BishopAccountability.org
 
  WILLIAM J. SCANLAN
BOSTON ARCHDIOCESAN PERSONNEL FILE

Excerpts Compiled by BishopAccountability.org

The following documents pertain to the U.S. Attorney’s agreement with the Archdiocese of Boston, and to the Scanlan case generally. See Denise Lavoie, Archdiocese, Prosecutors Agree to Deal over Withheld Information (November 18, 2005) for an account of some documents and their relevance.

The crucial document for the U.S. Attorney’s agreement is #14 below, Vicar General Murphy's inaccurate assessment of Scanlan's suitability for a VA chaplaincy.
* The claim that Murphy didn't know what he was signing must account for memo #13 stating that the form was completed per Murphy's request, and with memo #10 showing that Murphy was involved in the VA chaplaincy plan from its inception.
* The claim that Murphy had no adverse information on Scanlan's "general behavior or conduct" must account for a House of Affirmation report #23 that Scanlan was infatuated with a young man, and Bishop Banks's notes #7 on alleged misconduct at a youth facility and a parish. Both were in Scanlan's file when Murphy signed the form.
* See also Attorney General Reilly's assessment of Murphy's overall performance in Boston.

The following documents were selected from the Scanlan documents publicly filed in Ford et al. v. Law et al., and are presented in the order in which they were written. The documents were redacted before filing, but we have made additional redactions to protect the personal information of accusers and accused. The entire Scanlan file comprises 430 pages, but is not complete as filed with the court. For example, it does not include the House of Affirmation's entire 1986 assessment of Scanlan.

1. Assignment Record of William J. Scanlan. [SCANLON-2 001]
   
2. Letter from Scanlan to Cardinal Law, resigning from Pilgrim Center. Dated 11/3/86. [SCANLON-2 046]
   
3. Letter from Cardinal Law to Scanlan about possible chaplain assignment on Long Island. Dated 12/3/86. [SCANLON-2 048_049]
   
4. Letter from Scanlan about his House of Affirmation assessment, which he says requires "clarification." He and Joe Hart have been meeting, and Hart, who is HoA's staff person in their Boston office, could help clarify Scanlan's condition. Hart apparently wrote such a letter on 5/6/87 (see reference in document #23 below) describing the HoA assessment of Scanlon as too negative. Dated 4/29/87. [SCANLON-2 070]
   
5. Notes by Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Banks on meeting with an angry Scanlan, who was demanding to be in "good standing" so that he could pursue his plans of youth work. As far as the Long Island possibility went, Scanlan was "under impression that he was going to take it over - whole island." "So I suggested that he see someone from H of Aff." This document is tagged: "special file for my office Wm. Scanlan". Dated 5/87. [SCANLON-2 113]
   
6. Notes on HoA's Joe Hart and his opinions about how Scanlan should be treated. Dated 1987, but appears to reference a letter by Hart dated 5/6/87. [SCANLON-2 114]
   
7. Notes by Banks about allegations that Scanlan “fools around with kids” and had problems at Pilgrim House, and that a DA “had received complaints about him” at St. Timothy’s in Norwood. Dated 7/3-7/87. Banks writes, “His reactions of innocence were appropriate and I said matter was ended unless I had back up to the charges.” [SCANLON-2 118-119]
   
8. Memo to Bishop Alfred Hughes about Scanlan’s secret archives, summarizing the previous document “about possible overinvolvement with boys” and stating that Scanlan “had undergone testing at the House of Affirmation.” Dated 9/28/93. [SCANLON-2 151]
   
9. Letter from Scanlan to Rev. Paul Miceli asking for a VA chaplaincy outside the archdiocese. Dated 5/7/98. [SCANLON-2 207]
   
10. Memo from Miceli to Law and Bishop Murphy urging the VA chaplaincy as a way to "build on the goodwill" of a still "manipulative" but "kinder and gentler" Scanlan. Dated 5/12/98. [SCANLON-2 206]
   
11. Cardinal Bernard Law’s statement of Scanlan’s good character and recommendation of him for a military chaplaincy: “I am unaware of anything in his background which would render him unsuitable to work with minor children.” Dated 6/1/98. [SCANLON-2 212]
   
12. Letter from Rev. John Coleman of the VA confirming the hiring of Scanlan. Dated 11/24/98. [SCANLON-2 241]
   
13. Memo from the priest who prepared the U.S. government form according to Vicar General Murphy's instructions. Dated 5/8/99. [SCANLON-2 245]
   
