Abuse of Children by Priests in the Boston Archdiocese: Violations of Applicable Standards of Care
Eli H. Newberger, MD
March 3, 2003
Table of Contents:
II. Materials reviewed to date, to be supplemented
III. Ethical Standards and Standards of Care
IV. Violations of Ethics and Principles of Care by leaders of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston (RCAB) and the RCAB
I am a pediatrician with 32 years of experience in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of child abuse and neglect. In the course of my training at Children’s Hospital, I organized its first child protection team in September, 1970. Subsequently, I devoted my medical career to service, research, and teaching, with a focus on the development of better methods to address child abuse and neglect in all their manifestations. I founded and directed the principal out-patient clinic for victims of abuse and neglect at Children’s Hospital, the family development clinic, from November, 1972, to December, 1999. I have published articles and books on child abuse and related issues through my career. My particular interest in the consequences of victimization for boys led to my latest book, “The Men They Will Become: The Nature and Nurture of Male Character,” published in 1999. Attached to this Affidavit as Appendix One is my curriculum vitae.
I have contributed to public discourse on child abuse and neglect all through my career. A partial list of the committees and boards on which I have served follows:
National and Regional
Governor’s Committee on Child Abuse (Chairman, Subcommittee on Services)
National Board of Advisors, Parents Anonymous
Advisory Committee, Model Child Abuse Reporting Law Project, Juvenile Justice Standards Project, American Bar Association
Advisory Committee on Protective Services, Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare
Policy Advisory Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, Massachusetts Office for Children
Pediatric Task Force, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Governor’s Advisory Committee on Children and the Family (Chairman, Subcommittee on Families in Crisis)
Public Member, Advisory Board, National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Board of Directors, National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse
Child Protection Services Standards Committee, Child Welfare League of America
Science Selection Committee, Bunting Institute, Radcliff College
Fatality Review Board, Human Resources Administration, New York City
Child Abuse Prevention Board, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
National Advisory Committee, National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect, Cornell University
Injury Research Grant Review Committee, Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia
Standing Committee on Continuing Medical Education, Harvard Medical School
Governor’s Commission on Foster Care, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Board of Trustees, Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children
Member, Committee on the Assessment of Family Violence Interventions, National Research Council
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Orthopsychiatric Association (President, 1991-92)
Task Force on Child Abuse, American Academy of Pediatrics
Society for Epidemiologic Research
Committee on Social Policy, Society for Research in Child Development
Society for Pediatric Research
American College of Epidemiology
Board of Directors, American Orthopsychiatric Association
Committee on Child Abuse, Council on Scientific Affairs, American Medical Association
Executive Council, International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
Committee for Ethical Conduct, Society for Research in Child Development
American Pediatric Society
Vice Chair, Committee on Family Violence, American Medical Association
Committee on Violence, Massachusetts Medical Society
Community Service Related to Professional Work:
Board of Directors, Parents’ and Children’s Services, Boston
Community Advisory Council, Junior League of Boston
Board of Directors, Brookline Mental Health Association
Advisory Board, Museum of the National Center for Afro-American Artists,
Massachusetts Committee for Children and Youth (state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America)
Board of Overseers, Massachusetts Cultural Education Collaborative
Committee on Infant Mortality, The Medical Foundation and Boston Department of Health and Hospitals
Editorial Board, Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine
Editorial Board, Child Abuse and Neglect
Board of Consulting Editors, Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development
Editorial Board, Victimology
Editorial Board, Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Editorial Board, Violence and Victims
Editorial Board, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Board of Governors, Family Violence Update
Editorial Board, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse
Editorial Board, Crisis Intervention and Time-Limited Treatment
In my efforts to improve services to abused and neglected children, I have often taught current approaches to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention to members of the helping professions involved with these cases in Massachusetts, at conferences for physicians, nurses, social workers, lawyers, judges, child care workers, and mental health personnel. For example, on May 22, 1979, at the invitation of Rev. Msgr. Leo J. Battista, I gave the keynote address entitled “Child Abuse: Current Knowledge and Practice” at Catholic Charities first continuing education training institute at Anna Maria College. On February 1, 1983, I gave a lecture at the Franklin N. Flaschner Judicial Institute First Annual Convocation for Experienced Justices on considerations for judges presiding in Care and Protection cases. I discussed children’s attachments to parents and others; the developmental stages of children; the impact of emotional unfitness of a parent and its long-term implications; and incest and sexual abuse of children. In my teaching at Harvard Medical School, as part of a systematic effort to foster communication across disciplinary and institutional boundaries in my Training Grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (1979-1997), I opened our weekly seminars to members of the professional community concerned with advancing practice on child abuse. Through the Department of Continuing Medical Education at Harvard Medical School, I organized and directed or co-directed 12 annual three-day conferences on Abuse and Victimization Life-Span Perspective for all the disciplines and professions concerned with child protection. All these conferences focused on strengthening the developing knowledge base practitioners and advancing clinical and institutional practice.
The Abuse and Victimization conference on March 31 to April 2, 1993, co-directed by Carolyn M. Newberger, Ed.D. was organized under the heading “Trauma and Memory: Clinical and Legal Dimensions.” We included in it an April 2, 1993, symposium on “The Emergence of a Collective Memory of Past Abuse: Lessons from the Father Porter Case.” Presentations were given by a survivor who told his story, a lecture by an attorney on “Accountability Across Time: The Prosecution of Past Abuse,” and a panel of 3 psychologists on The Forensic Evaluation of Past Abuse: Ethical and Professional Challenges.
Advance notice of this conference was given to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and its Catholic Charitable Bureau. Subsequently, Dr. Carolyn Newberger and I were invited to meet with Cardinal Bernard Law and certain of his aides, including the Vicar General, William Murphy, and the Secretary for Ministerial Personnel, John McCormack. At this two-hour meeting on May 3, 1993, we reviewed current knowledge on diagnosis, the effects of sexual abuse by priests on children and their families, and methods for screening personnel who work with children and for preventing offender recidivism. We also discussed the likelihood that people who commit these acts will re-offend.
My work in the formulation of policies to protect children from pedophiles began in the early 1970’s, when child sexual abuse was becoming a salient clinical social problem. As always, my work in the public domain has been grounded in insights from clinical practice and research. This work includes consultations (to such governmental agencies as the Massachusetts Office for Children and the Board of Registration Medicine, nonprofit organizations such Big Brothers of Massachusetts Bay, and numerous public and independent schools in Massachusetts).
I also have served on committees and boards devoted to the elevation and standardization of practice in the professional and non-professional care of children. Notable among these are the Child Welfare League of America, on which I served on the committee to standardize child protection practices, and the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, a national organization chartered by the leading national nonprofit service organizations to standardize the practices of their local affiliates. This organization, founded in 1977, includes in its 1988-1989 edition of its directory of accredited agencies the Catholic Charitable Bureau of the Archdiocese of Boston. I was the among the first two physicians elected as a trustee in 1993. (Child protection services are included in its list of accredited functions.) The chartering national organizations include the Family Service Association of America, Catholic Charities, Lutheran Family Services, and Jewish Family and Children’s Services, in addition to the Child Welfare League. The awards listed on my curriculum vitae have recognized my public service work.
II. Materials reviewed to date
A. Priest personnel records, correspondence between RCAB officials and priests, clinical summaries and recommendations, review board summaries and recommendations, notes from victim interviews, legal complaints, RCAB interoffice memoranda, correspondence with the Vatican, correspondence with victims and their families and with bishops in other dioceses. These documents were produced by the RCAB to the attorneys representing the alleged victims of Rev. Paul R. Shanley.
1. Rev. Paul R. Shanley
2. Rev. Robert Barrett
3. Rev. George C. Berthold
4. Rev. Robert M. Burns
5. Brother Fidelis DeBernardis
6. Rev. Michael Foster
7. Rev. Tomas P. Forry
8. Rev. Ross Frey
9. Rev. Dennis Keefe
10. Rev. James W. Nyhan
11. Rev. D. George Spagnolia
12. Rev. Robert V. Gale
13. Rev. Joseph E. Birmingham
14. Rev. George Callahan
15. Rev. Alfred Murphy
16. Rev. Harold J. Johnson
17. Rev. Peter S. Kanchong
18. Brother Dominick Karrow
19. Rev. Richard Ahearn
20. Rev. B. Landry
21. Rev. John P. Lyons
22. Rev. Paul McDonald
23. Br. Ricardo
24. Rev. Robert Ward
25. Rev. Thomas D. Donnelly
26. Rev. Kelvin Iguabita-Rodriguez
27. Rev. Edward T. Kelley
28. Rev. Samuel J. Lombard
29. Rev. Robert Meffan
30. Rev. David C. Murphy
31. Rev. Redmond Raux
32. Rev. William Scanlan
33. Rev. Robert Towner
34. Rev. Paul David White
35. Rev. Richard Barry
36. Rev. John Cotter
37. Rev. Edward McDonagh
38. Rev. Benjamin McMahon, Jr.
39. Rev. Paul Moriarty
40. Rev. Gary Balcom
41. Rev. Anthony Bouchette
42. Rev. Raymond Boulanger
43. Rev. Gerard E. Creighton
44. Rev. John A. Dunn
45. Rev. James J. Foley, Jr.
46. Rev. Peter Frost
47. Brother Kenneth Ghastin
48. Rev. James Power
49. Rev. Joseph L. Welsh
50. Rev. Cyprian Sondej
51. Rev. Edward Tardiff
52. Rev. Paul F. Manning
53. Rev. C. Melvin Surette
54. Rev. James Wilson
55. Rev. Jay Mullin
56. Rev. Richard A. Buntel
57. Rev. Frederick J. Ryan
58. Rev. Armand Thibault
59. Rev. John Turnbull
60. Rev. Andrez Sujka
61. Rev. Joseph Gilpin
62. Rev. Joseph Coleman
63. Rev. John K. Connell
64. Rev. Denis Conte
65. Rev. Paul J. Finnegan
66. Rev. John Gallagher
67. Rev. Gerard Hickey
68. Rev. Paul Hurley
69. Rev. Robert Morrissette
70. Rev. Raymond Plourde
71. Rev. Eugene O’Sullivan
72. Rev. Bernard J. Lane
73. Rev. George J. Rosencrantz
74. Rev. Ronald H. Paquin
75. Rev. Richard T. Coughlin
76. Rev. Paul Tivnan
77. Rev. John T. Atwater
78. Rev. Paul J. Mahan
79. Rev. Paul Desilets
80. Rev. Ernest E. Tourigney
81. Rev. Daniel M. Graham
82. Rev. John R. Hanlon
83. Rev. Joseph L. Welsh
84. Rev. Richard O. Matte
85. Rev. John Picardi
86. Rev. Richard G. Johnson
87. Rev. Robert Burns
88. Deacon Mark Doherty
89. Rev. Dozia Wilson
90. Rev. James Murphy
B. Deposition Transcripts and Respective Exhibits
1. Bishop Thomas Daily. Dates: August 21 and 22, 2002.
2. Bishop Robert J. Banks. Dates: November 7 and 8, 2002.
3. Bishop John B. McCormack. Dates: June 3, August 15, September 27, October 1, and November 22, 2002.
4. Rev. Brian M. Flatley. Date: September 13, 2002.
5. Cardinal Bernard F. Law. Dates: June 5 and 7, August 13 and 14, October 11 and 16, 2002.
C. Organizational Documents on Ethical Standards and Principles of Care
1. Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America: 1982 “Legal Report – Child Sexual Abuse,” 1983 “Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training Manual,” 1984 “Update on Child Sexual Abuse,” 1984 “Revised Minimum Standards of Practice,” 1985 “Minimum Practice Standards for Big Brothers/Big Sisters Affiliates.”
2. Child Welfare League of America: 1989 “Standards for Service for Abused or Neglected Children and Their Families”
3. National Association of Social Workers: 1980 “Code of Ethics”
4. Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children: 1978, 1982, 1987 “Provisions for Accreditation;” 1988-89 “Directory of Accredited Agencies”
5. American Humane Association: 1988 “Fundamentals of Child Protection: A Statement of Basic Concepts and Principles”
III. Ethical Standards and Standards of Care of Children: Compendium of Guidance from Primary Sources
“The agency provides evidence of ethical conduct in operating its program or services” (Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, 1978 Provisions for Accreditation, p.3)
Note: My only contacts with officials of the RCAB before 1991 were with administrators and social workers of The Catholic Charitable Bureau of the RCAB, who referred cases of suspected child abuse to my clinic at Children’s Hospital and invited me often to participate in training conferences for their professional staff. (Monsignor McNamara, the director of the Catholic Charitable Bureau of the RCAB, nominated me for the 1985 Commissioner’s Award given by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for outstanding contributions the prevention of child abuse and neglect.)
I believe that the leaders of the RCAB could not have avoided seeing news articles and other reports of the risks to children by pedophiles who sought access to them through employment or other means. Nor could they have been unaware of the contemporaneous refinement of standards of practice in child-serving institutions. The Catholic Charitable Bureau of the RCAB was accredited by the Council, a national non-profit organization sponsored and guided by such youth-serving organizations as the Child Welfare League, Family Services Association of the U.S., Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and Catholic Charities. I contributed to these discussions, before, during and after my service as a public member of the Council’s Board of Trustees in 1993-1998.
For example, on page one of the Boston Sunday Globe, September 16, 1984, there appeared a photograph of Pope John Paul II taken on his current visit to North America. An article lower on the page carried the headline: “Child abuse cases point to need for screening.” I was quoted in the article, that began: “In 1972, eight men, including a former Big Brothers organizer, a child psychiatrist, and several college officials, were indicted in Suffolk County, N.Y., on charges they belonged to a club that provided boys as young as 10 for sexual purposes.” The third paragraph of the article continues: “In addition, some professions and organizations that work with children are beginning to discuss what steps they might take to try to screen out such persons and to deal with allegations of abuse when they surface…
“The concern was felt especially keenly by the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America organization, since the essence of the service provided by some 100,000 Big Brother/Big Sister volunteers depends on a one-to-one relationship. As a result, that organization has earned a national reputation among child welfare agencies for its pioneering efforts to screen out potential child abusers by training of all staff and volunteers.
“In the forefront of those who have been trying to raise the issue among other professions and groups is Dr. Eli Newberger of Children’s Hospital in Boston. In an address to the National Conference on Sexual Abuse of Children last April in Washington, he argues that the tendency of physicians’ organizations and others to hide behind professional self-interest rather than address the issue is in itself a moral issue.
“It seems to me that the professions are more concerned with protecting their own professional interests than protecting children. Just as in the day care field, terrible abuses have come to light, we need in medicine a method of screening people who work with children,” said the Boston pediatrician, a leading national authority on abuse issues.'”
It is my belief that in the interval in which the sexual abuse of children was brought to the attention of leaders of the RCAB, virtually every institution offering care to children followed such ethical principles and guidelines as these:
A. Best Interest of the Child
1. “Belief in the need to protect children has developed in accordance with what society deems as the rights of its children. It is these rights that the community seeks to safeguard when it legally mandates intervention in situations involving child abuse and neglect.” (Child Welfare League Standards for Service for Abused or Neglected Children and Their Families, 1989, p.1)
2. “The agency is guided by the interests of the child in all matters relating to services for children.” (Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, 1978 Provisions for Accreditation, p.23)
3. “When the child brings this abuse to your attention:
- Support the child – you will do your best to protect
- Comfort the child
- express your sadness and your anger at the abuser – place responsibility of abuser
- Believe the child and show this belief, both orally and visibly
- Advise child – not his/her fault – help avoid guilt feelings
- Reassure child “we will work this out together.” Be understanding and supportive. -Do not reject, punish, disapprove of the child.”
