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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Justice Interruptus

(City of Angels Lady will be back after Labor Day.)

By Kay Ebeling
I stand frozen over the coffee pot this morning, listening to news on the radio about the San Diego cases. My daughter walks in and says what's going on and then realizes and stops to listen as well. After the report I tell her “They're releasing the cases supposedly to go to jury trials. But they won’t. That's what they always do. They go right up to before the trial starts and then they settle. So they never testify under oath. The story never comes out.” [GUSH] Tears spew out all over my face, almost projectile, this gush that comes whenever this story spews back into my life. “Mom, stop,” she says after a good 30 seconds, and I can’t, but I say “I will.”

Several times in the last 15 or so years I’ve tried to “put this all behind me,” and I thought the LA cases were going to somehow help me with that. The issue of being raped by a priest at age five and how it affected my life always pushes its way back into my life when I try to let it go. So with jury trials pending in LA I was so fired up, ready with laptop in hand to take down everything they said in court. I work as a transcriber in my other life, so I was getting the quotes verbatim, everything they said. I looked forward to comparing the doddering J. Michael Hennigan -- who was going to be 1st chair throughout for the defendants -- to the guy in “Green Eggs and Ham” as they look so much alike. I was burning, ready to go.

And then it all came to a stop. On July 13th announcements began to spread all over the internet: the LA cases had settled. “NO!” I screamed at my computer. No! I told a few people it’s just a scare tactic, but actually the folks from Texas and Boston and Minnesota who’ve been dealing with the church for decades now had all predicted it. They never go to jury trial.

I wish they would go to trial in San Diego, just one case refuse to settle and instead go to jury trial to force one of these criminal monsignors and bishops to get on the stand under oath -- in public.

Abuse Tracker’s Kathy Shaw had emailed me months earlier. “They always settle two or three days before the trial, because none of them wants to get up and testify under oath.” People who’d been with these cases for 20 years or so knew it from the start, but it took me a while to grasp it.

They were never going to testify, never going to let the true story come out, not in civil trial.

Is there anyone out there with a backbone?
So now with the San Diego cases supposedly coming up for jury trials, it would be great if a judge or someone with power and a backbone would say, No, you can’t settle. You have to testify in court. It would really only take one bishop under oath for the story to start to come out, one hierarchy witness being forced to say what really was going on in the rectories and seminaries, and how many of them knew it, and how it was a part of their culture hidden from and inflicted on the general public.

With absolutely no regard for the children and families they damaged.

Will San Diego now go to jury trial and will we stop experiencing justice interruptus, finally get some satisfaction and yes maybe be able to get on with our lives? And stop spewing tears into our coffee?

It would take a miracle.

If you want to help develop a creative project dealing with the issue of pedophile priests, meet us at Starbucks Sunday September 9th Hollywood and Western at 2 PM -- be one of the executive producers. Hope to see you then.

Happy Birthday to me. Wednesday I turn 59 years old.

More to Come. . .

Monday, August 20, 2007

Pedophile priests in liberated LA: from Ziemann to Baker, no wonder Mahony won't testify; plus Doyle and Strutynski respond re church attorneys

Judge Fromholz on Vacation so next Clergy Cases hearing September 18th.

Sunday 9.9.07 meeting - info at left

By Kay Ebeling
“When he was auxiliary bishop of Fresno, Mahony was also a licensed social worker and was therefore required by law to report child abuse. When he became bishop of Stockton, California in 1980, Mahony surrendered this license and removed himself from the reporting requirements.”

That's from “Sacrilege” by Leon Podles due out from Crossland Press September 1st. (Amazing items about the handling of Michael Baker below.) City of Angels Lady is spending August curled up in the air conditioning with this 625-plus page book written by a bishopaccountability board member, and former federal investigator. At the end of August we’ll print a review, but here are some gems of information about the history of sexual abuse in the Los Angeles archdiocese that come up around page 217.

Podles begins the LA part of the story with George Patrick Ziemann, a friend of Mahony’s back in seminary. A plaintiff Richard at age 11 crossed paths with Ziemann when he was a parish priest in the 1960s in Huntington Park. Podles reports:

“Ziemann would give Richard fifty to a hundred dollars, tell him not to worry about it, then hear his confession and give him ten Our Fathers and ten Hail Marys as penance. This sexual relationship continued until 1986."

In the middle of this, Mahony made Ziemann head of a junior seminary. More sex abuse allegations came up about Ziemann. The Catholic church responded by making Ziemann bishop of Santa Rosa.

Now enters Jorge Salas into Ziemann's life a young Costa Rican who Ziemann ordained although the boy had never been to seminary. Ziemann had Salas on a beeper to be at Ziemann’s beck and call while at the same time the Costa Rican molested a number of young Latino boys in the area.

As you turn the pages you see that homosexuality and pedophilia antics of priests were blatant and out in the open both in seminary and in parishes in Southern California and Mahony and other Southern California Catholic hierarchy specialized in juggling the priests and hiding the problem.

