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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Priests did nothing to stop abuse as they were abusers themselves, reads settled lawsuit of Jaime Romo, Ed.D. PLUS scanned workbook pages

"The only thing unacceptable about molesting children was being caught by someone who might complain," reads a document filed in the lawsuit of Jaime Romo and 15 other plaintiffs, which settled in 2007 against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles et al. Among defendants in Case #BC307934 are St. John's Seminary and Our Lady Queen of Angels Junior Seminary. Now a San Diego educator, Dr. Romo has produced a therapeutic workbook for clergy sex abuse victims, and we have scanned in 9 of his 168-page Healing the Sexually Abused Heart below in this post at City of Angels Blog. Romo was in seminary from 1981 to 1984. His perpetrator, Leland Boyer, "was pastor of my parish when I was 12, at Divine Savior and then later at St. Bede’s."

On a recent document diving trip to L.A. Superior Court, City of Angels copy typed documents from BC307934. "It was a bundle of cases that was filed together under a big umbrella," Romo explained. "At the time the plaintiff attorneys were using strategies to expose the crimes."

Here are direct quotes from Complaint filed by plaintiff attorneys Kiesel, Boucher & Larson LLP in Los Angeles in 2003. When Romo's case settled in the global settlement in 2006-7, close to a thousand plaintiffs in Southern California received a form of justice from the Catholic Church in that one state (Case #JCCP4286 compiles all 510 cases from Los Angeles). There are likely more than a hundred thousand victims of pedophile priests still alive in the United States today.

Case #BC307934
Los Angeles Superior Court
Filed Dec. 2003

Child molester priests congregated in three arms of Archdiocesan religious education: Administrators, faculty at the junior seminary, and members of the Vocations Commission acted as recruiters for Junior and Major Seminaries. In these capacities child molester priests had increased opportunities to seek out additional victims who they then steered into the seminary.

Once they were preyed upon and, for too many, inculcated into a perverse lifestyle, the only thing unacceptable about molesting children was being caught by someone that might complain.

There can be little doubt that this systematic molestation of children at the seminaries, grade schools and parishes, was known within the community of priests. Fellow priests did nothing to prevent the continuation of abuse because they themselves were molesting, or they feared reprisal from the high ranking priests who were child molesters.

All of these [Catholic priests] were perpetrators associated with Our Lady Queen of Angels Junior Seminary:

Leland Boyer
Joseph Sharpe
G. Patrick Ziemann
Gerald Fessard
Edward Dober
Richard Martini
John Farris
John Dougherty
Stephen Hernandez
Fidencio Silva

Patrick Roemer

(Links to documents on these priests are in the Bishop Accountability Database under their last names.)

For much if not all of this time the Defendant Doe Archdiocese and the Vatican have been aware of priests' sexual improprieties with young boys.

Well placed priests including Bishops Juan Arzube and G. Patrick Ziemann used their prominence in the archdiocese administration to cover up for other priests.

(These are direct quotes from Case #BC307934, L.A. Superior Court.)

In his capacity as Auxiliary Bishop, Arzube exercised extraordinary influence in promoting other pedophiles within the priesthood and in aiding cover-ups and transfers of molesting priests. One such molester that Arzube had a direct hand in promotion of was Joseph Pina, who for many years served at St. Alphonsus parish in Los Angeles

These [listed] priests and likely many others occupied positions such as Auxiliary Bishops, Vicar for Clergy, Vicars General, deans and teachers at local seminaries and recruiters for seminaries.

The elevation of child molesters to these positions helps explain why so many child molesting priests were protected by the Defendant Doe Archdiocese, how so many child molesters became priests, and how so many seminarians and priests became child molesters.

The sexual abuse of plaintiffs by the perpetrators arose from, was incidental to, and was in the course and scope of the Perpetrators employed with defendant archdiocese. Defendant Doe Schools, parishes and orders and does 16 to 1000.

Each of these Defendants ratified or approved of that sexual contact.

(These are direct quotes from Case #BC307934, L.A. Superior Court.)

At all times Defendants knew that priests in their employ had a history of committing sexual assaults against children and that any child at, among other locations, Defendant Does 2-16 schools and parishes, and hospitals, were at risk to be sexually assaulted by the Perpetrators.

The Los Angeles Archdiocese knew or should have known children were at risk to be sexually assaulted.

Priests involved in education such as Leland Boyer and Gerald Fessard utilized their positions of authority to gain access to victims and then to funnel the children they molested into seminaries and the priesthood.

From Case #BC307934
From L.A. Times 2006:

"One of the 11 cases involves the late Msgr. Leland Boyer, whose publicly released file summary revealed that three allegations of child molestation had been lodged against him. One of his alleged victims, Jaime Romo, said archdiocesan officials had assured him in 2002 that he was Boyer's only accuser. Romo, in an interview, said he was enraged when he saw that Boyer's file summary included two other allegations of sexual misconduct, in 1981 and 1995. [See the File Summary for Boyer.] " See LA Times 4.20.06 -Jean Guccione and William Lobdell, Los Angeles Times; April 20, 2006

Romo puts his combined trauma and skills to work, for example, the workbook he published this year, pages scanned with permission here:

Read more at the website of Jaime Romo
"There are a couple weird letters between Boyer and and Roger Mahony in Boyer's file [found in Discovery]," Romo told City of Angels. "One of them, from Mahony to Boyer, sounds like they're both kind of like flirty saying, 'Sorry I haven’t written to you.' You can imagine Mahony dictating it to someone. The letter is on formal archdiocese letterhead and yet Mahony was so personal with Boyer, he was like, 'So sorry when I heard about Trudy.'"

Romo holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of San Diego.

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Posted by Kay Ebeling, City of Angels Blog producer

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