(“Child Sexual Abuse,” by Donald L. Wolff, National Vice President, Program, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, 1982, p. 25)
B. Control and Deterrence of Sexual Offenses Against Children
1. “There are a few dozen specialized, experimental child molester treatment programs around the country. Although programs have been established both within and outside of criminal justice settings, it has generally been found that the threat or reality of criminal sanctions must be utilized to assure the participation of offenders and to keep them away from victims. These programs employ a diversity of techniques including individual and group psychotherapy, behavior modification, social skills training, and some drug treatment.
“Although there are many research reports of successful treatment of child molesters – in particular, using behavior modification – a great deal of skepticism is warranted about the state of the art. Few sufficiently long-term follow-up studies have been done, especially given the evidence that recidivism often occurs many years subsequent to release. Moreover, it is generally acknowledged that some offenders are not amenable to treatment, and no reliable techniques exist for identifying these offenders.”
(“Child Sexual Abuse,” by David Finkelhor, Professor of Sociology and Director, Crimes Against Children Program, Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire, in Violence in America: A Public Health Approach, edited by Mark L. Rosenberg and Mary Ann Fenley, New York, Oxford University Press, 1991, pp. 89-90. Professor Finkelhor served as a member of the advisory committee to develop a sexual abuse policy for the RCAB in 2001-2002.)
2. In 1982, Big/Brother Big Sisters of America defined these characteristics that should “help identify persons who might be prone to sexually abuse the children in our program.”
1) If there is evidence of a non-traditional lifestyle, i.e., has not participated in competitive sports, absence of normal peer relationships, associates and circle of friends are young people, absence of a dating relationship if individual is not married
2) Presence of sexual abuse or neglect in individual’s background
3) Characteristic immaturity; person is shy, withdrawn, passive, non-assertive
4) Work history: Is the individual’s work history unstable or has he tended to seek jobs where he has little or no responsibility or is always told what to do?
5) Is the individual one who has difficulty making decisions, non-assertive and generally obedient to all requests?
6) Does the person have a criminal background, which is verifiable by police or FBI reports?
7) Person is over-invested in children, over-identifies with children, or does he have specific requirements in terms of the type of child he prefers to be around. How effective is the person in setting limits with children? Does volunteer prefer to be around a certain type of child? Relinquishes adult role and responsibility, tends to become more like the child.
8) Places a premium on doing one to one activities with the child versus social activities with other people, low visibility activities preferred to group activity.
9) Are the activities he does with children visible to others?
10) Does the individual become more animated around children, i.e. the person’s eyes light up, person becomes more expressive versus being shy, passive and quiet around adults?
11) Does the person display any signs of anxiety about adult sexuality, i.e. does he talk about sexuality, does not date.
12) How often does the individual describe children as clean, innocent, pure, especially in comparing children to adults?
13) Adverse or extremely judgmental attitude towards homosexuality, revulsion.
14) How much of the individual’s other life activities bring them into contact with children such as, i.e. scouting, church activities, teaching general over-investment in working with children?
15) Describes desired match very specifically – emphasizing interest in children with certain physical or emotional characteristics, e.g. wants “clean cut” kid, one with no brothers or sisters.
16) Overly anxious to obtain match.
17) Indefinite reasons for dissatisfaction with other youth activities.
18) Exclusive interest in child who has reached puberty.
19) Abuse of alcohol or drugs.
20) Want to work with child who is in great need of a Big Brother/Sister–deprived—little concern on the part of mother or guardian.
21) Concentrates on children between the ages of 8 and 12.
22) Volunteer provides own graphic physical description of child desired. This is often a sign of being sexually fixated on a specific or particular type of child.
23) Volunteer has hobbies and interests very appealing to children.
(“Child Sexual Abuse,” by Donald L. Wolff, National Vice President, Program, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, 1982, pp. 9-13)
3. “One organization which openly admits to favoring sexual relationships between adults and children is NAMBLA, which is the North American Man/Boy Love Association. This group was formed in the late 70’s and, although it represents a small number of men, I have been hesitant to emphasize their importance. However, I do recommend that questions in the applications or questions by the interviewer include inquiry as to membership in this organization, familiarity with concepts, sympathy with its goals and aims.”
(“Child Sexual Abuse,” by Donald L. Wolff, National Vice President, Program, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, 1982, p. 15)
C. Protection of the Child, Family, and Community
1. “Prompt action is taken on every report of neglect, abuse or exploitation:
- to determine if the child is in danger; and
- to determine how the child is being affected by the situation and whether or not the care and protection of the child meet accepted standards.”
(Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, 1978 Provisions for Accreditation, p.36)
2. “When the client is endangered, or may be harmful to others, the agency determines its responsibility for disclosure to appropriate parties as required for the protection of the client or the community.”
(Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, 1982 Provisions for Accreditation, p.14)
3. “There are procedures for prompt reporting to appropriate authorities and to parents or legal guardian any serious accident, emergency, or dangerous situation involving clients or staff”
(Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, 1978 Provisions for Accreditation, p.76)
4. “The reporting of child sexual abuse has significantly increased over the last several years. In the decade between 1975 and 1985, the official reporting of child sexual abuse increased by 1800 percent, resulting in an increased involvement of law enforcement officials. This has led to significant changes in some state and provincial laws and policies to mandate cooperative or joint investigations”
(Child Welfare League of America: 1989 “Standards for Service for Abused or Neglected Children and Their Families,” p. 2)
In 1971 and 1972 in Massachusetts, Governor Francis Sargent’s committee on child abuse proposed mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect to the state child protection agency by members of every professional or worker who cared for children. I served on this committee and chaired its subcommittee on services. The Christian Science Church argued that its healers’ ability to practice would be disrupted if their practitioners were required to report. When the proposed revisions to Chapter 119 became law, Section 51A did not include clergy in the list of practitioners mandated to report suspected abuse. At this time, the Mother Church and other religious organizations informed the legislature that they would not shirk from their responsibilities to protect children from all forms of abuse and neglect.
5. “Acts of abuse or neglect against children should not be tolerated by the community. Communities should work together to ensure that children are in environments that are free of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. These goals are inextricably associated with the broader aim of promoting quality programs in all child care environments.
“When abuse or neglect occurs outside the family setting, parents maintain primary responsibility to take such steps as are necessary to assure the protection and treatment of children.
“Parents may call upon law enforcement officials, licensing authorities, child welfare agencies, or other appropriate community resources in seeking necessary protection and treatment for their children. The community, therefore, has an inherent obligation to make parents aware of, and to provide, a range of services to assist them in protecting and providing treatment for their children”
Child Welfare League of America: 1989 “Standards for Service for Abused or Neglected Children and Their Families,” pp. 5-6)
6. “The agency seeks to protect its clients and its physical, personnel, and financial resources through a process of evaluating and reducing the risks to which they are exposed.
“The agency has a process of evaluating and reducing its potential loss and liability which includes:
- a person whose job description includes responsibility for carrying out the risk management function
- reporting to the governing body on the nature of risks involved, the steps to remedy them, and the need for bonding, self-insurance, or external coverage
- a process in which risks are identified and analyzed in terms of their nature, severity and frequency
- a process in which avoidance of risk through loss prevention and risk reduction is combined with protection from risk through self-insurance or external coverage; and
- evaluation and monitoring of the effectiveness of the risk management function.”
(Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, 1987 Provisions for Accreditation, p.19)
D. Duty to Warn of Danger
1. When the client is endangered, or may be harmful to others, the agency determines its responsibility for disclosure to appropriate parties as required for protection of the client or the community.
(Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, 1978 Provisions for Accreditation, p.13)
2. “The agency fulfills its responsibility for protection of the client and the community when the client may be endangered and/or may be harmful to others by:
- written policies regarding disclosures of such client information to administration, parents, legal guardians, or community authorities; and
- administrative review of case records to determine that appropriate disclosures take place.
(Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, 1987 Provisions for Accreditation, p.25)
1. “Except where disclosure is authorized by law or judicial action, the informed consent of the client or, where applicable, the client’s guardian is obtained when information is to be released to another agency (or organization or individual), stating the specific information to be given, to whom it is to be given, and for what purpose it is to be given.”
2. “The agency assumes a protective role with regard to the release of information about particularly vulnerable clients (e.g. children, individuals who are mentally disabled or functionally illiterate.”
(Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, 1978 Provisions for Accreditation, p.13)
F. Informed Consent
“Children, because of their emotional and physical dependency, are incapable of providing informed consent to sexual activities. Children are vulnerable due to the abuser’s greater position, privilege or authority, age, physical strength, threat, use of deceptive or coercive techniques, or threat of abandonment. Child sexual abuse has a disruptive effect on children’s physical and emotional well-being.”
(Child Welfare League of America: 1989 “Standards for Service for Abused or Neglected Children and Their Families,” p. 2)
G. Avoidance of Conflicts of Interest
1. “The agency has or, as in the case of a subunit of a larger entity, is subject to, written policies governing ethical conduct of its programs and operations.
2. “The members of the governing body or advisory board of a voluntary or public agency have no direct or indirect interest in the assets or leases of the agency; any member who individually or as part of a business or professional firm is involved in other business transactions or current professional services of the agency shall disclose this relationship and shall not participate in any vote taken in respect to such transactions or services; written conflict of interest policies cover these issues.
3. “Advisory board members of proprietary agencies have no direct or indirect financial interest in the assets, leases, business transactions, or current professional services of the agency and are restrained from having same by written agency policy.”
(Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, 1987 Provisions for Accreditation, p.7)
H. Obligations of Leaders of Organizations Serving Children
As the Defendants acknowledge in their testimony, the RCAB provided services to more than two hundred schools, and religious education for children in more than 300 parishes when Cardinal Law started serving as Archbishop of Boston. The Archdiocese was one of the largest providers of services to children in the State. At all times, as leaders of an organization serving children, the individual Defendants had an obligation to follow the principles enunciated above if they were acting in a reasonable and prudent manner, consistent with the standards of care in effect for facilities serving children. Moreover, the individual Defendants had an obligations, consistent with that standard of care, to properly supervise their employees, to train their employees, to take appropriate disciplinary action when appropriate, to protect children from foreseeable harm at all times and to create an environment where children would be safe.
IV. Violations of Ethics and Standards of Care by leaders of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston (RCAB)
Deposition Transcripts and Appendices: Bishops Daily, Banks, and McCormack; and Cardinal Law, respectively
Note: The depositions are reviewed bishop by bishop, session by session. Within each deposition, testimony is quoted or excerpted that demonstrates information, events, and decisions that violate prevailing ethical canons and standards of care. After each pertinent decision documented in the testimony and cited exhibits, I have placed letters that correspond to violations of the following principles:
A. Best Interest of the Child
B. Control and Deterrence of Sexual Offenses Against Children
C. Protection of the Child, Family, and Community
D. Duty to Warn of Danger
F. Informed Consent
G. Avoidance of Conflicts of Interest
H. Obligations of Leaders of Organizations Serving Children
Bishop Thomas Daily: Dates: August 21 and 22, 2002.
August 21, 2002
p. 32 “We had no written policy as such for sexual abuse that I aware of, just the general law of the church.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 45 re F. Shanley: “I was opposed to the whole question of his involvement in his ministry.”
p. 49 “The information was always given to his eminence, the cardinal, who directed, who directed (sic) the association with the cardinal – with Father Shanley.”
p. 113 In response to the question, “Bishop Daily did you consider Paul Shanley as of April 1974 to be a troubled priest using the definition you just provided to us?” Bishop Daily replied: “Yes. I would say he was a troubled priest that needed help.
In response to the next question, “Well was he sent in for any type of mental health assistance or evaluation at that time,” Bishop Daily replied: “At that time I am not aware of that.” B, C
p. 121-122 In response to the question, “Did you ever go to the personnel records to take a look at the files of this man that you considered to be a troubled priest in need of help?” Bishop Daily replied: “No. But I had a drawer, as I remembered before, about special cases in my own office. And I had referred that – I referred to that almost every week.” To the next question, “Was that – did that include Paul Shanley?” Bishop Daily replied: “No, I don’t remember exact (sic) – specifically any kind of a significant file on Paul Shanley. But if he had been involved in any kind of what you – what his deviant activity I would have had some knowledge of that and some record of that in that file.”
p. 128 referred to Exhibit 27, a letter from a priest at Our Lady of LaSalette reporting that in the summer of 1966 F. Shanley masturbated a boy. “This was suggested after hearing the boy’s confession the rectory as the conversation centered on the boy’s problems. It was presented to the boy as the lesser of two evils. The boy was asked to think it over. The boy left, thought it over, and asked his parent’s permission to go with said priest to a log cabin that the priest owns. The suggestion was that the boy masturbated the priest.” Letter continues “Said priest brings teenager to said cabin over weekends every third or fourth week, more often in the summer. There is no set pattern. The boy mentioned above knows of two other boys who go with said priest without knowing if this is going on or not with them.” Bishop Daily stated he never saw this before, although it was in the confidential material produced in the first set of court-ordered disclosures by Father Higgins after approximately three hours of search.
p. 158 referred to Exhibit 42, a letter from Delores Stevens to Jeanne Sweeney of Rochester, N.Y., October 4, 1977, in which she describes a talk by F. Shanley: “He spoke of pedophilia, which is a non-coerced sexual manipulation of sex organs, including oral genital sex between an adult and child. He stated that the adult is not the seducer. The kid is the seducer. And further, the kid is not traumatized by the act, per se. The kid is traumatized when the police and the authorities drag the kid in for questioning.”
p. 159 To the questions “Would you be concerned about a priest making such a statement back in 1977 if he, in fact, made it?” and “How concerned would you be?” Bishop Daily replied “Concerned enough to report it to the bishop to get his direction as to what we should do with him or what I should with him, if the archbishop or the ordinary wanted me to intervene and act or to do it himself. You, know, to intervene.” A, B, C, D
p. 160-161 To the question, “Well, he says he can think of no sexual act that causes psychic damage, not even incest or bestiality. Does that statement concern you?” Bishop Daily replies “It does because there are, I would think – that I would aver that there are sexual acts that do cause psychic damage.”
