Priceless

Priceless

This is from a column by Peter Gelzinis in the Boston Herald from April. A friend just sent it to me; I must have missed it when it first ran, but it’s a priceless exposition of how I would have reacted in the same circumstance. Unfortunately, it’s also a clear example of how some of the bishops clearly gave preferential treatment to priests, despite stark evidence of their wrongdoing.

    “No only did (Shanley) know what I was doing, and how I felt about him,” Jackie Gauvreau said recently, “he even tried to have me arrested. But that doesn’t begin to explain how insidious this guy was.

    “During a vigil Mass once, we came to the Kiss of Peace,’’ she recalled, “and he actually approached me . . . to kiss me. I looked him right in the eye and said, ‘If you touch me, I’ll knock you on your ass.’ And he knew I would, too.”

Jackie was the woman mentioned in the following excerpt from Bishop Daily’s deposition:

    Macleish: You wrote back to Paul Shanley and the copy is hard to read but I think I can make it out. But did you not say, “Dear Paul: I’m sorry to learn of the harassment you suffered from a woman in Brockton by constant telephone calls. As Father Ryan suggested, I’m not so sure a restraining order would be helpful. For us here at the chancery office, we stopped harassing calls like
    that from the use of the”—I can’t read that.

    Daily: “Tape.”

    Macleish: “From the use of the tape.” What did you mean by that?

    Daily: The call would come in and the person would leave their message or whatever they wanted to say, short or long, on the tape.

    Macleish: “It is rather an impersonal situation but we feel it does screen out calls that are from demented people and people we cannot help over the phone. The other recourse is not to speak at all when she calls but merely to leave her hanging until she hopefully gets discouraged.” Are those your
    words?

    Daily: That’s in my letter, yes.

    Macleish: “If you wish to pursue the legal matter, let me know.” Then it says “With Best personal regards for a happy holy Christmas and New Year’s. Sincerely, Christ Most Reverand Thomas B. Daily.”

Now back to Jackie:

 

    After several months passed with no response, Gauvreau approached Law again, this time when he officiated at a Mass at Our Lady Help of Christians parish in Newton, which she joined after her anger at Shanley drove her to leave St. John’s. (St. John’s has since been closed, and the two parishes have been combined at Our Lady.)

    “I said, ‘Excuse me, but do you remember I told you Paul Shanley molested a 15-year-old boy?’ Have you done anything about it?’‘’ she recalled saying. ‘‘And he said, ‘I want you to call my bishops. That’s why I have them.’”

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli

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