Return to main page


Subject:                         Re: the YA YA crowd at St Eulilia- Bob Bullock Speaker

4 November 2002


  Regarding what Fr. Bob Bullock has to say to VOTF members at St. Eulilia's and other VOTF groups:

  It's time to ask Fr. Bob Bullock to  be open and honest. Fr. Bob Bullock certainly was secretive for more than 20 years -from 1960 through 1984,the year Cardinal Law arrived in Boston.

  During Fr. Bob Bullock's talk at the VOTF Conference he spoke of his strong friendship with Fr. Paul Shanley. As a  close friend of Fr. Paul Shanley's throughout all that 20+ years,he certainly knew what Fr. Shanley was teaching.

  In fact he states that he even defended Fr. Paul Shanley to "the Archbishop".

  1.Why isn't he being asked what he kept secret from  Cardinal Law when Cardinal Law was relying on close friends of Fr. Shanley to tell him the truth? One usually knows what's going on with one's friends! Now, in 2002 the same scene of a cover-up is being played out by Fr. Bob Bullock.

    2.Does he approve of his current good friend, Fr. Walter Cuenin's outreach to Gays and Lesbians and what Fr. Cuenin is teaching at his  monthly  meetings in the "Gay and Lesbian Faith Sharing Group"?

   3.Does he agree with Fr. Cuenin's comments which were expressed to the New Yorker magazine and were the subject of an editorial in The Pilot(9/6/02)?

   4.Does he approve of Fr. Cuenin's opposition to the ban on gay marriage expressed before the State Legislature

(Globe,4/11/02,p.p.B1 &B10)?

   Fr. Bob Bullock is always calling for openness and transparency.

   Now is the time to be open and transparent about where he stands with regard to the teachings of Fr. Cuenin which appear to be the same as Fr. Paul Shanley was teaching back in the days when Fr. Bob Bullock defended him [ Shanley ] for being on the cutting edge in his ministry work which included teaching that homosexual acts are to be approved.

   5. Why doesn't Fr. Bob Bullock have to be called to answer  now in 2002 just as he should have been called to answer back in the 1970s when he certainly knew what Fr. Shanley was teaching?

   6. Does he agree with what Fr. Walter Cuenin is teaching now?        


Return to main page



Date           Tue, 16 Dec 2003 22:05:26 -0500

From          Alice Slattery


Subject    co-leader of Priests Forum,Fr.Bob Bullock


  I find it odd that none of the viewers of the NECN documentary on Fr.

Paul Shanley on Dec. 3rd and 4th, have asked the reporters who are

investigating the scandal why they haven't asked Fr. Bob Bullock hard

questions about his failure to supervise Fr. Shanley as he acknowledged

he was supposed to do , during the time when Fr. Shanley was the "street

priest" and Fr. Bullock and he shared the same office.


Certainly Fr. Bullock had to know, when he acknowledged that he took many phone calls

for Fr. Shanley from parents and family members who were concerned

about their children's acting out in a homosexual manner and making

connections with other kids to engage in their acts, that Fr. Shanley

was advising the parents and friends to support their child's

homosexuality(which certainly included the behavior which characterizes

the condition).


Certainly Fr. Bob Bullock knows that this acceptance is

in opposition to the Church's teaching that homosexual acts are never

to be approved.


If that didn't send red flag warnings to Fr. Bullock that he had better

supervise Fr. Shanley very closely, then there was a reason for Fr.

Bullock to deliberately refuse to supervise him.


I wonder why no one is asking Fr. Bob Bullock hard questions about his failure to supervise

Fr. Shanley, especially since Elaine Noble, the gay Mass. representative,

said that many people in the gay culture in Boston were

very aware of the fact that Fr. Shanley was bringing his young male

charges into the gay bars and health clubs.


Also, who were the Globe reporters who were covering the Street Priest scene which apparently

was a big item in the newspapers at that time? 


Are there no reporters picking up on this failure to supervise by Fr. Bullock?






 The Rev. Robert W. Bullock (in a 2001 photo) was a vocal critic of the church¹s handling of the sexual abuse crisis. A leader among Boston-area priests, he also worked to foster Catholic-Jewish relations.  (Globe Staff File Photo / Jonathan Wiggs)


A father's passing


Outspoken priest gave voice to liberal views


By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff  |  June 21, 2004


SHARON -- The Rev. Robert W. Bullock, a leader among Boston-area Catholic priests and an unusually outspoken critic of the church's handling of the sexual abuse crisis, died Saturday at home from metastatic cancer. He was 75.


The president of the Boston Priests Forum, an organization he helped found, Father Bullock was willing to speak directly and publicly about failings of the archdiocese in handling clergy sexual abuse, and he also criticized priests, including himself, for failing to spot and stop the abuse.


In 2002, he joined 57 other local priests in calling for Cardinal Bernard F. Law to resign. More recently, he had become increasingly critical of the archdiocese for what he saw as a lack of due process and a slow pace in the handling of contested abuse allegations against about two dozen priests who have been in limbo for two years or more.


''He loved the church, and he loved it enough to be critical of it," said Robert O'Shea, 74, of Cambridge, a high school classmate who remained one of Bullock's closest friends. ''He didn't like going against his cardinal one bit, but he did it because he felt it was necessary, and he showed not only good judgment but great courage."


Father Bullock, who had served on the presbyteral council during Law's tenure, had been a leading liberal voice in the archdiocese for decades, starting with his job overseeing campus ministry during the late 1960s and the early 1970s. For years, he was the Catholic representative on a local interfaith radio talk show, Talking Religion on WRKO.


Until the abuse crisis exploded in 2002, Father Bullock was best known as a leading voice in Catholic-Jewish relations and an authority on Christian anti-Semitism. He was a leading supporter and onetime board chairman of Facing History and Ourselves, an educational organization with a focus on the Holocaust; he had served as Catholic chaplain at Brandeis University from 1969 to 1978; and since 1978, he was pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Sharon, a largely Jewish town. Father Bullock traveled to Israel at least 14 times and wrote a chapter in a book of essays about the impact of the Holocaust on Christian worship.


''He really was a giant," said Rabbi Herman J. Blumberg of Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland, who had known Father Bullock since 1978 and had traveled twice to the Middle East with him. ''This was more than the usual interfaith thing -- he really was interested in the essence of Judaism and its link to Christianity."


Father Bullock's death plunged his small parish into mourning. Deacon Michael A. Iwanowicz announced the news at each Mass yesterday. Many parishioners wept as the Father's Day liturgy was transformed by references to Bullock's passing. The parish, with a church that seats only 200 people, is now trying to figure out where it might accommodate Father Bullock's funeral.


Father Bullock had been hospitalized recently at Brigham and Women's Hospital, but returned home Wednesday, where parishioners held a prayer vigil and then supplied round-the-clock care for their dying pastor. ''He was at peace," said Father Bullock's brother, the Rev. Myron F. Bullock, 76, who is the pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Gloucester, and who had anointed his brother Saturday morning. ''He wanted to die in the rectory, and he did."


Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley, who was traveling back to Boston from a bishops' conference in Denver yesterday, issued a statement saying, ''I offer my prayers and condolences to Father Bullock's brother, Father Myron Bullock, his brother priests, family and friends, and the people of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Sharon. Father Bullock was a good and faithful priest who served the Church well for so many years. May he rest in peace."


Father Bullock grew up in Sacred Heart parish in Newton Centre, attending the parish elementary school, St. Sebastian's Country Day School, and then Boston College, where he decided to become a priest upon his graduation in 1951. Ordained in 1956, he served in several parishes, starting at St. Camillus in Arlington, before being assigned the post of archdiocesan director of campus ministry in 1966. He held that job until 1978.


''I wouldn't call him a radical, but he was a true liberal in the best sense -- he understood the importance of testing the tradition against the new experience of life in America in the 1960s, and he was willing to listen to young people in a way that was unusual for a member of the establishment," said James Carroll, author and Boston Globe contributor. Carroll, then a priest and chaplain at Boston University, said Father Bullock persuaded Cardinal Richard J. Cushing to ease the way for young Catholic men to win conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War. ''He was willing to move into uncharted territory as a priest, which is why he was able . . . to see so clearly what had to be done during the priestly sex abuse scandal."


Father Bullock was himself occasionally the target of criticism. Some liberal priests were frustrated that the priests' forum -- an organization Father Bullock had initially seen as a group priests could use to discuss issues such as burnout -- was not more aggressive in pushing for change. Some conservatives questioned whether he knew or should have known that one of the college chaplains he had supervised, the Rev. Paul R. Shanley, was an alleged abuser. Shanley was defrocked this year.


Father Bullock said he knew nothing of Shanley's misconduct, but reflected on the broader issue in a 2002 speech at Boston College, saying, ''The abused children were our parishioners. The abusers were our brother priests. We may have heard rumors, we may have had suspicions, but only a few of us did anything. . . ."


Father Bullock was a voracious reader. His rectory was packed with books and magazines, many underlined by him, about Catholic theology, World War II, contemporary issues in the Catholic Church. On Saturday, a friend, Margot Stern Strom of Facing History, read to him from one of the books he had lying nearby -- a biography of philosopher Hannah Arendt.


Yesterday, parishioners lit the Easter candle at Our Lady of Sorrows, a sign of their belief in life after death. The celebrant of the Mass, the Rev. Peter Walsh, spoke of Father Bullock's ''strong and powerful voice" in support of abuse victims, in critique of the hierarchy, in concern for his fellow priests. Midway through the Mass, Walsh asked the congregation to reflect, in silence, on their favorite memories of Bullock. Some held their heads in their hands; others wept. And in the back of the church, a young girl stood on a pew and started to dance.


Michael Paulson can be reached at 

 © Copyright  2004 The New York Times Company


Critic of Boston Archdiocese dead of liver cancer at 75

Sunday June 20, 2004


Associated Press Writer


BOSTON (AP) The Rev. Robert W. Bullock, an outspoken critic of  the Archdiocese of Boston who helped rally opposition to Cardinal  Bernard Law, died of liver cancer during the weekend in the rectory  of his church. He was 75.


Michael Iwanowicz, deacon at Our Lady of Sorrows in Sharon where  Bullock was pastor, said Bullock died Saturday evening of the  fast-moving cancer. He had been diagnosed in May, Iwanowicz said.


Bullock had been an organizer and president of the Boston  Priests' Forum, a clergy group assembled in 2001 as a support  organization for Roman Catholic priests, but which gained  prominence when the clergy sex abuse scandal hit the nation's  fourth-largest archdiocese.


Bullock became a well-known voice of criticism against  archdiocesan leadership after unsealed court documents in January  of 2002 first revealed that the church moved sexually abusive  priests from parish to parish without informing the congregations.


As new abuse cases arose, the church was forced to produce  thousands of pages of internal documents revealing the breadth of  the problem and the depth of the church's awareness of it. The  Priests' Forum quickly grew to hundreds of members, as the group  complained that church leaders were unresponsive to concerns about  false accusations and sagging morale.


In December 2002, Bullock was one of 58 priests who signed a  letter seeking Law's resignation, saying publicly that Law had  ``lost his diocese'' and that the Boston church needed fresh  leadership. Law resigned that month.


Bullock continued speaking out, calling for healing in the  archdiocese and praising Law's temporary replacement, Bishop  Richard G. Lennon, and later, Law's permanent replacement, Sean P.  O'Malley.


The group, however, had trouble finding its focus after the  crisis subsided, unsure of whether to continue as an activist  organization or return to its largely fraternal roots. Bullock  stepped down from the group a month ago after learning of his  illness, Iwanowicz said.


Suzanne Morse, spokeswoman for the lay reform group Voice of the  Faithful, said Bullock's death is a ``great, great loss for the  Archdiocese of Boston.''


``It's a loss for the archdiocese, for the priests, for the  laity, for his community. He was someone willing to speak truth to  power, but also be loving, charitable and forgiving,'' she said.


O'Malley released a statement on Sunday offering prayers and  condolences to Bullock's brother, The Rev. Myron Bullock, as well  as family, friends and the congregation of Our Lady of Sorrows.


Fr. Bullock was a good and faithful priest who served the  Church well for so many years, O'Malley said. *May he rest in  peace.*


(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)




 In the interest of timeliness, this story is fed directly from the newswire and may contain occasional typographical errors.


Troubleshooter For Boston Church?

BOSTON, June 30, 2003



The bishop who ushered a Massachusetts diocese through one of the most explosive clergy sex abuse cases and then led the Palm Beach, Florida, diocese through its own troubles was expected to be named archbishop in Boston, according to a news report Monday.


Bishop Sean Patrick O'Malley was the likely successor to Cardinal Bernard Law, said John Allen Jr., a reporter for National Catholic Reporter, an independent newspaper that covers the Roman Catholic Church. Law resigned as bishop in December in the midst of the clergy sex abuse scandal rocking the church.