p. 169 letter to Mrs. Sweeney: “I am grateful to you for your letter and for the information which is enclosed. The position of the Archdiocese of Boston is that while Father Shanley enjoys the faculties of the Archdiocese of Boston, he alone must be held responsible for any statements regarding homosexuality. With the sincere hope that the above is helpful to you, I am in Christ, Most Reverend Thomas B. Daily, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, Chancellor.” A, B, C, H
p.170 To the question ” You did not undertake any type of inquiry in response to the allegations of Mrs. Sweeney that, and Ms. Stevens, that Paul Shanley had spoken of pedophilia stating that the adult is not the seducer, the kid is the seducer, and that he can think of no sexual act that causes psychic damage, not even incest or bestiality. You didn’t do anything to investigate the accuracy of that, Bishop Daily, did you?” Bishop Daily replied: “Oh, I beg your pardon. I sent the material and consulted with the cardinal. You have it right here.” To the next question, “Well it says right here, in your letter to Mrs. Sweeney, it says,” Your letter to his eminence, Cardinal Medeiros, has been referred to this office.” Do you see that? It was referred to you. There is no indication in your letter to Mrs. Sweeney that you had spoken to Cardinal Medeiros about this.” Bishop Daily replies “But the thing is, if I may say so, again the note at the bottom says return to me for his eminence. In other words, the letter came to the cardinal in his house. It was referred to me. I responded and told the secretary to give it back to me so that I could tell the cardinal what had been done.” A, B, C, D, G
p. 176-177 asked if he personally did enough in response to Mrs. Stevens’s allegation, “The one who would make that judgment (to investigate) would be his eminence. And he is not around. In other words, he had the information. He would have told me what to do. He would have told me to make the investigation or he would investigate himself. So the question as to whether who did what enough refers to all of us, refers to his eminence all the way down.” A, B, C, D, G
p. 188. In response to a question as to whether he could have made recommendations to put restrictions on Paul Shanley’s ministry, Bishop Daily replied: “What I did was I gave the information to the cardinal so he could put the restrictions. Or do what he wanted to do and make decisions, make conclusions and judgments about what he should do with Shanley. He could have inquired with me, also.” A, B, C, D, G,
p. 201 In response to a question about whether F. Shanley still needed help in 1978, Bishop Daily replied “He certainly – he needs a lot of help.” To the question, “Did he ever see a doctor, psychiatrist?” he replies “No, I think he saw the cardinal. He saw the cardinal.
p. 213-214 In response to the question “Did you have an opinion back then with all of involvement with Paul Shanley as to whether or not he was appropriate for a parish assignment (in St. James parish, where he subsequently abused _________), Bishop Daily replied “If I did, I didn’t voice it.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 217 In response to the question “Any objection when he was sent over to the parish attended by ________ and his wife?” Bishop Daily replied “No, because once the cardinal had made his decision, I assumed and I felt that that was his right. He did it and I didn’t object.” A, B, C, D, H
August 22, 2002
p. 226 In response to the question “You never made any observations about there being bad record keeping in the archdiocese of Boston, did you?” Bishop Daily responded “No, but I never inspected myself the records.” To the next question, “But you looked at your own records?” Bishop Daily responded “Yes.” B, C
p. 230 To the question “But you can’t remember doing anything to try to find out from Miss Stevens or Miss Sweeney or anyone else what the facts were about the speech that Paul Shanley made in Rochester, New York where he spoke of incest, pedophilia and bestiality?” Bishop Daily responded “No, because I accepted what was here.” B, C
p. 235 shown letter from John J. McGeady to Cardinal Medeiros, dated April 2, 1979 (Exhibit 49) that reads: “Dear Cardinal Medeiros: I thought you should be aware of an interview that Father Shanley apparently gave to “Gay Community News” last month since it involves personal conversations between you and Father Shanley. I also include an item from “Gaysweek” in which Father Shanley is designated as your representative.”
p. 236 To the question “Have you ever seen that letter before today?” Bishop Daily replied “No.”
p. 240 In response to a question “I would like to read you a section (from “Gaysweek”) and ask you a question.” “Father Paul Shanley, representative of Boston’s Cardinal Medeiros for outreach to sexual minorities, told a story of a boy who was rejected by family and society but was helped by a boy lover. When his parents found out about the relationship, the man was arrested, convicted and sent to prison and there began the psychic demise of that kid. He had loved that man. It was only a brief and passing time thing as far as the sex was concerned, but the love was deep and the gratitude to the man was deep and when he realized that the indiscretion the eyes of the society and law caused this man to lose 20 years. . .the boy began to fall apart. ‘We have our convictions upside down if we were truly concerned with the boys. The ‘cure’ does far more damage.’ Do you recall reading that statement?” Bishop Daily replied “No, I don’t recall.”
p. 247 “I’m sure I had a conversation with the cardinal and informed him. It says that ‘cardinal aware.'”
p. 248 In response to the question “Did you in fact talk to the person who wrote the article to see if the statements that you find disturbing that are attributed to Paul Shanley were actually made by Paul Shanley?” Bishop Daily replied “No, I think they were talking about – here we were talking about statements. We weren’t talking about actual acts and we haven’t verified that, in fact, the acts took place.” B, C
p. 249 To the question “Did you go out and get the facts as to what Paul Shanley had allegedly said at the conference?” Bishop Daily replied: “No. I accepted the fact that he was present and that he was saying these things were disturbing. I accepted the fact he was present. I did not deny the fact, that fact. I had no reason to deny the fact, the gay community report of what had happened.” B, C
p. 252 To the question, “Did you undertake as you sit here today any steps to find out whether he was there and was part of that caucus to form the Man Boy Lovers of North America?” Bishop Daily replied: “No, not the caucus. What I would have been disturbed was that he was at the meeting in the first place, whatever happened.” B, C
p. 252-3 To the question, “The question is, understand we are talking here about man/boy love. This is April of 1979, and understanding that you have a report in front of you that Paul Shanley was in attendance and said certain things, did you undertake anything at all to find out specifically whether Paul Shanley had attended the conference or had been part of the caucus?” Bishop Daily replied: “As you know, there’s a note on the memorandum that says the cardinal was aware.” To the question “Apart from making the cardinal aware of this article, did you do anything else that you can recall?” Bishop Daily replied: “I gave – I made the cardinal aware in case he wanted to give me directions as to further action, because if that was – because that was my responsibility to do that. I was taking my orders from him and my direction from him because he’s obviously the cardinal and bishop of Boston and he would direct me, whatever, counsel me, regarding the situation; but direct me as to what actions we should take or not take.” B, C
p. 260 To the question “Did you consider at the time, given your receipt of the letter from Jean Sweeney which talked about incest, bestiality, pedophilia attributing it to Paul Shanley and the Gaysweek article which we have just been over that makes various remarks about man/boy love, did you consider it at the time that it was appropriate to assign Father Paul Shanley to a family parish in Newton, Massachusetts?” “You remember we went over yesterday and today the statements attributed to Paul Shanley where he said that there was no sexual act that could cause psychic damage, in his opinion, including bestiality and incest?” Bishop Daily replied: “Yes, this is what he said.”
p. 311 In regard to an inquiry from Pastor Hugh Weston (Exhibit 66) about whether F. Shanley was present and represented the Cardinal: “I don’t recall it anyway, but obviously I did not answer the questions for Father Weston for whatever reasons I had at the time, not feeling obliged presumably or obliged to Hugh Weston to tell him whether or not he was there or not there.” D
p. 330 To the question: “And you appointed him acting pastor (at St. John the Evangelist of Newton) even though you had received the Moynihan letter asking about his attendance at NAMBLA, you had received the letter from Pastor Weston, you received letter from Attorney McGeady enclosing the article of Gaysweek, and you received the letter from Mrs. Sweeney which enclosed the letter of Mrs. Stevens about his views on pedophilia, incest and bestiality?” Bishop Daily replied “Correct.” A, B, C
p. 341-2 Regarding how he could he have placed Father Shanley in charge of a family parish, he replied: ” Because of the – there was no – there were no indications of actions regarding the actions that were mentioned and talked about and promoted in these meetings and so forth, and that the whole trust of His Eminence approached to him and mine is given the direction of His Eminence was to bring him into a situation where his ideas and opinions which were as we described earlier and changed to something normal and that that was the hope and that was the expectation.” B,F
p. 348 To the question “Were there any safeguards in place when you appointed Paul Shanley as acting pastor on November of 1983?” Bishop Daily replies: “Only the supervisory of pastoral concern of the local regional bishop in that area, the Episcopal vicar in that area. C, D, F
p. 364 Asked about changes in administrative practice after Cardinal Law arrived, whether he stated that there was inadequate or poor record keeping, Bishop Daily replied “No, I never heard anybody say that.” In response to the question “Now, did you ever tell Cardinal Law that there had been allegations that Paul Shanley had endorsed man/boy love relationships before you left the archdiocese of Boston?” Bishop Daily replied “I don’t recall.”
p. 435 To the question, “But you appointed him believing that he had the association with the Man Boy Love Association; you made that association, didn’t you?” Bishop Daily replied: “Knowing that the cardinal of Boston also knew that.” H
p. 435 To the question “But you don’t have any information whatsoever or facts to support the notion that one member of St. Jean’s parish knew that Paul Shanley was associated with NAMBLA, do you?” Bishop Daily asked “This particular person?” To the next question, “Anybody, anybody in that parish. You don’t have any information to suggest in any way that any one parishioner at St. Jean’s knew that Paul Shanley was associated with NAMBLA?” Bishop Daily asked “When I made the Appointment? There’s no documentation, I have no specific knowledge?” C, D
p. 435 To the question, “But you knew, correct?” Bishop Daily asked “I knew what?” The next question “You knew he had an association.” Bishop Daily replied “So did a lot of other people.” C, D, G, H
p.440 To the question, “Wouldn’t you agree with me someone who was openly endorsing sexual relations between men and boys . . .placed in the position of power without the parishioners knowing about it, (could be) a potential threat to children?” Bishop Daily replied “Well, I would have to consider that element, yes, sure.” A, C
Bishop Robert J. Banks (Vicar General, 1984-90). Deposition Dates: November 7 and 8, 2002.
November 7, 2002
p. 28 To the question “But if in fact you had determined – first of all, if an allegation were made that a priest was stating that when adults have sex with children, it’s the fault of the child or the child is the seducer, that would be a serious allegation against a priest, would it not, Bishop Banks replied “That’s right.” To the next question, “It would require investigation; is that correct?” he replied “Yes.”
p. 49 To the question “Did you think that the people had the right to the information, Bishop Banks, on John Geoghan? The parishioners?” Bishop Banks replied “I can’t say they had the right to the information.” To the next question “Did it ever cross your mind that they should get the same information that you had about John Geoghan so they could make a decision as to whether or not they wanted to have their children attend CCD class at a parish where John Geoghan was working? Did that ever cross your mind?” Bishop Banks replied “No, it didn’t.” D
p. 61 To the question “And did you state the following at that press conference, that when you were in Boston, ‘the Church would handle these cases spiritually. They would call the priest in and give him a lecture, tell him to take a retreat, promise not to do it again. That was enough because priests do the right thing and we then put them back into ministry. Obviously, that did not work. If they were out of control, we would send them for an assessment.” Bishop Banks replied “I might have if you have it in writing.” To the next question, “We have it on videotape and we’ll show it to you. But what I just read was that the practice between 1984 and 1990 in Boston?” Bishop Daily replied “I think I was trying to give a general assessment of the way the Church in the United States was handling those problems.” B, C, D, H
p. 85 states “Generally, the allegations went to Father McCormack. That was his job.”
p. 85 To the question “You, in turn, reported credible allegations of misconduct when they had been investigated to the Cardinal; is that correct,” Bishop Banks replied:
“I reported what I felt to be true allegations to the Cardinal.” D
p. 105 Bishop Banks is read the deposition testimony of Father Helmick, Cardinal Law’s Secretary, who in response to the question: “When you got this third letter in which Paul Shanley’s perverted views on man-boy love and children have sex with adults, this is now the third communication on this subject that has passed through the Office of the Secretary, the third one, did you do anything at all to try to bring this to someone’s attention so children were not at risk?” Father Helmick replied: “I sent it to Bishop Banks.”
p. 116-117 Bishop Banks is read the deposition testimony of Father Helmick, who in response to the question “Would it have been important for Bishop Banks and Cardinal Law to understand that this was the type of information that had been presented to you on previous occasions?” Father Helmick responded “It would have been important, yes.” To the next question “But you can’t remember whether you did it?” Father Helmick responded “Well, the fact that we established a record, a folder on Father Shanley, Paul Shanley, at the Chancery Office, would be a way of Bishop Banks, you know, finding out that this is not the first allegation of his speaking in this way.”
p. 116 Bishop Banks, in response to the question “You don’t have a recollection of doing that though (‘either directly or asked your secretary to go look at the file to see if there was anything in there about Paul Shanley’), do you?” Bishop Banks replied: I do not.” B, C, D
p. 121 Bishop Banks, in response to the question “If you had seen this type of letter in 1985, or read it, would it have been your practice at the time to have brought this to Cardinal Law’s attention?” responds “Yes. Probably.”
p. 128 Discusses Father McCormack’s false statement in his letter to Ms. Higgs about having his spoken to F. Shanley about the pedophilia statements. Exhibit 6 memo to Banks from F. McCormack contains Bank’s handwritten note “I’d just send Paul the letter, with name and address removed, and ask his comment.” Subsequently, F. McCormack sends letter of June 4, 1985, to Shanley saying, “Would you care to comment on the remarks she made. You can either put them in writing or we could get together some day about it.” (Exhibit 7) B, D
p. 140 To the question “You knew in 1985 that sometimes when people make deviant statements such as this one, that they have the potential to act on those deviant statements; is that not correct?” Bishop Banks replied “They have the potential but not necessarily the probability.” B
p. 141 To the question “In 1985, you were having priests assessed at various facilities to determine their suitability to remain in the priesthood with access to children; is that correct?” Bishop Banks replied “That’s right.” To the next question “But that didn’t happen in 1985; you didn’t send Paul Shanley in for an assessment, did you?” Bishop Banks replied “First of recall, the case was being handled by Father McCormack.” B, C, H
p. 142 To the question “Father McCormack asks if he’s going to handle it, he says right here: “If it is to be me to speak with Paul Shanley, I would like to discuss with you the areas and approach for discussion with him.” Do you see that? Bishop Banks replies “Right.” To the next question “So Father McCormack is looking to you for some consultation about whether he’s to speak to Paul Shanley, and is so, what he’s to say; is that correct?” Bishop Banks replies “I wouldn’t say it’s exactly correct, no.” H
p. 144 To the question “And then if these types of charges (‘involving a serious allegation of misconduct by a priest’) were credible, the protocol in 1985 is that you would bring it to the attention of the Cardinal?” Bishop Banks replied “Yes.” H
p. 146-147 “Let me say, when I read that letter, in no way, in no way, did I ever think that Father Paul Shanley would actually do a thing like that.” B, C, D
p. 150-151 To the question “What if there was an explanation, Bishop, if there was an explanation?” Father Banks replied “There must have been an adequate explanation or he wouldn’t have remained in the parish.” To the next question “So if Shanley denied the allegation, said his remarks were taken out of context or were inaccurately reflected, would that be the end of the matter under you practice in 1985?” Bishop banks replied “Pretty much.” A, B, C, D, H
p.155 To the question “You had a protocol for investigation allegations of misconduct against priests, is that correct, in 1985?” Bishop Banks replied “We did not have a written protocol, no.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 158 To the question “Would it have been consistent with your policy to notify parishioners in parishes that their priest had made such a statement”, Bishop Banks replied “We took things cases by case. . .But in general, we did not notify parishes, because if we felt that a priest was a danger, we wouldn’t put him (there) in the first place.” D
p. 175 reference to Exhibit 9, Bishop Banks’ note on a complaint by a patient (“T”) at McLean Hospital that Shanley had come on to him in a conversation about sado-masochism. Bishop Banks wrote: “I telephoned T. and told him that Father Shanley had denied the allegation, and that really was nothing I could do.” B, C, H
p. 181 To the question “Can you envision any set of circumstances under which it would be appropriate for a priest to go into a mental hospital and talk to a vulnerable patient about sadomasochism, graphically describing sadomasochism and then coming on to him?” Bishop Banks replied “It’s improper to do that.”
