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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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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bishop Steinbock Testimony March 2009 (Read Transcript Here) What Melissa Huckaby Heard Part One

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Q Bishop, when did you first realize or learn that when an adult lays his hands on the genitals of a child and manipulates the genitals of a child and places them on the body of a child for sexual purposes, it was a crime? When did you first realize that?
A You know, it's really hard for me to say. I think society-

Q No, you.
A Me?
Q You.
A I think I thought, along with society, for so many years it was-
Q Bishop, I'm going to ask you to focus on the question.

(From Santillan v. Bishop of Fresno transcript of March 18, 2009, testimony of Bishop John Steinbock, questioned by Jeff Anderson, copy and pasted in this post in full below.)

As stories about pedophile priests broke across the nation the past decade, little was said about residual effects of these offenses. Could sexual felonies against children committed by thousands of priests with little repercussions be, at least in part, the reason there are so many more horrendous sexual and violent crimes being committed against children in the United States today? Did pedophiles everywhere see priests getting away with it and become empowered?

Melissa Huckaby kidnapped, raped, and killed Sandra Cantu on Mar. 27, 2009, 4 days after Bishop John Steinbock finished testifying in the trial, Santillan vs. Bishop of Fresno. Cardinal Roger Mahony had testified 10 days earlier. News reports carpeted California during the weeks of the trial, as members of California Catholic Church hierarchy took the oath then hedged around the truth and sidestepped away from answers. Melissa Huckaby raped and killed nine-year-old Sandra Cantu in the basement of a church, just as the Santillan v. Bishop of Fresno trial was winding to a close.

As to the status of the Santillan case, the judge agreed to a retrial because new evidence came up just as the jury went to verdict, but after the Judge's order for a new trial, Catholic Church teams of lawyers appealed every decision he made, then misfiled papers for the appeals, and the wheels of justice are moving slower than usual in the outcome of Santillan v. Bishop of Fresno. When I asked attorney Tony DeMarco if I should make travel plans to go to Fresno to cover the retrial, he just burst out laughing.

How many pedophiles around the world became empowered when they saw Catholic priests get away with their crimes? Huckaby was living in March 2009 with her grandfather, the pastor of Clover Baptist Church in Tracy, where she sexually assaulted and murdered the little girl with a rolling pin, as the jury deliberated in Santillan v. Bishop of Fresno 130 miles away.

Here in Part One of this series, "What Melissa Huckaby Heard," we are publishing the transcript of Steinbock Testimony that took place March 18th. The series will continue soon with Part 2, featuring Steinbock's continued testimony from the March 23, 2009, at the Fresno trial. Part 3 will be trial transcript from March 26, 2009, the day before Huckaby committed the murder and rape of Sandra Cantu.

It may be a stretch to say that Huckaby, who was preparing for her next Sunday School teaching session the hours before she went out and murdered Sandra Cantu, had a clergy abuse background, or that the testimony of Mahony, Steinbock, and an array of priests giving non answers and answers that don't make a lot of sense while testifying under oath somehow triggered Huckaby to rape and kill Cantu. But it does give us a good excuse to run transcripts we acquired from the trial.

(Note: A friend got us this trial transcript, but one day was missing, ironically, March 17, 2009, the day Roger Mahony testified. That volume is not in any of the the emails I got from my friend sending this trial transcript. In order to get transcript from day the the Archbishop of Los Angeles testified, City of Angels needs $88.50. If 18 people click my PayPal with five dollars each, I can purchase the transcript from March 17, 2009. Multiples of Five dollars will help me raise the money faster. Just let me know in an email that this PayPal click is earmarked for purchase of transcript of Mahony's testimony. OR you can also click my PayPal button with funds earmarked for investigative reporting in New Mexico on Servants of the Paraclete that we are starting in November as well.... All PayPal funds reported to the IRS as free lance writing income.)

Here is the transcript, verbatim, with only hard returns and page and line numbers removed for easier reading, of the first half of Bishop John Steinbock’s testimony, March 18, 2009.

BISHOP JOHN STEINBOCK, called as a witness by and on behalf of the Plaintiffs, having been first duly sworn, testified as follows pursuant to Evidence Code Section 776:
THE COURT: Have a seat up here, please. And would you state your full name and spell your last name, please.
THE WITNESS: John Steinbock, S-T-E-I-N-B-O-C-K.
THE COURT: All right. Will you be examining Bishop Steinbock?
MR. ANDERSON: I will, Your Honor. Thank you.
BY MR. ANDERSON:
Q Bishop, good morning.
A Good morning.
Q How long have you been Bishop of the Diocese?
A I came in November of 1992.
Q How long have you been a priest?
A Forty-six years in another two months.
Q And it is correct to say that at all times while a priest, you and every other priest operate under a rule called the promise of obedience to your superior?
A Yes.
Q And that is a rule of the church. You must obey your superior in all matters of life and faith; correct?
A No.
Q Well, you must obey the superior in what matters?
A Okay. There's a difference between a diocesan priest and a religious priest.
Q Okay. Well-
A Now-
Q Go ahead. I'm sorry.

A religious priest takes a vow of obedience, and he is meant always to be obedient to his superior no matter what. The diocesan priest, when he takes the promise, not the vow, the promise of obedience, it's mainly in matters of ministry, where he is assigned, things that are related to his ministry as priest. It's not like a religious superior.
Q Got it. And you are a diocesan priest?
A Yes.
Q And a Bishop and the shepherd of this Diocese currently; correct?
A Yes.
Q And this promise of obedience that runs from a priest to his Bishop, every priest of this Diocese is required to obey their promise of their Bishop of obedience; correct?
A In matters of ministry.
Q And that promise of obedience is actually first made at the diaconate before ordination; correct?
A Yes.
Q And then at ordination, when the Bishop allows you and another priest like you to be ordained, it is repeated; correct?
A Yes.
Q And it continues to that Bishop and all the Bishops that follow him; correct?
0 A Yes.
Q And that promise of obedience continues as long as that priest is in the priesthood; correct?
A Yes.

*********************************

You say he "hinted," that is Monsignor Herdegen?
A Yes.
Q Hinted to you?
A That he was indiscreet with two boys. He did not admit the abuse.
Q Well, you use the word here "abuse," don't you?
A Well, I think it would be- I have no idea

**********************************


Q And there is a mechanism for removal of that priest from the priesthood; correct?
A For a very grave cause.
Q Yes. And that- that mechanism for removal of that priest from the priesthood is called laicization, is it not?
A Laicization.
Q Yes. And the Bishop can laicize or remove that priest from the priesthood and petition Rome for that, in other words?
A The Bishop cannot laicize him. The Bishop can petition Rome for laicization.
Q That's what I meant to say. Thank you. The Bishop can petition the Holy Father, the Vatican, to remove the priest from the clerical state; correct?
A Yes.
Q The priest also can petition Rome to be removed from the clerical state; correct?
A Yes.
Q Okay. Monsignor Herdegen is still a priest of your Diocese, this Diocese; correct?
A Yes, but he does not have faculties to exercise his ministry.
Q And it's correct, is it not, Bishop, that at no time have you as his Bishop attempted to petition Rome for the removal of him from the holy state of the priesthood?
A There would be no reason for me to do that.
Q Isn't the sexual abuse of minors a reason to remove him from the holy state of the priesthood?
A It would be not to allow him to exercise his ministry as priest. You do not necessarily go through a – a form of Laicization.
Q Why not, Bishop? Why not?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Argumentative.
THE COURT: Overruled.
THE WITNESS: Well, first of all, you won't hear anything from Rome for about three or four years, because they process very slow over there. You know, to laicize a priest, you have to have all kind of proofs, a trial, all kind of things like that. And with trying to keep someone from- that has sexually abused a child, you want to make sure he's not in ministry, nor in- available to- to cause harm again for God's people. Now, even in the charter for the Bishops of the United States, for priests of advanced age, they have exceptions to trying to- to do certain things so that you take advantage of- try to be considerate of their old age, never being in ministry, though. They may never be in ministry.
MR. ANDERSON: Q So what you're telling us today is that you've never made any effort to petition the Holy Father for removal of Herdegen from the holy state of the priesthood?
A There would be no reason for me to do that because he wasn't in a position to cause any harm for anyone.

**********************************

Q Yeah. So my question goes back to one I didn't get an answer to. Did you ask Herdegen about the two boys and who they were?
A I asked him the source of the rumors.
Q No--
A And in that I'm- I was implying- I can't remember exactly
if I asked the names of the boys, but I suspected that was the question I was asking him, what's the source of the rumors.
Q You can't remember if you asked him the names of the boys?

