February 09, 2005

Shanley verdict has local Catholics relieved

The Patriot Ledger

The Patriot Ledger

Anne-Marie McCarthy was living in Braintree and attending Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in the late 1960s when she first met a priest named Paul Shanley.

‘‘He made me uncomfortable,'' McCarthy said. ‘‘I don't know how else to say it. Some people have that effect on you. I just couldn't put my finger on it.''

Still, decades later when Shanley was at the center of the storm of allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests in the Boston Archdiocese, McCarthy was shocked. Now, McCarthy is relieved following Shanley's conviction by a Middlesex Superior Court jury yesterday on charges he sexually abused a young boy from a Newton church in the 1980s.

Judge Stephen Neel revoked Shanley's $300,000 cash bail and will sentence him next Tuesday on two counts each of child rape and indecent assault and battery on a child. Shanley is 74. He was impassive when the verdict was read.

‘‘I hope this helps other survivors and gives them courage and support to have their voices heard,'' said McCarthy, who now lives in Weymouth.

Shanley was assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Church in Braintree in 1967.

Posted by kshaw at February 9, 2005 10:30 AM