p. 193 To the question “So when you put those two incidents together, Bishop Banks, did that not give you some concerns in 1988 about Paul Shanley?” Bishop Banks replied “It gave me a concern that he spoke very unwisely about sex.” B, C, H
p. 203 “As far as I was concerned, he talked too freely about sex. That was the problem.” B, C, H
p. 227-228 To the question “There could have been discussion among other individuals within the Archdiocese who might have knowledge about Father Paul Shanley, an institutional memory?” Bishop Banks replied “There could have been.” To the next question “And that did not happen in 1988, correct?” Bishop Banks replied “Not that I recall.” B, C, D
p. 237 Exhibit 14, Bishop Banks’ January 16, 1990, letter to The Very Reverend Philip A. Behan in San Bernardino, CA. is shown. He wrote: “I can assure you that Father Shanley has no problem that would be a concern to your diocese.” A, C, D
p. 241 To the question “But you didn’t look at the records of Father Shanley?” Bishop Banks replied “No, I didn’t. He was a pastor in the diocese, and as far as I knew, had never been off duty.” B
p. 242 To the question “Do you think that the Diocese of San Bernardino deserved to know, before receiving Father Paul Shanley, that he had stated at a conference at Rochester New York that when adults have sex with children, the children are the seducers” Bishop Banks replied “Not if the priest had said he misspoke or that he changed his mind or that he was very sorry about the whole thing. . .He must have said something satisfactory or we would have removed him from his position.” B, C, D, H
p. 244 To the question “If he says it on one occasion, he gets a free ride on it?” Bishop Banks replied “He does not get a free ride. He has to come in and confess in some sense that he didn’t mean it, that he misspoke himself, that he realizes he’s totally wrong and takes it back and then will never say it again.” To the next question “And you don’t know whether Father Shanley came in and said any of those things, do you, Bishop?” he replied “No, I don’t.” B
November 8, 2002
p. 31 To the question: “So if in fact there were prior allegations about, let’s say, Father Birmingham, — you know he went to the Institute for Living, right?” Bishop Banks replied “I think if there are prior allegations, that should be known. That the doctor should also know his employment record, his grades in high school, no, I don’t think that’s necessary.” B, C, D
p. 32 To the question, “Well was there a process that you put in place as Vicar General in Boston from 1985 to 1990, whereby there would be a search before the victim – before the priest, rather, who was accused of sexual misconduct, would there be a search of that priest’s record to see if there had been other allegations of sexual misconduct made in the past?” Bishop Banks replied: “No I did not do that?” To the next question “Why not, Bishop?” I didn’t think it was necessary. One allegation was enough for me to find out whether or not this person had a serious problem.” To the next question, “But if there were other allegations, Bishop, didn’t you consider that to be relevant information for the psychiatrists or the assessors?” Bishop Banks replied “It could have been, yes.” To the next question, “Well, why then was there not a process to provide, since it was relevant, to provide people like Dr. O’Hanley, the Institute for Living and St. Luke’s, with all of the information, including prior allegations of sexual misconduct?” Bishop Banks replied “Trying to recall my mind at that time, I would have presumed if there was another allegation, that the man would not have been in priesthood.” A, B, C, D, G, H
p. 37 To the question “So given your belief that this information was relevant, I would ask you why was there not an automatic process to search the records and provide to the assessing facility other allegations of sexual misconduct that occurred in the past?” Bishop Banks replied “I’m saying that there was not an automatic process, at least I don’t remember an automatic process. However, in almost – in every case, we sent what we considered to be adequate relevant information so that the psychiatrist or institute could make an assessment. And as far as I know, there was no indication that a lack of relevant information resulted in an incorrect assessment.” B, C, D, H
p. 40 To the question “Is your testimony now that you would always provide relevant information specifically about prior allegations of abuse to the assessing facilities?” Bishop Banks replied “If I was aware of them.” B, D
pp. 42-45 To the question “Bishop, you have identified that in 1985, when you were making the decision as to what records to provide to these assessing institutions, you had taken an introductory course in psychology; is that correct?” Bishop Banks replied “that is not the basis of my judgments. My judgments were based on 40 years of pastoral work.” B, G
p. 52 kept a confidential file in the closet of his office
p. 88 does not recall doing anything to find out if there were other individuals at St. Ann’s Parish in Gloucester who had been victimized by F. Birmingham, referring to his own notes, Exhibit 23, dated 2/12/87 B, C, D, H
p. 89 never informed parishioners at St. Brigid’s of the statements that were made in Dr. Quinn’s letter about Father Birmingham’s sexual misconduct in 1963 and 1964 or the allegation that come to his attention in 1987. B, C, D, H
p. 105 To the question “So you would agree with me that there were now three separate sets of allegations at different parishes about Father Birmingham at the time your received the Institute of Living Report, is that correct?” Bishop Banks responded “I think so.” To the next question “All right. To the next question “And then you made the decision that Father Birmingham was appropriate to be sent as parochial vicar to St. Brigid’s in Lexington, Massachusetts; is that correct?” He responded “Apparently.” To the next question, “And you did not undertake any action whatsoever to let the parishioners know that there were three sets of allegations of inappropriate conduct with minors involving this priest?” Bishop Banks replied “I do not recall doing that.” B, C, D, H
p. 131 re Exhibit 29, Father Rosenkranz documents. The details of allegation are read to Bishop Banks. F. McCormack, by his own report, yelled at victim “PP” after telling him he didn’t believe him.
p. 141-142 To the question: “You’ll see here on the second page (of Father McCormack’s report marked “Personal and Confidential”) that there was a recommendation – this is in the third paragraph, Bishop – “I recommend that Bishop Banks confer confidentially with Father Hardiman, Father Rondeau and Father Cloherty and ask them to sign a document in which they acknowledge they never received a report about an incident and have never perceived behavior that would lead them to question Father Rosenkranz’s relationship with a young boy.” (The document includes the statement “I think this is needed for his file as well as to be assured we have checked every known source about his behavior.”) Bishop Banks responded “Yes.” He then testifies that he does not recall such a meeting. H
p. 143 To the question (regarding Father McCormack’s report) “And that he wanted Father Rosenkranz to ‘meet with Bishop Banks immediately after meeting me, in order to receive the decision of the Archdiocese.’ Is that correct?” Bishop Banks responded “Yes.”
p. 156 discussion re Exhibit 29, where Banks concludes “He seemed to be in a good mood as he left. My objective was to have him leave in a good mood, since if we haven’t proved anything wrong, then we should treat him as innocent.” Says “It would be good to have corroborative proof. . .best of all, to have an admission.” B, C, G
p. 158 shown letter he wrote to F. Rosenkranz in Salem on May 6, 1988. “I am writing in regard to the allegation made against you this past winter. After a thorough investigation of the charge, I have come to the conclusion that there is no reason to pursue the matter any further. The person making the charge was unable to provide any corroborating evidence, and your denial was supported by the favorable results of your evaluation.” B, C, G
p. 161 To the question “Why did you say that Father Rosenkranz’s denial was supported by the favorable results of your evaluation, whereas we just saw, the Institute’s evaluation raised concerns about Father Rosenkrantz?” Bishop Banks replied “We don’t have the assessment here.” To the next question: “Well, we don’t, but we have, on page 23, Bishop McCormack, in Paragraph 3-A, stating that as his personal recommendation, that Father Rosenkranz enter into an in-patient therapeutic program at Southdown in Ontario for a period of three to six months to address the concerns raised in the report of the Institute. Do you see that?” Bishop Banks replied “Yes.” And to the question “Okay. But yet you characterize, on May 6, 1988, the favorable results of the Institute’s evaluation. You characterize them as favorable.” Bishop Banks replied: Well, they’re favorable results. I don’t have the paper in front of me but a favorable result would say he’s able to be put back into ministry” B, C, G
p. 162 To the question “But you didn’t know whether the accusations were true or untrue when you sent this letter to Father Rosenkranz, did you?” Bishop Banks replied “As I said, they weren’t proven.” To the next question “How did you expect, particularly in light of Father Rosenkranz’s initial failure to deny the allegations, how would you ever know whether the sexual assault that had been reported by PP occurred between him and Father Rosenkranz actually took place? What would you look to get evidence to corroborate PP’s allegations?” Bishop Banks replied “Whatever he would say plus whatever others said.”B, C
p. 165 with regard to his qualifications to assess the credibility in 5/88 of individuals who are accused of sexual misconduct, B. Banks replies “just the qualifications of an ordinary person. B, H
p. 168 admits that his judgment about Father Rosenkranz’s credibility turned out to be incorrect, based on another incident brought to his attention in October, 1989.
p. 247 To the question “Did you share with Dr. Brennan, who had told you that you’d better clip John Geoghan’s wings before there is an explosion, the conclusions of the Institute for Living?” Bishop Banks replied “No, I didn’t.” (Nor did he share with St. Luke’s Institute the opinions of the Institute for Living.) B, C, G
p. 248 To the question “So why was it that you chose to rely upon the report of the Institute of Living as opposed to the views of Bishop D’Arcy, the views of Dr. Brennan, and the views of (St. Lukes’) that it was not safe for young people have Father Geoghan return to parish ministry?” Bishop Banks replied “Because they had all that information and they said it was.” B, C, G
p. 252-4 Bishop Banks testifies affirmatively to his involvement in cases of Fathers Geoghan, Birmingham, Rosenkranz, Tourigney, Graham, O’Sullivan, and Desilets, and to his returning them all to ministry.A, B, C, H
Bishop John B. McCormack (Secretary for Ministerial Personnel, 1984-94). Dates: June 3, August 15, September 27, October 1, and November 22, 2002.
June 3, 2002
pp. 20-21 licensed in 1981 as a social worker. License expired in 1988.
p. 25 member of the National Association of Social Workers
p. 29-30 To the question “So when you were acting as a priest and as secretary for ministerial personnel, you did not believe that you were under any requirement to report to the Department of Social Services situations where there was reasonable cause to believe that a child had been abused or neglected, is that correct?” Bishop McCormack responded “When I was acting as a priest, correct. And so that during that period I was acting – my primary responsibility and my total responsibility was to be a priest; I was no longer in the field of social work.”
To the question “Well, did you inform the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that you were no longer acting as a social worker – the licensing bureau for social workers?” Bishop McCormack replied: “No, I didn’t inform the – I had no responsibility to.” A, C
p. 41 “As a priest the law did not require clergymen or psychologists, if I’m correct, to report anything that was spoken to them confidentially. And so that at this time when people came to me as a priest, I was not obligated to report this matter because it was given to me and people approached us in a confidential way.” A, C
p. 63 no written policy on sexual abuse A, B, C, D, H
p. 65 To the question “You were aware, were you not, in 1984 that child molesters could be attracted to any program, school or other situation where they would have access to children; you were aware of that, were you not?” Bishop McCormack replied: “I don’t think I ever gave it a thought.” A, B, C, H
p. 70 To the question “You started to have an understanding, though, when you started your work of the problem of childhood molestation within the Archdiocese of Boston, is that correct?” Bishop McCormack replied “Correct.”
To the next question “And in the course of all of your therapy that you did – counseling that you did as a licensed independent social worker, you never came across the issue of social – of sexual abuse, as you can best remember?” Bishop McCormack replied “No.”
p. 86 To the question “So it would be fair to state that with your knowledge of (Father ) Gilbert Gauthier and what was doing in Louisiana and your knowledge of Fells Acres and McMartin – I’m sorry – Fells Acre and the Buckingham, Brown & Nichols case, that you did have some understanding during the 1980s that sexual abuse could occur in places where children tended to be served – is that correct,” Bishop McCormack replied “Yes.”
p. 89 To the question “And so you knew that there was the potential for a priest, both because of your knowledge of what had happened in Louisiana and the O’Sullivan case (regarding a Boston priest who pleaded guilty to rape of a child), for priests to sexually molest children, is that correct?” Bishop McCormack replied “Correct?”
To the next question “And as part of your administrative responsibilities as the secretary for ministerial personnel, it would have been part of your responsibility administratively to put in systems to insure that didn’t happen, isn’t that correct?” he replied “No.”
To the next question “Well, whose responsibility would it have been?” he replied “It would have been the priest who was – would be responsible for the continuing formation of priests.
To the next question “Who – well, which individual was that in 1985?” Bishop McCormack replied: “I’m not sure. I would – but at that time we did not – I would say the conversation about this being something that needs to be addressed among the ministers of the church was not something that was thought of.” A, B, C, H
p. 127 referred to exhibit 9, the 5/18/94 memorandum from Sister Catherine Mulkerrin to Bishop McCormack re: Father Matte and a minor in which she suggests text of a notice in a parish bulletin: “This may be ‘by the books’, but it feels like a second victimization. The burden is put on a minor all over again and now on his family. ‘Broken record’ by CEM: It has come to our attention that a priest stationed here between 19__ and 19__ may have molested children. Please contact . . . (Parish Bulletin)”
p.127-128 To the question :And you decided that that was not an appropriate policy, is that correct?” Bishop McCormack replied “Not myself; it was a matter of discussion among some of us, whether a matter that came to us – people came to us speaking confidentially about a matter, whether – you know, that we handle this matter as a church confidentially and that at that time our practice was to handle matters as much as this confidentially and no to raise it to the point where it would become so public that – at that time we saw this as a scandal and that it would raise it to the level of a scandal. And so I think for both of those reasons, as a church, we had the policy to encourage people that they could, you know, make it public in some way if they wanted to; they could go to DSS, they could go to the district attorney’s office, they could do what – however way they would make it public, but we as church, felt that as church we wanted to project the atmosphere that we would handle things confidentially so that people would feel free to come to us.” B, C, D, H
p.129 To the question “Sister Catherine wasn’t making the suggestion that you publish names of victims, just to go back to the parishes where these individuals had served and let the congregation know about it, correct?” Bishop McCormack replied “Correct. . . our mind at the time was that in doing that we would give the image that whenever something like that might come to us we were going to make it public, and so we felt that we would tell the people that they could reveal this, they could make it public. This was our mindset at the time.”
