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I was age five when the bishop stood over me and said, "Stop babbling about what the priest did to you." Then, forty years later... I started babbling.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CMOB: In sex crimes reported to L.A. Archdiocese board, priests were all named Father Fred, and later Father X to protect any priests named Fred

Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board only heard hypothetical cases, while touted in the press as advisors to L.A. Archbishop Roger Mahony

Even John Manly seems astounded to hear the name of a lay committee in Los Angeles assigned to oversee sexual "misconduct" of Catholic priests. The news reported that CMOB advised the Archbishop on how to handle pedophile and other priest sex crimes. Manly, representing plaintiff Luis C., asked at the January 25, 2010, deposition of Cardinal Roger Mahony:

*MANLY: There were two boards, SAAB and then another board after 2002, is that right?
A: Correct.
Q: So the SAAB Board and its follow on board is CMORE?
MR. MANLY: Okay. I don't know how you put that on the record but fine.
MR. MANLY: CMOB. Is that C-MOB? Okay…

Manly (right) released transcripts of depositions of Judge Richard Byrne and Bishop Thomas Curry, as well as the L.A. Archbishop in June 2010, from the case of Luis C vs. Doe 1 et al. In that case, Father Michael Baker had gotten away with pedophilia for so long, he was barely hiding it by the time he met altar boy Luis C, whose charges were recent enough to fall within the statute of limitations and helped put the priest in prison.

Manly did not finish deposing the Cardinal last January 25th:

MR. MANLY: This will conclude Volume I of the deposition of the Cardinal.
MR. HENNIGAN: The final volume.
MR. MANLY: No, I'm not going to agree to conclude the deposition.
MR. HENNIGAN: And I'm not going to agree to continue it.
MR. MANLY: I have a stack of documents here-
MR. HENNIGAN: Then you should have gotten to them. My point, your honor-
MR. MANLY: What is this, Judge? Who does he think he is?
THE COURT: Everybody calm down.
MR. HENNIGAN: We will review the transcript and make a record on the repetitiveness, the dilatory nature of this interrogation. If [the judge decides] that we have got to come back for another day, then we will.
MR. MANLY: That's fine but, Judge, there's a variety of documents I haven't gotten to.
THE COURT: I understand but- it's got to go in at a faster pace… So three hours really ought to be able to-
MR. MANLY: That's absolutely fine with me.
THE COURT: Can you agree to three hours?
MR. HENNIGAN: Avoid making a motion and we'll do it for three hours.

(But then the Luis C. Case was settled, or “dismissed” as it is called legally, on March 25, 2010, two months after the deposition of Mahony was interrupted.)

(Note, quotes in this blog post are copy and pasted directly from transcripts, with excess verbiage removed for sake of story, but no facts or details are changed.)

Read the depositions in full at Bishop Accountability

Cases of Priest Misconduct Went to the Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board As Hypothetical Cases
CMOB Never Heard Names of Priests
or any Details of the Crimes.

CMOB never even knew if the crimes were real.

Manly asks Judge Byrne how the CMOB, Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board operated, from deposition on October 29, 2009:

Q: After hearing about all these hypothetical cases, did you see a larger problem that needed to be addressed between 1992 and 2002 with sexual abuse?”
Q: Were you under the impression based on these hypothetical cases that you learned about that there were priests serving in the archdiocese that had previously molested children and were allowed to return to ministry?
BYRNE: I had no idea.


JUDGE BYRNE: I don't have a recollection about any of these cases.
Q You don't ever remember Monsignor Loomis or Dire or Cox telling you that Father Fred or Father X had sodomized a child?
A No. I don't recall.
Q: Okay. Judge, when they were talking about Father Fred, would they say, ‘Hypothetically Father Fred had sodomized altar boy Jim” or how did that work?

(THEY DIDN'T EVEN KNOW if it was the same Father Fred or several different Father Freds:)

Q So it could have been the same father -- it could have been the same priest the whole time, you had no way to know; right?
A Well, the facts were different, so the hypothetical that was presented was different. It sounded -- but it could be like it was the same person.
Q But you're not sure as you sit here today?
A Not today.

As you read these depositions, you realize almost everything the Church does to make the public think it’s taking care of its pedophile epidemic is more public relations than real news:)

Manly enters Exhibit 2, an online article from a Tidings article: February 17, 2006.