***********************************


Q Are you denying, Bishop, that he has caused harm to George Santillan?
A No. I am saying-
Q Isn't that-
A- he's not in a position to cause harm now.
Q He's in Milwaukee right now, isn't he?
A Yes, in a rest home.
Q: And he was sent to Milwaukee and allowed by you to go to Milwaukee in 1995, was he not?
A He was not sent to Milwaukee by me. His sister lives in Milwaukee, and he was going to visit her. And I said, "Well, you may stay," because I asked him to retire early.
Q And as a matter of fact, after you allowed him to retire early and he was allowed to go to Milwaukee, he was continued to be allowed to minister to people in Milwaukee, was he not?
A No.
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Misstates his testimony.
THE COURT: Objection's-
MR. ANDERSON: Q Are you denying he was allowed –
THE COURT: Are you withdrawing the last question? I haven't ruled on the objection yet.
MR. ANDERSON: The question will stand.
THE COURT: All right. The objection's overruled. You may answer the question.
THE WITNESS: No, he could not minister. I told him he could not minister publicly as a priest
MR. ANDERSON: Q Ministering publicly and ministering privately are two different things if I'm hearing you correctly?
A Ministering publicly and ministering privately- I mean, you don't minister privately. I don't know what
ministering privately is.
Q Bishop, you used the term "ministering publicly." He was not allowed to minister publicly. What did you mean?
A That he was not allowed to be in public in the ministry with the church; could not act as a priest with other people.
Q Bishop, tell me this: Once you allowed him to retire in 1992-- and you agree you allowed him to do that; correct?
A Well, I made him retire.
Q Okay. Let's use your word. Once you made him retire in 1992and you permitted him to go to Milwaukee and to live, is it your testimony that he was not allowed to minister-
0 A Yes.
Q- to any of the members of the community of faith from 1999 to the present?
A Yes.
Q How do you know that?
A Because I think Tony would be very obedient to me when I told him not to minister. He would call me on the phone and ask me a number of times, Can I- can I hear confessions? Can I do this, or a funeral here? And I would tell him no always. I allowed him to continue to celebrate Mass privately for himself. That's a devotional thing of prayer. He could not celebrate Mass publicly for other people.
Q When you say that you think Tony would be obedient to you, is that the basis on which you believe he is not performing any public ministry?
A No, I think I would base it on the fact that he would call me to see if he could celebrate a funeral and then he would- I would tell him no, or he would call and say could he celebrate a Mass someplace or hear confessions, and I would tell him no. That's my basis. He would call me each time individually when he wanted to do some specific thing.
Q And since 1999, he has called and requested to perform ministerial functions, and you have given him permission on occasions, have you not?
A I do not believe I gave him permission to perform ministerial functions. I may have given him permission to be at a public Mass to concelebrate, but I'm not really sure what the occasion was. Bishop, when you made him retire and sent him-allowed him to go to Milwaukee, what have you done since '95 to protect the kids in Milwaukee?
A He was living with his sister, had no association with children, and I told him not to have any association with children. He, uh, was living in a rest home soon after that. And I did not believe there was any danger to children.
Q What made you believe that there was no danger to the children?
A Well, talking about 1995, first of all, he denied any sexual abuse. He denied doing anything like that. He- I had been in the Diocese, oh, I don't know, four years, or something like that; and I never heard any reports about him, any danger like that whatsoever. And also, at the time he was in the Diocese, he was
living in a- Lake Isabella, which was mainly a retirement community. Very few children were there. He didn't even have altar children, boys or girls. He had old men serving. He did not associate even when he was here that much in those latter years of his with children.
Q And so it's on that basis that you just told us that you believe he posed no further risk to children?
A I believe he posed no risk to children.

***********************************

Q Bishop, would you read it, please.
A Okay. "If there is a civil suit, he will have to get his own lawyer, as the diocesan lawyer cannot take his case, as he may have to defend the Diocese, and there can always be a conflict of interest." That's also with if there was sexual abuse here.
Q Thank you for reading that. And you read it the way you wrote it in 1995; right?
A Right.
Q And it reflected the state of mind that you had at that time in 1995 when you wrote it; right?
A Well, you know, I did this late at night; and you know

*************************************


Q Uh-huh. And that's because he denied the sexual abuse to you?
A Part of the reason, but also I said there were other reasons there which I did say already.
Q And you also told us that when he tells you that he will follow your- your orders to obey him [sic], he also- you also believe that he would follow that?
A Yes.
Q Well, since he was ordained a priest of this Diocese in 946, he was under orders from his then Bishop, just like you are his Bishop today, to be celibate; correct?
A Yes.
Q And that is to be chaste, that is, to not engage in any sex with any adult or any child or get married;
correct?
A Yes.
Q And he was under orders since '4to do that to the present; correct?
A Yes.
Q Is it your testimony to these folks that he has abided by that promise; that he has obeyed you?
A I believe until- not until- I could say that not until 2002when an allegation that I tracked down – that did not come to me, but I tracked that allegation down – and found out that there was an allegation of sexual abuse. And I had my human resources director do an investigation. And very 0 quickly when he told me it was credible, I took him out of ministry- took away his faculties, not took him out of ministry. I took away his faculties as priest. Before that I did not take his faculties away because I have to have cause to take faculties away. I had no cause before. In 1999 I had no cause to take his faculties away.
Q When did you remove his faculties for the first time?
A 2002, April 6th. I remember that little notation that I made.

*************************
Q Let's start with the priest file. There's a priest file pertaining to Herdegen, is there not?
A Yes.
Q And there's also a secret file pertaining to Herdegen, confidential file?
A Confidential file.
Q Yes.
A Which I began.

*************************


Q And it's your testimony here today that April 6 in 2002, that would be the year before this suit was started, you removed his faculties for the first time; correct?
A Yes.
Q And it is also- is it also true, Bishop, that at the time that you removed his faculties, that you were concerned this very suit that brings us here today was coming?
A No, I wouldn't say concerned. From what the human resources director told me that whoever he investigated said, they did not have intention to have any lawsuit. But I took his faculties away because I found out that there was credible evidence that he abused children, and so I immediately took his faculties away.
Q You told us earlier you hadn't- hadn't petitioned Rome for his removal- or we call it defrocking in laity; right? We call it defrocking in the laity; right?
0 A I don't use that word, so I don't know.
Q Well, you use removal from the clerical state?
A Yes, that's fine.
Q You told us earlier that you didn't remove him from the clerical state and petition Rome because he had denied it; right?
A I had no cause even to take his faculties away. And even when you take faculties away and not allow someone to minister, you do not necessarily go through a whole laicization process. You just make sure that that person is not able to exercise his ministry as a priest.
Q Bishop, if this jury finds that he has committed the crime of sexual abuse against George and Howard Santillan, Will you petition the Vatican for his removal from the clerical state immediately?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Relevance.
THE WITNESS: Well-
MS. McGUIRE: Relevance.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. ANDERSON: Q You said earlier that you tracked the allegation down in 20020- when was it that you say you tracked this allegation down?
A 2002
Q You tracked it down?
A Yes.
Q You- you as a Bishop have an obligation to investigate any suspicion of sexual misconduct by your priests; correct?
A Yes.
Q You've always had that obligation under canon law; correct?
A Yes.
Q And you've always known that was the Bishop's obligation since you were ordained a priest years ago?
A Uh-
Q Was it years ago?
A A priest, ordained a priest years ago.
Q So you always knew the Bishop had the power and the duty to protect kids, and if there were suspicions that the kids were being hurt by a priest, the Bishop was the one that was supposed to investigate it; you've known that?
A Well, it depends what you mean by "suspicion," I would say. You know, rumor, you try to find your source of the rumor. You can't find the source of the rumor, how do you investigate?
Q Well, let's deal with that. A rumor- a Bishop gets a rumor. You're the Bishop. You get a rumor. It's your assertion here today that you can't investigate that?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Incomplete hypothetical. Speculation.
THE COURT: Overruled.
THE WITNESS: You have to find the source of the rumor.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Bishop, how do you find the source of the rumor if you don't investigate it?
A Well, you try to find the source of the rumor. Who do you ask when it's a rumor?
Q Okay. You ask the question, number one. Let me ask you this: If you hear a rumor that Father Herdegen has abused a kid, you could ask the person that said that he had abused; correct?
A Well, you may not be able to find that person.
Q But you don't-
A I mean, a rumor goes out there in the general public, and if it comes to the Bishop- now, if someone who started the rumor comes to me, I have someone to investigate. But if a rumor is just out there, I don't know how to investigate it, except by asking the priest, looking in his file, seeing if there are any other allegations against him.
Q Let's start with the priest file. There's a priest file pertaining to Herdegen, is there not?
A Yes.
Q And there's also a secret file pertaining to Herdegen, confidential file?
A Confidential file.
Q Yes.
A Which I began.
Q When did you first start hearing rumors that Herdegen may have abused?
A I didn't hear rumors. Monsignor Herdegen said he heard a rumor. In- in my little notes there, I forget what the date was, he called me early in the morning.
Q Okay. I just asked when. When- is it your testimony that the first time you heard any rumor from any source was from Monsignor Herdegen?
A Yes.