We get a glimpse at how sex abuse claims were handled in the 1990s in LA going back to Msgr. Michael A. Harris, principal of Mater Dei High school in Santa Ana in 1979. A seminarian reported to Ziemann that Harris had molested a student, and “Ziemann did nothing.”

The Hollywood Priest

“Harris, known as the ‘Hollywood priest’ because of his good looks and charisma, was a wildly popular money raiser. At the 1987 opening of the Orange diocese’s new high school, ‘to a roar of applause from the audience, he ripped open his black clerical shirt to reveal a Superman logo.’

“He had raised $26 million for the school, where he found several good candidates for his bed. One died of AIDS in the 1990s and on his deathbed began telling the story of his relationship with Harris. Another man, Ryan DiMaria sued the Los Angeles and Orange Dioceses about his abuse by Harris in the early 1990s.

“Since Ziemann and Mahony both faced having to testify, the two dioceses offered DiMaria $5.2 million.”

Let me repeat that. In 1994 the church in LA paid one plaintiff $5.2 million to keep him quiet about one priest.

Podles’ report in SACRILEGE continues:

“One line of questioning that would have been extremely uncomfortable related to sexual activity at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Mahony’s alma mater. St. John’s ‘may be one of the country’s gayest facilities for higer education. Depending on whom you ask, gay and bisexual men make up anywhere from 30 percent to 70 percent of the student body at the college and graduate levels.’

Déjà Vu All Over Again

“In 1994 Harris had resigned from the priesthood and with the help of his wealthy backers he became head of a low income housing foundation for which he received $91,000 a year.” (In 1994)

Mahony’s handling of pedophile priest Michael Baker, after this.

(Baker is currently awaiting trial on two molest charges in LA’s Twin Towers jail.)

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The handling of predator priests by the LA Archdiocese is nowhere more perplexing than with Michael Stephen Baker.

In 1986 the new archbishop of Los Angeles Roger Mahony met with the LA priests and told them “if they had any sexual difficulties they should come to him,” which brought forward “the gregarious” Rev. Michael Stephen Baker admitting to Mahony that he’d molested several young boys.

The very next day Mahony met with Baker and an attorney who asked “Should we call the police now?” Baker recalled Mahony’s response to be "No-no-no.”

Podles’ report in "SACRILEGE" continues:

“Mahony did not ask for information or order an investigation.

"Baker was sent to therapy and given a series of temporary assignments in parishes, assignments which Mahony claimed he knew nothing about, although he had signed off on some of them.

“No one in the parishes was told of Baker’s admissions.”

In 2001 two men sued Baker for molesting them for 13 years. “The boys had remained silent because Baker had threatened them and had made their mother financially dependent on him,” Podles reports.

Baker offered to pay the boys one million dollars “(There was no indication of the source of this money.)” Baker asked the boys’ attorney to give them the money and just:

“Just don’t tell Roger. I’m supposed to be staying out of trouble. But I’m still doing things I shouldn't do. Roger will be mad if he finds out.”

Podles writes: “Roger did find out; whether he got mad we don’t know. But Roger immediately gave the boys $1.3 million (of which Baker paid $600,000) but did not tell the police.”

Baker gets $100 K severance pay just as reports of 10 more molests come up

Mahony “let Baker retire in 2002 with $100,000 severance pay. The next month the archdiocese learned that Baker had molested 10 more boys, but did not tell the police or parishes.”

A jury trial concerning Father Baker and his victims would have taken place in early 2008, if the cases in LA hadn't settled in July.

City of Angels Lady is on about Page 251 of this 600 some page book and got so engrossed today that my purse was snatched as I sat on a bus bench reading. Ah, life in LA.

LETTERS and EMAILS About the Church Attorneys' Dracula Like Sucking at the Hemorrhaging Cash From the LA Archdiocese’s Legal Funds, after this:

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YES: City of Angels Blog Now Carries Advertising:

I’m part of The Google now. Click on the ads and I make pennies. I tried to get by on the PayPal clicks by hardly anyone clicked so I had to add the ads.


After the August 15 post re church attorneys being slugs, I got these two emails:

From Tom Doyle:

One must never forget that the lawyers for the church do not work on contingency. They get paid by the hour for every minute they work on their cases. In LA they have made tens of millions of dollars trying every which way imaginable to stone wall victims, to prevent justice from happening, to continue to propagate their bizarre propaganda that they actually care about victims and above all, to prevent Roger Mahony from having to answer for the crimes he has committed.

I have met Church attorneys who have hired detectives to spy on victims, their witnesses and their families. Some have tried every way imaginable to destroy the reputations and the will of the victims.

