Paul R. Shanley is a pivotal figure in the Catholic abuse crisis. The civil suit filed by four of his alleged victims resulted in the largest release of diocesan documents ever achieved, and Shanley’s criminal case shaped the Boston crisis and the media’s approach to it. Shanley is alleged to have abused dozens if not scores of people, and his victims are unusually disparate and exceedingly damaged. His voluminous files have been sanitized, but they still offer a detailed look at the man and the bureaucracy that fostered his alleged crimes.
Below we offer a timeline of Shanley’s career, linked to the archdiocesan documents and press coverage. Then we present links to key sources of information and Frequently Asked Questions as a thematic guide to some of the issues in the documents. For a more detailed look at Shanley’s record and the tolerance of his bosses, we invite you to explore our comprehensive selection of hundreds of Shanley documents. Soon we will post the rest of the Shanley documents, making him the first Boston priest whose file is widely available in its entirety.
Born: 1/25/31 in the Dorchester section of Boston MA
Seminary: St. John’s Seminary in Brighton MA, class of 1960
Ordained: 2/2/60 at Holy Name church in West Roxbury MA
Incardinated: Boston MA
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