At age five, 1954, "the Bishop" (Chicago's Cardinal Stritch) stood over me and said, I had to "stop babbling" about what the priest did to me. It took me 40 years to talk about it again. Today, I babble.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

New sex crime ploy of Franciscans: Only take pedophilia reports in Confession then claim religious privilege: Plus a Phoenix-Santa Barbara connection

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By Kay Ebeling



( UPDATE November 25: Happy Thanksgiving, readers. I give my brain a break and stay off topic on holidays, watch for new posts, more ground breaking new revelations, after the weekend. I'm going to start eating all this great stuff my daughter is cooking up... - happy thanksgiving - ke )

Part 2:
A parishioner walks into Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church in Orange County saying he wants to talk about a predator priest. He tells the Franciscan Father Michael Harvey he wants to discuss Gus Krumm. The parishioner barely gets the name Krumm out of his mouth when Father Harvey ushers him into the Confessional to continue the conversation. Harvey’s response "was immediate and premeditated," reads the opening paragraphs of First Amended Complaints in Cases 1337577 and 1338070 filed in Santa Barbara Superior Court, Oct. 5 and Nov. 3, 2009.

"Before the parishioner could say anything further about Krumm, Harvey insisted that any discussion regarding Krumm be in the context of the confessional, thus rendering the communication penitential," read 1st Amended Complaints in the two civil lawsuits.

When I first read these briefs, even I could not believe the crimes alleged in the lawsuits, they are so shocking. So I asked Tim Hale, the Santa Barbara attorney who authored the briefs, how he came up with the details in these cases. "Everything alleged in the amended complaints is supported by admissible evidence assembled from investigation and discovery conducted during the last eleven years of litigation involving the Franciscans," emailed Tim Hale of Nye Peabody Stirling & Hale Santa Barbara in reply.

In Part 2 today, we are running direct quotes from both complaints about 1st Amendment manipulation by the Franciscans, ever exploiting America's belief if religious freedom. Part 3 of this story is so sordid, even a little repulsive, that City of Angels will wait until after the "Thanksgiving" holiday in the USA to publish it.

What will be in Part 3? Well, to those of you who heard rumors about man-boy group sex forced on high school boys at St. Anthony's Seminary in Santa Barbara, and about the cases of crabs, the rumors are shown to be true, detailed to some extent in documents for Cases: 1337577 and 1338070, in Santa Barbara Superior Court, Anacapa Division.

So we'll let our readers digest their turkey dinner and produce extra anti-stress hormones, before we post the details from these Santa Barbara lawsuits that involve medical exams of private parts conducted by Franciscan brothers who have no medical training.

Yes, the rumors that the friars liked to play doctor with teenage studetns at St. Anthony's are also apparently true, but we are not even going to go there until after Thanksgiving.

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The rest of this post is direct quotes, from Complaints in Cases #1337577 and #1338070 filed in Santa Barbara Superior Court, Anacapa Division, in recent weeks.

Me, I gotta get back to work on Scream Queens Season 2, will be working all through the Thanksgiving holiday, and for that I give thanks.

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DIRECT QUOTES FROM CASES #1337577 and 1338070, Santa Barbara Superior Court, Anacapa Division:

9.1 Even worse, the Franciscans now are exploiting the religious freedoms protection provided by the First Amendment in order to avoid their obligations as mandatory reporters under Penal Code section 11166.

In July of 2009 a former parishioner at the Franciscan parish in Orange County, St. Simon and Jude, reported the Franciscans’ latest child-endangering ploy. That parishioner met with Franciscan Father Michael Harvey at his parish in 2008.

When the parishioner stated he wished to discuss notorious Franciscan perpetrator Father Gus Krumm, Father Harvey’s response was immediate and premeditated: before the parishioner could say anything further about Krumm, Harvey insisted that any discussion regarding Krumm be in the context of the confessional, thus rendering the communication penitential.


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Under California Penal Code section 11166(c)(1), clergy do not have to notify law enforcement of childhood sexual abuse if they learned about it in a penitential communication.
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Direct quotes from Complaints continue:

Under Penal Code section 11166(c)(1), clergy can avoid their obligations to notify law enforcement of reports of childhood sexual abuse if their knowledge or suspicion is acquired in the context of a penitential communication.

