Samples of Bishop Daily’s Testimony

I’m particularly curious about the first section, since I can’t for the life of me decode it into English. The rest is decodable, and unbearable.

from Bishop Daily’s deposition, day two (August 22, 2002)


MACLEISH: Can you think of why in 1980 you would not have the ability to remove Paul Shanley as priest at St. Jeans?

DAILY: Yes. I didn’t have a special mandate.

MACLEISH: Could you have asked for a special mandate?

DAILY: The cardinal?


DAILY: Not special mandate. I would go to the cardinal to ask. In this case is essentially different, the two cases.

MACLEISH: They are different in what sense?

DAILY: In the sense that the cardinal is not available for whatever reason and the case of the special mandate to make that for me to consult and make him do the removal, whereas on the other hand I — you know, I did not have that power from the point of view from Geoghan because the cardinal was around presumably and unless you can put him ill between ’79 and ’80. But be that as it may, he was not around and I did not need special mandate because the cardinal himself would do it. Those two things are essentially different.

from Bishop Daily’s deposition, day two (August 22, 2002)


MACLEISH: In November of 1982, do you recall receiving the first page of Exhibit No. 55, which was a letter from Paul Shanley to you advising you about a woman who was giving what he calls annoyance calls?

DAILY: Do I recall?

MACLEISH: Yes. Do you recall that?

DAILY: No, no, I don’t recall specifically, I just —

Go ahead.

MACLEISH: See, it says in the first sentence, “At the suggestion of Father Fred Ryan I’m writing to tell you the telephone company advised me it is powerless to stop the annoyance calls to this rectory from the Brockton woman.” Do you see that.

DAILY: Yes, I see that.

MACLEISH: He asks you for advice how to proceed with this.

DAILY: I see that.

MACLEISH: And then “Father Fred Ryan suggested there may be measures short of a restraining order.” Do you see that?

DAILY: I see that.

MACLEISH: You wrote back to Paul Shanley and the copy is hard to read but I think I can make it out. But did you not say, “Dear Paul: I’m sorry to learn of the harassment you suffered from a woman in Brockton by constant telephone calls. As Father Ryan suggested, I’m not so sure a restraining order would be helpful. For us here at the chancery office, we stopped harassing calls like that from the use of the” — I can’t read that.

DAILY: “Tape.”

MACLEISH: “From the use of the tape.” What did you mean by that?

DAILY: The call would come in and the person would leave their message or whatever they wanted to say, short or long, on the tape.

MACLEISH: “It is rather an impersonal situation but we feel it does screen out calls that are from demented people and people we cannot help over the phone. The other recourse is not to speak at all when she calls but merely to leave her hanging until she hopefully gets discouraged.” Are those your words?

DAILY: That’s in my letter, yes.

MACLEISH: “If you wish to pursue the legal matter, let me know.” Then it says “With Best personal regards for a happy holy Christmas and New Year’s. Sincerely in Christ Most Reverend Thomas B. Daily.”

DAILY: Right.

MACLEISH: Do you see that?

DAILY: Yes, I do.

MACLEISH: Did you make inquiry of Paul Shanley as to what this woman was complaining about?

DAILY: No. I don’t recall I have.

MACLEISH: You don’t recall doing that?

DAILY: No, I just — well, okay.

MACLEISH: By 1982 you would have remembered, would you not, the 1977 letter from Miss Stevens that we have been through and the article in Gaysweek? Would that have been in your mind in 1982?

DAILY: Because of this call?

MACLEISH: Just would it have been in your mind. You knew Paul Shanley was involved in both of those instances?

DAILY: I surely would not have forgotten. Not in relation to this call.

MACLEISH: The next paragraph I’m interested in, “FJR spoke to TVD.” That would be who?

DAILY: TVD is myself.

MACLEISH: That’s staff on 12/20: “Let her stay hanging on the phone. Have him get his own personal attorney.” The quote ends after “let her stay hanging on the phone.”

DAILY: But there’s no quote after the second line.