To the next question “Looking back on it, it was not the correct mindset, was it, Bishop?” Bishop McCormack replied “I would say that I would, in hindsight, in retrospect, I think that from what I know today, it was not the best way of handling it; it was inadequate.” B, C, D, H
p. 167 To the question “Bishop, you don’t believe there’s reasonable cause to notify DSS or do something other than contact Father Paquin and tell him to stop it?” (Reference to Father McCormack’s memorandum of 9/7/90 describing Bishop McCormack’s meeting with parishioners at St. John’s, Haverhill and heard directly from victims about Paquin’s grabbing their genitals, sleeping naked with boys, and giving beer to them, and a year later hears from another priest that Paquin is romancing another 15 or 16 year old boy) Bishop McCormack replied: “At that time I did not — because I spoke with Father Paquin, he assured me there was no sexual contact, that this was a boy he had known that he was trying to be helpful to, and so I took him at his word, I did, and I set limits on him.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 169 To the question “This young man, 15 or 16, that Father Sweeney reports as being romanced a year after these allegations are made, did you follow up to investigate in any way whether that young man had been molested, needed to be protected or needed services? Did you do that, Bishop McCormack?” Bishop McCormack replied “I did follow up, yes, but I (interrupted by next question “All right. What did you do with the young man?”) Not with the young man.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 191 did not ask for Mrs. Higgs’ tape of Father Shanley’s remarks on the acceptability of sex between men and boys B, C
p. 194 believed that the reference in Shanley’s comments to seduction referred to “the child who is seducing the adult by selling his body and by prostituting himself”
p. 219 In response to a question about if he wished he had asked Mrs. Higgs for the tape, Bishop McCormack replied: “At this time I did, but at that time I saw Paul as a person who was an honest guy, who was always trying to help the church reach out to the alienated, the marginalized. Paul was a rather charismatic person. He was always trying to understand the truth. He would in some ways kind of push the envelope, and so when he was talking about this, I had no reason to think that he was – when he reported to me – that he was being dishonest; in hindsight I do, but then I didn’t. And the notes I made reflect probably not only my conversation but that much of letter was about homosexuality. And it was only later that I’ve come to remember what he said about children seducing adults, children who are prostitutes, and as I recall I don’t know when else I would have talked to him about this except at this time.” B, C
p. 220 “this was about his speech; this wasn’t about any activity” A, B, C
p. 245 Bishop McCormack’s attention is called to Exhibit 23, a letter written to a father who sent him a letter asking whether he should bring up with his son the possibility of his molestation by F. Birmingham, about whom Bishop McCormack had “hesitations about being named pastor in 1985.” In his of April 14, 1987, letter Bishop McCormack wrote: “His Eminence, Cardinal Law, received your letter and asked me to look into the matter for him. I contacted Father Birmingham and asked him specifically about the matter you expressed in your letter. He assured me that there is absolutely no factual basis to you r concern regarding your son and him. From my knowledge of Father Birmingham and my relationship with him, I feel he would tell me the truth and I believe he is speaking the truth in this matter. From my perspective, therefore, I see no need of your raising this question with your son.” A, C, D, H
p. 253 Admits he was mistaken in taking F. Birmingham’s word for it.
p. 260-262 Bishop McCormack’s attention is called to Exhibit 27, an email dated 6/2/02. F. Birmingham allegedly sexually abused this former altar boy between 1964 and 1969. “The abuse consisted (of) oral sex, kissing, masturbation, and attempted rape on several occasions. The oral sex and masturbation and kissing happened over a hundred times during those years. This happened in the Sacristy, the rectory, in his car, on ski trips, trips out west, trips to Nantaskit Beach (sic), Hampton Beach, at the boys camp I attended, in my own home. I could not escape this man. While in the St. James Rectory on the second floor in Fr. Birmingham’s room where I was abused several times I remember distinctly seeing F. Birmingham carrying ice cream to his room for me talking to Fr. McCormack (note: then a curate at St. James Parish) and both of them looking at me in the room on the bed. This happened several times. Fr. McCormack would see me in the Rectory on the second floor with Birmingham. There is no denying this!!!” To the question: “But you deny it, is that correct?” Bishop McCormack replied: “Yes.” H
August 15, 2002
p. 12 disagrees with Cardinal Law that protecting children was a first priority, but “always a matter of concern” A
p. 43 a secret archive was maintained on the ground floor of the Archdiocese as of when he left in 1994
p. 46 Bishop McCormack states “I would think that people would be aware that there is this large walk-in safe, and so my assumption is — is that in some time during their experience they would have learned that that was the secret archives.”
p. 133 priests who were involved in sexual misconduct were “warehoused,” meaning “It was that we were marginalizing the priest, sidelining them, and that they were warehoused, they were like in storage, and it was – so I took it as kind of a critical term of what was being done with priests” B
p. 205 Bishop McCormack states “I guess that if I was concerned about Paul Shanley and his background and his work with youth or relationship with youth or something like that and thought that he was a danger to youth, I would check the file. . But if I had no concern about him and thought that he was a priest in good standing and whoever I checked with didn’t give me any indication that ‘You really should, you know, check out more about him,’ I don’t think that I would expect someone to go into, you know, the files to say ‘Well, now, is there anything more about him? I think at time, you know, 1990, you know, the idea that every priest or some priests could be predators, it just wasn’t as much as a mind set then.” A, B, C, D, F
September 27, 2002
p. 108 Bishop McCormack’s attention is called to Exhibit 46, a letter to Bishop McCormack from F. Shanley dated May 13, 1990, in which he requests medical retirement and being allowed to do “weekend supply.” In this letter, F. Shanley makes an apparent threat: “The only stress I have now, apart from what I’ve mentioned, is not knowing what will become of me. I would have to explain to any parishioners what has happened and that would precipitate the media whirlwind.”
To the question “What was the media whirlwind that you understood Paul Shanley to be referring to?” he replied “I don’t – you know, I can’t say right here, I don’t know.” To the question “did you write back to Paul Shanley and say ‘What are you talking about? You see your letter to him?” Bishop McCormack replies “No, I didn’t.” (Exhibit 47 reads in part “It was nice to hear from you. However, I was sorry to learn that your acclimation to the dry desert air has been the easiest. If you find that your allergies require you to take medication and that you do not have funds to purchase the medication, please let me know and I will ask the Clergy Fund Board to make an exception of its policy. . .Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. If I can do something for you, Paul, please let me know. Take care. With warm regards, I am Sincerely yours, (signed)” B, D, H
p. 109 To the question “Were you concerned about any of these statements, Bishop?” Bishop McCormack replied “I don’t recall being concerned about those statements. Paul – because Paul was always the subject of media in Boston and, you know, he was always – and I think he probably had made some statements to the media and he was looking to – my recollection is he was looking for a place to be assigned so that he could be – he was looking for stability in his life, and so that would be my memory of whatever might have passed through my mind.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 176 His attention is called to Exhibit 52, a 3/14/91 letter from Rev. Shanley that begins “Thank you for your kindness during your brief visit to the wild west. I have wrestled with your proposal that we diminish the amount of unpredictability in my life by agreeing to have me remain several years out here but as a part-time-diocesan-curate rather than archdiocesan-sic-leave-week-end-supply-priest. I told you that, as it is, I do all the baptisms, youth retreats, penance services and many week-end Masses at St. Anne’s.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 178 To the question “So you knew, from your visit out there and from Paul Shanley’s letter, that Paul Shanley was involved in youth retreats at St. Anne’s, is that correct?” Bishop McCormack replied “Yes.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 179-180 To the question “Did you personally insure yourself when Paul Shanley was removed from San Bernardino that you told, you or someone under your direction, told the people out in San Bernardino that there were now credible allegations of child molestation against Paul Shanley?” Bishop McCormack replied “That would be – I – that would be crossing boundaries. That’s not my responsibility or it’s not within my responsibility to, you know, enter into the diocese of another bishop or a parish and tell them what to do.” A, B, C, D, H
October 2, 2002
p. 144 States “. . .particularly from between ’85 and ’91, ’93, that, you know, these cases would be handled by the Vicar for Administration more than they were handled by me, and it was only over a period of time that I took them on more and more.”
p. 162 In response to the question “You didn’t view Paul Shanley’s statements regarding relationships between men and boys as falling within the area of sexual misconduct?” Bishop McCormack replied: “No, my understanding was that he wasn’t endorsing man/boy relationships but that he, at the time, was explaining that some boys seduce men and that they – by prostituting themselves and some of these people think that, you know, that they’re always the ones. And he was saying that sometimes these boys need help, they’re the ones who really have a problem.” A, B, C
p. 165-166 To the question “But didn’t you tell me before that the practice was when you got the . . .allegations, you did in fact confront the priest with the allegations to get the priest’s response, isn’t that correct?” Bishop McCormack replied “Correct.”
To the next question “Okay. So when you just said not that, you know, your feeling was that you didn’t want the priest to say anything that may incriminate him in that, isn’t that inconsistent with your desire to confront the priest and get a response to the allegations?” he replied “I want to get as best a response as possible, but I had to respect his rights. I learned more and more as we dealt with this that whatever was said to us was discoverable, and he had to know that.”
To the next question “So is it fair to say that one of things that you were afraid of is that if you recorded his response it could be found out by lawyers or law enforcement officials; in other words, when you say “discoverable,” that the legal process – that through the legal process somebody may gain access to those notes, you were aware of that?” he replied “That’s true, yes.” G
p. 175-177 Bishop McCormack is asked about Exhibit 77, a letter dated February 14, 1994, in which he asks Father Shanley for the results of evaluation, requested and paid for by the Archdiocese, but made available only to his lawyer, Timothy O’Neill, whom the Archdiocese was paying. (There was a new allegation about F. Shanley from a mother whose son had died. As a boy, a neighbor sexually abused him, and she consulted Father Shanley, who then allegedly abused the boy again. She brought this up in a support group for persons who have lost loved ones, and Father John Kearns made contact with Bishop McCormack’s assistant, Sr. Catherine E. Mulkerrin, on September 29, 1993) On December 3, 1993, Bishop McCormack’s notes refer to a meeting with Attorney Timothy O’Neill. “Bottom line – attracted to late adolescents — not a significant risk” A, B, C, G
Exhibit 75, a letter dated January 24, 1994, to Father Shanley from Bishop McCormack includes the following:
“Regarding public charges, Paul, I am unaware of any further activity by the lawyers or the complainants. Be assured if and when they begin to make a move, you will be informed. My sense is that they wish to avoid publicity at this time, too.
“The whole matter of involuntary laicization is still being discussed. My sense is that there is no strong consensus if and when such a process should be approved and applied to particular situations. I think that the discussions are confidential and so that is why no one knows much about them.
“You are a brother priest, Paul, and both I and the A archdiocese want to be of help to you. So, let us continue walking this journey together.” A, B, C, D, G, H
p. 189-190 To the question “What arrangements were made to insure that he was kept away from youth while he was in San Diego?” Bishop McCormack replied “By saying that he could do no ministry in the name of the church. He was not allowed to function as a priest, and so he could do – you know, and not in the name of the church he could not in any way have any kind of relationship with youth.”
To the next question “But that didn’t prevent him from going out onto the street and making friends with young boys or engaging in that kind of activity on his won, did it?” he replied “We have no way of supervising someone, you know, 24 hours a day.”
To the next question “Was the diocese of San Diego informed about the – at least the initial evaluation from the Institute for Living when he was allowed to return there?” he replied “Again, we didn’t have the – I think that while he was there we had not had the assessment, we had not had the – had the real report or the full report.” A, B, C, D, H
November 22, 2002
p.24 does not recall a practice of asking Shanley, or any priests, about past allegations B, C
p. 28 re policy on confidentiality, Bishop McCormack states “That one of the things that the church practices is that we were dealing with it from a pastoral point of view; someone comes to us about a concern and they don’t want it made public, and so we deal with it in a confidential way. And then we deal with the priest and we try to learn from him what happened, and so we deal with that in a confidential way. And our idea was is that we were trying to work with those on a pastoral way, and if we started making everything public about what we did, people who were afraid of confidentiality being broken wouldn’t come to us.” A, B, C, H
p. 48 shown Exhibit 76, the first of 2 letters by a Department of Social Services official, dated July 10, 1986, to Cardinal Law, asking for a meeting. He alleges he was abused by a number of Diocesan priests. Bishop McCormack denies that this kind of correspondence would be directed to his attention.
p. 51denies having seen the letter before
p. 86 shown Exhibit 79, confirms it is his handwritten note, dated 3/3/94. “Paul Shanley, — age 62
– admits to substance of complaints
– sexual activity with 4 adolescent males”
p. 92 In response to the question “Did this information give you any concern at this point in time that there may have been other adolescents who had not come forward that were the subject of sexual abuse by Paul Shanley while he was at St. Jean’s or during the time that he was at St. Jean’s from 1980 to 1989?” Bishop McCormack replied “No.” To “Why?” he responded: “He admits to sexual activity with four adolescent males and then talks about sexual activity with men and women over the years. So it doesn’t indicate that – you know, it doesn’t indicate that was sexual activity with other adolescents.” B, C, D
p. 127 Bishop McCormack’s attention is drawn to his 3/7/94 memo to the file summarizing four allegations of “sexual involvement by Father Shanley” along with much redacted information. In response to the question “Did you feel that there were – that there was a need to protect people out in California from Paul Shanley at the time you wrote this memo?” Bishop McCormack replies: “I don’t recall feeling that.” D
Cardinal Bernard F. Law. Dates: June 5 and 7, August 13 and 14, October 11 and 16, 2002.
June 5, 2002
p. 27 “I think that it is essential that – if the primary focus is the protection of children, which I think it must be, I think it is essential that parishes where priests have been guilty of sexual abuse, or where there have been credible allegations concerning sexual abuse of minors, I think it’s essential that that information be shared with the parish.”
p. 30 To the question “One of those (other focuses) has been to avoid scandal in the Church?” Cardinal Law relied: “Yes.”
p. 80 To the question “Since 1984 up until 2002, there was no notification to the parishes where these individuals served who had been accused of child molestation, no notification to the parishioners; is that correct?” Cardinal Law replied: “Certainly not by policy.”
To the next question “Well, are you aware of any other way that people were notified?” Cardinal Law replied: “I am not, but it don’t – you know, I could stand to be corrected if some notification had been given, but not to my knowledge and not by policy.” D, H
p. 84 To the question “And you understand that because you didn’t go back to St. Jean’s, there were a number of children who now allege that they didn’t tell their parents; that they felt that they were the only ones who had been molested by Father Shanley? Do you understand that?” Cardinal Law replied “I understand that we did not go back to St. Jean’s Parish, and I also trust that you understand that I did not know of an allegation against Paul Shanley until 1993.”
To the next question “In 1993 when you were aware of it, you still didn’t go back or instruct anyone to go back to the parish where Paul Shanley had served for ten years to let the parishioners know, correct?” Cardinal Law replied “That’s correct.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 121 To the question “Do either of these doctrines, moral or strict mental reservation, justify not telling the truth in certain situations?” Cardinal Law replied “May I respond, Mr. MacLeish, in this way, and I hope that it gets to what your question is asking: I am making neither broad nor narrow mental reservations in my response to your questions.”
p. 140 To the question “Do you know a Father Thomas Doyle?” Cardinal Law replied “I do.” To the next question “Did you know him in 1984 and 1985?” he replied “I believe that I did.”
