The surprising thing about the big puff piece in today’s Boston Globe about Paul Shanley, the ex-priest who has been defrocked and awaits trial for molesting many boys, is that it took the Globe so long to publish this obvious effort to plead his case with the Massachusetts courts.

Shanley was one of the bright stars in the Globe’s liberal firmament back in the 1960’s and 70’s when the newspaper was striving to become the media darling of gays, cross-dressers and the “trans-gender” crowd in the Boston area and faced stiff competition from two weeklies, the Phoenix and B.A.D. (Boston After Dark).

“A search for the real Rev. Paul Shanley suggests he was part hero, part horror,” intones the six-column head across the top of the fold on the front page of the Globe’s Living Arts Section. And all this under a large (six columns) flattering photograph of Shanley giving out Holy Communion to his young admirers.

The 1969 Globe photo by Frank Wing appears to have been taken right after he had his black hair carefully sculpted—to use the Globes’s description—at the Back Bay salon where he was a regular, much like the late New York mobster John Gotti’s daily barbershop routine before he was brought down by the Feds. Shanley’s grooming, of course, was aimed at attracting young boys to his bed, and he had many of them in the Boston area, so he could satisfy himself and corrupt them with his sexual misconduct which was a flagrant violation of his Holy Orders.

Hopefully the judge or judges who preside over the criminal cases ahead of Shanley, aren’t taken in by Sally Jacobs’ effort which is spread over three pages of the newspaper. There’s little doubt that the pedophile ex-priest will cost the Archdiocese of Boston and the Catholic faithful a bundle of money when the numerous civil cases pending come to trial.

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