MACLEISH: No, there is none. The quote “Let her stay hanging on the phone,” was that something that you recall Mr. Ryan or you stating to the staff?

DAILY: It says to the staff. It says to the staff. I don’t recall.

MACLEISH: You don’t recall either way?


MACLEISH: Was there any policy of the archdiocese that if individuals were calling in with complaints about priests that they would be left hanging on the phone? Did that ever happen?

DAILY: Well, let me just say this. You add the thought complaining about priests?


DAILY: That’s something very specific. If they were complaining about priests, then we would not leave them hanging on the phone.

MACLEISH: You would not?

DAILY: No, unless it was bizarre. If it was in fact or determined to be someone who just, you know, and — well, I don’t know. We use the word “demented” or some psychological or something like that, but normally to have a complaint about a priest we would not unless we knew the case, the background and the whole thing.

MACLEISH: Well, you only had Paul Shanley’s version that this woman was calling in placing annoying harassing calls; is that correct?

DAILY: He’s the one who initiated the call for Father Ryan.


DAILY: He notes in this. This is noted in Father Ryan’s — as you said, that it’s been going on for some time.

MACLEISH: Right. But no one — There’s a name mentioned, Sheila Burke, do you see that?

DAILY: I see that.

MACLEISH: Did anyone ever undertake any inquiry that you are aware of to find out why this woman was calling and what her specific problem was, Bishop?

DAILY: Not that I remember.

from Bishop Daily’s deposition, day two (August 22, 2002) Note: Frederick Ryan has in recent month confessed to sexual abuse of several teenage male athletes.


MACLEISH: (reading from a memo written by Fr. [now Msgr.] Frederick Ryan) “A reporter called asking if he might speak with Bishop Daily regarding an assignment of a priest. I told him you were at a confirmation, broad mental reservation as I think you were going to have one this evening,” closed parenthesis, “but could I assist.”

What is broad mental reservation?

DAILY: That’s a question of not telling a lie but at the same time not telling the whole truth.


DAILY: In other words, giving the impression on the one hand that I was not there and on the other hand that I was there but at a different time.

MACLEISH: Were you there that night or not?

DAILY: God help me, I don’t know.

MACLEISH: “Broad mental reservation” means making a statement not consistent with the church’s order to protect the church?

DAILY: No, that’s a lie.

MACLEISH: Is a broad mental reservation the truth?

DAILY: Let’s put it this way: It’s the impression that the truth is given. Is given, yes, it is the truth to a certain extent.

In other words, in this case he’s indicating that I was at a confirmation. The broad part of it is that the confirmation is on that day and so the person hearing it might take it either way, might take it either in the broad context or specific context and make that kind of conclusion.

MACLEISH: Is it fair to conclude that at the time the call came in, you were not at confirmation; that’s why Father Ryan uses the words “broad mental reservation”?

DAILY: I believe so at that time.

MACLEISH: It wasn’t factually accurate; is that correct?

DAILY: Specifically at the time and the specific situation, that’s true.

from Bishop Daily’s deposition, day two (August 22, 2002)


MACLEISH: So my question is: Since you knew what NAMBLA was and you don’t recall having done anything as of right now pursuing whether Shanley had — Father Shanley had attended these conferences, how could you have appointed Paul Shanley in November of 1983 acting pastor, the man in charge of a family parish in Newton, Massachusetts? How could you have done that?

DAILY: Because of the — there was no — there were no indications of actions regarding the actions that were mentioned and talked about and promoted in these meetings and so forth, and that the whole trust of His Eminence’ approach to him and mine is given the direction of His Eminence was to bring him into a situation where his ideas and opinions which were as we described earlier were changed to something normal and that that was the hope and that was the expectation.

MACLEISH: But you didn’t establish by November of 1983 whether Paul Shanley’s views on man/boy love had changed at all, had you?

DAILY: Not that I recall. November of 1983?


DAILY: I’m just trying to think.

I guess it’s never too late to start.