Manchester NH Resources
June 9–30, 2002
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Suit pushes for Law transcripts
By Tom Mashberg
Boston (MA) Herald
June 10, 2002
Attorneys for the church, its accusers and the news media will be in
appelate court today pressing for the release of transcripts of Bernard
Cardinal Law's sworn testimony from last week - material apt to cast a
shadow over Law's visit to Dallas Thursday for a major parley of American
At Mass in Boston yesterday, the embattled cardinal asked for the prayers
of the faithful as he girds for a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
meeting where the clergy abuse crisis and its Massachusetts vortex will
have center stage.
"In Dallas, we will be looking at what we can establish nationally
as a norm, and so I would ask your prayers for that," Law said at
Holy Cross Cathedral in the South End.
Law's new sex molestation policy differs from the draft issued last week
by the U.S. bishops conference. The Boston church would allow for the
removal of priests upon a single "substantive" allegation of
The U.S. bishops have called for a zero-tolerance against priests who
molest children from here on, and a second chance for those responsible
in a single past case. The Vatican would also be asked to defrock all
future child abusers and offenders with more than one transgression.
The Diocese of Worcester has also outlined a new plan that its bishop,
Daniel P. Reilly, will carry to Dallas, even as a sixth sitting Worcester
diocese priest, the Rev. Raymond P. Messier, was removed over the weekend
from assignments in Athol and Petersham.
And in New Hampshire, the besieged bishop of Manchester, John B. McCormack,
who oversaw dozens of clerical molesters while serving as Law's personnel
chief, told the Manchester Union-Leader he would go to Dallas to urge
the strictest approach imaginable to clergy cases. Attorneys for McCormack
are fighting in appelate court alongside counsel for Law to keep their
depositions in the Rev. Paul R. Shanley suit under seal.
Middlesex Superior Court Judge Raymond J. Brassard ruled the material
was of "great public interest" and should be freed up. But his
ruling has been stayed at least until today pending appeals.
Attorneys for the Herald and other news media, and lawyers for alleged
victims of clerical abuse, are pressing that the depositions be filed
publicly immediately. The aim is for the public to see how two key figures
in the archdiocesan abuse scandal answered questions about supervision
not just of Shanley but of dozens of additional priests with long histories
of alleged abuse contained in their personnel files.
"Sunlight is the best disinfectant," said attorney Roderick
MacLeish Jr. of Greeenberg Traurig, who interrogated Law and McCormack
last week. "These records were there for the viewing all along."
In another legal forum, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
today will withdraw its suit calling for the abolition of gag orders in
settlement agreements, following the bishops' rejection of the group's
attendance in Dallas.
"We hope that this action will encourage you to reconsider your cancellation
of the meetings that we have worked so hard to arrange," a SNAP statement
Since announcing a new "zero tolerance" policy this past winter,
Law has given local law enforcement the names of at least 85 priests -
15 dead and 70 living - suspected by the church of having abused children.
The archdiocese has also ridded its current ranks of 13 priests whose
personnel files held data regarding abuse, or who have faced new and "substantial"
charges from abuse plaintiffs.
Nationally, according to a survey by The Washington Post, the Roman Catholic
Church has ousted 218 American priests from duty this year over allegations
The survey was answered by 96 of 178 Roman Catholic dioceses around the
nation, the Post said.
State may charge church authorities
By Associated Press
Nashua (NH) Telegraph
June 17, 2002
Concord, N.H. -- Attorney General Philip McLaughlin is investigating
whether Catholic Church leaders who knowingly reassigned abusive priests
can be prosecuted in New Hampshire.
“The scope, frequency and duration of these crimes would have been
absolutely impossible absent the aiding and abetting of some of these
bishops,” McLaughlin told The Union Leader on Saturday. “And
in New Hampshire, we are actively investigating this aiding and abetting
McLaughlin’s office began investigating allegations of child sexual
abuse by New Hampshire clergy early this year, and in February, the first
14 names of accused priests were made public. His office now is looking
into allegations against 50 priests.
