Catholic League president William Donohue issued the following remarks today regarding the arrest of Rev. Paul Shanley, the sex abusing priest formerly of the Archdiocese of Boston:
“It is wrong to say that Shanley was mentally ill and it is equally wrong to dismiss him as a pedophile. Shanley did what he did because he knew there were no consequences to his abusive behavior. The fact that most of his sexual relations were with adult men, and not prepubescent boys, demonstrates how ludicrous it is not to label him both a pedophile and a homosexual.
“In 1970, he got the green light from Cardinal Humberto Medeiros when the Boston Archbishop appointed Shanley his representative for sexual minorities. Not only was this a bizarre ministry, the selection of Shanley over all other priests was hardly random. Not surprisingly, Shanley, who was openly gay, defied Church teachings on sexuality by networking with other gay priests and by becoming an active member of the gay lifestyle. He was a chaplain to the heretical Catholic gay group, Dignity USA, and was a featured speaker at their 1975 Second Biennial Convention in Boston. In 1978, still the representative to Cardinal Medeiros for sexual minorities, Shanley attended the formative meeting in Boston of the North American Man/Boy Love Association. Their motto is ‘eight is too late.’
“In 1979, Cardinal Medeiros put an end to Shanley’s ‘special ministry.’ Shanley’s response was to publicly condemn Medeiros for the cardinal’s admonition that gays should abstain from sex. Shanley branded it ‘virtually useless advice.’ Shanley’s boldness worsened when ten years later he criticized the revision of two new oaths issued by the Vatican: the Profession of Faith and the Oath of Fidelity. When this was made public, the Archdiocese of Boston excused Shanley saying that no priest had to take the new oath.
“In short, there is an inextricable link between Shanley’s insubordination with impunity in matters of theology and his perverse behavior.”