The Boston Globe | Abuse in the Catholic Church


Below is the complete text of Cardinal Bernard Law's June 19, 2002, letter to Rev. Gerald R. Barnes, bishop of the San Bernardino diocese:

Dear Bishop Barnes:

I was grateful for our visit during the Dallas meeting, and for the opportunity it afforded me to apologize personally for the problems created by the presence of Father Paul Shanley in the Diocese of San Bernardino.

As I mentioned to you, the first allegation against Father Shanley of which I was previously aware was made in 1993. He was forbidden to engage in public ministry from that time forward. In these past several months I have learned of allegations going back to 1966. These records, which go back to my predecessor's predecessor, were not reviewed by me before making assignments.

Please accept my profound apology for the fact that a priest of this Archdiocese has been the cause of bewilderment, scandal and anger among the faithful of the San Bernardino. Had I or my colleagues been aware of his history, never would we have recommended him for priestly work. Father Shanley's departure from this Archdiocese was at his request and was not due to allegations of misconduct.

With warm personal regards and asking for a remembrance in your prayers, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Bernard Cardinal Law

Archbishop of Boston

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