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Father Paul Shanley

Paul Shanley was both a priest AND a promiscous homosexual who was a great hero to American liberals and gays - until it suited their purposes to throw him to the wolves.

During the late 1960s and the 70s Father Paul Shanley was part of the Church's outreach to gays in the Boston Archdiocese. He "outreached" so far that he adopted their lifestyle hook, line and sinker. He openly denounced Catholic teaching on sexual issues and could hardly be accused of hypocrisy as he lived his life in accordance with his professed ideas. He was furiously denounced, for so doing, by Catholic traditionalists and the Boston Church built up a huge file on him. Finally in 1979 he was removed from his "Gay" ministry to the fury of his gay and liberal friends. No other action was taken against him and he remained a priest.

The pusillanimity of the Boston Archdiocese was to have lethal consequences for itself and for Father Shanley. If Shanley had been dismissed from the priesthood under pressure from traditionalists, he would have become a liberal martyr and a permanent icon for gays. However he remained - officially - a clergyman and as such became a victim of the wave of anti-clerical hysteria that swept America from the mid 1990s onwards - in the form of the Retrieved Memory movement (itself a follow-up to the Satanic Ritual Abuse hysteria of the 1980s). In 2002 he was accused of regularily raping four 6 year old children on a weekly basis, 20 years previously. All four accusers knew each other and all claimed they had suddenly recovered their memories having repressed all knowledge of the rapes for decades. There was a ferocious media assault on the Church led by the Boston Globe - with the full support of the "liberal" National Catholic Reporter. (The file that had been built up on Shanley, was used as evidence that the Archdiosese "knew" he was a child molester; the fact that it largely consisted of denunciations by conservatives of his gay antics was ignored!)

The media onslaught had the unintended effect of bringing to light some unpleasing facts about the accusers and the authorities dropped two of the four - including Gregory Ford the man who started it all. A third dropped out after facing tough questioning during a pre-trial hearing and eventually only one case - that of Paul Busa actually made it to court in January/February 2005. During the trial Busa again managed to "forget" the relevant details about one of his allegations (presumably he felt unable to face cross-examination on that issue) but nevertheless the jury convicted Paul Shanley on the other charges and he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. There can be no doubt but that the vile behaviour of the "liberal" media - including the National Catholic Reporter - was a major factor in the jury's decision.

The case against the now defrocked (in 2004) Paul Shanley was based entirely on Repressed Memory evidence; yet RM was being heavily attacked by 2005 and that kind of hysteria seemed to be going the same way as had Satanic Ritual Abuse a decade before. On the contrary, the conviction of the former Father Shanley served to revive a dying witch-hunt. In January 2010 the Massachusetts Supreme Court dismissed Paul Shanley's appeal and re-affairmed the validity of Repressed Memory.

From an article by Father Joseph Wilson entitled "The Enemy Within" in the Catholic World Report, 4 July 2002

.... I was in the seminary 1977-1986. The theologate from which I graduated was the Dallas seminary. The vice rector in charge of the collegians there-- under whose influence the college wing of the seminary deteriorated dramatically, discipline eroded, sexually scandalous situations proliferated and good men abandoned their vocations in disgust--left the priesthood a year after I graduated, to "marry" the President of the Dallas Gay Alliance. He thoughtfully invited the seminarians to the festivities. He had been our Moral Theology professor (he studied for his doctorate in moral theology at the local Methodist university), in whose class we used Father Andre Guindon's text, The Sexual Language. This was a fascinating work, in the pages of which I learned, for example, that gay sex is in some ways preferable to straight sex because it is more innovative, expressive, playful.

