Back to Boston.com homepage Arts | Entertainment Boston Globe Online Cars.com BostonWorks Real Estate Boston.com Sports digitalMass Travel The Boston Globe Spotlight Investigation Boston.com Abuse in the Catholic Church
HomePredator priestsScandal and coverupThe victimsThe financial costOpinion
Cardinal Law and the laityThe church's responseThe clergyInvestigations and lawsuits
Interactive2002 scandal overviewParish mapExtrasArchivesDocumentsAbout this site
 Latest coverage

March 11
Victims' lawyer to sue Dupre

March 6
Suit accuses insurer of fraud

March 5
Charges against bishop eyed

March 1
Activists seek sex abuse panel

February 26
Alleged victim to aid probe

February 13
Springfield probe is sought

January 7, 2004
Agents faced reluctant aides

December 3
Church settles with victim

November 15
Settlement fuels money advice

November 12
Claims set aside until 2004

October 30
Hard line set on abuse trials

October 21
Most plaintiffs accept deal

October 19
Therapy sought in abuse suit

October 17
Lawyer says settlement near

October 8
Victims agonize over deal

September 12
Victims seen taking settlement

September 11
Church deal a boon for lawyers

September 10
Church in $85 million accord
Archdiocese facing new strains
Most plaintiffs to accept deal
O'Malley makes an appeal

September 9
Negotiations resume in cases

Earlier stories

Spotlight Report

Superior Court judge orders ex-priest's record released

By Michael Rezendes, Globe Staff, 5/17/2002

In another court ruling requiring the release of a priest's church records, a Superior Court judge yesterday ordered lawyers for former priest Paul J. Mahan and the Archdiocese of Boston to publicly file personnel records for Mahan, including those relating to treatment at two facilities that treat sexually abusive priests.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Constance M. Sweeney, who issued a similar order last year in the case of former priest John J. Geoghan, said the documents should be filed after attorneys remove the names of alleged victims who are not involved in several lawsuits charging Mahan with sexually molesting minors.

The Globe reported in February that it had obtained church documents showing that officials with the archdiocese had received allegations of sexual abuse by Mahan as long ago as the late 1980s and had allowed him to continue working as a priest. The documents showed that Mahan was treated twice at the St. Luke Institute, in Suitland, Md., and that in 1995 he was found to be ''untreatable.''

Mahan, who was ordained in 1968, is accused in lawsuits of sexually molesting more than a dozen children - including one girl and two of his own nephews.

The alleged abuse dates to 1969 while Mahan was a priest at St. Ann's Church in Dorchester, and allegedly continued through his assignment at St. Joseph's Church in Needham in the early 1980s. Mahan also was pastor at St. Matthew's Church in Dorchester before church officials removed him from active ministry.

The archdiocese moved to defrock Mahan in 1997. After leaving the priesthood, he lived in Arlington, Va., and is believed to have remained in that area.

Yesterday, Mahan's attorney, Martin S. Cosgrove, asked that all of Mahan's personnel records be kept from public view. But he urged Sweeney to take particular note of 10 church documents covering July 1995 through August 1997 that concerned Mahan's treatment at the St. Luke Institute and at Southdown, an Ontario, Canada, facility .

But after examining the psychiatric records, Sweeney ruled that because they were addressed to church officials they are not subject to a confidentiality privilege that covers private communications between psychotherapists and their clients.

Last night Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney who represents 11 people who say they were abused by Mahan, released two of the documents covered by Sweeney's order.

One is a September 1995 letter from the Rev. Brian M. Flatley to the Rev. Richard G. Lennon, which reported a conversation between Flatley and a therapist at St. Luke Institute who recommended in February 1995 that Mahan be discharged as ''untreatable.''

Flatley, the church official then directly responsible for overseeing priests accused of sexual misconduct, also wrote that the therapist ''is convinced that Father Mahan is exhibiting the symptoms of a sociopath. He regards Father Mahan as a dangerous person. He is a threat to adolescent males.''

Michael Rezendes can be reached at rezendes@globe.com.

This story ran on page A26 of the Boston Globe on 5/17/2002.
© Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.


© Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
Advertise | Contact us | Privacy policy