When bishops and their defenders are questioned about the morality of all of this the response is always the same: "that's the way the system works. If someone sues you, you fight back." Except that this isn't a fight. This is the Church, that mistakenly calls itself "The Body of Christ" trying, through morally deficient lawyers, to intimidate, embarrass, threaten and discourage the men and women sexually abused by this Church's own clerics. The cleric-abusers make the wounds and the bishops and their lawyers pour salt and turpentine into them.

I have been involved in this nightmare since 1984. The men and women who have been victims went to court as a last resort. The bishops never responded as pastors, only as machines or as administrators at best. The scare tactics, threats, etc. didn't work and the victims, tired of being jerked around, went to the civil courts. That is why we have civil suits. The dollar amounts are high but not high enough. The best thing the victims could do for the institutional Church would be to force real bankruptcy and not the feigned farces that San Diego, Spokane, Davenport, Portland and Tucson are involved in. Maybe the real Church would be able to emerge if the monarchs really did lose their palaces and their robes. Maybe insolvency would force the "Church" to really be "The Church."

Tom Doyle

And from Udo Strutynski

I agree 1000%, and wish this particular blog could be published in the LA Times. But one note of caution, it's impossible to prove a negative, so your objection about the church's not doing so does the church no damage.

Better to have said, the church offered no alibis and made no attempt to argue the impossibility of the involvement of a particular accused cleric in the abuse. (The church, of course, can't prove the abuse never happened, just that their guy couldn't have done it on the day it was alleged.)
Keep up the great work.


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So City of Angels Lady is going to curl up with this book SACRILEGE by Leon Podles for a few more August afternoons and “review” it at the end of the month.

More to Come. . .

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Church Attorneys Deserve All The Disrespect They Get

By Kay Ebeling
Some might complain about the way I portray Church Attorneys on this blog, comparing them to Alice in Wonderland characters or cartoonish buffoons, but attorneys who represent the LA archdiocese and its cohorts deserve all the disrespect we can give them. They've made a hoax out of the American justice system proving to the world that whoever has the most money in this country wins. For anyone to even try and stand up against a money hemorrhaging machine like the Roman Catholic Church is a monumental effort.

Any Catholics who complain about the $660 million LA settlement should ask the LA Archdiocese for an accounting of how much was spent on the legal fight against the plaintiffs. We know that more than 18 law firms were attached to the cases and most of what they did was object to plaintiffs' discovery requests and file motions to strike for technical reasons.

The crimes that caused the lawsuits were horrific and premeditated, in some cases almost satanic, carried out on people so vulnerable they thought they were being taught some kind of secret religious ceremony. We were children. Messing sex with our religion messed with our lives in a frightening and hard to describe way. Now here was this parade of defense attorneys using doubletalk and blatant obstruction of justice to keep the crimes secret.

Church attorneys may have found legal loopholes to get cases thrown out, but the church never had any proof or evidence to prove the crimes did not take place. Church Attorneys deserve to be portrayed in this blog and in literature of the future in ways that show them to be as reprehensible as they are.

The LA Archdiocese had no legal arguments against the plaintiffs at all, at least not displayed in any of the pretrial documents. With few exceptions if jury trials had gone forward, the crimes of the church in LA were going to be documented, proved, and testified to under oath. Interesting items of evidence would have been introduced to prove what really goes on in the rectories and dorms and camps run by Catholics for children.

However, those of us who have lived through these crimes have not been silenced. Watch for the Very Merry Unjury Trials Coming Soon on this Blog -- hopefully for a very Merry Christmas --

Kay Ebeling
Los Angeles

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Law enforcement agencies around LA ordered to produce files on predator priests

By Kay Ebeling
aka City of Angels Lady

This is the way I like to see church attorneys. All three round balding men were bent over the defense table today dejected, “He granted it” one shrieked when the clerk handed out the judge’s tentative order re plaintiffs’ motion to enforce subpoenas. Law enforcement agencies around Los Angeles are now ordered to produce documents on predator priests as requested by the plaintiffs in LA Clergy Cases 2007.

Judge Fromholz said, “the tentative is to turn the documents over to the court sealed for review,” and a Long Beach city attorney who was present in court used that time to hand a manila envelope to Paul, Judge Fromholz’ clerk in Dept 20 of Superior Court. Those documents handed over in court today concern case BC307222, plaintiff Mary Grant’s subpoena of documents on predator priest John Peter Lenihan.

Once again the defense was reduced to making plaintiffs’ arguments as Church Attorney Rutherford representing the Bishop of Orange said, “Plaintiff admits in her brief the only reason she wants this is to shed light on the secrecy of the archdiocese of Los Angeles.”

From my seat I watched the wrinkled coats of the three church attorneys’ backs as they bent over the defense table reading the judge’s decision and making moaning noises. Then I looked back at Patrick Laurence and Chris Campbell for the plaintiffs, each barely able to hold back grins as they read. And I thought, “So this is what it’s going to be about from here on, then, the slow release of documents to the public.” I grabbed a copy of the tentative out of the hands of John Spano from the Times long enough to read “these are documents of the court and as such they have to be public.”

