At the time, Thomas V. Daily was chancellor, vicar general and auxiliary bishop in the Boston Archdiocese. Daily promoted Shanley to administrator and acting pastor at St. Jean's parish in Newton.
Shanley, 71, is one of the priests at the center of the sex scandal engulfing the archdiocese. He was indicted in June charges of raping or otherwise molesting boys while he was at St. Jean's from 1979 to 1989.
In the deposition, Daily said he considered Shanley a "troubled priest" who needed help. He also said he knew Shanley had attended a meeting of the North American Man-Boy Love Association and had spoken in favor of the group. But under questioning, Daily said he had not received any reports of Shanley engaging in abuse himself.
Daily, who served in the Boston post from 1977 to 1984, gave the testimony in August for lawsuits filed by three men who claim they were sexually abused by Shanley at St. Jean's.
Daily said there was no indication Shanley was promoting sexual relationships between men and boys while he was at St. Jean's. "But having said that, I would have very great regrets," Daily said.
"You have regrets you made the appointment?" asked plaintiffs' lawyer Roderick MacLeish Jr.
"I think I would have done much better if I hadn't made the appointment," Daily replied.
Frank DeRosa, a spokesman for the Brooklyn Diocese, had no immediate comment on the deposition Monday.