14. Vicar General William F. Murphy’s statement of no “adverse information” on a U.S. Government form for Scanlan’s VA employment. Dated 5/12/99. [SCANLON-2 246-247]
   
15. San Francisco request for statement of Scanlan’s “good standing,” so that he might engage in ministry at a Menlo Park school and parish where he was living while he worked for the VA. Dated 5/26/99. [SCANLON-2 248]
   
16. Letter from Vicar General Murphy confirming Scanlan’s good standing. Dated 6/7/99. [SCANLON-2 249]
   
17. Internal church form signed by Vicar General Murphy confirming Scanlan’s good standing, including statements that Scanlan had never been involved in an incident of sexual misconduct. Not dated. [SCANLON-2 007]
   
18. Scanlan’s denial that he sexually abused a 12-year-old girl. Dated 5/15/00. [SCANLON-2 253-254]
   
19. Allegation that Scanlan sexually abused a 12-year-old girl, described in a memo from Rev. Charles Higgins to Cardinal Law and Vicar General Murphy. Dated 5/17/00. [SCANLON-2 261-262]
   
20. Memo from Sr. Rita McCarthy to Rev. Higgins describing an interview with Scanlan's accuser. Dated 5/20/00. [SCANLON-2 256-258]
   
21. Letter from Scanlan's lawyer to the archdiocesan lawyer listing "facts which prove" Scanlan's innocence. Dated 5/30/00. [SCANLON-2 275-277]
   
22. Memo from Higgins to Murphy and Miceli, describing Scanlan as angry, but also citing "substantial information that we have received exonerating Fr. Scanlan" and describing the investigation that Higgins is working on with Wilson Rogers, the archdiocesan lawyer. Dated 5/31/00. [SCANLON-2 280]
   
23. Summary of Scanlan’s file, quoting from a 1986 House of Affirmation report that mentions Scanlan’s “infatuation with the young man.” Dated 6/12/00. [SCANLON-2 281-282]
   
24. Unsigned report of a phone call with a parent of the alleged victim, who "feels abandoned by the Archdiocese" and anxious regarding the whereabouts of Scanlan. After interviewing the girl, Higgins allegedly said to her parents, "I believe her. It happened." Dated 7/24/00. [SCANLON-2 333]
   
25. Letter from Scanlan to Higgins, hoping that "this case brings to light some of the inadequacies and unjust aspects of this policy." Dated 9/1/00. [SCANLON-2 336]
   
26. Memo from Cardinal Law accepting Scanlan’s reinstatement in his VA chaplaincy in accord with the decision of the archdiocesan Review Board, with attached minutes of the board. The minutes stipulate "that the complainant and her family continue to be offered support for outpatient counseling and pastoral support as they deal with the impact of these events on their family." Dated 9/8/00 and 9/27/00. [SCANLON-2 398-399]
   
27. Letter from Scanlan to Higgins, asking for reimbursement and saying that "as dedicated priests we are easy prey to the whimsical accusations of the sick and the angry." Dated 10/14/00. [SCANLON-2 352]
   
28. Letter to Scanlan from Higgins confirming that “we cannot conclude that the alleged incident(s) more likely than not occurred.” Dated 10/18/00. [SCANLON-2 403]
   
29. Letter to Scanlan’s accuser from Higgins, confirming that “we cannot conclude that the alleged incident(s) more likely than not occurred.” Dated 10/18/00. [SCANLON-2 354]
   
30. Letter from Sr. Rita McCarthy announcing that after a brief extension therapy for the alleged victim and her family will end. The Review Board's stipulation of continued therapy is not mentioned. Dated 1/9/01. [SCANLON-2 379]
   
31. Letter from the alleged victim's lawyer objecting to the ending of therapy and stating the family's continuing need. Dated 5/17/01. [SCANLON-2 382-383]
   
32. Sr. Rita McCarthy's response to the previous letter, granting another brief extension solely for the alleged victim, after which therapy will end. She explains that "the clinical appropriateness of the modality of treatment and length of care are significant issues considered by our Internal Utilization Review Committee." Dated 7/11/01. [SCANLON-2 384]
 

 

Compilation prepared 11/19/05 by BishopAccountability.org. Supplemented on 11/22/05.

 
 

Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
     
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