February 09, 2005

Clergy sex abuse scandal won't go away

Milford Daily News

By Denise Lavoie / Associated Press
Wednesday, February 9, 2005

BOSTON -- The conviction of defrocked priest Paul Shanley was both a real and symbolic victory for victims of clergy sexual abuse. But the guilty verdict will not bring a quick end to the three-year scandal that has fractured the Roman Catholic church in Boston and across the country.

Although there is only one known criminal case pending against a priest within the Boston Archdiocese, there are more than 100 civil lawsuits accusing priests of sexually abusing children. And the pain felt across generations of children molested by their parish priest remains ever-present.

"Shanley's conviction was certainly a very important milestone in the ongoing battle. It has tremendous importance for all of us, but I know that there are still new victims coming forward," said Phil Saviano, who founded the New England chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"I firmly believe there are victims from the '90s who we have not yet heard from. There were still a number of priests then who felt they had free rein and could act without consequences."

Boston attorney Carmen Durso, who settled 40 lawsuits against the archdiocese in 2003, said he has filed another 25 lawsuits since then, naming 18 different priests. The Shanley trial, he said, has brought even more phone calls to his office from people who say they were molested by priests.

Posted by kshaw at February 9, 2005 07:27 AM