**********The City of Angels is Everywhere*********

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

First post at City of Angels Blog, re Jan 16, 2007, hearing, L.A. Superior Court,

As I sat down to write this the Massage on 102.3 FM played Donnie McClurkin’s Speak To My Heart, the angelic voices singing:
Speak To My Heart, Holy Sprit
Give me the words that will bring new life
And I knew once again nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.

This morning, Jan 16, there was a lot of activity in Superior Court Los Angeles County where L.A. Judge Haley Fromholz is overseeing the disposition of about 150 civil cases against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For the past month and until June when the first actual trial begins the judge is hearing motions, seven today, as many as nine scheduled on another day next week. The calendar can change.

This is all real new to me. When I got to the building I even put the things I didn't want the security guards to see in my pockets before going through the metal detectors and then found out I had to empty my pockets.

Inside Haley Fromholz’ court a flurry of attorneys stood before the judge and the lawyer representing the church went into a round of argument that was so circular: something like: “The subpoena is not the proper tool for information like this and yet we've been subpoenaed with these subpoenas. . .”

Did Fromholz’s eyebrow go up? The judge said, “And that leads to what conclusion? You've raised this matter before.”

The attorney sputtered a bit and then said something like, “Well your honor this is premature, consider the Cooley case, (See http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2002/04/14/loc_1how_church_hid_sins.html “How the Church hid the sins of Father Cooley” Cincinnati Enquirer, April 14 2002) where records were subpoenaed in the same way and that case is under appeal and don’t you think we should wait for the Court of Appeals to rule on Wempe?”

I’m seeing Alice in Wonderland characters dancing around that pole.

But Fromholz stops him: “Are you citing the Cooley case when it has not been cited before?”
“Why hasn’t it been cited before?”
Then the archdiocese attorney went into right to privacy argument: “We don’t want to commit the crime of denying the privacy rights of the priest?”

Here is where I want to jump up and scream what about the crime of child molestation! But luckily the attorney for the plaintiff has a more stable mind than I do and says, “We feel that child sex abuse outweighs the privacy issue.”

Judge Fromholz says, “Mm-hmm. I’ll take it under advisement.”

Next case is the one my friend and fellow priest rape survivor Mike in Arizona is filing and the church has been really nasty to him in the last year. Now they have the audacity to come before the judge with a motion for summary judgment.
(John Joseph Daly: Accused of abuse of 16 yr old boy in 1977. Arrested. Case dropped after bishop visited DA. Died 1989. Civil suit filed 2002. Moved several times by diocese. -- Bishop Accountability Source:LA Times 8.10.05; San Diego Union Tribune 8.16.02; Union Tribune 5.27.06; Union Tribune 6.22.06; Union Tribune 10.18.06 -- Bishop Accountability)

In this case Mike’s lawyers have sworn testimony that the pedophile priest Father John Joseph Daly had a rap sheet back in 1977 that apparently showed other child molest charges against him. Even though the arresting officer has given sworn testimony that he received a telex in his 1977 police station office in Imperial County with Father Daly’s police record as a child molester --

The rap sheet, the record of Father Daly’s arrests, has mysteriously disappeared. Instead the only paper evidence left is memos written in 1985 where apparently Father Daly was admonished by Bishop Straling for bringing young transients to stay in the little room he had behind the CD(?) at Hopeville in Imperial County.

I’m taking notes like crazy. In Mike’s case he and a friend were hitchhiking in 1977 and picked up by Father Daly who took them to this place and raped them. Apparently the good priest was still an active pedophile in 1985 and as the bishop wrote in the memos, How could you be so stupid to still be bringing young transients in to stay at Hopeville when you have these “prior incidents of an explosive nature”?

Plural “incidents” “Explosive nature,” words in the bishop’s memo, oops forgot to shred that one. Doesn't that mean there could have been more than one incident? Isn’t that what plural means? Does this show there was more than one incident even before 1977 and the church knew? The lawyers argue.

I’m still trying to grapple with mysteriously disappearing arrest records from 1977 when the lawyers start talking about more document destruction by the Catholics. Did they even have shredders back in 1977?

Apparently Monsignor Callahan of San Diego has admitted in depositions to Mike's attorneys that he destroyed plenty of personnel records in 1994. Someone defended this file destruction as “not sex abuse reports but Servants of the Paracletes reports.”

I’m going “What?!!!!” and writing exclamation points and arrows all over my notes. The Servants of the Paracletes is where the Catholic Church used to send its pervert priests for a few decades, back in the 70s, a lush ranch in New Mexico. When a deviant priest in the U.S. had just too many complaints against him back then he was sent to this New Mexico haven to bask in hot mineral baths and be cured of his pedophilia, then in most cases sent back to the community to serve again as a priest.