City of Angels will have to wait until next week to read the final order from the judge -- when it shows up in those same wonderful public documents that we access in Room 106 of LA Superior Court 111 N. Hill Street. So watch for more in a report here next week.

A little drama in an earlier hearing: Motion of defendant Doe 1 through 5 to maintain documents under seal: Denied. Church Attorney Sean Kneafsey said, “This is the first time anyone has ever suggested the rules are different,” and Plaintiff Attorney Laurence slammed a notebook on the table, inhaled, stood up straighter, exhaled, and listened.

Kneafsey went on: “The right to a fair trial means the constitution has to be considered by this court. Saying the rules have completely changed is an end run around the July 6, 2006--

JUDGE: That was my order, June 6, 2006.

KNEAFSEY: Uh, uh, (Stumbles) June 6, 2006, protective order from this court.”

To Kneafsey’s left stood church attorney Wayne Dobman?? Doughman? I’ve called this church attorney “Dough Man” in my notes since the first time I saw him around February or March. He has this extremely white face with doughy features -- Dough Man like many church attorneys is getting rounder and more bent as the months go on. All three of them stood together and again looked like proud founding members of Young Republicans of America, aging. But that doughy guy never enunciates his name clearly in court. Maybe the blubbery lips make diction difficult.

Church Attorney Kneafsey droned on:

“The Seattle Times decision, that's a US Supreme Court decision, says pretrial material is not subject to public right of access because doesn't go through judicial review of admissibility.” Blah-blah-blah

As with the other decisions by the judge today, City of Angels will have to review them in Room 106 next week and then report more details here on this blog. So stay tuned:

More from today's hearing after this

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Church Attorney Rutherford continued to protest about turning over documents:

PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY CAMPBELL: 18 months ago they were served this subpoena

CHURCH ATTORNEY RUTHERFORD: It’s not relevant to us as we're not parties to this settlement. Plaintiff admits in her brief the only reason she wants this is to shed light on the secrecy of the archdiocese of Los Angeles.

RUTHERFORD, CONT’D: The Diocese of Orange was created in 1976 and Lenihan came into it and served for a couple decades. The Subpoena doesn't focus on pre-1976 and items relevant to Los Angeles, it asks for “everything at any time”

Rutherford says Grant is asking for: “all calendars of Los Angeles of Orange, every priest, nun, attorney, contractor -- plaintiff even wants my calendar. The subpoena is completely over-broad and un-necessary to serve whatever interests she says she has in this case.”

JUDGE: Did she ask for all those calendars?

Patrick Laurence shakes his head at a loss for words and Rutherford goes on.

“The Diocese of Orange litigated a case against Mary Grant and now 20 years later she’s issuing subpoena for documents she could have asked for years ago -- Or she could have asked through Los Angeles before she settled.

“Nobody forced Ms. Grant to settle,” asserted Church Attorney Rutherford representing the bishop of Orange.

PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY CAMPBELL: We were told the bulk of his file was transferred to Orange.

“Post abuse documents are relevant.

“We've offered to pay fees for time they spend. They won’t even produce a privilege log.”

RUTHERFORD: (Whining) We've got a couple of boxes of documents on that case from 20 years ago, can you imagine how much time it will take? It’s completely unnecessary.

JUDGE: Go into jury room right now to see if you can’t work out a compromise on the scope.

Why Was Tony DeMarco So Angry Last Week? After this:
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Now let’s see how cooperative Defendant Doe’s are being

On 7/31 re case bc308555 from Boucher’s office:
REPLY in support of motion to compel answers and production of documents re Plaintiff Robert M’s request for production of documents set one to defendant doe 48 --

Declaration of Anthony M. DeMarco, Esq.

Lists 10 lines of plaintiffs’ names, mostly first with last initial, and 23 defendant Doe’s.

Let Tony DeMarco’s words speak for themselves:

“Defendant represents that it will ‘file responses that are in substantial compliance” as soon as reasonably practicable.’

“As of the filing of this reply it has been more than three months since plaintiffs initially propounded the very limited requests for production, and no such response has been received.

“Nor has defendant even called to inform plaintiffs’ counsel when documents will be forthcoming. Defendant was first obligated to produce Father Martinez’ personnel file by the Court Order of January 23, 2006.

“Defendant argues its failure to provide any responses to plaintiff’s discovery requests is because

“Defendant didn't know about the requests.”

“Defendant concedes these requests were properly posted to CaseHomePae. Defendant makes no effort to explain how it would have been unaware of the Court’s prior order called above, or the Court April 30, 2007, order fully releasing for discovery and litigation all eight cases.. . .

“Defendant themselves have in the past chosen to serve documents
in these proceedings solely by posting them to Casehomepage.

“Plaintiffs’ motion to compel should be granted.”

It was.