It is interesting to look back and see how many of the men in that seminary left, either before or after ordination, to embrace an active homosexual lifestyle, often with each other. I actually had the experience, while there, of sitting through a lecture by Father Paul Shanley, the Boston priest who was recently arrested in California. As you know, I would hope, the Boston chancery office had a file of 1,600 pages on Father Shanley, including the diaries in which he described teaching kids how to shoot up drugs, and letters from all over the country protesting the lectures he gave in which he actively promoted pedophilia as helpful and healthy. The lecture he gave was for the Priests of the Dallas diocese and for the 3rd- and 4th-year seminarians--I was sitting directly behind the then-Bishop of Dallas, Thomas Tschoepe, who laughed and joked his way through a truly vile presentation.

This, ..... was part of my formation for the sacred priesthood. (Along with all of the other stuff: In my 1st year of theology almost all of our textbooks were paperbacks written by Protestants. Our text on the Eucharist was written by a British Methodist. That was not in Dallas, by the way; it was on Long Island) these stories could be multiplied literally ad infinitum. It was and is typical in this country that young men presenting themselves for formation are subjected to situations which undermine their faith and morals. That is not because the seminary is wired for cable TV. It is because the bishops of this country permit it to be so. .....

NOTE: There is a interesting article by Brendan O'Neill in the internet magazine Spiked on 13 September 2010 "How the New Atheists are Abusing the Truth" that asks "Did Catholic priests [in the USA] really rape 10,000 children over the past 50 years, as respectable media outlets claim?" As per Wikipedia, Spiked is a "British Internet magazine focusing on politics, culture and society from a humanist and libertarian viewpoint". (One of its main contributors Frank Furedi has stated that the stance of Spiked springs from the tradition of the "anti-Stalinist left".)


Satanic Ritual Abuse - the Case of the Hill Children, Chicago 1996, The Chicago Reader - 14 March 1996

Paul Shanley and "The Enemy Within" by Fr Joseph Wilson - 4 July 2002

Sex, God & Greed, Forbes Magazine by Daniel Lyons - 9 June 2003

Heavenly Cash, Forbes Magazine by Daniel Lyons - 9 June 2003

Battle of the Shrinks, Forbes Magazine by Daniel Lyons - 9 June 2003

Kansas City Diocese, Recovered Memory, Statute of Limitations - and Rebecca Randles, "The Pitch" - 16 Oct 03

The Passion of Father Paul Shanley by JoAnn Wypijewski - September/October 2004

No Crueler Tyrannies ( Gerald Amirault) by Dorothy Rabinowitz -May 28, 2004 Wall Street Journal

The Trial and Conviction of Paul Shanley, as per The New York Times - January/February 2005

Abusive Priests, Other Sex Offenders Differ - 8 March 2006

Woman Accuses Top U.S. Bishop of Sexual Abuse - March 8, 2006

Paul Shanley: Crisis of Faith: by JoAnn Wypijewski March 16, 2009

Paul Shanley: Sexual Trauma & Repressed Memory - Exchange of Views The Nation, April 8, 2009

My Letter in The Nation Magazine re Paul Shanley and Nora Wall - 10 April 2009

David Clohessy of SNAP and Recovered Memory, St Louis Journalism Review - 1st May 2009

Convicted Ex-Priest Challenges Repressed Memories [Paul Shanley] - 9 September 2009

National Catholic Reporter - Lessons from Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis - October 2009

Defrocked Priest Shanley Is A Victim Of 'Injustice,' His Attorney Says - 15 January 2010

Massachusetts Supreme Court Upholds Shanley's Conviction - New York Times - 16 January 2010

Martha Coakley, Paul Shanley and Gerard Amirault - "Harry's Place" - January 2010

Judges' Shock Ruling Okays Fantasist's "Repressed Memories" Fraud - Joann Wypijewski, 25 January 2010

Did Catholic Priests Really Rape 10,000 Children? Brendan O'Neill - 13 September 2010

Pedobear Panic Spreads from California to Oklahoma - 16 September 2010

Prosecution Requests Granted in Priests’ Abuse Case, New York Times - 25 March 2011

Catholic League - Ad in New York Times, "Straight Talk about the Catholic Church"-- 11 April 2011

Father Charles Murphy and Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, The Boston Globe - 15 June 2011