Fr. Paul Shanley – Diocese of San Bernardino

| Sep 29, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Paul Shanley

Diocese of San Bernardino

Ordained: 1960

Laicized: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • 1960-1967: St. Patrick’s (Stoneham, MA)
  • 1968-1969: St. Francis of Assisi (South Braintree, MA)
  • 1970-1972: 1 Warwick St (Roxbury, MA)
  • 1973-1976: St. Philip’s (Boston, MA)
  • 1977-1978: Columban Seminary (Milton, MA)
  • 1980-1989: St. John the Evangelist (Newton, MA)
  • 1990-1996: Absent on Sick Leave

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Paul Shanley:

Fr. Paul Shanley had ties to the Archdiocese of Boston, the Diocese of San Bernardino, and the Diocese of San Diego. According to media reports, more than two dozen survivors have come forward alleging child and adult sexual abuse including oral and anal rape by Shanley. The first known complaint came in 1961 from the parents of a 12-year-old boy. Shanley denied the allegation and no action was taken. In 1967, another priest alleged that he abused a 16-year-old boy. Shanley denied the abuse and once again, no action was taken.

In 1970, he launched “ministry to alienated youth,” and reached out to troubled and vulnerable children, who were often homeless. In 1974, Cardinal Humberto Medeiros of the Archdiocese of Boston was notified of a child sexual abuse allegation against Shanley but allowed him to continue in ministry. In December 1978, he participated in a gathering promoted as “the first-ever semi-public gathering in North America of men who are involved in relationships with male youngsters.”

In 1989, he resigned from parish work and moved to California. According to the Diocese of San Bernardino, Shanley was accused of sexually abusing a child in 1990. In 1993, he was sent to the Institute of Living in Hartford, where he confessed to molesting boys and having sexual relationships with women and men.

According to media reports, in 2002, Shanley was arrested and charged with raping four boys from his Newton parish from 1983 to 1989. When the church released his 800-page personnel file, it revealed that he argued that homosexuality was OK, and pushed for gay rights. He considered himself a “sexual expert” and advertised his counseling services in the alternative press. He was laicized in 2004.

In 2005, he was sentenced to 12 years for the rape of a child and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child. In July 2017, Shanley was released on probation. He was required to register as a level 3 sex offender and ordered not to have any contact with minors under the age of 16. He was not required to wear a GPS bracelet.

“Paul Shanley’s crimes against children were reprehensible. No young person should ever have to experience such violations of their safety and dignity,” the Boston Archdiocese said in a statement.

In 2010, as part of a settlement with survivors of clergy sexual abuse, the Diocese of San Diego released Shanley’s personnel file. In 2017, thousands signed an online petition requesting that Shanley be sent to live in a treatment facility where he would have no access to children.

“This is a dangerous man and we all know it,” said Matan Uziel, the founder of a women’s rights advocacy group, who launched the petition.

In October 2018, his name was included in the Diocese of San Bernardino’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. As of 2018, Shanley was believed to be living in Ware, Massachusetts.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in San Bernardino, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected] to discuss your options today.