This was the motion Fromholz granted last Tuesday Aug 7, when the one church attorney tried to explain, “Oh he served the subpoena on the national office, not the local ones,” and DeMarco was talking through his teeth.
More to Come. . .

Saturday, August 11, 2007

LA Clergy Cases: What Might Have Happened, What Did Happen, What's Still to Come

By Kay Ebeling

Got downtown last week for one short session of document diving so clicked to the last screen. Here is a sample of what's been filed for public access since the July 16th settlement of 550 LA Clergy Cases.

We see the judge "granting Defendant's Evidentiary Motions," in other words the judge rejected massive amounts of evidence for what would have been upcoming trials. We see the Salesians being removed from three plaintiff cases as yet another Catholic Order takes advantage of the complex structure of the Catholic Church to hide its crimes.

Plaintiffs are still trying to get priest criminal records. Next Tuesday as hearings continue in Haley Fromholz's court, plaintiffs request support of subpoenas served on several LA area police departments for criminal records on pedophile priests. It’s going to take a court order to get documents from the Sheriffs and DA’s around LA because over and over again predator priests are claiming privacy rights.

No wonder other criminals want to beat up on predator priests in prison. Who else can claim a special connection to God as a reason to block evidence of his crimes -- and get away with it?

I’m swamped on my other job so below is the result of one afternoon of document diving last week. Hope to get to the hearing next Tuesday.

“Defendants’ Evidentiary Motions Are Sustained.” -- Judge Fromholz, July 18, 2007

Huge amounts of evidence would have been thrown out

Plaintiffs want the report of another victim to be considered evidence but Defendants argue that (Plaintiff H) never stated that he reported any abuse to Fr. Del Maso (Salesians Director) but--

“Instead H stated he was prevented from being able to report the abuse.”


From Judge’s July 18 Order: “H stated that he ‘mentioned’ Miani while telling Fr. Del Maso that priest had been ‘disturbing boy’ although what H meant by this is unclear.”

H says he “never mentioned sexual abuse to Fr. Del Maso, although he believed that Fr. Del Maso knew that he was referring to sexual abuse.”



One after another evidence was going to be dismissed against Miani and the Salesians
More from

Judge Fromholz’ July 18 Order:

The testimony of a victim who said other priests probably heard him as a boy alone in Miani’s room


“Nothing in RH’s testimony sufficiently suggests that any of the Defendant’s managing agents should have suspected sexual abuse.”

Stories from numerous other victims including some hearsay:


“None of this evidence establishes notice on the part of the Defendant.”

A letter from 1967 written by Fr. Malloy:


The letter “states that he does not believe Fr. Maini should leave the Salesian order to become a secular priest. Fr. Malloy states in part ‘you know your own character and I believe I also know it well. . . your weaknesses make secular life a real peril for you.’”

FROMHOLZ: Evidence is too weak to support “that the letter acknowledged Miani’s weaknesses yet the Salesians did nothing to prevent further abuse.”


One of the plaintiffs states:

“Brother Verhart told me that he confessed to Father Pelligrino about what he had done to me.”


“The statement wasn’t under oath and it’s double hearsay.”

FROMHOLZ, CONT’D: “Defendants are correct. While Verhart’s confession to Father Pelligrino might be an admission against interest, his purported statement to Strautmann is hearsay, an out of court statement offered to prove the matter”


An evaluation from 1957 says Juarez is “too inclined to take boys out of place, hands on too much. . . friendly to boys, withdrawn from superiors.”

Then an evaluation from 1958 says he “still persists in showing preferences for certain attractive boys.”


FROMHOLZ: “Again this evidence is far too attenuated to satisfy Plaintiffs’ burden on this motion.

“A considerable inferential leap is required to see these notations as evidence that Defendants had knowledge of abuse”

You Don’t Need an Inferential Leap


It’s the same in city after city case after case order after order


FROMHOLZ: “This case is not released so this motion is premature.”


Another recent Fromholz decision in favor of the Church re the Salesians in What Would Have Been Upcoming Pedophile Priest Civil Trials

After this:

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Here’s More:


JULY 18 Order Signed by Judge re:



Fromholz: “Defendants argue that neither Richard Strutmann nor Richard Lukasiewicz’s cases are released. Plaintiffs do not appear to contest this argument.

“If neither case is released this motion is premature as to both of those Plaintiffs and has no application to them.”


They're trying to get a copy of a letter written in Italian talking about a transgression by the priest as far back as 1947 that was --

Surprise --

Overlooked and never reported by the Catholics in charge.

Fromholz: “This court is unable to find clear evidence indicating to whom the evidence was communicated.”


“However, a letter apparently written by the ‘Bishop of Concordia’ states that Miani ‘has been a very good Seminarian, except for a brief moment of hesitation.’”


Defendants argue that the letters are in the hands of the “Central Province of the Salesians in Italy which is not a defendant in these cases,”


Fromholz: Defendants say the branch in Italy, is a separate and distinct entity from Defendants.”