**********************
Q And you -- you're concerned about defaming Monsignor Herdegen's name, aren't you?
A If he was innocent.
Q Yes.
A I had no way to know that he was definitely guilty.
Q Is it your testimony, Bishop, that you at no time treated this matter or any others like it with an intention to avoid scandal?
A Never with the intention to avoid scandal. I always acted -- I had the intention to do what's right

**********************


Q And that was in 2002?
A No, that was 1995.
Q And before that time have you ever looked at his file to see if there was evidence of rumors, reports, or complaints that were worthy of investigation?
A I have something like a hundred and some odd priests in the Diocese. I don't look at the file unless
there's a specific reason to look in their file or even look for the confidential files unless there's a specific reason to look.
Q Are you aware, Bishop, in 98-- were you a Bishop in '85?
A Yes.
Q You were at the Catholic Conference of Bishops, were you not, where there was a presentation done by Father- a presentation and a paper presented by Father Thomas Doyle, Father Peterson, and Ray Mouton, were you not?
A I do not remember the name of anyone who gave the presentations.
Q Do you remember a presentation at Collegeville in St. John's in 1985 where it was presented to all the Bishops in the executive session that there was a crisis and a problem of pedophilia in the priesthood? Do you remember hearing that?
A Well, I don't think at that time it was necessarily called a crisis, but there was a concern we have to have about this. I don't remember the word "crisis" being said.
Q Do you remember receiving information in that report from Father Doyle and any others in executive session, that if you don't address the issue, you and the other Bishops could face liability in the civil courts for damages?
A I don't remember that.
Q Do you remember hearing that it could be in the billions?
A I do not remember that at all.
Q Do you recall hearing that the Bishops had a problem in how they had dealt with sexual abuse in the past, and it should be dealt with differently moving forward?
A As I recollect, we didn't talk so much, I think, about the past. We talked about what do you do when you do get an allegation. And the first thing you do is make sure God's people are safe. That's number- the first rule. You take someone out of ministry if there's danger for God's people.
Q When you got the allegation, the first indication of Herdegen abusing in 1992--
A I did not get an allegation in 1992 against him.
Q Oh, the first allegation was in 2002?
A Yes.
Q When you got the first allegation in 2002, had you earlier consulted with your lawyer about-
MS. McGUIRE: I'm going to object to any-
MR. ANDERSON: Just-
THE COURT: Well, let's hear the whole question. About?
MR. ANDERSON: Q Is it correct to say before 2002, Bishop, you had concerns about Monsignor Herdegen being prosecuted publicly for the crime of sexual abuse?
A No, I never- I never even reflected on it.
Q You never-
A Because I had never gotten allegations about him.
Q Before 2002?
A Before 2002.
Q And in- we heard from Cardinal Mahony yesterday, and he told us about how the Catholic Conference of Bishops established an ad hoc committee to deal with sexual abuse responsive to the fact that they had mishandled it in the past and in 1992 developed principles, five in number, as to how to deal with it. Do you have any knowledge of that adoption of those principles by you and the other Bishops in 1992?
A You know, I really do not remember that specific conference at all, but I know in 1992 I start- may have come from that- I started making some kind of policy for the priests in case there are- is abuse claimed and how we were to proceed with that. That probably came from that conference, though I do not recall that specifically.
Q When this allegation first surfaced by your account in 2002, did you at that time ask Herdegen if he had committed the crime of sexual abuse against that child or any others?
A I had already asked him if he was guilty of any sexual abuse, and he denied it completely and totally.
Q And that was the extent of your investigation you asked him?
A Well, I had nothing else to investigate because I said- he told me- the only thing he told me, there's a rumor going on that he sexually abused someone when he was a younger- 30, 40 years ago, whatever. I forget right now. And so all I had was rumor. I did ask him what's the source of the rumor, and he said I do not know. So I don't know where to find the source of a rumor if he said he did not know it. I have no idea. How do I investigate a rumor like that? There's nothing to investigate. He's denying the allegation totally and completely. So, I mean, I have to take him at his word, though he's the one who suggested maybe he retire early and then- no, he wanted to retire early. He meant he wanted to retire in May- March, when he was going to celebrate his 50th anniversary. He was 24 years ordained a priest. He wanted to stay in the parish till his 50th anniversary, and I said I- I want you to retire now.
Q So how did you hear this rumor, then?
A Through Father Herdegen, but he said he-
Q And-
A Excuse me.

**********************

JUDGE: It's a certified check for $5,000 purchased by Monsignor Herdegen, made payable to the Diocese of Fresno. Why is that relevant?
MR. ANDERSON: The Diocese of Fresno is receiving money from Monsignor Herdegen, we believe, and we're prepared to show, by this document and the course of conduct before it, that they are protecting one another. And there is as a part of this ratification course of conduct the exchange of money, both from the Diocese to Herdegen and Herdegen to the Diocese.
JUDGE: This is a payment from Herdegen to the Diocese. I don't see how that proves anything with regard to ratification
MR. ANDERSON: I'm prepared to show this is not the first time he made such a payment. If there is an innocent explanation for it, Bishop Steinbock can offer that. It's circumstantial evidence of proper inferences of ratification.
THE COURT: I just don't see it. Motion to preclude granted. Anything else?
MS. McGUIRE: That will do, Your Honor.

****************************


Q Did Monsignor Herdegen tell you where he had heard the rumor?
A No. He just said I don't know the source. I only asked him for the source of it, and he said he didn't know the source of it.
Q And so if I'm hearing you correctly, he told you that there had been a rumor. You asked him-
A That someone told him there's a rumor going around that he sexually abused someone.
Q And your response as a Bishop- first, it's your obligation to investigate; right?
A As best as I can.
Q And it's your testimony here today that you did the best you could under the powers given you as Bishop to investigate?
A At that time I thought I did, trying to search out the source of the rumor.
Q And what you did to investigate is ask Herdegen; right?
A He's the one who brought the rumor to me.
Q And when he denied it, that was the end of your investigation; is that correct?
A I really did not know any way to investigate. I did look in his confidential file, and there was no confidential file there. And that's when I began the confidential file with my notation I made later at night after talking with him.
Q Did you look in the priest file to see if there had been complaints of suspicions of sexual abuse and solicitation in the confessional and the like?
A You know, I really do not- you know, I – under oath, I do not specifically remember doing that. My concern was if there was something, it would be in the confidential file.
Q In 1995, if I'm hearing you correctly, then- excuse me, in 2002 all that you did to investigate and abide by your obligations as the Bishop was to ask Herdegen and look at the confidential file; correct?
A You're talking about 1995? I think you said 2002.
Q Excuse me. Were we talking about '95 or 2002 here-
A Well, I thought I heard-
Q- earlier?
A I thought I heard both dates coming from you. I'm not sure.
Q Okay. When's the first time you heard the rumor that he had abused?
A Father Herdegen told me he heard a rumor that someone is saying that he abused someone.
Q Okay. And it's your testimony that the first time you got any information from any source-
A Yes.
Q- that Herdegen abused?
A Yes, absolutely.
Q 2002?
A No, no, this was 1995.
Q Okay. I am sorry if I'm confused here, Bishop. Let's just get it clear so it's clear in my head and, more
importantly, everybody else's. That is, when in time is the first time you received any information from any source that Herdegen had abused?
A I did not have any information from any source that Herdegen had abused anyone. Monsignor Herdegen told me that he heard a rumor that he supposedly had abused some children, and that's the first time in 1995. And I asked him to come in and talk to me about it. And that was the first time ever I heard anything.
Q And at that time, then, you asked Herdegen if he had abused; correct?
A Yes.
Q And he denied it; is that your testimony?
A Yes.
Q Do you have any recollection that he actually refused to answer the question?
A Well, he told me in the morning that he was indiscreet, and so I said to him when he came into the office, well- when he denied any sexual abuse, I said, "What do you mean by indiscreet?" And he would not tell me what that meant. He just said simply, "I did not sexually abuse anyone. I was simply indiscreet."
Q And did you ask him who he was indiscreet with?
A No, I did not think of asking him that.
Q And, Bishop, you didn't want to know, did you?
A Oh, yes.
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Argumentative.
THE WITNESS: I thoroughly wanted to know.
THE COURT: Overruled.
THE WITNESS: That's awful to say. I mean, I did
everything I could, especially in 2002when I heard the allegation. I went after the person to find who's making the allegation so I could find out if it was credible or not. I would have done the very same thing if I had any credible evidence at all.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Bishop, you didn't want this matter to go public, did you?
A What matter? I had no matter not to go public at this point.
Q That-
A There's no allegation against him. Uh, there's only a rumor. There's no way I'm going to put- stop any rumors. Rumors are going to continue on. I had no reason to- I'm not going to say publicly he abused someone, because I don't have an allegation he abused anyone. If something goes public, it goes public. I'm not going to hold it back. I'm not going to defame someone's name who may be innocent either.
Q And you- you're concerned about defaming Monsignor Herdegen's name, aren't you?
A If he was innocent.
Q Yes.
A I had no way to know that he was definitely guilty.
Q You were also concerned about subjecting the church and your Diocese to scandal, were you not? A No.
Q You-
A No, I wasn't in the least. I want to do what's right. And if someone has been abused, I'm going to search out that person, if I can, if I believe there's a credible allegation. I have no credible allegation in 1995.
Q Is it your testimony, Bishop, that you at no time treated this matter or any others like it with an intention to avoid scandal?
A Never with the intention to avoid scandal. I always acted- I had the intention to do what's right.
Q Don't you think the right thing to do is protect the kids first and the priest second?
A First and foremost, I definitely agree with that.
Q So what did you do to protect the kids when it came to Monsignor Herdegen once you learned that there had been either a rumor or an allegation?
A Well, I had no allegation against him. Again, if you want to move to 2002 when I heard that there's someone saying that someone specific had been abused, I got after the person to find out who those persons are, and then I immediately had investigation on that. As soon as I found out, within, I think, two weeks that the person I had investigating considered that was credible evidence, I took his faculties away immediately. Grave concern.

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STEINBOCK: I would deny that I made any wrong decisions in light of what I knew every time I made a decision.

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Q Cardinal Mahony was here yesterday and talked to us about a number of things. And one of them was the obligation of a Bishop under the canon law, long-standing obligation, that if there is a well-founded suspicion, they have an obligation to investigate. Do you dispute that, sir?
A I did not have a well-founded- what was the word you used? Well-founded-
Q Well-founded allegation.
A- allegation? I didn't even have an allegation in 1995. In 2002 I believed it was a well-founded allegation, someone talking about, so I immediately investigated. What do you call, then, Herdegen's admission to you, from his lips to your ears, that he was indiscreet years ago in Wasco? That he was indiscreet. That doesn't necessarily mean sexual abuse. He's denying sexual abuse. A lot of different ways of being indiscreet.
Q Well, isn't that admission, from his lips to your ears, in itself well-founded enough for you as Bishop to find out what he did that causes him to describe it as indiscreet?
A I tried to find out what he meant by indiscreet, and he would not tell me. He simply said, "I did not sexually abuse anyone." Indiscreet can also mean perhaps he went past boundaries, which is not necessarily abuse.
Q Did it ever occur to you that Monsignor Herdegen is a pedophile?
A No.
Q Did it ever occur to you that he has a compulsive sexual desire that he cannot control?
A No.
Q Did it ever occur to you to send him to somebody to see if he had a compulsive sexual desire such as pedophilia or one of the other sexual disorders?
A I did not consider that he had it. And I took him out of ministry as soon as he comes to me with a supposed rumor. I did not even have cause to take his faculties away at that time.
Q Under the canon law, if you have a reasonable suspicion, you can immediately administratively suspend him; correct?
A You'd have to ask a canon lawyer that. I'd say take his faculties away, to have an investigation.
Q I'm going to ask a canon lawyer that, Father Tom Doyle.
A Yeah.
Q You've heard of him, haven't you?
A Yeah.
Q He's a canon lawyer, isn't he?
A I guess so.
MR. ANDERSON: Would this be a good time to take a break, Your Honor?
THE COURT: That's fine. Ladies and gentlemen, we'll take our lunch break. Once again. Do have a very nice break. Remember the admonitions. Don't have any discussions about the case and don't form or express any opinions about it until it's finally submitted to you for decision.
(Thereupon the jury retired from the courtroom and the following proceedings were held:)
THE COURT: All right. For the record, the jurors have left. I wanted to mention one thing- no-
THE WITNESS: Am I supposed to stay there?
THE COURT:- you're welcome to leave. You're welcome to stay as well, but this is for the lawyers. This morning while the bailiff was letting in the jurors, she noticed that one of them was reading a newspaper in the jury room. Of course, I believe it was The Bee section which had the article on Cardinal Mahony. And she questioned the juror- I'm not sure which juror it was- but she questioned the juror about it, and the juror denied reading that article. They were reading other parts of the paper, according to the juror.
I didn't think it merited finding out who the juror was and bringing him or her in here to question about it, but I did want to mention it to counsel. And if any of you think that that's necessary, we can talk about it further.
MS. McGUIRE: I don't know that that's necessary. Maybe a special admonition today about not looking at the newspaper at all would get the point across.
THE COURT: I don't want- I don't want to tell them they can't look at the paper at all. They can read-
MS. McGUIRE: Well, that's true.
THE COURT:- every other word in the paper except for anything-
MS. McGUIRE: Anything that has to do with this.
THE COURT:- that concerns this case. I think I should remind them not to read or watch or listen to anything about this case, but I'm not going- think I'm not going to tell them that the news is completely off limits.
MS. McGUIRE: Okay.
THE COURT: Any comments?
MR. ANDERSON: I would agree with the Court's observation and- and just request that the Court give it. That if – on radio, on television, and in the newspapers, if they-
THE COURT: And the Internet.
MR. ANDERSON:- if they see something pertaining to this case-
MS. McGUIRE: Yeah, the Internet.
MR. ANDERSON:- or the Internet, they are to just turn it off, fold the page, or do what is necessary, the usual admonition.
THE COURT: Right. There's another article in the paper today- I'm not sure whether anybody saw it. I think it was in the "A" section. In fact, it might have been at the bottom of the first page- about jurors in other trials who are Twittering with friends and relatives actually from the jury box during the trial. There was a federal case somewhere where the judge declared a mistrial because he found out that
was going on. I wasn't going to bring that up, but just pass that along.
MR. ANDERSON: Your Honor, I think that a special mention of making any investigation on the Internet, because it's so accessible today-
THE COURT: Yeah.
MR. ANDERSON: We haven't done that in the past so much because-
THE COURT: Right.
MR. ANDERSON:- it's such a recent development, but I think a special admonition pertaining to the Internet and the use of it in any way on this topic and this case, including Twittering.
MR. DE MARCO: Sounds wrong.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, I think it does.
THE COURT: Why don't I say- I'll give a more lengthy admonition this afternoon not to- not to do any research or read anything about the case on the Internet or to have any contact with the media and not to communicate by either oral or electronic means with friends, relatives, or anybody else about the case. Hopefully that will cover it. I'll do that. And if I forget to do that, somebody remind me. All right. Anything else?
MS. McGUIRE: That should do it.
THE COURT: Okay. See you at :30.
(Thereupon the lunch recess was taken.)
MARCH 18, 2009-- AFTERNOON SESSION
(Thereupon the following proceedings were held in the presence of the Court, Counsel, and Parties:)
THE COURT: All right. We'll be on the record with counsel present. I have received the defendants' motion in limine to exclude testimony of Father Doyle. When will he be testifying?
MR. DE MARCO: Your Honor-
MR. ANDERSON: This afternoon.
THE COURT: This afternoon?
MR. ANDERSON: Yes.
THE COURT: Well, when are we going to deal with this?
MR. WEAKLEY: Before he testifies. But we- this is based upon the deposition we took last night, so we weren't able to prepare this before right now.
MR. DE MARCO: Your Honor, there's a number of things mentioned in this motion- and I just read it literally a minute ago when I just got it- that reference his earlier deposition as well, also the earlier reports which were the subject of defendants' previous motion in limine to exclude him. So how are we supposed to be addressing the voluminous legal authority they're asserting hours before he was supposed to testify, when they've had the opportunity in the past to raise these arguments? I would- I would suggest, Your Honor, the arguments are best dealt with by an effective cross.
THE COURT: Well, I'm going to try and read the brief during the conclusion of Bishop Steinbock's testimony, and then perhaps we'll have time to talk about it before Father Doyle takes the stand. But if not, we'll have to deal with it as it comes. Were there some other issues we needed to take up before the jury came-
MS. McGUIRE: Yes, Your Honor. I had brought to the Court's attention before and the Court indicated that you wanted to address it as it came up. But when the Court ordered the original file produced, there were documents that were not pursuant to the discovery order, more recent documents, and there are a couple of documents that counsel wants to introduce with Bishop Steinbock. And I would make the objections that they're not relevant. They're extremely prejudicial under 35. They were not part of the discovery order production, and I would request that they be precluded from referencing them or prohibited-
THE COURT: May I see the documents?
MR. ANDERSON: Yes.
MR. WATERS: Yes, we've marked them for identification purpose.
MS. McGUIRE: And for other reasons, too, it references-
MR. WATERS: It's been marked as 402 and 404.
MS. McGUIRE:- attorney's fees issues. It would be highly prejudicial for this to come in.
THE COURT: And, Mr. Anderson, do you intend to question Bishop Steinbock about these?
MR. ANDERSON: I do, Your Honor.
THE COURT: How are they relevant?
MR. ANDERSON: They're relevant to the ongoing ratification.
THE COURT: Well, there is- the documents that I'm looking at are a letter from Monsignor Herdegen, or what appears to be a letter from Monsignor Herdegen, and a copy of the check which indicates it was purchased by- it's a certified check for $5,000 purchased by Monsignor Herdegen, made payable to the Diocese of Fresno. Why is that relevant?
MR. ANDERSON: The Diocese of Fresno is receiving money from Monsignor Herdegen, we believe, and we're prepared to show by this document and the course of conduct before it that they are protecting one another. And there is as a part of this ratification course of conduct the exchange of money, both from the Diocese to Herdegen and Herdegen to the Diocese.
THE COURT: Well, this doesn't show anything from the Diocese to Herdegen.
MR. ANDERSON: There will be among the exhibits a letter from Bishop Steinbock- I'll lay the foundation for that- that shows that he accepted the gift and –
THE COURT: Well, how is a payment from Monsignor Herdegen to the Diocese relevant to ratification?
MR. ANDERSON: I believe, Your Honor, it's showing that they are authorizing the conduct of Herdegen, that they are actively involved in the authorization of it, and that they are doing it for motives that are designed to continue to protect Monsignor Herdegen and avoid scandal. And that is the under- part of the underlying basis for the ratification here. And I am prepared through- excuse me, through the Bishop to lay the adequate foundation for that at the time I offer it.
MS. McGUIRE: Your Honor, I think that in terms of ratification, clearly after 2002they did the investigation, they followed through with everything that was necessary, took away Monsignor's faculties-
THE COURT: Well, whether- whether Herdegen's conduct was ratified will ultimately be an issue for the jury. My question is- and frankly, what I don't understand is, I mean, if this were a payment from the Diocese to Herdegen, 0 maybe it would be relevant to ratification, but this is a payment from Herdegen to the Diocese. I don't see how that proves anything with regard to ratification.
MR. ANDERSON: Your Honor, there are payments from-
THE COURT: We're not dealing with those.
MR. ANDERSON: I know, but they go both ways here, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Okay.
MR. ANDERSON: And I'm prepared to show that in the course of conduct here, this is not the first time he made such a payment. And it is, I believe, proper to inquire of Bishop Steinbock as to the circumstances of it. If there is an innocent explanation for it, Bishop Steinbock can offer that, because there is a letter from Steinbock confirming that he had it. If it's a less than innocent explanation for it, we're prepared to, I think, and entitled to offer it into evidence then for that reason. It's- it's circumstantial evidence of- of proper inferences of ratification.
THE COURT: I just don't see it. I don't see it. So the request to preclude any reference to these Exhibits be granted on the basis of relevance. Anything else?
MS. McGUIRE: That will do, Your Honor. The others all deal with-
THE COURT: All right. Let's bring in the jury.
(Thereupon the jury returned to the courtroom, and the following proceedings were had:)

********************************

MR. ANDERSON: Q In 2002 you directed that the human resources person, Pat Gordon, review the file?
A I directed him to have an investigation. I think, in the course of that investigation, he reviewed the file and tracked down the two persons that allegedly made the accusation.
Q And you directed that he look at that file before you; correct?
A I can't say specifically I said that. I think that's part of his investigation. He would automatically have done that.
Q And --
A I didn't say specifically to look in the file.

********************************


THE COURT: All right. Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen. Please have a seat, everyone. We'll be back on the record with counsel and the jurors present. Bishop Steinbock, may I ask you to resume the witness stand, please. And, Mr. Anderson, you may resume your examination.
MR. ANDERSON: Thank you, Your Honor.
BISHOP JOHN STEINBOCK, resumed the witness stand and testified further as follows:
CONTINUED CROSS-EXAMINATION
BY MR. ANDERSON: Q Bishop, since you have been Bishop here in Fresno since 1992, and as it pertains to Monsignor Herdegen, do you admit or deny that you have made serious errors in judgment in how you have handled him in the continuation of his ministry among suspicions of sexual abuse?
A I would deny that I made any wrong decisions in light of what I knew every time I made a decision.
Q And you deny here today having made any mistakes in how you have handled Monsignor Herdegen and continued him in ministry to this day; is that correct?
A Well, I may have to explain that, because in 1995, when I got- when Monsignor Herdegen talked to me, I had no cause to take away his faculties. I have to have a cause by canon law to do that. And as soon as I found out in 2002, I followed through quickly and swiftly and took his faculties away immediately after we found out that the accusation was credible.
Q So just so I understand, you stand by all your actions as they pertain to Monsignor Herdegen here today?
A I believe- I believe that I tried to do the best I could under the circumstances at the time I made the decisions.
Q And it's your testimony that you have at all times attempted to serve the well-being of priest, Monsignor Herdegen, and to the present; correct?
A I tried always to serve the well-being of my priest and God's people.
Q And when in time is the first time you took any public action to let the community of faith or the public know there were suspicions of sexual abuse by Herdegen?
A When the- the information came to us about someone making a possible allegation and I asked to have that followed through, immediately in the parish there was read- actually through all the parishes, the whole Diocese, read a letter that if anyone knows of any accusation, please, you know, inform us, that we want to know that so we can follow through.
Q That was 20023, wasn't it?
A That was 2002, the same- the same time that I- the Father Dan Avila called me March 6th, and the weekend of April 6th and 7th, I had written all the parishes of the Dioceses, please bring forth any knowledge you might know, if there's any wrongdoing.
Q And to your knowledge, based on your knowledge of the file pertaining to Monsignor Herdegen and your knowledge that you obtained about him, is it correct to say, then, the first time you ever on behalf of the Diocese informed the public or the parishioners that there may be a problem concerning Herdegen's fitness was 2002?
A Yes.
Q Bishop, I'm going to show you what has been marked Exhibit- and admitted as Exhibit 396. This would be the five principles to follow when dealing with accusations of sexual abuse. And we're going to put it before you on the screen. Are you able to read that?
A No, I need to see paper.
Q I'm going to provide you with a copy here. I've got an extra one here. Your Honor, may I inquire of the jury if they can read it?
THE COURT: I will. Ladies and gentlemen, can you read what's projected? Some people are nodding. Some people are shaking their head. That's what you call an unscientific poll.
MR. ANDERSON: That's what I need to know, though. That's the purpose of science, to get to the facts. So what we'll do, we're going to work to get this up a little bit so it can be read by all.
MR. WATERS: What I can do is I can blow them up one at a time.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Okay. Let's do this: Bishop, I'm going to present to you a copy that I have because you have- oh, you have a copy before you now?
A Yeah.
Q Are you aware that the Catholic Conference of Bishops in 1992 developed these principles to be adhered to and applied by you and all the other Bishops in this country in 1992?
A Yes, I'm aware of that, yes.
Q And can you also see that this was disseminated by the Office of Media Relations for the Catholic Conference of Bishops? That means it was sent out to the public relations department for all the people to see and hear and know we're doing a better job; right?
A Yes.

*************************************

Q Did you ever send any letters to the Santillan family talking about the difficult time that they've been through for decades?
A You know, the main thing, I had Pat Gordon-
Q Did you do that, Bishop? Answer the question.
A No, because I had Pat Gordon reach out to them
(CofA: Pat Gordon is a private investigator.)

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Q And you're aware that this was sent out to all the people to tell them they were doing a better job because the Bishops hadn't handled this issue well in the past; do you agree with that?
A No, I would say some Bishops did not handle this thing, but to say "the Bishops," a rather large generalization.
Q Well, you've looked at the Herdegen file, both the priest file and the confidential file. Do you believe that on review of that file and the entire file and in discussions with your predecessor Bishops that your predecessors had handled Monsignor Herdegen so as to protect the well-being of the children in the last five decades?
A I do not-
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Objection. It misstates his testimony and-
THE COURT: I don't know-
MS. McGUIRE:- in terms of-
THE COURT: I don't know that he testified that – first of all, I'm not sure which Herdegen file you're referring to, so the objection will be sustained.
MR. ANDERSON: Q You reviewed the priest file, have you not?
A Uh, I cannot really say. You know, when- I say I may have looked at it, but I couldn't remember when he came to me. I know I looked in the confidential file and I saw nothing. I think I already mentioned that. And I don't think I necessarily looked in his personnel file, because I figured anything that would be serious wrong would be in the confidential file.
Q I'm holding here what has been marked for identification as A-and A-. Are you aware, Bishop, that these are what has been referred to as the priest personnel file maintained in the chancery, your office?
A Yes.
Q Okay. And you recognize and authenticate this as Monsignor Herdegen's file?
A Well, I'd have to look at it, I think, to say that.
Q Okay. Fair enough.
A Yes, I can say yes.
Q Okay. My question to you is as it pertains to sexual abuse or suspicions of sexual abuse by Monsignor Herdegen, have you ever looked at the file to see what, if anything, is reflected by it pertaining to Herdegen's past and that subject?
A I did not look in the file personally through every letter, but I had my human resource director – when that allegation came, he would have looked through the file.
Q Okay. And after he did it at your direction, what did he tell you?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Hearsay.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Why didn't you look at it, Bishop?
A Because I had my human resources look through it.
Q But you're in charge of the protection of the children as well as your priest; correct?
A Yes. But I believe I'm protecting the children by having a good, solid human resources person do it. I can't do everything individually in this Diocese. I have a million people and how many parishes, so I have to delegate people who are very responsible. And I have tremendous trust in the human resource director.
Q Bishop, tell me what's more important than protecting the youth of the Diocese?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Argumentative.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Who's the human resource director-
A At-
Q- that you ordered to look at the file upon whom you relied?
A Oh, it would have been- in 2002when the allegation came, would have been Pat Gordon.
Q And since that time have you looked to see and/or discern if there was information in it that reflected there was something that was suspicious of abuse?
A No, because I already been told by the human resource director that the accusation was credible, and I took him out of ministry.
Q In 1992 did you order or suggest that somebody look at the file?
A No, I'd only looked in the confidential file.
Q And you didn't see anything in the file at that time?
A There was nothing in the confidential file for him.
Q Do you know what the practices of your predecessor, Bishop Madera, were in- as it pertains to the maintenance and retention of the confidential file?
A Well, I would only be surmising. I mean, there were already-
Q Do you know?
A- files in the confidential file from his time, so I took for granted anything that happened in his time that was serious, that it would have been in the confidential file.
THE COURT: I'm going to change a ruling with respect to an objection. The question, "What did the human resources director tell you?" There was a hearsay objection that I sustained. I'm going to change that to overruled. So, Bishop Steinbock, you may answer that question.
MR. ANDERSON: Your Honor, should I pose it to him again?
THE COURT: Please do.