Q Does that look familiar to you?
A I may have read this particular article, I'm not sure, but the substance is familiar.
Q Okay. And it quotes you in the article several times. Did you notice that?
A Yes.
Q Are those quotes accurate?
A I assume so.
Q You're quoted in the second paragraph the article, Your Honor "Our mission is to make sure all allegations of misconduct by priests are investigated." Is that accurate?
A Yes.
Q And is that the board’s mission?
A That's one of the things we do.

Q Have you ever had a conversation with the cardinal about Michael Baker?
A No. I don't talk and haven't talked with the cardinal very much.
Q Well, the reason I ask is that according to the report in The Tidings your role is to advise the cardinal, and so I mean, have you ever talked to the cardinal about sexual abuse?
A Oh, yes.
Q Does the cardinal come to the board meetings now?
A From time to time.
Q How many different conversations have you had with him regarding sexual abuse and sexual abuse of children?
A It would be hard to say over the years.

(CofA: What were they doing at those Oversight Committee Meetings besides eating pastry?

Adults who were raped as children by Catholic priests want to know.)

Q: Judge, do you remember a time where a case was presented to you involving the Father Fred between '92 and 2002 where you learned that father -- this hypothetical priest had previously admitted to molesting children, had gone to treatment and been placed back in ministry and then had boundary violations where he was found alone with children? Do you ever remember a case like that coming in front of you?
A No.
Q: were there ever any type of written materials distributed to board members between '92 and 2002?
A I don't believe so

(CofA: INSTEAD THE BOARD WAS KEPT IN THE DARK: given hypothetical cases that were mild:)

Q: Say you have a situation where a priest has previously sodomized a little boy or little girl. Can you think of an instance where it would be appropriate to ever place that priest in a parish setting?
MR. WOODS: Calls for a hypothetical set of facts. Calls for an opinion for the designation of experts. Calls for speculation.

(Well of course it’s all “hypothetical facts” since that's all this oversight committee was ever given. Then years later a Church Attorney can object because it's all "hypothetical facts."

This Mob Takes Care Of Its Own....)

THE WITNESS: Well, it is speculation based upon a hypothetical. I can't think of a situation
MR. MANLY: Did you know that was occurring in '92 -- did you know whether that was occurring between '92 and 2002 when you were on the SAAB Board?
A: No.
Q Would you expect if that was occurring as a member of the board you would have been told?
A If that was one of the Father Freds, I would think so.
Q And why would you believe that?
A Well, we were -- well, how the cases were selected that were presented to us we had no knowledge of. We didn't know what the universe was that existed. If a case carne before us I assumed it was something that the vicar and the cardinal would want to have some input on from the board. So if a case was really very clear cut as to what to, I don't know that would even come -- it would surprise me if it would even come before the board. Our role was to advise, and I would think on very clear-cut cases there would be no need for advice.

SEEMS THIS MOB WAS KEPT IN THE DARK, if Judge Richard Byrne is telling the truth, and I mean, he’s under oath, and a judge:

Q: Do you have any recollection of being told by the vicar for clergy that the cardinal would periodically send p people like Father Baker to a treatment facility to be treated for pedophilia or ephebophilia?
A I have no recollection of that.
Q: Even though presented as hypotheticals, the board members must have known the cases presented were felony crimes, so why didn't any of these fine archdiocese advisory members ever suggest someone call the police?
BYRNE: I don't know. Didn't occur to me. I assumed that the -- by virtue of the fact that this was a committee that was established by the archdiocese they were interested in trying to learn about these things that- and do something about it that they were doing what they were supposed to do and we were not an oversight board, we were an advisory board


Q: Did you ever personally wonder given the amount of Father Freds that were being presented to the committee why there weren't more arrests?
MR. WOODS: I'm going to object to the form of the question. It assumes facts in evidence -- that are not in evidence and calls for speculation.
A: No.
Q And that issue never carne up?
A Correct.


