4.5–5 years in prison in 2004 after pleading guilty to repeatedly raping a boy in Waltham during the 1980s.[29][30] Gale (who had been treated in 1987 following years of abusing children[31][32][33][34]) began a restricted ministry around 1992,[35] living at St. Monica’s in South Boston while studying at the University of Massachusetts.

Cardinal Law, who had the ultimate authority, signed off on letting Gale remain at St. Monica’s. An adolescent reported that Gale abused him in his room/office in the rectory just a few months after Law’s decision was made.[30][32][35]

John Geoghan

John Geoghan (1935 – 2003) was accused of sexual abuse involving more than 130 children. Charges were brought in Cambridge, Massachusetts, concerning accusations of a molestation that took place in 1991. Geoghan was defrocked in 1998. He was found guilty in January 2002 of indecent assault and battery for grabbing the buttocks of a 10-year-old boy in a swimming pool at the Waltham Boys and Girls Club in 1991, and was sentenced to nine to ten years in prison.

The trial included testimony from the victim; from a psychiatrist, Dr. Edward Messner, who treated Geoghan for his sexual fantasies about children from 1994 to 1996; and from Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes, who testified that he banned Geoghan from the swimming club after a complaint that he had been proselytizing and had prurient conversations there.

After initially agreeing to, and pulling out of, a $30 million settlement with 86 of Geoghan’s victims, the Boston archdiocese settled with them for $10 million, and is still negotiating with lawyers for other victims. The most recent settlement proposed is $65 million for 542 victims. The settlements are being made because of evidence that the archdiocese had transferred Geoghan from parish to parish despite warnings of his behavior. Evidence also arose, as a result of allegations against Geoghan, that the archdiocese displayed a pattern of shipping other priests to new parishes when allegations of sexual abuse were made.

Two other cases were charged against Geoghan in Boston’s Suffolk County. One case was dropped without prejudice when the victim decided not to testify. In the second case, two rape charges were dismissed by a judge after hotly contested arguments because the statute of limitations had run out. The Commonwealth’s appeal of that ruling was active at the time of Geoghan’s death, and remaining charges of indecent assault in that case were still pending at that time.

On August 23, 2003, while in protective custody at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, Geoghan was strangled and stomped to death in his cell by Joseph Druce, a self-described white supremacist and inmate serving a sentence of life without possibility of parole for killing a man who allegedly made a sexual pass after picking Druce up hitchhiking. An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be “ligature strangulation and blunt chest trauma.” There have been questions raised about the wisdom and propriety of placing these two men in the same unit, since prison officials had been warned by another inmate that Druce had something planned.[15]

Paul Shanley

According to Leon Podles in his book Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, “In late 1993, Shanley was sent to the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut, for evaluation. The Boston archdiocese has refused to release this evaluation, but other released files show that Shanley admitted to nine sexual encounters, of which four involved boys, and that he was diagnosed as “narcissistic” and “histrionic.” Shanley admitted that he was “attracted to adolescents” and on the basis of this confession, the Boston archdiocese secretly settled several lawsuits against Shanley. The archdiocese of Boston in 1993 had to admit to the diocese of San Bernardino part of the truth about Shanley, and the bishop of San Bernardino immediately dismissed him.”

In February 2005, Shanley was found guilty of indecent assaults and the rape of a male minor and received a sentence of 12 to 15 years in prison. Shanley’s case remains controversial because the allegations of abuse came only after the victim (now an adult) alleged that he “recovered” memories of the abuse from approximately 20 years earlier. The notion of “repressed memory” is highly controversial and has been excluded from several courts of law.[36] The manner in which the accusations against Shanley arose and enormous attention in the media also have given rise to questions about the validity of the convictions.[37][38][39][40][41]

Robert A. Ward affair

In February 2002, Rev. Robert A. Ward was accused of molesting an altar boy in Boston 1970. [42] [43][44][45] Records show that the archdiocese knew at least as early as 1995 that the pastor used cocaine and had been treated for drug abuse. The records also show that in 1999 Ward admitted to downloading of child pornography from the internet, a discovery made when a technician repaired Ward’s computer and noticed the sexually explicit material. Ward was suspended by the Archdiocese of Boston in February 2002 and defrocked by the Vatican in 2005 [46]

References