********************************

Q It says, number one, "Respond promptly to all allegations of abuse where there is reasonable belief that abuse occurred." Do you believe that you have done that in the instance of Monsignor Herdegen?
A Yes, because I didn't have reasonable belief

*********************************


MR. ANDERSON: Q In 2002 you directed that the human resources person, Pat Gordon, review the file?
A I directed him to have an investigation. I think, in the course of that investigation, he reviewed the file and tracked down the two persons that allegedly made the accusation.
Q And in 2002 you directed, pursuant to your authority as Bishop, Pat Gordon, a layperson, lay employee-
A Yes.
Q- to conduct an investigation under your direction; correct?
A Yes.
Q Under your-
A Yes.
Q- authority; correct?
A Yes.
Q And you directed that he look at that file before you; correct?
A I can't say specifically I said that. I think that's part of his investigation. He would automatically have done that.
Q And as- and he did do that; correct?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Speculation.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Well, you ordered him to do it?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Misstates his testimony.
THE COURT: Was that a question?
MR. ANDERSON: Q Well, did you ask Mr. Gordon to look at the file as a part of his investigation?
A Not specifically. I told him to do the investigation as soon as a credible allegation came, and I said in the course of the investigation one is going to be looking at the file.
Q And-
A I didn't say specifically to look in the file because he was a professional investigator, really. He did the major investigation for anything we had in the Diocese.
Q Now, my question, Your Honor, is what did Mr. Gordon tell you about what the file reflected pertaining to Herdegen and suspicions of sexual abuse?
A I do not remember anything he told me about what was in the file, but I know he told me that there were credible- because he terminated his investigation on April 6th. He told me that accusations were credible, and I immediately took away the faculties of Monsignor Herdegen, the very same day. So there was no reason for me to look in the file. I've already taken his faculties away. I don't know what was in there.
Q Bishop, there's no reason to look at the file? Are you aware that there may be in that file the names of victims or possible victims?
A I think Monsignor- Monsignor, Father – Pat Gordon, the human resources director, would have brought all that to my attention had he found that.
Q Let's look at Exhibit 396. You have it before you. You can read it now. And it says the five principles to follow when dealing with accusations of sexual abuse. This is correct?
A Yes.
Q It says, number one, "Respond promptly to all allegations of abuse where there is reasonable belief that abuse occurred." Do you believe that you have done that in the instance of Monsignor Herdegen?
A Yes, because I didn't have reasonable belief until
Q Number two, it states, "If such an allegation is supported by sufficient evidence, relieve the alleged offender promptly of his ministerial duties and refer him for appropriate medical evaluation and intervention." Do you believe that you have complied with the principle enumerated in two that you have-
A I immediately took away his faculties.
Q In what year?
A 2002, when the- when the credible allegation came, the very day I received that it was credible, I called and sent away his faculties and sent him a follow-up letter.
Q And it's your belief, as you've testified today, that was the first credible allegation made; correct?
A Yes, yes.
Q Three, "Comply with the obligations of civil law as regards reporting of the incident and cooperating with the investigation." Do you believe you have complied with that principle, Bishop?
A It was not to be applied here because it has nothing to do with youth. I think that's referring to an allegation takes place when there is a youth involved. This was about 30 years ago. There's no criminal- statute of limitations have passed, and there's no civil liability for him, as far as I know. That- the reporting is to protect youth, and this is not the abuse of a- of a youth now. In other words, if I receive an allegation about something – now present allegation, I'm going to report that immediately to child protective services or to the police.
Q Are you a lawyer, Bishop?
A No.
Q You told us that the criminal statute of limitations pertaining to Herdegen had passed. What leads you to believe-
A Well, I think, I don't know, seven, nine years. This is 30 years ago or years ago, or whatever.
Q Bishop, have you ever heard the name Detective Aseltine?
A Nope.
Q He testified from that witness stand here a couple days ago, and he told us that a call was made under his direction by George Santillan to your priest, Monsignor Herdegen. Did you know that?
A No.
Q He also told us that based on that call and other evidence presented, he had drawn up papers to have Monsignor Herdegen charged criminally. Did you know that?
A No.
Q He also told us that he also had papers drawn up to have Monsignor Herdegen extradited from Milwaukee, where he is now, back to Fresno and Kern County so he could be prosecuted here. Did you know that?
A No.
Q He also told us that a Supreme Court decision camedown while he was drawing those papers that said that the statute of limitations had passed, and this was in 2003. Did you know that a Supreme Court case came down in 2003 that the statute of limitations had expired for criminal prosecution of Monsignor Herdegen and not before?
A No.
Q Where did you get the belief, then, that the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution had passed?
A I always thought that you had statute of limitations. That was my belief, seven, eight, nine years, whatever it is.
Q Let's look at number four. "Reach out to the victims and their families and communicate sincere commitment to their spiritual and emotional well-being." That's what it says, isn't it?
A Right.
Q Now, in order to reach out to the victims, you need to know who they are, don't you?
A Right.
Q And there's a number of ways to find out, isn't there? Isn't there?
A I don't know.
Q Well, let me suggest a couple, then. Isn't-isn't it one way to find out who the victims of Monsignor Herdegen were, going back since when he was ordained here, to ask Monsignor Herdegen, "Monsignor, tell me the name of any child that you hurt or abused in the confessional or while a priest so I can abide by this principle that we adopted in 1992"? Did you ever do that?
A Well, I think, as I testified about 1995, I asked him who was the source of the rumor, and he refused to say anything. So there's no way for me to find anyone, and he's denying any sexual abuse at all. Now, in 2002, when I found out there was some credibility perhaps here, Father Dan Avila called me and told me to talk to him. I told Father Dan immediately, try to find out who it is, reach out to the person, let them know that Bishop will help pay for counseling for him, to come and see him if they need any pastoral care. I'll be happy to take care of them in that way. That was when I knew there was a credible allegation and we could find the name of persons that were abused. And I asked-
Q My question- my question-
A Okay.
Q My question- I'm going to repeat it- did you or have you ever asked Monsignor Herdegen, "Monsignor, tell me the names of the kids that you have hurt while a priest who you either touched inappropriately or solicited in the confessional," or anything like that? Have you ever done that?
A In 1995 he denied doing anything. I asked him for the source of the rumors so maybe that might give some hint who he was so-called "indiscreet" with, but I could get no name from him. So there was no way for me to try to track anyone down, and it wasn't- when I got the allegation, I found out when the victims were, I immediately reached out to them, both through Father Dan Avila and through my human resources director, also to offer counseling and even to come and see the Bishop if they wished to.

*********************************

Q So you're assuming there are no names of possible victims in the file, or what are you doing?
A I left it in the hands of my human resource director to investigate the whole -- the whole situation.
Q Bishop, you're the shepherd of this flock, are you not?

