Shanley Co-Owned Gay Hotel in California

A priest accused of molesting children in Boston more than two decades ago bought a hotel that catered to gays after he was transferred to Southern California in 1990, property records show.

The Rev. Paul R. Shanley and another former priest bought the four-room Cabana Club Resort in December 1990. Shanley left the San Bernardino Diocese in 1993 and sold the hotel two years later.

In Boston, several lawsuits have been filed against Shanley, including one by Gregory Ford, 24, who alleges the priest repeatedly raped him in the 1980s.

Documents released Monday by Ford's attorney show Shanley spoke in favor of sex between men and boys at a 1979 meeting where a national group advocating the practice — the North American Man Boy Love Association — apparently was formed.

The hotel owned by Shanley and John J. White was located in the Warm Springs area of Palm Springs, known for its businesses catering to gays.

"We were neighbors. We were in the same business together," said John Kendrick, who owned the Inn Exile which also served a gay clientele. "As far as Paul goes, it never occurred to me that he might have been a priest.

"He was a quiet background person whenever I was around him. He was John White's friend. That's how I knew him," Kendrick said.

In 1997, Shanley and White sold the Cabana Club. A neighboring hotel owned by White — the Whispering Palms — was sold in 1995.

Shanley, 71, now lives in San Diego. White later returned to Boston where he lived in retirement quarters at St. Mary's Church.

Shanley has not been heard from since molestation allegations against him surfaced late last month. The manager of his apartment said she had not seen him for weeks, and messages left for him were not returned.

In San Diego, Shanley was fired last week from a volunteer post with an auxiliary police force after authorities learned of the sex abuse allegations. Shanley did not work with children and was always assigned with a partner, a police spokesman said.

The papers released Monday indicate Shanley had a long history of sexual misconduct allegations. Yet when Shanley moved to California after a medical leave, another church official wrote the San Bernardino Diocese to assure them the priest was no threat.

After the papers were released, Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly raised the possibility of criminal charges against church officials who shift accused priests from parish to parish.

Cardinal Bernard Law, head of the Boston Archdiocese, has apologized for shuttling another former priest, John Geoghan, between parishes in the mid-1980s, even after he learned Geoghan molested children.

The newly released documents also show Law was aware of the allegations against Shanley.

The archdiocese hasn't directly addressed the Shanley case, but released a statement Monday saying: "Whatever may have occurred in the past, there were no deliberate decisions to put children at risk."

On Tuesday, Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates Warren Tolman and Robert Reich, along with New Hampshire's largest newspaper, The Union Leader of Manchester, called for Law to resign.