Q: Do you recall any instances involving a Father Fred case where the board was upset at the action the cardinal had taken?
A We didn't know what the action was that was taken.
Q Do you ever remember an instance where Monsignor Loomis came to discuss the Father Baker case with the board?
A No.
Q At any time?
A No.
Q: In the Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board were there priest names [ever] used?
A On occasion if the priest was known. For instance, if there were articles in the newspaper 10 identifying the priest, then the name would be used.
Q What about if there were not?
A Then they were Father X. We changed from Father Fred because we didn't know whether there might at some point be a Father Fred.
Q Okay. Why didn't they just use the names? You're advising the cardinal on it. I mean, did you ever suggest to them that they should just use the names?
A No, not really. The -- it's a matter of great sensitivity to the victims that their names not be known, to the priests. We didn't feel it was essential for us to know who the priests were in order for us to do what we needed to do, and an allegation of child sexual abuse once made is very, very serious and hard to change. It's like the unringing the bell.

(Gee, Judge, how nice of you to show concern about the victims, by keeping their identities secret. Why not try unringing the bell of being a sodomized six-year-old, or would that be too much reality for you?)

JUDGE BYRNE: The vicar and maybe others made the decision as to what was to be brought before the board, so I wasn't trying to second-guess that. We weren't involved in saying every case has to come before the board.
Q If Father Baker was found with a little boy alone in the rectory, is that something that you would expect would have been brought to the board, given his history, based on what you know, how the vicar for clergy operated?
A Not necessarily.

(THESE MEETINGS OF THE CMOB WERE apparently just an excuse to eat pastry.)

(What they finally did about Michael Baker: from Judge Byrne:)

BYRNE: I don't know what number we had gotten up to by February 12th, 2003, but we decided that we would like to be dealing with the universe of cases, and so those that had been identified in the Los Angeles Times article we gave numbers to, although in many cases such as in Michael Baker's case there was no action that was ever taken by the CMOB, but we got a report.
Q All right. So in this narrative it says, "Monsignor Cox discussed the possibility of going back to the parishes after a conviction or guilty plea and making announcements regarding the status to make sure there's closure in the community. It was suggested this type of closure announcement be made in The Tidings or Los Angeles Times to show the church actively following through."

(CofA: Yep just tell it to the news media and it’s as good as true.

That's a Catholic Church tactic we observe a lot at City of Angels)

Q: Do you remember that occurring, that discussion?
A Well, I see it here. I remember that that -- I assume that that's what was happening. I have no independent recollection of who said what, Monsignor Cox or others or who may have made the suggestion.
Q If Monsignor Cox was aware that there was more to the Baker case than he gave you here, in other words there were other pertinent facts, would you have expected him to disclose those?
A Not necessarily. I think at that point Father Baker had been removed from ministry, he had been laicized and the only thing that we would be concerned with as suggested there or stated here is that people be made aware of the fact that he was an abusive priest so they could make a claim.
Q Well, did -- did anybody -- did any -- did Monsignor Cox tell you that the cardinal had decided to conceal Baker's identity from the police at any point?
A No.
Q If that was true, was that something the board wanted to know?
A At this point in this case I don't think the board was really attempting to exercise any kind of oversight function.

(BAKER’S NOT A PRIEST ANYMORE, DUMP HIM OUT ON THE REST OF THE world, let the government and private sector deal with him, thanks Church. )

Q: If the cardinal had instructed his staff not to call the police on Father Baker, isn't that something you'd want to know, sir?
A; Not necessarily
Q: It says, "Recommendation, it was the consensus of the board that based upon the information presented there is no need to take further action. The board suggests that the archdiocese explore the possibility of taking legal action against Michael Baker." Do you recall that?
A It's written here. I don't recall it apart from the minutes.
Q Did anybody at that meeting of the board suggest that it might be a good idea to go try to find other victims of Father Baker to see if they could be helped?
A I think that's why the suggestion was made about making announcements.
Q Did you ever wonder why the cardinal didn't do that in 1986 when Baker first reported to him that he orally copulated a little boy or a little girl?
MR. WOODS: I'm going to object to the form of the question as assuming facts not in evidence.

Q "During a priest retreat in June of 1986 Cardinal Mahony issued a invitation to anyone struggling with sexual misconduct issues could come forward and obtain help. Five months later Michael Baker came forward and admitted involvement with two young men who were then in Mexico." It says, "The archdiocese had no pastoral outreach at that time." Do you know what that means?
A No, not specifically.