Thus, by insisting the parishioner make any disclosure regarding Krumm as a penitential communication, Father Harvey insured he would have no reporting obligation under section 11166 in the event of a report of childhood sexual abuse.

The legislature could not have intended section 11166(c) to be used as a shield by entities that protect perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse, but that is exactly what Father Harvey and the Franciscans have accomplished by insisting that any reports of misconduct by Franciscans be made in the context of penitential communications.

In so doing the Franciscans have turned the Constitution on its head, using First Amendment protections to shield Franciscan perpetrators from law enforcement and to make the world a much more dangerous place for children.

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The Franciscans have turned the Constitution on its head
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Direct Quotes from the Complaint briefs

As a result of such efforts by the Franciscans to protect their predatory members, very few of these men have been prosecuted, convicted, and forced to register as sex offenders. Thus, the Franciscans have successfully concealed the identities of an unknown number of Franciscan perpetrators.

As evidenced by their efforts to escape their reporting obligations, by the recent victims in the Ladenburger case, and by the continuing pattern of deceit evidenced by the Franciscans’ conduct towards a female plaintiff, the clergy-abuse crisis has not been abated by the 2006 Franciscan litigation.

To the contrary, it is business as usual at Franciscan corporate headquarters. For this reason, the legal system cannot sit back and wait for current or former Franciscan perpetrators such as Ladenburger to reveal themselves through new victims.

The ongoing lies, deceit, and concealment by the Franciscans mandate proactive efforts to save today’s children from new abuse like that suffered by Ladenburger’s recent victims.


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Ongoing lies, deceit, and concealment
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Direct Quotes from the Complaint Briefs:

The public needs to know where Br. Sam Cabot is currently working, particularly when he is less than half a mile away from an elementary school. They need to know about the abuse committed by Br. Matteo, and where he is currently assigned or in residence. They need to know about Fr. Mel Bucher’s history of abuse, particularly where he is allowed to conduct or have access to retreats for adolescents.

And they need to know about every other current or former Franciscan who, like Ladenburger until he was caught sexually abusing more children in 2007, have been accused of childhood sexual abuse but have not yet been identified.

It is an abomination that of the twenty-seven (27) Franciscan perpetrators who have lived in Santa Barbara since 1936, only two have been criminally prosecuted in Santa Barbara County. The sad reality is the criminal courts’ hands have been tied by the Franciscans’ successful efforts to conceal Franciscan criminal acts until the applicable statutes of limitation have expired.


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Out of 27 perpetrators, only 2 have been prosecuted
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Direct quotes from Complaints continue:

As a result, absent immediate action by the civil courts, today’s children will continue to be victimized by Franciscan perpetrators throughout the Western United States at the numerous locations where the Franciscans of the Province of St. Barbara conduct their business.

Pursuant to the compelling state interest in preventing acts of future childhood sexual abuse, the Franciscans must be ordered to disclose immediately the identities, histories of abuse, and last known locations of all current and former Franciscans accused of childhood sexual abuse while they were members of the order. They also must be ordered not to insist that reports of misconduct by Franciscans be made only in the context of a penitential communication.

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THEN IN ADDITION

The Phoenix Connection

IN CASE #1337577

A victim trusts David O'Brien who later becomes Bishop of Phoenix

(Direct quote from First Amended Complaint #1337577:)

When Plaintiff returned home to Phoenix once school ended. he reported the abuse (at St. Anthony's SB) to the pastor at his home parish, Father Thomas O’Brien, a priest who would go on to become the Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix.

Plaintiff described the assault by Brother Dave Johnson and another assault by Franciscan Brother Gus Krumm. Plaintiff also showed O’Brien photographs of Krumm and Johnson from his yearbook.

O’Brien in turn asked to hold on to the yearbook until they met again, telling plaintiff to return 2 or 3 days later.

Unfortunately Plaintiff had placed his faith and hope in a man who ultimately would be proven to be a complete ethical and moral failure both as a priest and as a human being.