But the investigation doesn’t stop there, McLaughlin says. It also
includes what he calls “the enabling policies of the church.”
McLaughlin would not discuss which church officials are being investigated,
but said if it’s possible to bring criminal charges, his office
will do it. Future charges would hinge on whether the crimes were within
the statute of limitations, he said.
The statute of limitations for a felony is six years, and one year for
a misdemeanor. But if someone committed a crime in New Hampshire and then
left the state, the clock stopped at the time he left, McLaughlin said.
That comes into play in the ongoing investigation into allegations that
some Massachusetts priests abused children at Camp Fatima, a diocesan
summer camp in Barnstead. It also may apply to church officials who assigned
those priests in such situations, he said.
“These bishops had the very same responsibility before the fact,”
he said. “And they may be the only people in the United States who
wouldn’t have perceived what they were doing as incredibly irresponsible.”
Asked whether there are any grand jury proceedings related to the investigation,
he had no comment.
McLaughlin’s comments follow Catholic bishops’ approval Friday
of a national policy to remove any priest from public ministry who sexually
molests a minor.
McLaughlin questions why, while individual priests have been prosecuted,
some of the bishops who reassigned them to parishes even after allegations
were revealed remain in positions of authority.
“Their practices having been revealed as a result of public pressure,
they now promise to change,” he said. “But to the people who
have been victimized by their institutional actions in the past, that
is a small comfort and it is no answer for the past.
“Their current pledge of good faith is no reason for the law enforcement
people of this state to say now we have no problem. The people who created
the problem are saying that.”
In the charter approved Friday, the bishops agreed the church will now
report any allegation of sexual abuse of a minor to public authorities
and cooperate in the investigation. McLaughlin questions why such a policy
even came to be necessary for the church in which he was raised.
“I know of no responsible adult who wouldn’t have reported
this and stopped it from happening,” he added. “We now have
an institutional commitment by the church to do that which ordinary people
would have done for 50 years.”
McLaughlin expects his investigation to be completed around Oct. 1.
On the case
Source: Grand jury looking at the church
By Tom Mashberg and Franci Richardson
Boston (MA) Herald
June 19, 2002
A grand jury is poring over reams of documents from the Archdiocese of
Boston to determine whether the local Catholic hierarchy can be held accountable
for knowingly shifting pedophile priests from parish to parish, a source
A source speaking on condition of anonymity said Attorney General Thomas
F. Reilly had asked the grand jury to review the thousands of pages of
documentation that has been generated through the still- unfolding sex
The grand jury has been sitting for "some time now" but no specific
criminal charges against either Bernard Cardinal Law or any other archdiocese
official are expected to result, the source said.
"They are looking at everything," the source said.
Reached late last night, Reilly spokeswoman Ann Donlan refused to either
confirm or deny that a grand jury had been impaneled to review church
documents. Reilly did not return a call placed to his home.
"Grand jury proceedings are secret and I can't confirm or deny that
in particular," Donlan said. "I'm not in a position to confirm
or deny it."
In February, Reilly made arrangements with the archdiocese to receive
hundreds of pages of church files concerning known abusers in the clergy.
The documents were provided after Reilly and counsel for the church arrived
at an agreement.
Since then thousands more pages of church documents have been obtained
by civil lawyers suing the archdiocese and Law for their role in covering
up the abuses of about 85 priests serving in the archdiocese since 1960.
Sources have told the Herald that the documents released to the civil
lawyers were far different than those initially provided to Reilly and
far more incriminating in what they revealed of the church's role in covering
up for the abusive clerics.
Reilly has had his assistants sifting through documents released by the
church to see if his office could prosecute individual priests. To date
two priests, the Revs. Ronald H. Paquin and Paul R. Shanley, have been
jailed in Massachusetts on sex abuse charges. A third former Boston archdiocese
priest, the Rev. Paul W. Desilets, has been indicted but now lives in
Documents released in recent weeks pertaining to Shanley and Paquin, in
particular, reveal that high-ranking archdiocesan officials - past and
present - conspired to keep those abuses secret. In many cases, prelates
such as Bishop John B. McCormack, now of Manchester, N.H., told officials
in other dioceses that men like Shanley and Paquin had clean records and
could continue in the priesthood.
Many legal observers and church critics for weeks have been urging law
enforcement in Massachusetts to apply the state's aiding and abetting
and accessory after the fact statutes to members of the church hierarchy.
Sources say Reilly has consulted extensively with the attorneys who obtained
the documents about whether the church archives would support a variety
of charges ranging from obstruction of justice to federal civil rights
But publicly, Reilly - who was instrumental in getting legislation passed
requiring clergy to be mandated reporters of child sexual abuse - has
warned there may be little room for prosecution.
"The state laws don't seem to support at this time from our review
charges of accessory or aiding and abetting," Donlan said. "But
we have an obligation to take a look at that. We certainly are looking
at that question."
Meanwhile, a Westchester County grand jury yesterday issued a scathing
13-page report calling for felony charges against molesting priests and
church officials who covered for them within the New York Archdiocese.
The grand jury met for two months, reviewing tens of thousands of pages
of documents and heard from eight alleged victims of abuse by priests
before issuing the report. Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the New York
Archdiocese, called the report "unbalanced, unfair and inaccurate."
Herald wire services contributed to this report.
Shanley indicted for abuses
By Robin Washington and Tom Mashberg
Boston (MA) Herald
June 21, 2002
The Rev. Paul R. Shanley, the one-time street priest jailed since May
on charges of molesting a boy attending religion classes at a Newton church,
was indicted yesterday on 16 counts of child abuse involving four boys
under his charge.
The indictment, handed down by a Middlesex grand jury, includes 10 counts
of child rape and six counts of indecent assault and battery on a minor,
Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley said.
"The allegations involve situations where these young men are attending
a weekly class, Father Shanley is the pastor at the time, (and) he asks
for one or more of the students to come to assist him," Coakley said.
At that point, Shanley would molest them, she said, detailing the criminal
acts as including anal and oral penetration.
All of the allegations fall within the statute of limitations, she said.
Frank Mondano, Shanley's attorney, did not return a call seeking comment.
Bernard Cardinal Law responded in a written statement.
"As shocking and terrible as is the news of these indictments against
Father Paul Shanley, all of us owe a debt of profound gratitude to abused
persons who bring such acts into the light," he wrote.
"My sorrow is compounded whenever such acts involve the betrayal
of trust by a priest. For this I apologize from the bottom of my heart."
Shanley, who served as a Boston street priest and pastor of St. Jean's/St.
John's Parish in Newton before eventually moving to San Diego, was arrested
May 2 in that city on charges of raping one of the four former CCD students.
The grand jury had been investigating charges by three of them - all clients
of attorney Roderick MacLeish Jr. - at the time of the arrest. Since then,
the fourth man filed his complaint.
MacLeish is representing all four in suits against the church.
Three of them - Paul Busa and Greg Ford of Newton and a third man who
requested anonymity - are 24-year-olds who allege multiple cases of rape
After hearing of the indictments, Rodney Ford, father of Greg Ford, said,
"To Paul Shanley's victims, we say there is now hope he will never
abuse another boy. To those who have died, we say may they now rest in
The fourth accuser is a 32-year-old who has never met the others and was
not familiar with their allegations when he approached law enforcement,
MacLeish and Coakley said the charges brought by that accuser, which date
to 1979, were prosecutable because Shanley left Massachusetts in 1989.
Under Bay State law, the statute of limitations on felonies "tolls,"
or freezes, if the accused becomes a permanent resident of another state.
Coakley said her office has received additional sexual misconduct allegations
against the retired priest, but said most of them are incidents beyond
the statute of limitations. She declined to say how many others she received.
"It's certainly larger than the number that we've indicted him for
today," she said, adding, "The investigation is still open."
Coakley said the grand jury did not look at accessory charges, such as
complicity of church officials in keeping Shanley's actions secret, though
she did not rule it out.
"Anything is possible, but that's not under review for us today,"
MacLeish too said he has heard from others and is interviewing at least
two more potential plaintiffs.
"We are locating as many victims of Shanley as we can. The first
priority is to help law enforcement protect children from predators like
him," he said.
Shanley, who is being held in Middlesex Jail in lieu of $350,000 cash
bail, will be arraigned on the additional charges next week, Coakley said.
Also yesterday, attorney Mitchell Garabedian and several of his clients
in the case against defrocked priest and convicted child molester John
J. Geoghan expressed skepticism about a 30-day truce announced Wednesday
between the Archdiocese of Boston and four plaintiffs' lawyers.
"What are they going to say to the other attorneys over the next
30 days?" Garabedian asked.
Garabedian and his 86 plaintiffs signed a $20 million-plus settlement
deal with the church in February that called for an outside arbitrator
to set payouts to Geoghan's victims.
But the church abandoned the deal in May, saying it was too costly. Garabedian
is now petitioning Superior Court Judge Constance M. Sweeney, who oversaw
the settlement and is now in charge of all cases emerging from the church
abuse scandal, to impose the deal by court order.
"I will not go back to the settlement table," Garabedian said
when asked whether he would join with the other lawyers in the moratorium
on depositions and other civil actions. "We already had an agreement,
and they reneged."
Geoghan accuser Anthony Muzzi Jr. added: "I will not go through this
again. I thought we had some sort of closure and they backed out. We no
longer trust them."
In another development, a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court,
John M. Greaney, declined yesterday to order the immediate release of
written and audio-video transcripts of recent depositions of Law, Bishop
John B. McCormack of Manchester, N.H., and other former and current archdiocesan
Attorneys for the Herald and other news media have been pressing for the
release of the material since a Superior Court Judge, Raymond J. Brassard,
ordered nearly three weeks ago that they be made available to the public.
Greaney ordered the matter sent to Sweeney, who recently was named as
the judge overseeing the rash of nearly 400 sexual-abuse cases against
Sweeney has already indicated that she will allow the written depositions
to be filed publicly, but not until 30 days after their completions. Because
some depositions are ongoing - Law is scheduled for further interrogation
by MacLeish - it is unlikely that the depositions would be freed up soon.
Still, media lawyers will go before Sweeney on Wednesday to renew arguments
that there is a compelling public interest in having the material released.
Lawyers for broadcast outlets in particular want the judge to free up
However, Sweeney has said in the past that the videotapes were to be made
only to memorialize the testimony of Law and the others in case those
persons are not available in the event there is need for a civil jury
[Photo Captions - 1) Press Conference: Attorney Roderick MacLeish speaks
to media yesterday as father of Rodney Ford, an alleged victim of the
Rev. Paul R. Shanley, looks on. Staff photo by Michael Seamans. 2) Shanley]
McLaughlin: Diocese not fully cooperative
By Associated Press
Nashua (NH) Telegraph
June 21, 2002
Concord, N.H. -- Attorney General Philip McLaughlin said Thursday he
wants the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester to grant authorities full
access to its files, but has yet to receive complete cooperation from
Speaking about his investigation into whether church leaders knowingly
reassigned abusive priests, McLaughlin took issue with a church spokesman’s
comment describing the diocese as a leader in cooperating with authorities.
“I can only say I would not characterize it that way,” McLaughlin
said. “How I would characterize it is to say we continue to have
dialogues with the Diocese of Manchester, and my hope is it will lead
to open cooperation.”
McLaughlin has said he is convinced church leaders committed crimes by
knowingly moving abusive priests from one parish to another, where they
then molested more children.
Patrick McGee, spokesman for the diocese, responded to McLaughlin in
a Union Leader story Tuesday by saying, “The Diocese of Manchester
has been one of the leaders in open cooperation with civil authorities.”
On Thursday, McLaughlin said he strongly disagreed. “He expressed
a view. I expressed a different view. He’s entitled to his opinion.
