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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

“Wow we've never heard allegations like this before,” said Msgr. Urell, now recovering from deposition anxiety in Toronto

By Kay Ebeling

“The vast majority of child sex abusers can be successfully treated,” former Southdown Institute president Sister Donna Markham

It’s so wonderful to see the church and its members take care of their own. On October 9th “In response to recent assaults on his integrity” Friends of Monsignor Urell formed announcing: "We are deeply saddened by the cases of sexual misconduct that have come to light over the years and we continue to pray for the healing of all those involved. However, it is fundamental to Catholic teaching that we forgive and minister to those who are suffering and in pain.”

Those suffering like Monsignor Urell, the priest who freaked after four hours of testifying in a deposition last summer in Orange County, and instead of returning after lunch, fled to Toronto and checked into Southdown Institute, a place where pedophile, gay, and alcoholic priests check in and six months later check out redeemed.

Poor Monsignor Urell. After years of being point man for the diocese -- the man who took in complaints about pedophile priests, after years of staring straight in the faces of crime victims and their families and feeding them blatant lies about their perpetrators, after years of denying that a pedophile priest problem even existed in Orange County --

Now Monsignor Urell has deposition anxiety and needs a six-month convalescence.

Ryan DiMaria met with Urell when he first came forward with his case: “He asked questions and interrogated me for maybe the better part of an hour,” says, DiMaria whose case settled in 1997.

Then 25 years old, DiMaria had recently been close to suicide. He went with his family to tell the Monsignor the cause of his trauma. He explained that his weekly counseling sessions in high school with Fr. Michael Harris, aka Father Hollywood, were actually weekly sexual molestations.

“Wow we've never heard allegations like this before,” said Monsignor Urell, according to DiMaria, who is now an attorney for plaintiffs in Orange County himself.

“Wow, we've never heard allegations like this before.”
The sound byte repeated in archdioceses across the country.

In truth when DiMaria went to Monsignor Urell to file his report, the OC diocese had been in four-plus years of litigation over another victim of pedophile priest perpetrator Michael A. Harris, for whom the church has now paid out at least $10 million in combined lawsuits settled in the following:

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Monrovia

Mater Dei High School Santa Ana

Mater Dei High School Santa Ana

Mater Dei High School Santa Ana

Mater Dei High School Santa Ana

Santa Margarita High School Rancho Santa Margarita

Santa Margarita High School Rancho Santa Margarita

Mater Dei High School Santa Ana

“It was surprising,” DiMaria said about his attempt to get help from Urell in the early 1990s. “There was no remorse or apology or sorry this happened it was basically he asked questions and took notes the whole time and that's how it went.”

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Msgr. Urell couldn't answer questions under oath.

Msgr. Urell the pious man of God was torn between lying under oath and holding onto his lifestyle in the church or telling the truth as his instincts probably told him to do since Wow, Freak! he’d be swearing on a Bible.

Instead the monsignor had a convenient “breakdown” and flew to Canada to relax, rest, take saunas, have maid service and prepared meals, take long walks in the rolling hills, swim in freshwater lakes.

He’s under a court order to testify in deposition and he’s in Canada recuperating from -- the stress of testifying in deposition -- under oath.

What About Those "Sad" Crime Victims?
Working from home because we are unemployable, for example.

Last week was rougher than normal for me. I have FMS and PTSD but still have to work, in fact I have three jobs now, working on getting a fourth.

I have a crippling disease (direct result of trauma from rape at age five by a priest, all the doctors tell me, I don't believe them, they say it.) So I work from home. This prevents the embarrassment of being in an office trying to work with tears and other fluids spewing nonstop out of several places and ghastly expressions on your face from crippling pain.

Last week for several days I worked in that condition here in my dining room and I don't write this to evoke sympathy and extra clicks on my PayPal button, but to point out the OBVIOUS.

My FMS symptoms are eerily similar to the pain and PTSD with which thousands of pedophile priest rape crime victims live.

So when monsignor Urell gets nervous about testifying under oath he gets sent to a spa up north, but the crime victims Msgr. Urell and others spent their careers beating down are left to work three or four jobs, from home, as they're too sick to work another day in regular employment. Or they're on disability, or dead.

Toronto, Canada

I fantasize about six months in a spa-like setting like Monsignor Urell is now experiencing at Southdown, which is about 50 kilometers north of Toronto on 100 acres of farmland.

From a simple web search you learn Southdown started in 1965 as a treatment center for alcoholic priests but soon became a harbor for priests with sexual problems, which to the Catholic Church is more critical if you're homosexual than if you're a pedophile, according to Southdown philosophy.

The woman who ran Southdown from 1993 to 2003 opposed the American bishops "zero tolerance" policy from 2002, claiming their numbers were down at Southdown. Her claim:

"Clerical molesters are now afraid to come forward, because once a priest knows he's going to be defrocked he no longer has interest in seeking treatment."

Former priest Christopher Schiavone wrote in the Boston Globe (12/8/02 ) about his time at Southdown where he’d been sent to cure his homosexuality so he could return to the priesthood.

“They are men and women sent to this institution for "rustication," as it is sometimes called in mental health circles. Some have been accused of various kinds of sexual misconduct; others are battling addictions; many are in the throes of clinical depression. But most share one thing in common: They have found themselves in embarrassing, compromising, or potentially sticky situations, and their superiors -- bishops and heads of religious congregations -- have hustled them off to the rustic hill country of southern Ontario in the hope that the various tempests which brought them all here will die down in the six months of their retreat.”

A Canadian retreat for priests with sex and alcohol problems?

So what’s wrong with Msgr. Urell that puts him in a recovery center where pedophile priests “recover” and gay priests go to get straight? What does Southdown know about the dreaded deposition panic, truth trauma, revulsion to oath taking syndrome from which he apparently suffers?

Maybe it’s to compare notes with former Southdown president Sister Donna Markham who was quoted in a Catholic News Service release February 3, 2004.

Southdown’s Markham said this about pedophile priests:

“A small minority of child sex abusers are habitual offenders with little chance of improving with treatment. The vast majority -- such as those who are emotionally immature or who were abused as children and are acting out their own abuse -- can be successfully treated, Markham said.”

City of Angels hopes to run more stories about plaintiffs’ interactions with Monsignor Urell soon.

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