January 23, 2005

N.H. bishop to testify against Shanley


By Associated Press | January 23, 2005

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- New Hampshire's Roman Catholic bishop is preparing to testify against Paul R. Shanley, the defrocked priest who is charged with raping children in Massachusetts.

Bishop John McCormack will testify against Shanley in a trial that begins tomorrow in Cambridge. The accuser, now 27, said Shanley had raped him at a parish in Newton from 1983 to 1989.

Shanley became one of the most notorious figures in the clergy sex abuse scandal after documents released three years ago showed church officials knew about abuse complaints against him as early as 1967.

When Shanley left the Newton parish in 1990, McCormack took his case. At the time, McCormack was an official of the Archdiocese of Boston, and investigated allegations of sexual misconduct. McCormack has maintained he did not know of any allegations of sexual misconduct with a child against Shanley until 1993.

"The bishop had no knowledge whatsoever of any allegations of a child being harmed until long after Paul Shanley had left St. Jean's parish in the early 1990s," said a Boston lawyer, Eileen Quill.

Posted by kshaw at January 23, 2005 03:32 AM