- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 14, 2002

BOSTON (AP) Cardinal Bernard Law said he promoted a now-indicted priest without looking at his personnel file, which showed sexual-abuse complaints dating to 1966, according to transcripts of testimony released yesterday.

As he has in the past, Cardinal Law said repeatedly that he relied on the recommendations of subordinates and scattered church records in deciding whether to return priests to parish work even after receiving sexual-abuse accusations against them.

Written transcripts and videotapes of Cardinal Law's June deposition in lawsuits filed against him and others in connection with sexual-abuse cases naming the Rev. Paul Shanley were made public yesterday.

Also yesterday, Cardinal Law resumed giving a deposition behind closed doors.

Father Shanley, 71, who was once known for his street ministry to homosexual and troubled youths, is in jail awaiting trial on child rape charges. He was indicted in June on charges he abused boys ages 6 to 15 from 1979 to 1989 while he was a priest at a church in suburban Newton, Mass.

The Boston Archdiocese is at the center of a nationwide priest sex-abuse scandal that erupted after it was disclosed that Cardinal Law knew of accusations against former priest John Geoghan but continued to shuffle him among parishes. The archdiocese has been hit with hundreds of accusations against dozens of priests.

Under questioning from Roderick MacLeish, an attorney for Father Shanley's accusers, Cardinal Law said that a complaint was sent to the archdiocese in 1966 claiming Father Shanley had sexually abused a boy.

But Cardinal Law said he did not examine Father Shanley's personnel file, which contained that accusation and others, before promoting Father Shanley in 1985 to pastor at St. Jean's Parish in Newton.

Cardinal Law also said he did not recall reading a 1985 letter from a woman who said Father Shanley gave a talk in which he said, "When adults have sex with children, the children seduced them."

Mr. MacLeish presented Cardinal Law with a copy of a letter in which Bishop John McCormack told the woman Cardinal Law had received her letter.

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