For all I know, he may know more about the way other dioceses are operating
than I do,” McLaughlin said.
“I don’t view it in terms of comparisons to other dioceses.
I can only tell you that which we seek we have not in their entirety gotten,”
he said. “We continue discussions to try to meet that objective.”
McGee did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
McLaughlin would not say whether he will resort to a court order to compel
the church to open its files. He said his office has received some materials
from the diocese, but would not characterize them.
Bishop John B. McCormack, who has been accused of shuffling around accused
priests while he worked for Cardinal Bernard Law in the Boston Archdiocese,
in February released a list of New Hampshire priests against whom credible
allegations of sexual abuse had been made. He has been New Hampshire’s
bishop since 1998.
McLaughlin said his office continues to discuss the issue of access to
files with church leaders. He said he anticipates his investigators eventually
will get what they want, but they have yet to reach that point.
“I think there is a very decent chance that at the end of the day
we will have the dialogues that will result in what it is the state is
looking for, which is open and broad and unrestricted access to files,”
McLaughlin has not said which church officials are being investigated,
but said his office will bring charges if possible.
McLaughlin said his office has received sexual abuse allegations against
nearly 50 clergymen, and that the alleged victims number significantly
more than that. He hopes to complete his investigation by October.
N.H. diocese insists it’s cooperating with attorney general’s
By Associated Press
Nashua (NH) Telegraph
June 23, 2002
Manchester -- A spokesman for the Catholic Church in New Hampshire insists
officials are cooperating with the state’s investigation into priest
“We do know that the Attorney General’s Office is conducting
an investigation,” said Patrick McGee, public relations specialist
for the Diocese of Manchester. “We once again are saying we intend
to cooperate fully with that investigation.”
Last week, Attorney General Philip McLaughlin said the diocese hasn’t
been very cooperative as the state tries to get a look at church files
that might shed light on how it responded to abuse complaints. McLaughlin
said his office still is pressing for access to some records.
McLaughlin also has said he was examining whether any church leaders
could be prosecuted for “aiding and abetting” sexual abuse
His remarks raised speculation as to whether prosecutors might convene
a grand jury. It was reported last week the Massachusetts attorney general
has convened a grand jury to investigate the Boston Archdiocese’s
handling of the scandal.
Lawyer Charles Douglas III said McLaughlin could be signaling church
leaders they should turn over the evidence willingly.
“I sense what McLaughlin is saying is: ‘Produce it, or else
I will have you bring it to a grand jury.’ That’s their dilemma,”
said Douglas, who is suing the church on behalf of a dozen alleged abuse
Douglas said the church should expect both civil attorneys and prosecutors
to fight for access to the records.
“It’s like holding a one-pound steak in front of a Doberman
and being surprised when he jumps and snaps,” Douglas said. “If
it’s harmless, why is it secret?”
If the church claimed it was privileged information, Douglas said, a
judge would probably review it in private to determine whether it was
relevant to the civil cases or a criminal investigation.
Douglas said investigators would be looking for complaints made against
priests over the past few decades and a paper trail on what the church
did to discipline priests or restrict their contact with children.
Meanwhile, the church probably is weighing public relations considerations
versus legal concerns and pressure from church lawyers who will advise:
“Make them fight for it,” Douglas said.
Lawyer John Kacavas, a former state prosecutor, said McLaughlin’s
office is probably seeking evidence that could be used to prosecute church
leaders using some kind of accomplice theory.
He believes that with enough evidence, a prosecutor could probably establish
a theory of liability against church leaders who did nothing to stop the
Kacavas believes that while the Attorney General’s Office could
be looking at other things, like obstruction of justice, it sounds more
likely that a grand jury will be convened in New Hampshire – if
it hasn’t been already – to determine whether crimes have
been committed by church leaders.