*********************************


Q Bishop, to this day he's still under a requirement, a rule, or a promise of obedience to you, correct, Monsignor Herdegen to this day?
A He's retired.
Q But he's still a priest of this Diocese under the promise of obedience; correct?
A A retired priest can do almost anything he wants. I have no control over retired priests. I can tell him he doesn't have faculties, I can do that.
Q He's still-
A Exercise- exercise his ministry.
Q He's still a priest under your authority, isn't he, and he remains until-
A Well-
Q- until removed by the Vatican?
A No, no. I don't understand the question. Say that again.
Q Monsignor Herdegen is still a priest under your authority; correct?
A I don't- I mean, it is a canonical question again. I don't know. I don't believe I have authority to tell any retired priest to do anything if he doesn't want to do it. He can live where he wants. He can go where he wants. I have no authority over a retired priest. He's not in any ministry.
Q That's dictated by the canon law, and you- you're saying to this jury and to me that you didn't – you didn't know that the Bishop, under the promise of obedience and the canons that applied to it, that he has to obey you?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Argumentative.
THE COURT: Overruled.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Is that what you're telling me?
THE COURT: Overruled.
THE WITNESS: I think what I told you before, that a diocesan priest is only with obedience to ministry, where he's going to minister and how he ministers. A retired priest is no longer, you know, officially in any ministry. He can do what he wants or where he wants. He can move to New York, and I have no authority over him to tell him what he can do or not do, because he's no longer active.
MR. ANDERSON: Q So he's currently under- under – are you telling us that because he's living in Milwaukee, which is in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee- and in Milwaukee the Archbishop is Archbishop Dolan, now appointed Archbishop of New York, effective next month- are you telling us here today that it is Archbishop Dolan's responsibility to supervise Monsignor Herdegen- Herdegen currently?
A No.
Q Isn't it your responsibility to supervise him currently, as long as he is a priest of this Diocese?
A There's no way for me to supervise someone who lives in Milwaukee.
Q Let's talk about principle four.
A I can tell him to be obedient to me in things like ministry. That's why I tell him, "Do not be involved in public ministry."
Q Do you know anything about sexual offenders? Do you know anything about sexual offenders?
A That's a vague question.
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Vague.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Have you ever learned, have you ever read anywhere that sexual offenders are compulsive, they can't control their sexual urges, and they are unable to control themselves? Have you ever heard that?
MS. McGUIRE: I'm going to object. This is beyond the scope of this witness' knowledge.
THE COURT: Overruled.
THE WITNESS: Well, you have sexual offenders who may have pedophilia. You have sexual offenders who may offend once in their life and never offend again. I mean, there's a whole class of sexual offenders. Not all sexual offenders have that compulsion. Not all of them.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Have you ever sent Herdegen to somebody to evaluate to see whether or not he was a pedophile and a compulsive sexual offender?
A No, because I had no reason to suspect that.
Q And so let's go back to this reaching out to victims and this principle that you and the other Bishops published that you're doing. You have that file before you, Bishop. Have you ever asked somebody to look at that file and get the names of the people that appear in that file-
MS. McGUIRE: Objection.
MR. ANDERSON: Q- that may-
THE COURT: Let's finish the question, and then-
MS. McGUIRE: I'm sorry.
THE COURT:- we'll get the grounds for the objection. Go ahead.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Have you ever asked anybody or designated anybody to look at that file to determine the names of possible victims to reach out to them and their families?
A Well, as-
MS. McGUIRE: Object that it's asked and answered.
THE COURT: I didn't hear it.
MS. McGUIRE: Asked and answered.
THE COURT: Overruled.
THE WITNESS: As I answered, I think already two times that same question, when I asked Pat Gordon, the human resource, to do the investigation, that's what- he would have automatically looked through the file for that, to see if there's any evidence in there.
MR. ANDERSON: Q So you're assuming there are no names of possible victims in the file, or what are you doing?
A I left it in the hands of my human resource director to investigate the whole- the whole situation.
Q Bishop, you're the shepherd of this flock, are you not?
A Yes.
Q And- and the children of the parishioners and the community of faith are among those under your care and for whom you serve as shepherd; correct?
A Yes, and I would never leave a priest in ministry that would endanger God's people, especially children.
Q How can you know whether Monsignor is- Herdegen, is a danger unless you look at his file yourself or have some expert tell you that he's not, neither of which you've done? How can you know that?
A When an allegation came 2002, within a month I took him- his faculties away completely, and he wasn't even in a situation- he was not exercising any public ministry.
Q Look at number five. "Within the confines of respect for privacy of the individuals involved, deal as openly as possible with the members of the community." That means all the members of the community, correct, not just the community of faith?
A Yes.
Q Have you done that?
A I believe that Pat- once we find out- this is our policy. Let me tell you our policy.
Q Well, let me just- this calls for a yes or no first, then I'll let you explain, if you wish. It says, "Within the confines of respect for privacy of the individuals involved, deal as openly as possible with members of the community." Bishop, have you done that?
A I believe so, after 2002 and the allegation came.
Q Bishop, I am showing you an envelope that has been presented here under subpoena and otherwise and represented and marked to be Exhibit C for this courtroom. And do you 0 recognize this as the file folder that contains the confidential file pertaining to Monsignor Herdegen?
A I'd have to see it a little closer.
Q I'm just talking about the file folder.
A Yeah, I know. I can't see it.
Q Okay. I'm putting it before you.
A Yes.
Q Okay. Would you open it, please. And you just, for the record, opened the- the folder and the envelope and took out the confidential file; correct?
A Well, let me see if it's the confidential file.
(Witness examines document.)
THE WITNESS: Yes.
MR. ANDERSON: Q And you're aware, are you not, that as Bishop and under the code of canon law, you are required to maintain a confidential file for your eyes only and those of your designee; correct?
A Or designees.
Q That means yourself and your Bishops before you; correct?
A Well, the confidential file- I mean, the vicar general may look at it; the chancellor may look at it if the occasion arises; my human resources director, he'd have my permission also.
Q Oh, so you allow access of the confidential file to others besides your one designee?
A To three persons, yes.
Q Three persons. Who are those three persons?
A Vicar general, chancellor, and human resources director.
Q Look at C-before you, Bishop.
A I don't have them listed by "C" and all that.
Q Okay. Let me show you, if I may. C- this is C. And at the bottom right-hand corner, you'll see a "." A Okay. Got it.
Q I'll be referring to this by C-
A Right.
Q- and then a number to follow.
A Okay.
MS. McGUIRE: Counsel, if you could identify the document so we can reference it, because I don't have the "C" file.
MR. ANDERSON: I'm going to have it before him, and I'll identify it. This would be 4/4/95.
Q Bishop, this is your signature at the bottom of this document, is it not?
A Yes.
Q And it's dated 4/4/95; correct?
A Yes.
Q And these are notes that you made responsive to a call that Monsignor Herdegen made to you on April 4th, 1995, at 6:30 a.m. in the morning; correct?
A The first part of it, yes.
Q And then it goes on to reflect notes that you had pertaining to a meeting that you had with him, correct?
A Yes, I made them at night. I didn't take notes during the meeting.
Q And this has been kept in the ordinary course of your business since then; correct?
A Yes.
MR. ANDERSON: I'll offer Exhibit C-.
MS. McGUIRE: No objection.
THE COURT: Any objection? It will be received. (Thereupon Plaintiffs' Exhibit No. C-, Steinbock notes 4/4/95, was received in evidence.)
MR. ANDERSON: Q Bishop, I have already heard – strike that. Bishop, you have this before you. You have seen this before, have you not?
A Yes, I wrote it.
Q And have you viewed it recently?
A Yes.
Q Okay. So it's not unfamiliar to you, then?
A No.
Q It says that you received a call at 6:30 a.m. from Monsignor Herdegen. That's kind of unusual, isn't it?
A I receive a number of calls early in the morning, but not usually 6:30.
Q And he told you in that call that a person in Wasco saying- was saying that he had abused him and other children; correct?
A That's what my notes say, yes.
Q Did you ever ask Monsignor Herdegen who that person was that was saying this?
A Well, as I recall, he didn't tell me the person who abused him was saying anything. That there was a rumor that someone had abused him [sic], and I asked him of the source of the rumor.
Q Well, you wrote this document, and the way you wrote it- I mean, listen to my question. You wrote that a person in Wasco was saying Tony asked him and other children- excuse me, I misread that. You wrote that "A person in Wasco saying Tony abused him and other children." My question to you is that when Monsignor Herdegen, Tony, said that to you, did you ask him who is saying that?
A I do not believe he said it like that to me. I'm writing these notes late at night. And what he told me is I recollect that someone- there's a rumor that he- that he abused a child or children in Wasco.
Q Did you ask him where he heard the rumor or from whom?
A Yeah, I said, "What's the source of the rumor?"
Q And what did he say?
A He said he didn't say anything. He wouldn't say- tell me anything.
Q What, did he refuse to answer?
A Yeah.
Q Well, you're the Bishop. Can't you say, "Father, Monsignor, you tell me where you got this information or who said this so I can investigate this, and until you do or unless you do, I'm putting you on administrative leave"? Did you do that?
A He said- he said he did not abuse anyone; okay? That's- that's all I have to go on right now. I do not have power to make someone say something to me that doesn't want to say something to me. I think even in the court you got a right not to incriminate yourself. I think- I mean, if he doesn't want to tell me, I can't force him. I can try to get him to talk to me, but I can't force him. And he's saying he never abused anyone. It has to be in light of that also.