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Give me the pictures, sonny, and I'll talk to you in a couple days. Little did the boy know
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Direct quotes from 1st Amended Complaint in Case #1337577 SB continue:

O’Brien would later admit – in exchange for immunity from prosecution for his actions – that beginning at least as early as 1979 and throughout his 22-year career as a bishop he repeatedly placed children at risk to be sexually abused by transferring known perpetrator priests to new parishes without any warning to the parish or the community.

Further evidence of O’Brien’s moral depravity came within weeks of this agreement on June 16, 2003, when O’Brien was arrested and later convicted of felony hit and run after the vehicle he was driving struck and killed a six-foot tall, 235 lb. man. Despite the size of the victim and the fact the impact had caved in O’Brien’s windshield, O’Brien claimed he thought someone had thrown a rock at his car, or that he had struck an animal.

The grand jury investigation that led to O’Brien’s admissions in exchange for immunity revealed that in 1979 O’Brien had received reports of the abuse of a ten year-old boy by another priest, and that instead of reporting the priest to law enforcement or warning parents, O’Brien transferred him to another parish where he continued to abuse children.

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More on the Santa Barbara Cases after thanksgiving, me I'm going to find a bar...
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POST SCRIPTS:

On November 16, 2009, Cardinal Francis George told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Baltimore.

"There are others who would keep the bishops permanently imprisoned in the clerical sexual abuse scandal of recent years. The proper response to a crisis of governance, however, is not no governance but effective governance. (Huh? What does that mean? )

George went on:

"The clerical ranks have been purged of priests and bishops known to have abused children, (Whatever the sins of those abusers, they) "cannot be allowed to discredit the truth of Catholic teaching."

THEN
On November 18, 2009
Lee Podles, author and Bishop Accountability board member, wrote:

"The bishops say they have changed, but the bishops also assured us there was no problem to begin with. I do not believe any fact that a bishop asserts until I have verified it."

& Another
POST SCRIPT

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. A retired priest pleaded not guilty Nov. 5, 2009, to charges that he molested a young boy at a Costa Mesa church more than 17 years ago.

Denis Lyons, 75, of Seal Beach, who is free on $100,000 bail, was arrested last October at his Leisure World home and accused of molesting the boy when he was a second and third grade student at St. John the Baptist Catholic School between 1992 and 1995.

Lyons, who was removed from ministry in 2002, was a priest at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church during those years.

He faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted of four felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14, plus a sentencing enhancement that he committed substantial sexual conduct.

(On video of DA it says Lyons masturbated the boy twice in the rectory and twice in the sacristy of that church in Costa Mesa.)

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POST SCRIPT 3
Balanced Justice:

60-year sentence for man who molested boys

November 13, 2009 (WAUKEGAN, Ill.) (WLS) -- A suburban man accused of running a sex club for boys out of his home has learned how much he will pay for his crimes. A judge sentenced Michael Rebecca to 60 years in prison Friday. Rebecca admitted to more than 200 incidents with boys between the ages of 11 and 16. He was convicted on 20 counts of sexual assault back in September. The incidents took place at Rebecca's Vernon Hills home. Prior to Friday's sentencing, Rebecca and the judge heard from one of the victims.

The Lake County judge called Michael Rebecca a parent's worst nightmare, a predator who started with the son of a close friend of his, and then used that boy to lure more victims.

MEANWHILE:

Ex Chicago area priest Fred Lenczycki only got 5 years for abusing boys over a 30 year period, served 2-1/2. Lenczycki was then held briefly briefly as sexually dangerous and currently lives in River Forest, Illinois.

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EXTRA!! EXTRA!!

Money available for pedophile priest crime victims who need therapy, through Therapy Trust for Victims in Santa Barbara.

Ray Higgins called from Santa Barbara. "We've got now enough for nine or ten more people can get therapy."

Victims in Santa Barbara pooled funds after receiving settlements in 2006 and currently have money available for nine people to get about two years of therapy. Contact Ray Higgins at: Therapy Trust for Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse therapytrust@cox.net for an application.