Servants of the Paraclete records ARE sex abuse records and here these lawyers are casually saying in open court that the church admitted to destroying piles of them, boxes of records, gotten rid of in 1994, because someone in the Catholic hierarchy must have seen the Boston cases coming, and this whole problem was about to boil over, so in Archdioceses across the country the clerics were scrambling to get rid of any evidence of child sex molestation they could find.

Now they're arguing: Did Monsignor Callahan destroy Father Daly’s files in 1994? How will we ever know?

Attorneys for the archdiocese: Well no one really knows if he destroyed Father Daly’s records or not , do they now, since those records were destroyed and those records aren’t there any more so “unfortunately those are the records we have to live with today.” That's honestly what one of the archdiocese attorneys put forth.

I have to stop a minute to mention there were three very powerful and physically dominating lawyers there to argue this motion, while the small demeanored and rather soft-spoken Anthony De Marco stood up alone and represented Mike, who can’t afford to travel to L.A. for all these hearings.

Fromholz said he’d take it under advisement.

There was more discussion about how can we prove the Catholic church has a pattern of sending errant priests out to remote locations such as Hopeville in San Bernardino County, and I want to jump up and say just Google it. That story has been written at least 500 times now since the Boston cases broke in 2002. Over and over again the church, when faced with a deviant pedophile priest, has been proved in court to have moved the perpetrator to a rural area, where he could pursue his proclivities pretty much unnoticed. It happened in Iowa, lliniois, Oregon, Northern California, the Southern California desert, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine, and now with the American press starting to pursue them, they are moving the pedophile priests to Third World countries where they can continue preying.

It happened in my case when the Chicago Archdiocese in 1949 transfered Father Thomas Barry Horne from the city to rural Bartlett to set up St. Peter Damian church.

I look over at the guy from the L.A. Times and again, during times I am scribbling and drawing exclamation points in my notes he’s not even writing. He takes his notes at different times. Real journalists can’t print everything. You can't tell the whole story in eight column inches. I’m almost glad to be unemployable and out of work so blogging it.

Judge Fromholz is taking it all under advisement.

Next came more motions, one where the church is trying to say that officers and managers of the church didn't even know what the priests were doing. One motion reflects the pain the parishes are feeling as a result of all this rampant criminal activity in the church, and everybody’s trying to protect their money.

One motion’s argument went: Even though the parishes have been sending money to the archdioceses and the archdioceses have been sending money to the parishes the Big Cheese whoever the hell that is (Mahony?) wants to claim that the parishes aren’t part of the archdioceses. This works both ways for the church -- the parishes don’t have to pay into the archdioceses’ bankruptcies and civil settlements and the archdioceses can claim total non-responsibility for anything that goes on in the parishes. All this is done by spending millions on attorneys to argue with each other and with the judge


Then it was over. The last motion was O/C, off calendar. I decided to ask for business cards in case I wanted to use an attorney’s name, so I could get the spelling right.

So bold as I tend to be (Yay though I walk through the valley of death) as a PTSD reeling priest rape survivor, I walked brashly right up to one of the attorneys for the L.A. Archdiocese and asked him for a business card.

He hemmed and hawed, who are you? Um, patted his coat pockets, looked sheepish and said, I don't have any more, ask Brandy outside. Wait a minute. A lawyer who doesn't want to give you a business card? I asked, Brandy? Wasn’t she the attorney in the other case? Are you all one firm? He mumbled something into his sleeve and squirmed and I decided that was fun, think I’ll do it again.

Asked another one of the church attorneys for his card and he said and who are you? I said, I’m Kay E------ and I’m a survivor of priest rape and a retired journalist and writing a blog. He said, Oh well I have a blog too, it’s to get the real truth out, and I said, oh you do that one? I’m thinking of this icky website I went to once where these hateful writers try to say all the people coming forward with claims against the church now are just trying to go after easy money . . . I don't know if that's the website but he went on, “Yeah we focus on pointing out when things are in the press that aren’t true.”

I said, yeah you really can’t believe everything you read in the mainstream press these days. That's why blogs are so great. People can post there and anybody can read anything that's written. That's the nature of journalism today, you read everything that's out there and then figure out on your own what's true.

As I rode home on the red line there was a girl sitting there looking really spaced out, puffy eyes her fried blond hair disheveled, she was apparently coming home from last night’s or last weekend’s party, wearing a short slinky dress and her bare very white legs a little open on the seat. She seemed to be totally unaware of how slutty and worn out and beaten down she looked, yawning, trying to get home from whatever she’d been up to over the three-day weekend.

That could have been me 30 years ago, the fried blond riding transit home hung over from a weekend of bacchanalia wondering why things were going wrong with my life the way they were.

I could have been a whole different person (See my story at http://cityofangels1.blogspot.com/ )

There will be another busy day of motions in the Clergy Cases I and II next Jan 23rd, and I will post again then.

No comments: