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Defrocked pedophile priest, convicted after 'Spotlight' investigation, to be released

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
7/26/2017 (4 months ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Paul Shanley will be released on an unspecified date.

A former Catholic priest who was convicted following an investigation from the Boston Globe, is about to go free. Paul Shanley, 86, will be released from a Massachusetts prison soon, but the date cannot be released. 

Paul Shanley, 86, will be released from prison sometime soon.

Paul Shanley, 86, will be released from prison sometime soon.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
7/26/2017 (4 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Pedophile, priest, Boston globe, Paul Shanley, release


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- Former Catholic priest, Paul Shanley, made infamous by the Boston Globe's Spotlight investigations will soon be released, but the state of Massachusetts is not permitted to say when. Following release, he will spend the next 10 years on supervised probation.

Shanley was convicted in 2005 of repeatedly raping a boy in the 1980s. He was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison, and defrocked by the Church. But his conviction only came following an investigative report by the Boston Globe, which zeroed in on pedophile priests. That report was published in 2002.


The report resulted in a flood of accusations, trials and convictions as well as numerous civil suits, The Church ultimately paid out billions in costs and settlements.

In 2015, a film about the Boston Globe's report was released and won an Academy Award. The film 'Spotlight' raised public awareness and inspired another wave of accusations and cases. According to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, there were 911 new accusations in 2016 with allegations against 463 priests. Of those priests, 43 were defrocked, and another 111 were suspended from ministerial duties. Twelve Catholic diocese in the US have filed for bankruptcy because of sex-abuse lawsuits.

Priests who abuse their position of power to access children for sex are committing a grievous sin. They are harming children, undermining their parish, their diocese, and the Church itself. They are setting their parishioners up for an expensive legal disaster. The consequences of lawsuits means that innocent people lose their jobs. Lifelong careers of friends, associates and supervisors are ruined. Families are torn apart. And ultimately, these priests are condemned to live the rest of their lives in prison and in public disgrace.

Individuals who struggle with attraction to children, or who are tempted to commit abuse must seek immediate professional help, and they must remove themselves from contact with children. They must never attempt to interact with children in any capacity.

More often than not, today, these cases do come to light eventually and they result in common ruin for many people, especially the victims whose lives are difficult to repair.

Pope Francis has dedicated himself to rooting out and exorcising pedophiles from the Church as well as the people who protect them. His work is having some effect, but the Church is large, and there is only so much that even he can do.

Ultimately, God sees all, and will punish these sins with great severity. There is no confession adequate for the person who harms children. "If anyone causes one of these little ones--those who believe in me--to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." (Matthew 18:6)

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