March 03, 2005

Griffin: What Paul Shanley faces now


By Richard Griffin/ Growing older
Thursday, March 3, 2005

I feel sorry for Paul Shanley. This does not prevent me from feeling sorrow and deep outrage on behalf of his victims.

I also admire the courage of Shanley's accuser whose testimony led to his tormentor's conviction. He persevered on the stand despite the emotional turmoil he clearly had to endure. Tempted more than once to abandon his case, the unnamed firefighter managed to fight on.

Shanley has been sentenced to a prison term that will last at least until 2013. For him, this will make for an unhappy old age, to say the least. Not without reason, his victims feel this sentence altogether too lenient for what he did to them.

I first met Paul Shanley in 1962 at the parish in Stoneham, where he was one of the priests on the ministerial staff. He impressed me, not only with his personal charm, but also with his dedication to ministry. There was nothing to show that, as was later alleged, he may have been already engaged in sexual abuse of young people.

Posted by kshaw at March 3, 2005 02:00 AM