Fromholz: “The translations are not certified under oath by a qualified interpreter as required by California Rule of Court 3.1110(g)”

Oh look it’s the White Rabbit reading to the Court before the queen of Hearts !!!



The very secretive nature of the church and its structure makes getting discovery evidence near impossible

Tuesday August 14th hearing
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And numerous others.

These are just some law enforcement agencies that are holding onto predator priests records because the priests have filed privacy objections. Plaintiffs want the records at least submitted for a judge to review “in camera” and decide what is relevant.

It Takes A Court Order to Get Law Enforcement to Release Records on Predator Priests.


A Priest Who Says He Has Special Privacy Rights Because He’s In Prison

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One subpoena for criminal records from San Gabriel, Alhambra, and LA Police Departments involves:


Lovell objects to release of his records because “he has no legal counsel and has been committed to the Arizona Department of Corrections since May of 2003.”

Fromholz: “Court is not aware of any authority providing that being unrepresented or incarcerated is a basis for objecting to a subpoena.”


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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I Have to Say This: We Lost in LA, the Church Used its Endless Wealth to Bulldoze Plaintiffs, Attorneys, Even Judges, Fight Still Being Fought Today

By Kay Ebeling

If anyone sues you and wants to take your tunic, let him have your coat also. -- Matthew 5:40

I walked into Department 20 this morning and there was Plaintiff Liaison Attorney Tony DeMarco in the front row his face still beating red and articulating anger as he waited for his clergy case hearing to be called. Here plaintiffs have been trying to get documents from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate Incorporated and in today's hearing yet another new church attorney explained, “He thinks the US Province and Western are one and the same when in fact they're two different entities and the Western Province was never served summons.”

Speaking through his teeth, DeMarco said, “Now that I’m being educated about the Western Province I’ll serve them. We served the order in Washington DC in 2005 when this case was released.” Motion was granted. This new church attorney who represents the Oblates will now be so cooperative, we are led to believe.

I haven’t written a post in almost a week as truth is since July 16th I’ve been walking around with my mouth hanging open feeling, well, unsettled after the $660 million dollar settlement. Truth is I feel like the church won a major victory in LA, that the plaintiffs and even the judge just caved under the nonstop onslaught of motions and arguments coming out of the 18-plus and counting law firms hired to fight the plaintiffs in these cases.

I don't like having to write that I think we lost, but if I don't write that I can’t seem to write anything else. So yeah, the church money and power plowed down everybody, the entire Superior Court system in LA just caved in to the Archdiocese.

The church won in LA by hiring enough attorneys to perform a kind of legal obstruction of justice. I watched in the weeks before the first trial, plaintiff attorneys would come before the judge numerous times asking for an order to compel a defense witness to testify in deposition. The judge would grant the order and a few weeks later plaintiffs would be before the judge again, now saying they need an order to compel the witness to answer all the questions in the deposition, because his church attorney won’t allow him to answer. This time there would be a new attorney from a new law firm before the judge representing defendant archdiocese or whatever order was in question, new attorneys kept appearing all the time.

Being a new attorney he he could say, gee, judge, I don't know what he’s talking about, problems getting the defendant witness to answer? We'll be glad to comply. Two months later the plaintiff attorney is before the judge now asking for a discovery referee because that defense hierarchy witness now has another lawyer and none of the questions are being answered.

I watched Katherine Freberg try one way after another for more than a year to get definitive answers out of Cardinal Mahony to Interrogatories 1-8, and as the Caffoe and Hagenbach cases jury trials approached for which those interrogatory answers were needed, the judge seems to have accepted answers written by Monsignor Gonzales instead of Cardinal Mahony, what else could plaintiffs and the judge do but -- cave? It was obvious the untouchable Roger Cardinal Mahony was never going to answer a question under oath.

One after another cases got struck and dismissed as members of the 18-plus law firms representing the church and 18-plus orders began a buck passing routine. One order could pass responsibility to another and that one passed it to another, each found ways to use that very confusion about which order was responsible for what -- to get the cases dismissed.

And there were church attorneys in court just this morning continuing the same routine.

After this:
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We're Not Denying You Were Molested by a Priest, but You Filed the Papers with the Wrong Order

Case Dismissed

We're not denying that the molestation took place, reads several of the motions to quash and dismiss filed by the church, we're just saying plaintiff served the subpoena on the wrong entity and by the time plaintiff realized we were hiding over here under the auspices of a different entity, the Statute of Limitations had run out.

Nyah, nyah, nyah

Good thing I go to a Scripture based Anger Management class, where I saw this: in Matthew 5:40 quoting Jesus himself it says: “If anyone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your coat also.” And you know what you've gotta laugh. . .\

That scripture comes directly after the Gospel about turning the other cheek. I don't know where in Scripture it says to hire as many attorneys as you can to not only keep the truth from coming out but to keep from even getting a stain on the tunic.

