Citizens of the famously gay-friendly burg of Provincetown, Mass., are reacting negatively to news that a retired priest charged with raping boys may soon be living there.
The Rev. Paul R. Shanley, a key figure in the Archdiocese of Boston's sex abuse scandal, posted $300,000 bail earlier this week and was headed to Provincetown pending his trial, according to the town's police chief.
The 71-year-old Shanley, who has publicly advocated sex between men and boys, was released after spending seven months in jail. Documents released in April show that archdiocese officials had previously received reports of Shanley's attendance at a 1979 meeting in Boston at which the North American Man-Boy Love Association was apparently created. Despite receiving dozens of allegations of abuse perpetrated by Shanley, Boston officials did not warn the San Bernardino, Calif., diocese when Shanley moved there in 1990. While serving there as a pastor part-time, he also co-owned a clothing-optional hotel in Palm Springs, Calif., that catered to gay men.
Provincetown resident Lauren Silva, 19, who works at Adams Pharmacy on Commercial Street, a popular gathering spot for locals, said that said Shanley was a popular topic of conversation amongst the locals. "This morning, we had a bunch of people discussing how horrible it is," she said. "I don't like the idea of him being in our town. I was very, very shocked when I heard the news."
Resident Ernie Adams, 44, said, "I don't think he should have gotten out of jail. No one will trust him."