To the next question “And you understand that he prepared a document which has been referred to – I think it’s called either the handbook or the manual, that was sent to every diocese by St. Luke’s Institute in 1985; is that correct?” Cardinal Law replied “Well, I don’t have an active recall of that document, but I have seen reports of that fact in recent months.”
p. 141 To the question “You don’t have any recollection, though, either way, of receiving what is referred to as the manual – when I say “the manual,” I’m referring to The Problem of Sexual Molestation by Roman Catholic Clergy, Meeting the Problem in a Comprehensive and Responsible Way, final draft compiled on June 8, 9, by Mr. Ray Mouton, JD, and Reverend Thomas Doyle, OP, JCD?” Cardinal Law replied “I do not have a recollection of having studied it. The date, again – would you give me that date again?” To the question “Sure. It was prepared June 8, 9, of 1985, and according to some of the evidence that will be in this case, sent to the Archdiocese of Boston by the St. Luke’s Institute in December of 1985” Cardinal Law replied “Yeah, I don’t recall having read it. I would – had I received such a document, it would have either gone by my direct indication or by those who were helping me handle the mail, it would have gone either to the secretary of ministerial personnel, who would have been Father John McCormack, or it would have gone to the moderator of the Curia.”
p. 167 To the question “Father O’Sullivan was convicted of rape, sent for an evaluation and then he was reassigned, I believe, as an Archdiocesan priest to the Diocese of Matuchen, New Jersey; is that correct?” Cardinal Law replied “The finding was that he could be assigned without risk; that he had responded well to treatment; and the decision was that it would not be good for him to remain locally because of the publicity attendant to the case and the possible scandal that that can cause. So he had family in New Jersey, which is important in terms of support to the priest himself, and with the concurrence of the bishop there, he received an assignment in that diocese.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 168 To the question “And the concurrence, that would be Bishop McCarrick, is that correct?” Cardinal Law replied “I believe it was Bishop McCarrick at the time.” To the next question “He had full disclosures about the facts concerning Eugene O’Sullivan concerning the conditions of his probation, Cardinal Law?” Cardinal Law replied “My understanding is he had full knowledge.” To the next question “What is that understanding based on?” Cardinal Law replied “Well, it would be based on the way that cases like this should be handled, and I would have wanted them to have been handled. I wouldn’t send someone like this to another diocese without letting the bishop know what the situation was.”
p. 171 To the question “Cardinal Law, I’d like to show you Exhibit 14, which is a document that was produced by the Archdiocese on this past Friday concerning Eugene O’Sullivan, and it’s a report to Cardinal Cushing of 1964. You can read, if you like – the salient paragraph that I’m going to point you to is the third from the bottom in which it states: ‘Several days after the August 15 date, one of the other altar boys, aged 12, was asked if Father O’Sullivan had been touching you down there and admitted he had done so with him, his 13-year-old brother and several other boys.” Have you seen this document before?” Cardinal Law replied “I have not.”
To the next question “Do you know whether this was the – information was in any way transmitted to Bishop McCarrick down in New Jersey?” he replied “I do not know that.” D, H
p.172 To the question “In 1984, if you had been in Bishop McCarrick’s position – and let’s assume he knew that Eugene O’Sullivan had been convicted of rape – is this also, what is reflected on this letter of 1964, some 20 years prior to his conviction, would that be the type of information you would also want to see before receiving a priest from another diocese?” Cardinal Law replied “Mr. MacLeish, in a very effective way, you are building a case, and I understand that. This is 1964 that this letter was written. It’s a letter to Cardinal Cushing.”
p. 173 To the question “Well this was in your records, Cardinal Law. This was in your records that were produced to us last Friday, that the allegations of Eugene O’Sullivan started in 1964, continued, and that the time Bishop McCarrick would have received Father O’Sullivan, there was a 20-year span between the first allegation and his conviction of rape in 1984. And I’m not trying to build a case, Cardinal Law. What I’m asking you is whether or not this is the type of information that if you were receiving someone such as Father O’Sullivan, a convicted rapist, you would have liked to have had in front of you?” Cardinal Law replied “This is the type of information, myself, I would have liked to have seen. Hopefully it’s the kind of information that will be kept in a much more adequate way moving forward through the experience that we’re presently having, yes.”
p. 176 To the question “Cardinal Law, do you know whether the assessment that was done of Eugene O’Sullivan was actually provided to Bishop McCarrick? Do you know whether it was provided?” Cardinal Law replied “I do not know that.” B, C, D, H
p. 180 Doesn’t recall putting in place a policy to examine the confidential file prior to reassigning a priest like F. O’Sullivan, “But it would be very logical that the persons immediately responsible for reviewing and helping me in these cases would look for all pertinent material.” “I did not specifically instruct them.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 181 Cardinal Law’s attention is drawn to Exhibit 15, his 7/16/93 hand-written notes to “Al” (Bishop Hughes) as the Boston Globe was about to write a story on Father O’Sullivan’s transfer to New Jersey. The text begins “Al – Some thoughts on the O’Sullivan case. Would it not be wise for Jack (note: reference to Bishop McCormack) (and Sr. Catherine?) to go immediately to Metuchen to interview (w. permission of Bp.) the pastor involved? Hopefully, what would be obtained is the assurance of no complaints. If there were knowledge of his visiting counselor all the better. Secondly, w. O’Sullivan’s permission, we (Jack, Sister C) and to meet w. his counselor(s) during this period. This, it sees to me, is in reasonable pursuit” of responsibility. We may well be at the point here where pastoral consideration out weigh legal. If this could be done this weekend, I would propose Monday a news conference (presuming the story is in print then) which would make the following points (note: There follows a list of 18 points.)
p. 183 To the question “And then there’s handwritten notes on the left-hand side from Bishop Hughes in response to the points that you were making. Is that a fair statement?” Cardinal Law replies “That’s correct.”
p. 184 Here is, just for your reference, the Globe article that appeared the day after your notes of July 16, 1993. If you could just go to Paragraph 2, marked Paragraph 2 of your notes, you state as one of your following points to be made: ‘This was my first knowledge of this. No previous reports had been received.” Did I read that correctly?” Cardinal Law replied “Had been received.”
p. 185 To the next question “And then there’s Bishop Hughes’ notes on the left-hand side which says: “Certain? There were previous reports.” Do you see that?” Cardinal Law replied “I do.
p. 189 To the next question “Let’s go to No. 8. “I contacted the Bishop of Metuchen, reviewed the case and asked if he would consider allowing him to serve.” Is that correct?” Cardinal Law replied “That’s correct.”
To the next question “Did you look at the case file before you had this conversation with the Bishop of Metuchen?” I did not look at the case file. I would have had the substance of it reviewed with me by Bishop Hughes or by Bishop Banks.”
p. 191 To the question “Did you tell anyone, between 1984 and 1985, that before Eugene O’Sullivan or any other priest could be sent to another diocese, there had to be an inspection of the confidential file, that you can recall here today?” Cardinal Law replied: “Mr. MacLeish, I assign people to specific tasks, and I have confidence that they’re going to fulfill those tasks appropriately and well, and I assigned the moderator of the Curia and later Father McCormack to assist me in such cases. I had confidence in them when I asked them to do that. I have confidence in them now. Did I specifically tell them all of the things that they were to do/ No, I did not. Did I specifically say to them: You are to go back into the confidential files, back through the days of Cardinal Medeiros, back through the days of Cardinal Cushing? No, I did not. And whether they did or whether they didn’t, I cannot say.” A, B, C, D, H
p.196 To the question “And so in Point No. 9 it says Bishop Banks held a more extensive interview with . . . the Bishop of Matuchen?” Cardinal Law replied “That’s correct.” To the question “And then Bishop Hughes corrects you and says Bishop Banks says that he never talked with Archbishop McCarrick. You did the conversation with Archbishop McCarrick is that what Bishop Hughes told you?” Cardinal Law replied “That’s correct. That’s correct. And that’s what I presume occurred.”
p. 199 To the question “So back in 1993, you were not certain that when you spoke to Bishop McCarrick, you had given him the terms of Father O’Sullivan’s probation, namely that he not have access to children in a parish ministry. You weren’t sure whether you told Bishop McCarrick that, isn’t that true?” Cardinal Law replied “I am not certain what I communicated absent a written record, and there doesn’t seem to be one.” The Cardinal’s attention is directed to Exhibit 17, a note in the handwriting of Bishop John McCormack, dated 7/17/93.
p. 200 To the question “In fact you learned, did you not, on July 17, 1993, that despite the conditions of probation, Eugene O’Sullivan did not have any restrictions placed on his ministry, correct?” Cardinal Law replied “I’m not sure that this was given to me on June 17 — July 17, ’93.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 204 To the question “Cardinal Law, were you aware there were conditions of probation for Father O’Sullivan when he pled guilty to raping a child?” Cardinal Law replied: “You know, I don’t know that I can say that I was aware of that.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 206 To the question “So, I take it, just so we’re clear on the record, you’re not aware of any restrictions, conditions of probation or other limitations that were placed on Eugene O’Sullivan after he pled guilty to raping a boy?” Cardinal Law replied “I had depended, Mr. MacLeish, on others to assist me in these cases, and I would have presumed, and do presume, that anything we did in relationship to placement would have been not in violation of legal requirements.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 207 The Cardinal’s attention is directed to Exhibit 18, the April 29, 1985, to him from Wilma M. Higgs of Rochester, N.Y. who writes that she heard Father Shanley’s speech in which he allegedly made a statement that “When adults have sex with children, the children seduced them. Children may later regret having caused someone to go to prison, knowing that they are the guilty ones.”
p. 209 To the question “Was there an unwritten policy at the Archdiocese of Boston when you arrived that matters that related to accusations against priests, including accusations of a sexual nature, were not to be acknowledged as being received at your residence even if they were sent to you directly?” Cardinal Law replied “No. The policy didn’t specify the area, but was general that if the matter was such that I needed someone else to help with that matter, it was their responsibility primarily to deal with it. The letter would go to them. They would review it. They would reflect upon it. They would in some instances be able to act on it immediately in their own name. In some instances my involvement would need to be present, and it would come back to me in an appropriate form.” B, C, H
p. 211 Shown Exhibit 11, his admissions in the ____ case. “The defendant knew that Father Shanley would have unsupervised access to children when he appointed him as pastor.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 214 In response to the question “Would you agree with me that if Father Shanley had made that statement (referring to the statement in Ms. Higgs letter), he was making a statement that was contrary to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church?” Cardinal Law replied “Clearly it would be contrary to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. It think that the issue here is whether or not he said that.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 215 would want Father McCormack to investigate the allegation (in Ms. Higgs’ letter)
p. 217 To the question “Cardinal Law, do you know what happened after this letter was given to Father McCormack?” Cardinal Law replied “I do not know – I do not know what steps Father McCormack took in resolving this matter.”
The Cardinal’s attention is directed to Exhibit 19. (The text of the Exhibit, dated 5/15/1985, states: Dear Ms. Higgs: Archbishop Law received your letter of April 29, 1985. He is sorry to hear your disturbed about the talk given by Father Paul Shanley last November regarding homosexuals and asked that I respond on his behalf. I, too, regret that his talk was a source of such disturbance and appreciate the interest you show in helping to avoid such situations in the future. I have been in contact with Father Shanley and will be speaking with him about this matter soon. Wishing you God’s blessings, I remain Sincerely yours, Rev. John B. McCormack, Secretary for Ministerial Personnel.”)
p. 219 To the question “Would you agree with me that a fair reading of that sentence is that you and Father McCormack had some discussion about the letter that was sent by Mrs. Higgs?” Cardinal Law replied: “I would agree that that is a possible reading of the meaning here, but another meaning is that Father McCormack is acting in my name, and – the letter went to him, and in the ordinary course of handling the letter, he would have responded in this way.” H
p. 221 The Cardinal’s attention is directed to Exhibit 20 (The text of the Exhibit, a letter to Rev. Paul R. Shanley at St. John’s Rectory in Newton MA, dated 6/4/85, states: Dear Paul: Recently I received a note from the Cardinal about a letter he had received from Miss Wilma M. Higgs of Rochester, New York. It pertained to a talk you gave in the Rochester area last November. Apparently, she was disturbed by some of the statements you made. I note that she sent you a copy of the letter she sent to Cardinal Law. Would you care to comment on the remarks she made. You can either put them in writing or we could get together some day about it. I look forward to hearing from you. Things also seem to be moving well for Jack White. If I can be of any further help in his matter, please do not hesitate to let me know. Fraternally in Christ, John”) B, H
p. 222 To the question “Do you know where that note is?” Cardinal Law replied “I do not know.” To the next question “Would it be a fair reading of this letter that there was at times, at one point, a note that you had sent to Father McCormack about the Higgs letter?” he replied “That’s conceivable. You know, it’s conceivable. If – and seeing this letter, if I may reconstruct what I think may have happened, I would have seen the letter, perhaps written a memo saying, “Please follow up on this. Please look into this, “and it could have gone that way.” H
p. 225 After a break, Cardinal Law amends his previous testimony to the following: “That the defendant believes that he did read the Higgs letter in 1985.”
To the question “Now, Cardinal Law, since you’ve agreed that this was an allegation of a serious nature, what follow-up do you know was provided to you, if any, by Father McCormack to investigation this allegation that Paul Shanley was making remarks about children having sex with adults, and when it occurs it’s the fault of the child?” Cardinal Law replied: Mr. MacLeish, specifically to answer your question, I have no knowledge of the specifics of what was done at this point, but I would say that in general, bishops, at least this bishop, get many, many letters from people about things priests have said, and very often, very often these are things that have been misunderstood. And the presumption in getting such a letter without a previous record, which I did not have, the presumption that this person would have accurately heard and accurately reported what was said can’t be immediately made. And so what I would expect would happen, when something like this occurs, is that the person who is alleged to have said this would be confronted with this and said: How do you explain this? How can you – how do you account for this? What did you say? What were you saying? How is it that this person could have heard this? And my presumption is that that’s the way in which this would have been dealt with. I don’t know – I guess that she did not send the tape and only the letter.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 226 To the next question, “Do you know whether she was ever requested to send the tape?” Cardinal Law replied: “I don’t know that.” To the next question, “So, Cardinal Law, in the time that you served as Archbishop of Boston from 1985 up until the present, have you ever received a letter – understanding you’ve received letters complaining about priests – ever received a piece of correspondence stating that a priest was expressing deviant views about sexual relationships between men, or, rather, adults and children, apart from this communication?” he replied “Not that I know of, no.”