The church created loopholes that ended up in plaintiff cases being dismissed, taking advantage of its own confusing structure to keep plaintiffs from knowing who the real culprits were. Most of the time those loopholes were the result of the miasma of religious orders, seminaries, schools and parishes that make up the Los Angeles Archdiocese, that now in 2007 the archdiocese has conveniently disconnected itself from, creating a miasma out of the clergy cases themselves.

It was four or five main plaintiff attorney firms running on their own resources, versus this never ending list of new law firms, one after the other, signing on as church attorneys, one whole firm assigned to help out each individual order, each individual parish. The amount of cash spent by the archdiocese to fight the plaintiffs in these cases would be illegal in a rational world. But it’s America in 2007 and the person with the most cash wins. The plaintiffs are lucky they were able to get what they got -- enough money to maybe buy a condo and get some dental work done. But it was far short of a victory to celebrate.

I went through my notes looking for ways to explain it and found things like this:

March 27 Plaintiffs attorneys filed a Motion for a discovery referee and -- And there still trying to get one by the July 16th settlement. It was March 27th that DeMarco was in court trying to get Monsignor Lirette to give answers in deposition instead of the constant objections from church attorneys to every questions.

More after this:

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The fight went on from at least March through July to get a deposition from Monsignor Lirette:

Then there was the nonstop stream of motions to strike and dismiss filed by the hyperactive Lee Potts that ended up with attorneys from both sides arguing in front of the judge and producing transcripts like this from April 24th.

PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY DEMARCO: There have been quite a few motions filed and quite a few folks not getting motions filed because of the service…

CHURCH ATTORNEY POTTS: (getting rattled) We did what's required-- The motion was on the second page and he says he didn't get it --

DEMARCO: It wasn’t faxed, emailed personally delivered, mailed. Case management is not exactly crystal clear on that point.

JUDGE HALEY FROMHOLZ: This is an argument for another day, (he’s thrown his hands up in the air as he speaks).

JUDGE: (Glares at Potts) You may not be aware of it

POTTS: (Laughs nervously)

JUDGE: I’ve had a constant stream of motions to dismiss based on certificates of merit.

DEMARCO: We'll raise it in a different context--

JUDGE: Mr. Potts, there was another one taken off calendar yesterday because of the same arguments, certificates of merit.

DEMARCO: We had provided them with an answer, we had provided those certificates some time back and re-provided again and Mr. Potts was cordial enough to take this one motion off the calendar -- it wasn’t for a lack of diligence.

JUDGE: Please be mindful of that gentlemen.

Just today in I believe that same case, the judge decided to grant the motion to strike and dismiss because of confusion over those same certificates of merit.

(I don't claim to understood all of this. )
In fact last few times I've gone document diving it all just started to swirl and confuse me

Imagine what it does to a mainstream media reporter. . .

I watched church attorneys stand in front of the judge and repeat over and over arguments that the judge had already overruled. It was going to go on and on and on with no resolution for maybe two more years and more cases being thrown out.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs tried to take depositions from critical defense witnesses for months and made little progress, because of church attorneys literally blocking doors (or arranging to have doors blocked). Katherine Freberg tried for almost a year to get definitive answers from Roger Mahony in written interrogatories and a week before the trial the judge gave in and accepted non-answers from Mahony’s Gonzales, Monsignor Gonzales, as the best we're ever going to get out of Mahony. It was a way to avoid having to postpone yet another trial yet another time, as answers to the interrogatories were necessary for the Hagenbach trials set to start July 9th.

But truth is Mahony never had to answer those interrogatories and it was obvious he was never going to.

Instead we had hearings with arguments like this before the judge from April 24:

CHURCH ATTORNEY LEE POTTS: We did what's required, your honor (getting rattled)

PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY TONY DEMARCO: The motion wasn’t faxed, emailed personally delivered, mailed. Case management is not exactly crystal clear on that point.

FROMHOLZ: This is an argument for another day, (he’s thrown his hands up in the air as he speaks.) You may not be aware of it


FROMHOLZ: I’ve had a constant stream of motions to dismiss based on certificates of merit. Mr. Potts there, was another one taken off calendar yesterday because of the same arguments.

Plaintiffs were never going to get cooperation from the defendants.

It was better to throw in the towel and take whatever settlement they could get in July because by September and October things would just be worse. The church would just hire more attorneys and file more redundant motions and find more excuses for “hierarchy” witnesses to not testify, until all the hierarchy witnesses with anything to say have died from old age, natural causes.

This is as good as it’s going to get in LA. And me, I’m unsettled.

I’m not even settled with this post but I have to just post it and then move on.

Coming soon: Review of “Sacrilege” by Leon J. Podles, new very revealing book about the aiding and abetting pedophiles in the church all over the country .

More To Come. . .

