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Personnel File Had Warning On Priest

Dec 10, 2002 | AP

A Roman Catholic priest whose personnel file contained a warning from a church official that he "fools around with kids" was assigned to several parishes, then was accused of raping a 12-year-old girl, according to records released yesterday.

The Boston Archdiocese's personnel files on the Rev. William Scanlan were among hundreds of pages related to seven priests who faced sexual misconduct allegations. The files were released by lawyers representing hundreds of alleged abuse victims.

Unlike files released last week, which contained some shocking allegations, yesterday's records show the archdiocese took some charges of sexual abuse by priests more seriously than those made before a written policy on abuse was instituted in 1993.

In the Scanlan case, however, the files show the archdiocese assigned the priest to several parishes after concerns were raised about him in 1987. Notes written in July 1987 by an unidentified church official say, "He is going to cause me a problem. He fools around with kids. He is in difficulty."

A decade later, Scanlan was accused of raping a 12-year-old girl he had been advising. He denied the accusations and was reinstated. He was later assigned to a hospital in California.

Scanlan could not be located to comment. Archdiocese spokeswoman Donna Morrissey said she had no immediate comment.

The personnel files show another priest, the Rev. Paul Manning, was removed from his ministry in Woburn, Mass., even after he was acquitted of indecent assault and battery of an 11-year-old boy in 1993, and the alleged victim's parents denied he had been assaulted.

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