June 7, 2002
p. 35-36 regarding whether when one receives a letter like Mrs. Higgs’s, would it be well to look in confidential file: “I’m not so certain that it would have been common sense to have – to receive a report about what a priest allegedly has said in a talk, to immediately go back to the confidential file to check the priest. I think the logical thing first would be to deal with the letter and deal with the priest and try to ascertain what did he say, what is his reaction to this, as I think I indicated when we met. . .The allegation in the latter had to do with what he had said.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 75 states that Shanley’s statement that “he can think of no sexual act that causes psychic damage, not even incest or bestiality” is “terrible.”
p.76 agrees that if Paul Shanley had said these things, he would have absolutely no business being assigned to any parish ministry which involved young children.
p. 120 “I appointed him as pastor upon the recommendation of the personnel board. . .I did not go back to the previous file in making these appointments.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 122 points to Bishop Daily as the person who would have known about the complaints and materials in the file: “My presumption is that the material that we have been just looking at was known by him, because he seems to have responded to them, yes.”
p. 125 admits to knowing in the 1984-1990 interval of F. Eugene O’Sullivan’s rape conviction, F. Graham’s admitted acts of molestation, F. Joseph Birmingham, F. John Georgian’s admitted sexual misconduct with children in 1984 and being accused of another act in 1989, then returned to St. Julia’s without restrictions, where he molested children again. A, B, C, D, H
p. 134 Does not know if there are any calculations of the number of victims of sexual abuse since he became Archbishop in 1984. A, B, C
p. 135 Agrees it would be important to find out how many there are and what should be done.
p. 136 Cardinal Law’s attention is directed to Exhibit 2, page 5 “And further answering, the defendant says the plaintiffs were not in the exercise of due care, but rather, the negligence of the plaintiffs contributed to cause the injury or damage complained of; wherefore, the recovery of the plaintiffs is barred in whole or in part or is subject to diminution.” To the question “Looking at Exhibit 41, that picture of _________ as a six-year-old child, do you now believe that your answer in which you allege that _________ was somehow negligent for the acts of abuse, that that answer that was filed on your behalf should be changed.”” Cardinal Law replied “I find it difficult to answer because I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t know what that phrase means in terms of the civil suit that has been filed. It is certainly not my belief that a child is responsible for abuse that is done to him.” A, F, H
August 13, 2002
p. 127 missing document: recommendation of the personnel board regarding the promotion of F. Shanley to pastor at St. John the Evangelist in Newton for six years effective January 1, 1985.
p. 136 To the question “You certainly would agree with me that you would not want to have as pastors individuals that had in their files the type of information which we went over that was in Paul Shanley’s files in the first two days of your deposition. We can agree about that, can we not?” Cardinal Law replied “Well, yes. Certainly I can agree wholeheartedly and agree more than in words, but agree in action that I have taken, that anyone who is responsible for the sexual abuse a child may not receive any assignment in this Archdiocese.”
p. 137 To the question “If we can try to look at what was going on back in 1984 when Mr. ________, Mr. ____, Mr. ____ and others were at St. Jean’s Parish. In 1984 when someone was being promoted to a position, as Paul Shanley was being promoted, would you not want to know whether there was any material, confidential or otherwise, that related to the qualifications of that individual to be a pastor?” Cardinal Law replied: “I believe I’ve answered this question, but I’ll try once again. It may not be the answer you want. So you can try once again. But the answer that I give you is the truth before God as I sit here in front of you, and is simply this: that in 1984 I did not have the information before me that would have led me to suspect that Father Shanley was responsible for the sexual abuse of a child. Had I had that information, I would not have appointed him. I did not have that information.”
August 24, 2002
p. 40 To the question “And would you have expected Bishop Banks to speak to you about what he found when he looked at the 1985 Higgs letter? Would you have expected him to speak with you about it?” Cardinal Law replied “I would have expected Father Banks to speak to me in whatever matters he thought were appropriate to bring to me.”
p. 126 Cardinal Law’s attention is directed to Exhibit 12, his letter of 5/20/2002 to the parishioners of the Archdiocese of Boston, that includes the following sentences: “Despite the quantity of documents released and statements on the part of some indicating they believe otherwise, before God I assure you that my first knowledge of an allegation of sexual abuse against this priest was in 1993.”
p. 128 To the question “So you’re categorically denying before God the allegations of Ms. Gauvreau that she spoke to you on two occasions?” Cardinal Law replied “What I am saying is what I am saying, Mr. MacLeish, that I have absolutely no memory of such a conversation.”
p. 147 Cardinal Law’s attention is directed to Exhibit 57, Affidavit of Jackie Gauvreau (“5. In or about 1986-1987, I confronted Cardinal Law about the allegation against Father Shanley. On the day I confronted him, I had sung in a choir in a televised mass he conducted. After the mass, I told him in a face-to-face conversation that Father Shanley had molested a child while he was a priest at St. Jean’s. In response, Cardinal Law told me that he would look into the matter. Father Shanley, however, remained a priest at St. Jean’s and I do not know of any actions taken against him as a result of his alleged sexual abuse. 6. Sometime soon after I initially spoke with Cardinal Law about Shanley, I had a second opportunity to speak to him about the matter. While Cardinal Law was present at Our Lady Help of Christian Church in Newton, Massachusetts, I asked him what he intended to do about Father Shanley. In response, Cardinal Law told me to contact a bishop stating “that is why I have my bishops.” 7. Following Cardinal Law’s direction, I visited then-Bishop Mulcahey in Lynn, Massachusetts, who listened to my complaints about Father Shanley’s sexual molestation of a child. I do not know what action, if any, Bishop Mulcahey took to investigate the allegation other than to ask Father Shanley to apologize to me. 8. Even after I confronted both Cardinal Law and Bishop Mulcahey about the allegation of abuse, Father Shanley remained at St. Jean’s. I believed that nothing would ever be done about Father Shanley.”)
p. 149 To the question “So, Cardinal Law, if in fact someone had approached you about Father Shanley, and given your policy of delegation, is it possible that you would have referred them to the parochial vicar to present their complaint? Is that a possibility? Do you understand the question?” Cardinal Law replied “If the matter that was being brought to me was a matter of the sexual abuse of a child, if there was a charge, a specific charge being brought of that kind, I’m not certain that I would have referenced the regional bishop. If, on the other hand, if there were a complaint brought to me about a priest which was perhaps not a specific kind of a complaint, but a complaint about a priest, then it would be natural for me to refer someone to the regional bishop.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 188 Cardinal Law’s attention is directed to Exhibit 59, three notes typed by Bishop Banks, including a summary of a March 14, 1988, interview with an alleged victim of Father Shanley, “Mr. T.” “After a good conversation in which Mr. T. trusted Fr. S., ___(redacted) made a passing reference to sado-masochism. Immediately Father Shanley began to zero in on the subject, describing very graphically and in much detail a particular incident. T. thought he was trying to get him to accept the idea. T. thought he was coming on to him. Tremendous sexual energy in the room. Then S. went on to something else. At that point T. clammed up and just wanted S. to out of the room. It had a terrible effect on him. Before S. left, he told another story about confidentiality, with obvious intent of encouraging T. to say nothing about the incident. ____ (redacted) He also mentioned it to nurse on the floor. Also mention it to floor coordinator . He also was going to write the hospital. Finally he told Fr. Chris Keenan, who referred him to Fr. J. McCormack, who referred him to me.” March 18, 1988. I spoke to Father Shanley. He became irate at first, questioning why the matter should be brought up at all. After he calmed down, he indicated that he remembered the person and the incident, but did not remember anything in the conversation on the subject that T. Mentioned. . . I suggested that if he were to speak to T. he should remember that T. is still a very fragile person. March 19, 1988. I telephoned T. and told him that Fr. S. had denied the allegation, and there really was nothing I could do (signed + Robert Banks)
p. 189 To the question “In light of the fact that Father Shanley had denied the allegation, quote, there was really nothing I could do. There were things that could have been done in 1988, correct, Cardinal Law?” he replied “He could have been – we could have asked for an assessment, yes.” B, C, D, H
p. 193 asked if, with the complaint of Mr. T. and the Higgs letter, another step should have been taken
p. 194 “It would have been much better had another step been taken, yes.”
October 11, 2002
p. 41 Cardinal Law’s attention is directed to Exhibit 65, a letter dated July 10, 1986, written by an official in the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, on DSS stationery, that states in part:
“I recently saw a special on a TV series, “1986”. The special on Sexual abuse of minor children by parish priests talked about how the Catholic Church did not acknowledge the problem, nor enforce sanctions on priests who were involved in such cases, and simply transferred the priests to another unsuspecting parish. As a former victim of sexual misuse by a number of Diocesan priests, I have witnessed first hand the pain and anguish that such an incident can occur. This pain has continued to be a part of my internal self for all of my following years. Today, I work in child protective services with the Commonwealth’s Department of Social Services. In this role I have seen numbers of other children experiencing the same pains that I had. I call upon you to develop your awareness in this area and to develop a responsible and appropriate response to cases that come to light, as well as creating the atmosphere in which victims can feel supported in coming forth before yet another victim is created. If you are interested in hearing more about the circumstances of my past experiences as a victim, and its continuing emotional effects, perhaps we can schedule a meeting.”
To the question “By the time this letter, Exhibit 65, from the Department of Social Services, that refers to a television program where priests accused of sexual misconduct were transferred to another unsuspecting parish, as of the date of this letter, Father Eugene O’Sullivan, you would agree with me, had pled guilty to some crime involving sexual misconduct with children. Would you agree with me about that?” Cardinal Law replied “Mr. MacLeish, I would have to look at the record there. I don’t keep that in mind.”
p. 46 To the question “Is it not, you would agree with me, a fair reading of this letter, this man is reporting himself that he has been victimized by diocesan priests?” Cardinal Law replied “It certainly appears to be the case.” To the next question “And it’s plural; it’s not just one?” he replies “Yes.”
p. 48 Cardinal Law’s attention is directed to a letter (Exhibit 66) that begins “His Eminence, Cardinal Law, has asked me to respond to your letter of July 10” and continues: “Whatever might have been the truth of the TV show which you saw, you may be sure that any incident of sexual abuse of a child by anyone is viewed most seriously by the Church.” but not addressing the request for a meeting and signed by F. William Helmick.
p. 49 referred to F. Helmick’s deposition, where he testified that he would have discussed the letter with the Cardinal.
p. 53-4 “Let me say, Mr. MacLeish, even though this person uses, you know, rather – not very forceful about the idea of a meeting, “If you are interested in hearing more about the circumstances of my past experience as a victim and its continuing emotional effects, perhaps we can schedule a meeting,” I would certainly have wanted such a meeting to take place.”
p. 78 Cardinal Law’s attention is directed to Exhibit 67, a second letter, dated 8/25/86, from the DSS official (that reads in part Dear Cardinal Law: I have received the letter which you asked Reverend William Helmick, your secretary to write me in response to my letter of July 10. I must state my deepest concern regarding this response. In Fr. Helmick’s letter he wrote, “if there were to be an incident of such abuse by a priest, you can be sure that the matter would be taken most seriously with deep concern for the victim, the people and the priest.” A very appropriate and responsible response on the surface. Unfortunately, this response negates the fact that I am aware of such incidents of abuse not only from this documentary but by my own personal experience as a victim. As you reread this statement, I can’t help but wonder on what basis he is question the existence of my own experience as a victim (as stated in my letter of July 10). By not believing an honest and revealing statement, by a victim, you are altering your own perception of reality. In so doing, it becomes much easier to believe you are responding appropriately.”) A, B, C, D, H
p. 80 To the question “Do you know whether there was any response to that letter?” Cardinal Law replied “I do not.” To the next question “But it is your testimony that Exhibit 65 would have been the type of communication that would have been followed up on and sent down, at that time, to Father McCormack or Bishop Banks; is that correct” he replied “It would be the type of a letter that should have been handled in that way, I think, yes.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 81 To the question “I’ve asked you on two previous occasions, Cardinal Law, in your deposition, whether you can think of any priest against whom there was allegations of child molestation between 1984 and 1989, in that period of time, who was not returned to ministry, and you indicated that you wanted more time to look at the records. . .” Cardinal Law replied: “Let me get back to you after lunch.” (Note: No information appears to have been produced.) A, B, C, D, H
p. 223 To the question “Can you identify any time in the ’84 to ’89 time period, where there was an admitted, alleged, even a situation where was an indictment or a conviction over issues relating to child molestation and the priest did not return to ministry?” Cardinal Law replied “Mr. MacLeish, I was attempting to address what the policy of the Archdiocese was at that time. I was not attempting to imply that the people that you had mentioned earlier were not reassigned. Of course they were reassigned. I didn’t deny that. I didn’t question that. I was simply trying to put in context, given the tenor of your question, that, yes, the policy of this Archdiocese for the period ’84 to ’89, as ’89 to ’93, as ’93 to 2002, was that a priest who was guilty of sexual molestation of a child could, under circumstances be put back into active ministry.” A, B, C, D, H
October 16, 2002
p. 52 Shown Exhibit 88, summary of Geoghan offenses by F. Brian Flatley and Bishop Banks’s handwritten notes of a conversation with Dr. Brennan on 4/28/89 where Dr. Brennan reported he advised “him not to work with kids in his parish work” and “you better clip his wings before there is an explosion” and “you can’t afford to have him in a parish.”
To the question “Have you seen that note before?” Cardinal Law replied “No, I’ve never seen this note before.”
p. 56 To the question “Would you have expected, consistent with your policy, that if there had been some change of view of Dr. Brennan, who had given an opinion in December of 1984, that that would have been something that would have been brought to your attention?” Cardinal Law replied “Yes.”
To the next question “Turn to the next page please, Cardinal Law. This is November 13, 1989, your letter to Father Geoghan. And it states: “I am writing to advise you that I’m reassigning you as parochial vicar at St. Julia’s Parish in Weston. The effective date of this course of action is November 17, 1989. Do you see that?” Cardinal Law replied “Yes.”
To the next question “And you state in the second paragraph: “It is most heartening to know that things have gone well for you and that you are ready to resume your efforts with a renewed zeal and enthusiasm.” Those were your words in November of 1989?” he replied “That’s what the letter states.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 67 To the question “And the risk that he might re-offend again, correct? That was also one of the criteria that you looked at in making this reasonable moral judgment?” Cardinal Law replied “The moral judgment was based on a diagnosis, discharge diagnosis, of atypical pedophilia in remission.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 68-69 To the question “Well, John Geoghan did not have to be, when he came back from the Institute for Living, reassigned to St. Julia’s. He could have been assigned to a function job where he would not regularly have contact with children.” Cardinal Law replied “That’s correct.” To the question. But the decision was made after the Institute for Living report was received, that it would be appropriate to assign John Geoghan to work in a parish without any restrictions on his access to children; is that not correct?” he replied “That’s correct.”
To the next question “And that decision was made by you?” he replied “That’s correct.” To the question “Can we turn to the next page, please, Cardinal Law. . .the November 30, 1989, report, would that have reflected your views on the inconsistency between the oral report that you were given concerning the prognosis for John Geoghan and the written discharge summary?” Cardinal Law replied “That’s correct.” To the next question “And it’s accurate to state, as Bishop Banks states in the second paragraph, that he was a bit disappointed and disturbed by the report; is that correct?” he replied “That’s correct.” A, B, C, D, H
p. 115 Cardinal Law’s attention is directed to Exhibit 88, the letter that he wrote to John Geoghan while he was at Southdown in Canada on December 12, 1996.
p. 116 To the question “And you’ll notice that in the third from the last paragraph, you state: “Yours has been an effective life of ministry, sadly impaired by illness. Is that correct?” (The letter concludes “On behalf of those you have served well, and in my own name, I would like to thank you. I understand yours is a painful situation. The passion we share can indeed seem unbearable and unrelenting. We are our best selves when we respond in honesty and trust. God bless you, Jack.”) Cardinal Law replied “That’s correct.” To the question “When you wrote that statement, Cardinal Law, did you know at that point that there had been multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against John Geoghan from different people spanning a period of ten years or more?” he replied “I knew that there had been a number of allegations, and that’s why two years prior to this, he was removed from active ministry. . .I did not know the extent of it until this year when a great number of other allegations also came forward.” B, C, H
p. 119 Regarding his letter to Father Geoghan, Cardinal Law states: “This is an effort to be pastorally present to a priest who, in his life, did minister well to a number of people, and at the same time, who terribly abused children. It’s a mixture of light and of darkness. And when you respond to an individual in the midst of that kind of a situation, you, I think, appropriately, as a bishop, try to remind that person that there has been some – there’s been good here; that your life is not defined simply by your evil deeds, but your good deeds are also there. And yet, it’s a call for him to respond with honesty to his situation and trust. He is in the place, Southdown, where we hope – we had hoped that he would be helped. The decision, of course, was that there was no possibility of his returning to active ministry.”