Higgins sat on the Board of Inquiry that produced the 1993 Report that first opened the doors to the depth and bredth of pedophilia inbred in Catholic systems.

Therapy Trust for Victims still has money because it wrote financial sanity into its founding papers. Higgins told me, "The terms of the trust say we can only invest in FDIC insured accounts, not bonds or stocks or any risk investments."

More in an upcoming post about the Trust.

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Watch for Part 3 of the Santa Barbara series soon after Thanksgiving...
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Don't forget the PayPal High Five Campaign. After each post we pass the hat using Donate buttons on the left. That's how this works

-ke

7 comments:

hrh said...

Eeeeeeeeek!!!!!

Anonymous said...

How can this be???
A person can only confess their OWN sins under the seal of the confessional, as I understand it. Victims of sex abuse were not willing participants, so how can they be guilty of any sin???
So how can the priest claim immunity for the behavior of others who were not involved at that particular reception of the sacrament???

steve said...

We know that many persons have suffered sexual abuse by priests. We also know that some persons have claimed to have suffered abuse when in fact they had not. You seem to assume that any statement made in a Complaint filed in a lawsuit is by definition true. That is not the case. It would be wrong to assume without proof that statements by victims and their attorneys are by definition false. It would likewise be wrong to assume without proof that such statements are true. Therefore, it is imprudent for you to quote from the filed Complaints as if those statements are unquestionably correct. I know from first hand knowledge that the statements you quoted are not all true. I also know that the Franciscans have issued a public statement denying they have a policy of discussing sexual abuse claims only under the seal of the confessional and denying that Fr. Michael Harvey refused to speak to someone apparently reporting an abuse claim except in the confessional. There are many fine priests who are not perpetrators and who do not deserve to be lumped in with perpetrators without proof being offered. There are some persons making accusations of clerical sexual abuse who do not deserve to be lumped in with actual survivors of such abuse because they did not in fact suffer such abuse. Until the plaintiffs (or you) can produce proof of the claims in the Complaints, truth demands that you at least make known to your readers the position of the Franciscans on these accusations.

city of angels lady said...

Why don't you start a Blog for the Franciscans? Tell their story that way. ebeling

city of angels lady said...

Also, Steve, "I know from firsthand knowledge" is not too great a source. I think my quotes from a complaint filed in superior court are a bit more credible than "I know a guy who said." Also, Steve, everyone knows who I am, who are you? Why is a Church apologist who comments here using his first name only? I'm just a little old lady being as accurate a journalit as possible reporting on these crimes? Who are you?

steve said...

My name is Steve Dzida. I posted my comments yesterday using my first and my last name but your software seems to have omitted the last name. "First hand" knowledge means seen or witnessed personally. As a matter of fact, many claims in complaints filed in court are NOT supported by first hand knowledge but rather by "I know a guy who said," which as you correctly point out is not as strong as first hand knowledge. My only purpose in providing you additional information was to assist you in "being as accurate a journalist as possible." If that is not truly your goal or if you are only interested in one side of the story, then I apologize for wasting your time.

Anonymous said...

Kay, this stuff is jaw dropping. You're doing the Lord's work.

Re: Steve Dzida's claim that there are people making bogus claims of abuse by RCC priests.

Mr. Dzida, if you are going to complain about these unproven allegations, would you please tell us what evidence you have to substantiate your allegation that there are false claims?

You say you have first hand knowledge that the statements Kay quoted are not true. Where's your evidence?

The percentage of claims against the church that are false are exceedingly low and the reasons for this should become obvious very quickly to anyone who actually gives some thought to to the matter.

The church has fought in court to make the names of victims available to the press even when they remained silent and wished to be anonymous. So why would the church deserve any consideration?

No doubt the church would love to censor every abuse story they've ever been involved in...if they could.

The church could take these phony victims to court and publicly clear it's name. Why doesn't it? Why does the church always settle on the eve of a trial?

Because the church is guilty as hell. Because the church would rather pay hundreds of millions of dollars than let the facts be heard.

How anyone can defend this evil entity is beyond me.

George Pierce