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

It's clear: LA Times now provides PR service for LA archdiocese; plus things accidentally left out of last two posts

By Kay Ebeling
The LA Times came through with an article Monday that was orchestrated by the LA archdiocese PR machine. You can see Teachers Assistant Sitrick in front of Public Relations 301 class holding up a PERT chart saying, You take this action, (points to cardinal meeting with crime victims) and the result just a few weeks later is this (points to rosy articles all over the news about crime victims meeting with the cardinal).

CLOSEUP: Tear willowing down the Cardinal’s bony cheek.

Here is the beginning of the article. The first few sentences are right out of Journalism 101 in adult school. Come on, this is the LA Times, or it was:

Abuse victims turned to Mahony in anger, pain
As lawyers worked on a payout, the archbishop met individually with more than 70 victims.

By Rebecca Trounson, Tami Abdollah and John Spano, Times Staff Writers
July 30, 2007

They arrived at the civil courthouse in downtown Los Angeles with their spouses, their parents, girlfriends or siblings. One group of childhood friends, now in their 50s, came together; as girls, they had been molested by the same priest.

Some sought an apology, others reconciliation. And some just hoped to vent their outrage and be heard, directly, by Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, who has headed the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles since 1985. . . .

For the last year, as attorneys have battled over the size and details of an ultimately record-breaking clergy abuse settlement by the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Mahony has met individually with more than 70 of those who sued him

Yada yada yada . . .

However, Mahony’s PR machine is not limited to Los Angeles.

Here’s the same story taking place in Joliet, Illinois:

Critics: Diocese has seen little change in past year
August 1, 2007
By Ken O'Brien Special to the Daily Southtown

When he was introduced last year to replace Bishop Joseph Imesch, Bishop J. Peter Sartain talked about healing the wounds of people who accused priests of sexually abusing them. . . .

Imesch became a target because of how he handled the cases. Attorneys who've sued the diocese say he protected priests at the expense of children.

In the last year, Sartain said, he has met with victims of priest sexual abuse in the diocese. He said those meetings "were gut-wrenching" and resulted in him praying for them "for healing in whatever way they need it."

Yada yada yada again--

Apparently reporters in Joliet use the same Catholic Church PR releases, only with a local spin, to write their stories as do the reporters in Los Angeles.

And as always, to fill up those column inches you call spokes models, I mean spokes persons for associated groups that publicize themselves as spokes persons. . .

Things left out of last two blogs after this:
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When I wrote that story in the last blog, the incident in the liquor store basement, right before posting I cut several paragraphs in a near panic. By doing that I accidentally left out the two most important parts of the story.

1-- when it happened I did not yet connect my relationship with Father Horne with my out of control behavior. I was still living in the middle of living it.

Point is there are probably a few hundred people on Santa Monica Boulevard or Sunset today in the same state of delusion. I didn't make the connection between pedophile priest rape and me acting out as an adult until I finally slowed down enough to look at it, in my forties.

Also Number 2 --

--and this is the most important part of the incident under the door in the floor of the liquor store.

I got rescued once again by an angel. Well not as blatantly as in my story at


under the Chapter titled “A miracle that I made it past my teens-- literally.”

After the incident in the liquor store basement --

I was lying on top of a pile of liquor bottle crates or a table, whatever was in that basement.

This blond guy had been standing off to the side the whole time. He sort of carried me, somehow got me out of that basement. He took me to his little apartment down the street and nursed me to health. Then as soon as he wasn’t looking I ran out the door.

Just like that time in Galveston, oh shoot, that's another whole story:

Point is once again something miraculous happened that saved me. I’ve always said that God looked down and saw what was happening to me at age five-six and he dispatched a separate special set of angels to watch over me, because He knew, after having that experience I was going to get into a lot of trouble in my life.


Forgot to include the definition of priest from an 1897 Bible Dictionary

Re Sunday’s headline: “Don’t Trust Anything Written after 100 AD.” The meaning of the word “priest” as it was revolutionized by Christ himself “implies no sacerdotal functions” and the term priest now post-Christ applies to all believers.

Again the exact opposite of what it says in the New Testament about how to create a church is what we have today in the Catholic Church.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

“The whole priestly system of the Jews was typical. The Jewish priests all prefigured the great Priest who offered "one sacrifice for sins" "once for all" (Heb. 10:10, 12). There is now no human priesthood. (See Epistle to the Hebrews throughout.) The term "priest" is indeed applied to all believers (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6), but in these cases it implies no sacerdotal functions. All true believers are now "kings and priests unto God." As priests they have free access into the holiest of all, and offer up the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, and the sacrifices of grateful service from day to day.

So not only is there not "only one true church," but to follow Christ, you really don’t even need a church at all.

But you do need a blog:

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I went to the Courthouse earlier this week and there are still hearings going on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. City of Angels Lady will be there next week and you can read the reports here.

More to Come. . .