(CofA: No pastoral outreach?

What about fifteen hundred years of being the most dominant religion in the world?)

(The Board was told Baker had been in treatment so now he could be returned to ministry, as long as he wasn’t around children, then of course he immediately was around children. Manly asks Judge Byrne about treatment that Baker got for his pedophilia?)

Q: Do you know what the treatment is?
A I'm not really entirely sure, but I believe it has something to do with the psychologists and
psychiatrists working with the person in order to help them resolve their problem.
Q Are you of the belief now or have you been in the past, Your Honor, that pedophilia can be cured?
A There was a point when I thought it could be.
Q When was that, sir?
A I think I alluded earlier to the fact that my father's involvement when he was a parole officer for the California youth authority.
Q When you were on the board from '92 to 2002, did you believe pedophilia could be cured?
A I don't believe I had a fixed opinion one way or the other at that time.

(This man in his seventies who was once a DA and Judge in L.A. says the only thing he knew about pedophilia in 2003 was what his dad told him when he was a little boy?


Law and Order SVU had been on Cable TV for four years by then. Everybody in the country knew about pedophiles by then, but not this retired judge, who ran the oversight committee for the Catholic Church handling pedophile priests in Los Angeles?

Do you see a pattern here?

Start reading something besides Catholic publications, Judge.)

Q: Between '92 and 2002, did any victim, was any victim ever interviewed by the board?
A Not to my knowledge. I did not. I don't know whether other board members may have.
Q Did the board ever receive any training or insight on what happens to children who are molested by adults, specifically priests?
A I don't believe so.
Q Judge, in retrospect do you wish you'd called the police?
(AFTER SEVERAL OBJECTIONS, the Judge answered:)
A: The short answer would be no simply because I didn't feel it was my role to do that, and I felt whatever was required was being done.
And just to be clear, no member of the board not once ever discussed the possibility of calling child protective services or law enforcement when a priest molestation case of a child was presented; is that correct?
A As far as I can recall, yes.
Q And Your Honor, did that ever occur to you that that might be a good idea to help these children?
A No.
MR. MANLY: Thank you, Your Honor. No further questions.

More to come soon including quotes from these depositions about Monsignor Richard Loomis, who is still hiding in points unknown, and about Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, who is currently running for State Attorney General, and may be one of the reasons Cardinal Roger Mahony never got indicted.

Stay Tuned To City of Angels.

What I get from reading these deposition transcripts:

Victims of pedophile priests like me and my sister never got even a “how do you do” from the Archdiocese after reporting crimes against us committed by Father Thomas Barry Horne of Chicago Archdiocese 1949-1955.

So when I listen to Church hierarchy and lay Catholic “leaders” like Judge Richard Byrne here, all I hear, all the way from the Pope to the lowliest committee member is:

None Of Them Have A Used Vestment Of Concern About The Victims

We are just an irritant to them, something that gets in the way of this religion they are convinced puts them in a place above the rest of us.

Every archdiocese in American has a committee full of pillars of the community like CMOB.

Their purpose is to assure parishioners that the Catholic Church is doing everything it can to help the victims, when in reality, they're just talking, comparing notes, and eating pastry.


Something I’ve noticed lately on comments posted by Catholics on stories about priest sex crimes around the internet:

Since their religion tells them that forgiving is this important spiritual act, a lot of active Catholics think all they have to do is this spiritual act of forgiveness and everything else is taken care of.

Catholics use their religion to boast of their spiritual superiority to victims of their pedophile priests.

I've seen comments on stories all over the country like:

“We Catholics have been able to forgive our bishops, why can’t the rest of the world be as spiritually attained as we are?”


Going to take a swim in the Gulf of Mexico now.

By Kay Ebeling, Producer, The City of Angels Is Everywhere

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Copy and pasted here:

I called my friend Cindy, who survived years of rapes by Fr. George Neville Rucker from when she was a toddler to third grade in El Segundo in the 1960s.

When I told her CMOB was the name of the committee assigned to oversee misconduct by pedophiles and other sexually deviant priests in L.A., she chimed in over our laughter:

“Reminds me of the Oblate nursing home that has nine pedophile priests staying there. It’s in Childs, Maryland on Blue Ball Road.”
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