McCormack predates N.H. church probe
By Associated Press
Nashua (NH) Telegraph
June 24, 2002
Concord -- The state’s investigation of Catholic Church leaders
is focused on
the time before Bishop John McCormack came to the state, and McCormack
is unlikely to be investigated, Attorney General Phil McLaughlin said.
The state is investigating whether church leaders knowingly reassigned
McLaughlin declined to identify by name the church officials his office
is investigating. But he said McCormack was not in New Hampshire when
the Diocese of Manchester is accused of mishandling sexual abuse allegations.
“He’s been here since 1998, and virtually the entirety of
(the allegations) predates the McCormack years,” McLaughlin said.
Massachusetts authorities are conducting a similar investigation of Boston
church leaders and will likely look at McCormack, who handled sexual abuse
allegation there before coming to New Hampshire.
McLaughlin announced in February that his office was investigating claims
of child sexual abuse against priests. Last week, he said his investigation
extends to the church officials who oversaw and reassigned those priests
who were accused.
“From close to the very beginning we had questions about organizational
practices,” he said in an interview with The Concord Monitor on
McLaughlin said seven investigators in his department are working on
“The state will continue to gather evidence and make assessments
about the ability to bring criminal complaints,” McLaughlin said.
“And when we are able to do that, we will do it.”
He said he hopes to conclude the investigation by early October.
Patrick McGee, spokesman for the diocese, said the church will not stand
in McLaughlin’s way.
“We do know there is an investigation, and we plan to fully cooperate,”
Magazine reports accusations on Shanley
By Sacha Pfeiffer
Boston (MA) Globe
June 26, 2002
In the latest accusation of sexual abuse against the Rev. Paul R. Shanley,
a 30-year-old California man has alleged that Shanley repeatedly raped
him over several years, beginning in 1990 when he was 17 years old.
The accusations were made by Kevin English of Big Bear Lake, Calif., Shanley's
first known alleged West Coast victim, and involve alleged abuse that
falls within the criminal statute of limitations, unlike many of the complaints
against Shanley dating back to the 1960s and 1970s.
English also alleges that Shanley encouraged him to watch pornograpy and
have sex with other men at a gay motel Shanley co-owned in Palm Springs,
Calif., with the Rev. John J. White, another Boston priest on leave in
California at the time.
English also charges that after Shanley's alleged history of abuse received
wide publicity this year, Shanley called him and and said, "Don't
talk to anyone and don't believe these stories you are seeing about me.
They are all a bunch of lies made up by the media."
English's allegations are detailed in an 8,000-word story in the August
issue of Vanity Fair, due on newsstands next week. The story, by Maureen
Orth, is a narrative of Shanley's life and his career as Boston's onetime
"street priest," a position Shanley now stands accused of having
used to sexually abuse dozens of boys.
English could not be reached for comment. Boston attorney Carmen Durso,
who represents English with two California lawyers, said English's case
was "so clearly preventable by virtue of everything that was known
about Shanley" before he was transferred to San Bernardino in 1990.
Shanley was transferred in 1990 by the Boston Archdiocese to the San Bernardino
Diocese, where he worked as an associate pastor for three years at St.
Anne's Parish. The transfer was arranged on the basis of a letter sent
by Bishop Robert J. Banks, then Cardinal Bernard Law's top deputy, telling
the San Bernardino diocese that Shanley was "a priest in good standing"
At the time, the Boston Archdiocese had been notified that Shanley had
publicly advocated sexual relations between men and boys and Law had allegedly
been told by a Newton woman that Shanley had attempted to molest one youth
at a church there.
Shanley was indicted last week on charges that he raped four boys at the
now-closed St. John the Evangelist Church in Newton. He has been held
on bail pending arraignment since his arrest in San Diego last month.
Durso said English, who first notified San Bernardino church officials
of his accusations earlier this month, will be reporting his allegations
against Shanley to California law enforcement officials "shortly."
Durso also said he anticipates filing a civil suit on English's behalf
against the Boston Archdiocese, Shanley, Law, Banks, and Manchester, N.H.,
Bishop John B. McCormack, who was also previously one of Law's top deputies.