Wednesday, February 02, 2005


lapsed catholic, part 2

there was an article in the ny times a couple days after my post on priests being accused of abuse. here's some of it... (full link is currently this, from the new york times on 1/28/05, but i don't know how long it'll be there.)

The man who says he was molested as a boy by Paul R. Shanley, a now-defrocked priest, acknowledged a series of problems under cross-examination on Thursday.

The accuser, a 27-year-old firefighter in suburban Boston, admitted that for years he had a serious alcohol habit, used large doses of steroids, gambled through a bookkeeper and had a volatile temper that caused problems in his personal and professional life. ...

The accuser, who says he was pulled out of Christian doctrine classes by Mr. Shanley and molested from age 6 to 12, has said he remembered the abuse only in 2002, after the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church in Boston became public and he was told about similar accusations made against Mr. Shanley by a childhood friend.

Mr. Mondano says the accuser concocted the accusations, collaborating with three other men who attended the same church in Newton, Mass., to win a civil suit they filed against the Archdiocese of Boston. ...

"In one instance you actually smuggled some of the steroids in from Mexico, correct?" Mr. Mondano asked.
"Correct," the accuser said.
"This was exclusively and totally related to Paul Shanley?" Mr. Mondano asked.
"Yes, poor self-image," the accuser said.

Mr. Mondano questioned the accuser's motives, suggesting that in addition to a monetary settlement, he was seeking a way to be discharged from the Air Force. ...

Citing the accuser's testimony that the stress of the recovered memories gave him a rash, Mr. Mondano pointed to medical records indicating a diagnosis of ringworm. ...

Mr. Mondano also suggested that the accuser was seeking publicity in 2002, when he gave several interviews to news organizations, allowing his name and photograph to be used. Mr. Mondano read a journal entry in which the accuser wrote that he was disappointed with an article in The New York Times because it referred to him only briefly. ...

Mr. Mondano also questioned details of the accuser's accusations. He pointed out that on Sunday mornings when the accuser says he was pulled out of classes and molested in the bathroom, pews, confessional or rectory, there were many other people in the church, attending or preparing for one of three morning Masses.

The accuser said he recalled there being only one men's room in the church, yet he said he did not recall anyone else ever coming in to the bathroom while he was being molested. He said that Mr. Shanley would stand menacingly in the open bathroom door before molesting him, but he also acknowledged under questioning that the door was on a landing of the only staircase to the basement.

"So anybody that would be going down the stairs to get into the basement for any purpose would be walking right by the door where Shanley was standing, right?" Mr. Mondano said.

The accuser also acknowledged that the less invasive touching he says Mr. Shanley initiated from the time he was 9 until he was 12 - patting him through the front or back of his pants - would have happened in front of other people. So far, prosecution witnesses have said they did not see Mr. Shanley make such contact with any child, or take any child out of class. ...

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