Allen, who made his comments in interviews Monday with CNN and other broadcast media, did not cite his sources. A senior Vatican official told The Associated Press that an announcement to name a successor was "imminent," and could come Tuesday or Wednesday. The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said O'Malley has been one of several candidates under consideration.


Deacon Sam Barbaro, the spokesman for the Diocese of Palm Beach, said he was not aware of O'Malley's possible move and could not confirm the report.


Father Robert Bullock, founder of the Boston Priest Forum, designed to address the priest abuse problem, said O'Malley will have a huge job before him if named archbishop.


"It will be a daunting task for the archbishop to rebuild trust and confidence, to heal the surviving victims, to settle all the lawsuits, and to restore models of credibility," he told CBS radio station WBZ-AM in Boston.


Bullock expects an O'Malley-run archdiocese to be different.


"I would expect that there would be a good deal more openness, listening, accountability," he said.


O'Malley, who turned 59 on Sunday, has cleaned up scandals in two dioceses ‹ in Fall River, Massachusetts, which was rocked a decade ago when the Rev. James Porter pleaded guilty to molesting 28 children, and most recently, in Palm Beach. He was appointed bishop there only last year and worked where two previous bishops were implicated in sex abuse scandals.


When he was named to the Palm Beach job last September, O'Malley said he planned to implement at least some of the policies he started in Fall River.


"The whole church feels the pain of this scandal and is anxious to try to bring some healing and reconciliation to our families and communities that have been so shaken by these sad events and by the mishandling of these situations on the part of the church," O'Malley said. "I see there are great needs here and I will do my best to meet those needs."


The system established in Fall River includes referring victims to social workers unaffiliated with the church and conducting background checks, including a criminal records check. Any priest, seminarian, employee or volunteer whose position involves access to children must take part in an abuse prevention workshop and complete a detailed questionnaire about his or her past.


In the Porter cases, the diocese paid for therapy, medication and residential treatment for the victims.


O'Malley was born in Lakewood, Ohio, and served as bishop in Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands, before his transfer to Fall River in 1992. In the 1970s, he ran the Catholic Hispanic Center in Washington and served as vicar for the Hispanic, Portuguese and Haitian communities.




 ©MMIII CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.




 Seven people who made a difference


By Kevin Cullen, Globe Staff, 12/15/2002


Rev. Robert W. Bullock

Felt for priests, victims, as scandal widened


What would Jesus do?


It is a question that the Rev. Robert W. Bullock asks himself all the time.


 When anti-Semitic vandals hit Sharon a few years ago, the suburb with a large Jewish population where he is pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Bullock, a Holocaust historian, stood shoulder to shoulder with the local rabbi to denounce bigotry.


When the sexual abuse scandal exploded in January, the 72-year-old Bullock formed a group, the Boston Priests Forum, to address the crisis of clergy morale that accompanied it.


When priests complained that the scandal had led archdiocesan officials to trample on their rights to due process, Bullock spoke up for accused priests.


But throughout the scandal, Bullock spoke passionately about how those who had been sexually abused by priests had been failed by their church, and that the church's first obligation was to reach out to the victims with compassion.


After all, he says, it is what Jesus would do.


Many theologians say it was the letter circulated by Bullock's group, calling for Law's resignation and signed by 58 of the archdiocese's 550 active priests, that last week made it impossible to turn down Law's resignation, as Vatican officials had in April.


On Friday, as word of the pope accepting Law's resignation spread, there was no sense of victory coming from Bullock and the other rebel priests. There was no sense of satisfaction in ending the Boston tenure of their cardinal.


''This is a tragedy, what has happened to this man,'' Bullock said, glumly.


Now, Bullock said, it is time for Catholics to return to the pews, to hear the good news of the Gospel, even as they reflect on the forces that so deeply hurt the church.


Jack Connors Jr.

Offered support, criticism of Cardinal Law in crisis


He is the pope of Boston's Catholic power brokers, the child of Irish immigrants, the founder of the city's most successful advertising agency, a philanthropist, a man whose influence wends its way through the curious intersection of religion, ethnicity, and commerce that is unique to Boston.


He is Jack Connors Jr., and for 17 of Bernard Law's 18 years as archbishop of Boston he was arguably Law's most trusted confidant in the business community.