To the question “Since you know that John Geoghan had committed evil deeds, Cardinal, did you in any way, in 1996, up to December of 2001, undertake any effort to locate other victims of Father John Geoghan who might be in need of assistance but who had not come forward to the Archdiocese?” Cardinal Law replied: “Again, I relied on the Office of Delegate to assist me in ministry to victims and to – and to the priest who was the perpetrator. It was not our policy to – I can’t really say for certain what our policy was in ’96, whether we went to parishes where this had occurred or not. But I’d have to check that out.” A, B, C, D, H
p.218 Cardinal Law was not aware that the supervisor of F. Shanley at Leo House was Dr. Francis Pilecki, former president of Westfield State College, a convicted child molester. Never told that by his aide Father Brian Flatley.
p. 219-220 Cardinal Law’s attention is directed to a 9/25/95 letter that to Father Brian Flatley that includes a paragraph on page 2 “As you and John McCormack will attest, I’ve scrupulously abided by every rule and restriction given to me. Even though I strongly disagree with the admonition that I may never again say mass publicly, I have never done so. I submitted, reluctantly, to the evaluation in Connecticut. I returned from California and my support group. I have abided by my promise not to mention to anyone the fact that I too had been sexually abused as a teen-ager, and later as a seminarian by a priest, a faculty member, a pastor, and ironically by the predecessor of one of the two cardinals who now debate my fate.”
p. 221 To the question “Do you know, Cardinal Law, whether or not Paul Shanley was at any point attempting to blackmail the Archdiocese of Boston?” he replied “I do not – I am not aware of that, but I have – I have no knowledge of that.” B
p. 225-6 Cardinal Law states he does not know why the Sisters of St. Agnes were not informed when Father Shanley went to work there of credible allegations of child molestation against him: “I do not know who was informed of what.” They wrote on December 14, 1995, urgently asking for information (Exhibit 105). (The last two paragraphs of the letter state: “Last evening, December 13, I received a phone call from the Boston area, presumably from a priest. I am somewhat disturbed, because after throwing out some wild accusations, he openly said that Fr. Paul Shanley was a child molester and had better be aware! I didn’t think that this person had any justification to state all that he did, but he ended up saying he would have to make it known to the New York Times. Here I am with this time-bomb. I have shared this information with one other Sister. Would you be so kind as to clarify Fr. Paul’s integrity and reputation and character. I t will be difficult to realize that he would have such a sad condition as imputed above. Please send your truthful assessment at your earliest convenience.” B, C, D, H
p. 226-229 Cardinal Law’s attention is directed to Exhibit 106, his letter to Father Shanley of 2/29/96, when he is still working at Leo House. (The exhibit contains the paragraph “This letter provides me with an opportunity to thank you in my name and in the name of the people of the Archdiocese for the ministry which you offered both in parishes and in a specialized way over the years from your ordination in 1960 until your Sick Leave began in 1990. For thirty years in assigned ministry you brought God’s Word and His Love to His people and I know that that continues to be your goal despite some difficult limitations. That is an impressive record and all of us are truly grateful for your priestly care and ministry to all whom you served during those years. Without doubt over all of these years of generous and zealous care, the lives and hearts of many people have been touched by your sharing of the Lord’s Spirit. You are truly appreciated for all that you have done.”
In response to the question “Those were words in your letter to Paul Shanley of February 29, 1996?” Cardinal Law replied “That’s correct. These are my words to a priest who, in the course of his many years of active ministry, did, in effect, preach God’s word, share God’s love to a number of people in an effective way.” To the next question: “And committed unspeakable evil?” he replied “And committee unspeakable evil, that’s correct. And one of the reasons why he’s retired, one of the reasons why he’s not on active ministry at that time is because of that. And he knew that. The reason why he was retiring at that point was because of that. And he knew that. It’s a question of trying to be pastoral and reconciling to somebody who still remains a human being even though he has done terrible, terrible things, which – and he’s paying the consequence of that by not being able to serve as a priest, and appropriately so. But at the same time, there were – there were acts, priestly acts in his lifetime, which were not of that nature.” B, C, H
p. 240-241 To the question “Did you ever have occasion, during the course of your 20 years in the Archdiocese of Boston, to speak with another Cardinal concerning the assignment of a priest in any particular area? . . . Let me put it more simply, Cardinal. In 1997, you and Cardinal O’Connor had two of the largest dioceses in the United States; is that correct?” Cardinal Law replied “That’s correct.” To the next question “Can you recall any other situation involving a priest accused of sexual misconduct where you and someone at the level of Cardinal O’Connor are discussing the future of that priest?” he replied “Father – well, first of all, you have to understand that Cardinal O’Connor was probably my best friend.” C, D, H
p. 241 To the question “So when you pick up the phone, you decided that Paul – and spoke to Cardinal O’Connor – you decided that, collectively, that Cardinal O’Connor was not going to go along with Paul Shanley being named director of Leo House?” he replied “The decision was that this would not be the thing to do.
p. 243 Cardinal Law’s attention is directed to Exhibit 109, a 9/6/97 letter to F. Shanley from Bishop William Murphy, sent on the stationery of the Secretary for Ministerial Personnel. The letter states: “Dear Paul, I have spent considerable time reviewing your file. Among the many letters you received from Brian Flatley and John McCormack I have been able to piece together the restrictions of not doing any ministry, living without a roommate and not living in a rectory. Together with the Cardinal’s acceptance of the Review Board recommendations (of October 1994), I can safely explain to you what your current restrictions must be. All that is written in stone is that you are not allowed to engage in any parish ministry. The restrictions against living with a roommate and not living near children or known homosexuals were prudent while you were under such close scrutiny by (name redacted) but I feel comfortable in lifting those now. You may have a roommate and you may live wherever you choose. If you are able to engage in any ministry outside of a parish or a setting which regularly involves children, you may do this. . .I would like to restate my offer to have your air travel to the West coast paid by the Archdiocese. That is only fitting.” A, B, C, D, H
To the question “Cardinal Law, in September of 1997, “Was Reverend Murphy free to lift restrictions imposed on Paul Shanley without the approval of the review board?” Cardinal Law replied “No.”
V. Comments, Opinions and Conclusions:
A. General Conclusion
The record is replete with violations of ethical principles and standards of care for children that led to tragic consequences for children and their families.
B. Observations and Opinions on the deposition testimony
1. Bishop Daily admits only after prodding and having his memory refreshed several times that he knew of Father Shanley’s public statements on the acceptability of pedophilia and of his association with NAMBLA. The repeated claim that his duties to congregants were satisfied by his informing Cardinal Medeiros appear to be an effort to absolve himself of responsibility by pointing to a man long deceased. The RCAB’s and Bishop Daily’s “pastoral” approach to Shanley’s deviant ideas and allegation of abuse was a violation of the standard of care, given the gravity of his alleged offenses and knowledge about pedophilia in the period of 1979 to 1984. At no time does Bishop Daily evince concern for parishioners or their children. He also appears not to be aware of the main ethical precepts governing the care of children in force at the time of his service in Boston. His actions constituted a violation of the standard of care applicable to leaders of organizations serving children.
2. Even though he held a critical position in the Archdiocese of Boston from the mid eighties to 1990 and had a significant role in addressing and resolving complaints of abuse, Bishop Banks professes no more expertise than an ordinary person in assessing the denials by priests of their alleged offending against children. On the majority of occasions, he simply accepts their denials. An apparent pattern is established during his tenure, in which victims and their parents come forward with complaints, the priests deny them, and the complaints are not pursued. His actions constituted a violation of the standard of care applicable to leaders of organizations serving children.
Bishop Banks’ violation of the standard of care is shown in the Rosenkranz files. Here, there is an effort with Bishop McCormack and Bishop Banks to discredit a quite credible complainant. Bishop McCormack, a licensed social worker until 1988, simultaneously serves as clinical interviewer, evaluator, and liaison for the alleged victims, and for the accused priests. He cannot juggle both roles, and the records and deposition reveals that he violates the standard of care by tilting toward the priests wherever possible. Both Bishop Banks and Bishop McCormack utilize clinical assessments not to clarify the clinical picture and protect parishioners, and priests, from further offending, but rather to obfuscate and confuse the picture. In my professional opinion, the burden of the records and testimony shows that the principal mission of both men is to protect the Church from scandal. Their judgments, tragically, are nearly always wrong, and more and more children and families suffer from the same shuffled perpetrators. This tragic pattern repeats with astonishing frequency in file after file of the priests’ personnel records. The pattern represents a departure from the standard of care
Neither compassion – nor sense of responsibility – for victims can be discerned in these depositions and in their associated correspondence. To the extent Bishop Banks is able to mount an emotional response to what is presented to him about the plight and sufferings of victimized children, it is to show concern for the accused priests, whom above all, as he put it in his memorandum to the file about Father Rosenkranz, he wants to keep “in a good mood.”
Bishop Banks has no specialized training, no expertise in the area of protecting children and no comprehension of the interest of children.. With regard to the duty to warn and the obligation to consider the protection of the community, the documents indicate that warnings and protections appear only to be given to the offending priests. Bishop Banks is inaccurate with clinical evaluators, giving them only selected historical information, thus compromising their ability to provide accurate diagnoses and prognostications. Bishop Banks does not provide an accurate background with a counterpart in another diocese, notably with regard to Father Shanley’s posting in San Bernardino, California, and to accept without questioning Bishop McCormack’s inaccuracies in his communication to Ms. Wilma Higgs, who brought to the Archdiocese her concern about one of Father Shanley’s lectures approving sex between adults and children.
After Bishop McCormack solicits his opinion as to how to handle the Higgs letter, Bishop Banks suggests to Bishop McCormack that he simply send a letter to Shanley and ask for his comment. Bishop McCormack does exactly this. No effort is made to interview Mrs. Higgs, who stated she had a tape of Father Shanley’s remarks. In his letter to Shanley, Bishop McCormack makes it clear how little Father Shanley’s words concern the administration of the Archdiocese. This is a response that not only trivializes Father Shanley’s potential threat to others, but implicitly condones his words and their associated actions. In light of knowledge of child sexual abuse and its effects at this time, it also demonstrates a lack of expectable and necessary knowledge and action to protect children and falls below all applicable standards of care
In assigning Father Shanley to mediate between an alleged victim of Father David Graham and the Archdiocese, Bishop Banks, knowing of Shanley’s approval of sex between adults and children, shows a disregard of the seriousness of the sexual abuse of children, the imperative to protect children, and the facts as they were then known of the intractability of pedophilia. By placing a priest with a known tolerance for and advocacy of sex with children in a position as mediator between an accuser and an accused priest, Bishop Banks selected a process that could neither protect a victim, arrive at the truth of his allegations, nor serve the Archdiocese’s purported mission.
3. Bishop McCormack’s deposition transcripts show a lack of understanding of sexual abuse. He accepts the priest’s denials, and in F. Shanley’s case, gives him free rein, all the while assuring him of his privileged status as a “brother priest.” This serves to enable Shanley’s offending behavior and places at risk many children, and women, as it belatedly becomes clear from Shanley’s own 1994 admissions. Given his increasing responsibility for handling a substantial caseload of offenders, Bishop McCormack failed to inform himself and his colleagues adequately about advances in knowledge, legal requirements, and the need to control recidivism both for the welfare and protection of children, families, and communities, and for brother priests themselves. By failing to inform himself and others, he violated the standard of care applicable to leaders of organizations serving children
A licensed social worker until 1988, Bishop McCormack claims to have escaped the ethical and legal obligations to report suspected abuse to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by dint of having assumed administrative duties in the Archdiocese. This and other aspects of Bishop McCormack’s behavior to violate the main principles of social work ethics, as set down in 1980 by the National Association of Social Workers, including “Competence and Professional Development. The social worker should strive to become and remain proficient in professional practice and the performance of professional functions.
“The social worker should act in accordance with the highest standards of professional integrity.
“The social worker should promote the general welfare of society.
“The social worker should act to prevent practices that are inhumane or discriminatory against any person or group of persons.
“The social worker should act in accordance with the highest standards of professional integrity and impartiality.
“The social worker should be alert to and resist the influences and pressures that interfere with the exercise of professional discretion and impartial judgment required for the performance of professional functions.”
The over-arching concern of the Archdiocese appears to have been to sweep allegations of abuse under the carpet, to seek sympathetic clinical assessments from clinicians by carefully selecting those who, for reasons of loyalty, or incompetence, or both, would not ask for too much information, and give the Archdiocese what it wanted. The files were rarely opened to search for past complaints that might give information of probative value to professional evaluators. Such information as was available was shared selectively with clinicians.
Bishop McCormack’s assertion that he had no responsibility to disclose to the Bishop of San Bernardino, California, his and his colleagues’ concerns about Father Shanley represents a serious breach of the standard of care. Similarly, before shipping Father Shanley away, with the documented hope that he would stay away, children were put at risk in several parishes because of Bishop McCormack’s failure to seek information which would have protected them. His not taking seriously the information indicates that he disavowed his responsibility to control F. Shanley’s abusive behavior.
The deposition of Bishop McCormack demonstrates that the person within the RCAB who had the most relevant clinical experience also violated the standards of care for those working in positions of leadership in facilities serving children. More than any other functionary in the Archdiocese, it is Bishop McCormack who had a running exposure to criminal activity of priests who were molesting children. As a social worker in the late 1970’s and until he allowed his license to expire in 1988, Bishop McCormack would have been aware of the increasing visibility of child sexual abuse and the pathways to its prevention and control. Not once did I see an interview of a child by a competent professional, nor any documentation of the meaning of the victimization experience for child victims and their families, except in the complaints submitted by attorneys. Given the practice standards in place in every other child-serving institution, this represents a sharp departure from the standard of care. When toward the beginning of his deposition, he disputes Cardinal Bernard Law’s assertion that protecting children was always the first priority of the Archdiocese, Bishop McCormack was uttering a profound truth. The records and deposition testimony yield inescapably to an impression that through his actions and inactions, Bishop McCormack abetted crimes against children.
4. Cardinal Law confuses his pastoral approach to criminally offending priests with his obligation as a leader of an organization serving children to protect them from abuse and victimization. As the leader of one of the largest institutions in the State serving children, the applicable standard of care required that his first priority be the latter. His writing laudatory letters to offending priests and protecting them from law enforcement authorities demonstrate his departure from the standard of care applicable to the leader of an organization serving children. Again, the records and deposition testimony reveal that the priority was the protection of the organization from scandal. The leader of the Archdiocese ignored the litany of complaints about grave harm to his parishioners, failed to remove priests from contact with children when they admitted they had abused children or had credible allegations against them, failed to adopt a written policy until 1993, failed to take action to what was a clearly a systemic problem within the Archdiocese and failed to take reasonable and prudent action to alert parishioners when there were credible or admitted allegations of child abuse by a particular priest that had served that parish The risks of repeated abuse were glossed over. His actions constituted a violation of the standard of care applicable to leaders of organizations serving children.
In his deposition testimony, Cardinal Law repeatedly describes his policy as one of “delegated authority” which implicates the actions and inactions of his subordinates.” After reviewing the records of the offending priests who committed their crimes during the Cardinal’s tenure, it is clear that he set the tone of warmth and kindness to brother priests who had offended children. As the leader of the Archdiocese, the record does not show any systematic concern about the need for protection of parishioners, including children. In so doing, he violated the applicable standard of care for the leader of an organization serving tens of thousands of children.
Eli H. Newberger, M.D.