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A Network of Horror?

Atila Sinke Guimarães
Bird's Eye View of the News, July 26, 2003

3monkeys.jpg - 21288 Bytes This week new and important charges were made against Fr. Paul Shanley. He and Fr. John Geoghan can be considered the two main “stars” that gave origin to the pedophile scandal still shaking the Catholic Church in the U.S. According to documents filed in Boston on July 21, Fr. Shanley would have procured underage sex partners for other men in exchange for money. He also would have paid for sex with teenagers.

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Fr. Paul Shanley was released in December on $300,000 cash bail - LA Times, December 12, 2002
The accusations were included in more than 300 pages of motions filed by attorneys representing Gregory Ford, 23, and his parents in a civil suit against Cardinal Law and the Boston Archdiocese. The Fords contend Church officials failed to stop Shanley from abusing children. The documents, laying out dozens of examples of alleged wrongdoing by Shanley and his superiors, were filed hours after the State Attorney General confirmed that no criminal charges would be brought against Law (Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2003).

If these charges are objective, they would add graver aspects to the scandal. There would be a much more serious crime than the so-called personal “weakness” of the priests, as their superiors have benevolently viewed these abuses against children. Shanley, and perhaps other priests, would have set up a kind of business exploiting homosexual prostitution with children. In fact, to pay for sex with children can only be called what it is, child prostitution, and someone who makes money for offering children for the sexual pleasure of other men does nothing other than to serve as a pimp. That is to say, a network of horror exploiting child prostitution would have been established under the sightless eyes of the ecclesiastical authorities.

If prudence advises caution in launching this accusation, vigilance obliges us to raise the suspicion. Let us wait and see if other data will show up to confirm or deny it.

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