January 26, 2005

McCormack, Shanley in court

The Union Leader

Union Leader Staff

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Former classmates ordained priests the same day nearly 45 years ago faced off in a criminal courtroom yesterday, this time one as a bishop, the other as a defrocked priest on trial for child rape.

Manchester Bishop John B. McCormack, whose own handling of abusive priests while a Boston archdiocesan official has drawn strong criticism, testified as a cooperating witness for the state against ex-priest Paul R. Shanley, one of the most notorious figures in the clergy abuse scandal and one of the few to face criminal charges.

Shanley, 74, is accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a boy from 1983 to 1989 at St. Jean the Evangelist Parish in Newton.

The alleged victim, now 27, is expected to take the stand in Middlesex County Superior Court today during the second day of testimony in a case expected to largely hinge on the credibility of the alleged victim's repressed memories of the six years' of abuse he said began when he was six years old.

Posted by kshaw at January 26, 2005 06:53 AM