When the cardinal found himself under fire last winter for his handling of sexually abusive priests, Connors instinctively rallied to the cardinal's side. He helped organize a meeting in February of doctors, lawyers, and businesspeople, a virtual Who's Who of Boston's Catholic elite, to advise Law how to respond to the crisis. Connors's advice was blunt: Tell the whole truth, and nothing but.


But Connors could sense Law wasn't listening. And he came to a more disturbing conclusion: The cardinal wasn't being honest with him.


In the spring, when Connors publicly walked away from Law, saying the cardinal wasn't listening to him or anybody else, the city's other power brokers sat up and noticed. If Jack had turned his back on Law, the word went, the cardinal was history. Connors, who had helped raise millions of dollars for his church, began withholding donations. Others followed suit.


On Friday, after he learned that Law had resigned, Connors chuckled ruefully when asked if one of his ambitions as a young man was to someday help bring down an archbishop.


''I'm almost 60 years old. It took a long time to get my faith to where it is. My faith is not shaken. My faith in the leadership of my church is shaken. You know, there's a lot of good priests out there, working with the poor, the sick. I know a lot of them ... When it came to this situation they couldn't say anything. So maybe it was up to me and other people to say things.


''There is a very real movement of the lay faithful to seek a larger role in our church. The days of blind faith are over. They are saying if you want our money, if you want our devotion, we want a little accountability, a little say.''


Still, he was asked, it must be painful, knowing that the cardinal he helped steer through the cliquey corridors of power in Boston he also helped steer out the door.


''Looking back,'' Connors said, ''I don't have a single regret.''


David Clohessy

Victim advocate saw an international problem


Boston is a notoriously parochial place, and when the sexual abuse scandal burst onto the front page in January, there was a tendency by some to consider it a local phenomenon.


David Clohessy did much to change that perception, urging people to see the scandal in a national and international light. As the national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, Clohessy became a tireless advocate, a voice for victims nationwide, and even abroad.


''It's not just Boston, it's everywhere,'' said Clohessy, 46.


It is a lesson he learned at great personal cost. When he was a boy in Missouri, Clohessy says, a priest abused him for four years, beginning when he was 12. His brother, Kevin, became a priest, but left the priesthood after being accused of molesting another man. Clohessy says his brother was abused by a priest as a boy, a cycle of abuse he says is common. The two brothers remain estranged, their relationship another casualty of the scandal.


Like many victims of clergy abuse, there was no justice for David Clohessy. By the time he went to court, the crimes he says were committed against him fell outside the statute of limitations.


But, as Clohessy notes, for many victims, victories in court prove Pyrrhic. ''There was a fellow in Philadelphia who got a large settlement in the mid-1990s,'' Clohessy said. ''A month later, he hung himself.''


Today, Clohessy seeks vindication by helping others, and by forcing authorities to take victims' perspectives into account.


Along with other SNAP leaders, Clohessy's vocation is to stick up for those who have long stayed in the shadows, hounded by guilt, shame, and stigma. SNAP now claims some 4,000 members nationwide.


He sees Law's resignation as significant, but something of a sideshow.


''If anybody thinks this resignation signals a radical change in the Vatican mindset, that is folly,'' he said. ''It's momentous in the sense that the body of the church is beginning to heal. But I worry about complacency. Law is just a symptom of a much deeper, systemic problem.''


Olan Horne

Abused by priest as boy; made courageous stand


Olan Horne was a 12-year-old schoolboy in the 1970s when his local priest, the Rev. Joseph E. Birmingham, first cornered him at St. Michael's Church in Lowell. Birmingham would go on to molest him, just as he had molested dozens of other boys. But Horne fought back, and on one occasion Birmingham beat him severely.


Birmingham, one of the most notorious pedophiles to emerge from the sexual abuse scandal in the Boston Archdiocese, is dead, but Horne is very much alive, and still fighting.


Horne embodies many victims of predatory priests who have found their voice, and their courage, to come forward in the last year. He helped organize a group of Birmingham's victims, called the Survivors of Joseph Birmingham. He has a good enough sense of humor to allow that the acronym by which he and his friends call the group, SJB, makes them sound like a religious order.


Horne lost his faith because of his experience.


''I'm a proclaimed agnostic,'' he says.


Still, he retains his own sense of faith and he has not lost a faithful desire to hold not just Birmingham, but the dead priest's supervisors, accountable for the devastation visited on him and so many others.


Horne and other Birmingham victims, including Gary Bergeron and Thomas Blanchette, hounded Cardinal Law for months, demanding that he meet with them so that the cardinal could see, firsthand, the casualties of his lax supervision of sexually abusive priests.


