February 08, 2005

Survivor: `I just felt a tremendous sense of relief'

Boston Herald

By Kevin Rothstein
Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Paul Shanley was convicted of molesting one boy yesterday, but the verdict gratified the dozens who claim the perverted ex-priest hurt them during a decades-long reign of sexual terror.

``I just felt a tremendous sense of relief when I heard the word guilty,'' said Phil Saviano, head of the local chapter of Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, who knows many alleged Shanley victims.

Shanley's profile was one of the highest among priests exposed during the church sexual-abuse crisis that rocked the Boston archdiocese. Many alleged victims, already fearful their stories were doubted, felt their credibility depended on a successful prosecution, Saviano said.

``It seems like everybody's hopes and fears were tied into the Shanley case, and I was frankly worried for survivors emotionally and how they were going to respond if Shanley was in fact acquitted,'' he said.

Posted by kshaw at February 8, 2005 07:04 AM