Two months ago, Law walked into the basement of a Dracut church and did just that. More than 70 of Birmingham's victims told Law what Birmingham had taken from them, and how they and others continue to pay the price for decisions made by Law and other bishops.


Two weeks ago, Horne met with Law at the cardinal's residence and told him all the words in the world would not help with the healing.


''Do something bold,'' Horne told the cardinal.


A few days later, the cardinal was in Rome to begin the slow dance that was his resignation.


''I've got mixed feelings,'' Horne said Friday. ''He's gone, but has anything really changed? There is no reprieve and no resignation for any of the victims. The monster who abused me is buried 20 stones away from my father.''


Roderick MacLeish Jr.

Attorney takes cases to court of public opinion


Those who know Roderick MacLeish Jr. call him Eric. Those who go up against the brash lawyer often call him something else, and it's seldom flattering.


But for those who find themselves up against powerful institutions, MacLeish is a tenacious litigator who has often proved to be an effective advocate, someone who courts publicity and often uses it to help his clients make their cases as effectively in the court of public opinion as in a court of law.


MacLeish and his partners represent hundreds of people who have outstanding claims against abusive priests and the archdiocese, but it was MacLeish's handling of the accusations his clients brought against one priest, Rev. Paul R. Shanley, that came to epitomize MacLeish's extraordinary ability to build public sympathy for his clients.


When the sordid details of Shanley's past emerged in the spring, MacLeish put together a spellbinding multimedia presentation, highlighting the warnings that Law got in the 1980s that Shanley had spoken publicly in favor of sexual relationships between boys and men. It was a tour de force that local televisions stations carried live, and it convinced many people who had supported Law during the first few months of the scandal that he had to go.


MacLeish's role in forcing the archdiocese to come clean may be his biggest case yet, but it is not the first time he has aggressively challenged a powerful institution. In the 1980s, he forced officials to halt draconian measures such as public strip searches at Bridgewater State Hospital, the state's largest psychiatric facility.


Others drove the disclosures that fueled the church scandal, most notably Mitchell Garabedian, whose legal tenacity, over eight years, built an array of civil suits against an impish priest named John Geoghan, encompassing more than 100 victims, that last Janaury spilled out into the cold light of day.


Once the scandal was exposed, Garabedian wrested from the reeling archdiocese a $30 million settlement for 86 of Geoghan's victims. When Law backed out of the deal, saying his financial advisers claimed the settlement would lead to bankruptcy, Garabedian's wrath was visceral. He called the cardinal ''despicable.''


But MacLeish, who has a natural empathy for outsiders, was the most flamboyant of the church's legal tormentors. The grandson of a poet and the son of a journalist, he helped expose the Boston Archdiocese's appalling record in handling abusive priests, work that was, for him, nothing new.


In 1991, he represented Frank Fitzpatrick, the man who first publicly accused James Porter, a Massachusetts priest who abused hundreds of children.


Like no other attorney, MacLeish relishes getting Law and other church supervisors under oath. And while the cardinal may no longer be archbishop, that will not save him from future questioning by the lawyer that the church's lawyers love to hate.


Thomas F. Reilly

Devout Catholic proved committed law enforcer


When he was a boy growing up in Springfield, Tom Reilly was expected to be home every night at 7 sharp. It was then that he knelt down with his family and said the rosary.


Today, as the highest-ranking law enforcement official in Massachusetts, Reilly remains a devout Catholic, but he has convened a grand jury that is charged with deciding whether Law and other church supervisors should face criminal charges for putting priests in a position where they were able to sexually abuse children.


Most legal observers believe, and Reilly ruefully admits, that there is little chance that Law and his aides will be indicted, because Massachusetts law requires that such enablers must demonstrate that they had the intent that such crimes would occur.


Reilly has been criticized by some who say he has not been aggressive enough in pursuing Law and others, and that the church is getting a slide where other institutions would not.


But ever since the scandal broke last January, Reilly has been a thorn in Law's side, forcing the cardinal and his lawyers to go places they don't want to.


After the story broke in January, Law promised that any future allegations of abuse by priests would be passed on to prosecutors. Reilly went public and said it wasn't good enough, that prosecutors needed to look at past cases to determine whether criminal charges should be filed. When the church dragged its feet, Reilly forced its hand, getting the files on nearly 100 priests.


Last summer, Reilly convened a grand jury to resolve the question whether Law's actions, and those of his handpicked aides, rise to the level of criminal activity.


In recent weeks, Reilly has been even more vocal and more critical, accusing the archdiocese of stonewalling him at every turn. Still, every week, protesters converged outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston's South End to demand not only that Law be sacked as archbishop, but that he be indicted.


Reilly has told friends he is frustrated that some think he is going easy on Law. As Reilly told a friend, ''That isn't how the cardinal sees it.''


Indeed, when the cardinal returns from Rome, as is expected sometime this week, he will find something from Reilly waiting for him: a subpoena to appear before the grand jury.


 Constance M. Sweeney

Judge's ruling triggered tidal wave of evidence


When Law's legal team saw they had drawn Superior Court Judge Constance M. Sweeney to preside over the Boston Globe's challenge to unseal court filings about John Geoghan, a priest who was accused of molesting scores of children, they could be forgiven for thinking they were lucky.


After all, Sweeney was a practicing Catholic, the product of 16 years of parochial schools in her native Springfield. It was perhaps because of Sweeney's background that her ruling, unleashing the first tidal wave of disclosures that would eventually bring Law down as Boston's archbishop, seemed earth-shattering.


But the reality is that Sweeney has spent as many years on the bench as she did being taught by nuns, and she has carved out a reputation among her peers as a fiercely independent jurist.


As much as any lawyer who has sued the archdiocese, Judge Sweeney has been an irritant for the cardinal and his legal team. Over the years, previous judges had upheld the church's contention that its private settlements with victims of abusive priests should be hidden from public scrutiny. But Sweeney said the public had a right to see matters adjudicated in a public court. She ordered the release of the documents. Later, she ordered Law to be deposed. More than that, Sweeney infuriated Law's lawyers by insisting that the cardinal be deposed immediately because the Vatican might call him back to Rome to avoid questioning.


And so, in what would be one but not the last humiliation of Law, the cardinal was made to stride past a phalanx of TV cameras and enter a courtroom, the first cardinal questioned under oath for actions taken as a prince of the church.


It was another Sweeney order that sealed Law's fate. Three weeks ago, Sweeney declared that the archdiocese's own records suggested Law was lying when he testified that he and his aides did not return abusive priests to parish work when there was any chance they could abuse children.


On Dec. 3, the first 2,200 pages of some 11,000 pages of documents that Sweeney ordered unsealed were made public, showing that Law had coddled abusive priests, allowing some of them to stay in ministry as recently as 1999. The disclosures led 58 archdiocese priests to say enough was enough and sign a letter calling on Law to step down.


Law may no longer have his bully pulpit, but Sweeney remains on the bench, a perch from which her rulings will likely continue to hurt and haunt Law, and confound those who once thought the Catholic judge was ''one of us.''


 This story ran on page A51 of the Boston Globe on 12/15/2002.

 © Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.




For complete coverage of the priest abuse scandal, go to


Some Questions  re : The Paul Shanley Case ???

The Question is : Who knew what when ?

Who called John White to participate in this 1999 event ?

How is it that when all of law enforcement could not find Fr. John White and Fr. Paul Shanley , those  listed below seem to have a direct line to them ?

Catholic Charities "Companions" program Alice Slattery 11 APR 03

And to think that Dr. Doolin claims that Catholic Charities is in line with the Church teaching !

Fr. Richard Lewandowski one of the planners of the Catholic Charities "Companions"

The other planners and participants :

Fr. Phillip Earley, St Thomas ,Wilmington,MA.  Member Board of Catholic Charities

Paul Merullo ,Pastoral Asst  St Thomas, Wilmington ,MA.  [ later convicted of sexual assault against a Woburn teen and served 2 1/2 years sentence),

Fr. John J. White (co-owner of homosexual bed and breakfast, in CA. , with Fr. Paul Shanley ),

Fr. Walter Cuenin, OLHC ,Newton , MA.

Fr. Robert Congdon  , instructor at St. John Seminary ,Boston, MA.

Charles Connors  pres. of Boston PFLAG in 1999),

Pat Dunn (Catholic Charities Social Worker)

Vivian Soper (Catholic Charities Social Worker) and

Jean Proia ,leader of Catholic Parents Network/New Ways Ministry at Immaculate Conception parish, Stoughton, MA.(Fr. John J. White often helped her in her "ministry").