*********************************

Q How can you know whether Monsignor Herdegen is a danger unless you look at his file yourself or have some expert tell you that he's not, neither of which you've done? How can you know that?
A When an allegation came 2002, within a month I took his faculties away completely

*********************************


Q Bishop, in a criminal proceeding a suspect has a- has a right to incriminate himself – against self-incrimination, can't be compelled to answer a question. That's in a criminal case. Is there anything in the canon law that says a priest has a right to refuse to answer a question put to him from the Bishop in which he is suspected of a crime anywhere?
A No, but he- you can't force him to say anything either.
Q It goes on to state in the phone call, "He admitted he was"- and you use the quotations here, right?
A Yes, because he used that specific word.
Q- "'indiscreet' some 0 years ago in Wasco, but has not had anything happen like this in his life since."
When he admitted being indiscreet, did you press him to describe to you what he meant by that?
A When he came in at :30, yes, after I have him in the office.
Q We'll get to that, then.
A I tried to-
Q It states, "He fears scandal." Now, "scandal" is a word with particular meaning to you and in the clerical culture, is it not?
A I don't know about the clerical culture. Scandal is something that would cause someone to do something wrong or think badly or something. I- I don't know what the definition of scandal is.
Q Bishop, let me ask you this: When he says he admitted that he was indiscreet some 0 years ago, at any time did you go back to the file to see what he was referring to, if there was anything in it, about how indiscreet he was years ago?
A As I say, I looked in the confidential file.
Q Did you look at the file before you, that fat one there?
A I do not remember looking in that file.
Q Okay. Let's go to the scandal-
A I may have. I may have, but I don't remember.
Q He fears scandal. When he said that, did you fear
scandal?
A No.

*********************************

Q And he told you in that call that a person in Wasco saying -- was saying that he had abused him and other children; correct?
A That's what my notes say, yes.
Q Did you ever ask Monsignor Herdegen who that person was that was saying this?
A Well, as I recall, he didn't tell me the person who abused him was saying anything. That there was a rumor that someone had abused him [sic], and I asked him of the source of the rumor.

*********************************


Q Are you aware that the secret archive and the protocol enumerated in the code of canon law 1917 and again enumerated in the canon law in 1983 was designed to keep these files secret to avoid scandal? Were you aware of that?
A No.
Q The next thing it says, "Maybe he should retire early, very quickly." Is that what he said to you?
A No, I said that to him- oh, he said – I recollect he said maybe he should retire early, but then he wanted to retire- but all that came out in that :30, because it was a brief conversation on the phone in the morning. And he wanted to stay in ministry until he celebrated his 50th anniversary, which was, I don't know, maybe a year to go. And I said, "I want you to retire now."
Q If you weren't concerned about scandal, why'd you have him retire immediately?
A Because he wouldn't tell me what "indiscreet" meant or give me the names of anyone.
Q If you weren't concerned about scandal, why did you tell the community of faith and the people at his parish where you then had him assigned that he was retiring for health reasons?
A Well, it was. He was elderly, 74 years old. He wasn't in great health. And he was due- he was 74 years old. A person's supposed to retire at 70. Only with the permission of the Bishop do they continue. He's already gone four years more. And I said I want you to retire early, period, flat.
Q Bishop, right before you have the entry "retire early, very quickly," you have abuse of- by him and other children. You have him admitting to being indiscreet and he's fearing scandal. And you're telling us here today that the retirement of him was because of health; is that what you're saying?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Argumentative.
THE WITNESS: I didn't say because of health.
THE COURT: Objection's sustained.
MR. ANDERSON: I'm sorry. I'm going to rephrase that question in a manner that wouldn't be objectionable.
Q Bishop, I'm sorry for raising my voice here. I apologize to the Court for doing that.
When you note that you're going to do a quick retirement here and you tell the people of faith that it's for health reasons, is it your testimony that it's not to avoid scandal?
A Yes.
Q Is it your testimony that you're being truthful, then, to the community of faith when you told them that he was allowed to retire and go back to Wisconsin for health reasons?
A Age- age and health.
Q Age and health reasons?
A Yes, yes.
Q Was that the truth?
A Yeah.
Q Were you telling the truth to the community of faith back then?
A There was no- there was no allegation against him. I mean, how could I say there was an allegation against him when there wasn't an allegation against him at that time? But I wanted to take him out of ministry because he would not tell me names of anyone or what "indiscreet" meant.
Q The last entry is, "I told him to come and see me at noon today." And he did. And at 12:30 evidently he came to see you?
A Yes.
Q And it reflects- and you wrote down here "No knowledge has come to me about this from any other source." Now, why would you write that?
A That I've never heard any scandal- not scandal, but I've never heard any accusation against him.
Q Bishop, in 1995 you're aware that there had been lawsuits across this country because of cover up of sexual abuse by Bishops like you? You're aware of that, were you not?
A Well, I don't really say- I'm not covering up anything.
Q No, no.
A That's an accusation you're making that is not true whatsoever.
Q I'm just asking, are you aware that in 1995, the time you wrote this memo, that there had been lawsuits across this country against Bishops for covering up sexual abuse? Were you aware of that?
A Only a few I think covered up. I think the press made- used the word "cover-up." I mean, how do you talk about something- you've got to protect also privacy rights and everything else. I think the word "cover-up" takes in a lot of things. I mean, you say the government covers up a lot. I don't know.
Q Let me ask you this, then: When you wrote this, "No knowledge has come to me about this from any source," were you trying to cover yourself and this Diocese when you wrote this?
A No, absolutely not. I'm saying that- that I have not gotten any allegation about him or heard any rumor about him to verify that this might be true.
Q: And you're also saying you'd never looked at the file, correct, before this time?
0 A No, I looked in the confidential file after-after- after- before I even wrote the note.
Q '95, you're telling us you never looked in the file; correct?
A The personnel file. Looked in the confidential file.
Q The personnel file?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Asked and answered.
THE COURT: Overruled.
THE WITNESS: I looked in the confidential file.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Right, but you had never looked at the personnel file before-
A No.
Q- you?
A No.
Q Okay. You go on to state, "If someone makes an accusation against him, I will have to put him on administrative leave, have a psychologist evaluate him to see if there is any danger now in his life of abusing children before returning him to ministry." There's a big "if" here. In other words, if nobody makes a direct accusation against him, you can put him back in ministry; is that what you're writing there?
A No. I'm planning on taking him out of ministry in a month. And I'm saying just in case someone might come, it will give me reason to suspect then, and I'll have to do this, take him out of ministry even earlier. I gave him a month to move-
Q You're-
A- even though there was no allegation.
Q Excuse me. You then write, "If persons who were abused (he hinted that it was possibly two boys.)" You say he "hinted," that is Monsignor Herdegen?
A Yes.
Q Hinted to you?
A That he was indiscreet with two boys. He did not admit the abuse.
Q Well, you use the word here "abuse," don't you?
A Well, I think it would be- I have no idea someone's- to me, whether you were abused or not, they're allegations. If persons who were claiming to be abused made allegations of abuse, that's taken for granted in that sentence-
Q Okay.
A- because I'm writing this late at night. I'm not saying- I'm not taking notes.

*********************************

Q You wrote that a person in Wasco was saying "Tony abused him and other children." My question to you is when Monsignor Herdegen, Tony, said that to you, did you ask him who is saying that?
A I do not believe he said it like that to me. I'm writing these notes late at night. And what he told me is I recollect that someone- there's a rumor that he- that he abused a child or children in Wasco.

*********************************


Q Did you ask him the names of these two boys who he hinted he may have abused?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Asked and answered.
THE COURT: Overruled.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Did you ask him names?
A I asked him what was the source of the rumors.
Q Bishop, listen to my question. You wrote here, "If persons who were abused (he hinted that it was possibly two boys)," you know that he hinted because you wrote it, that he had possibly abused two boys?
A No, no, no, he did not possibly. That he was indiscreet, he said, with two boys.
Q You used the word-
A He denied-
Q- "abused" here, didn't you?
A Yes.
Q Look at that word. Is that your word?
A Yes.
Q Okay. So he hinted- oh, you're saying here that you're not going to do anything unless they come forward?
A I have no allegation at this point. I'm saying- I'm making him leave in a month. Now I'm saying if someone comes to me before that month, I'm going to yank him out of there quicker.
Q So only if it goes public; is that what you're saying?
A No, if I get an allegation. I got no allegation. I have to have cause to take away his faculties; okay?
Q Yeah. So my question goes back to one I didn't get an answer to. Did you ask Herdegen about the two boys and who they were?
A I asked him the source of the rumors.
Q No-
A And in that I'm - I was implying - I can't remember exactly what I- if I asked the names of the boys, but I suspected that was the question I was asking him, what's the source of the rumors.
Q You can't remember if you asked him the names of the boys?
A I remember I asked him- I'm not going- if I don't remember, I don't remember. I mean, this is how many years ago? But I remember that I asked him what's the source of the rumor, which I intend to say who were the possible persons, you know, that are saying they were abused?
Q Did it occur to you that if he had abused these boys 10 or more years ago, they were suffering at that time and in need of help?
A If I don't have an allegation- he says he is- he's totally innocent. I have no way of knowing or not.
Q Don't you have to ask him to find out the names of the boys that he hinted at having abused?
A He didn't admit that he abused anyone. He said he did not abuse anyone.
Q I know. But he told you that there were two boys that he hinted at?
A That he hinted that he was indiscreet with.
Q So did you ask him, "What are the name of these two boys you're hinting at, Monsignor"?
A I cannot remember-
MS. McGUIRE: Asked and answered.
THE WITNESS:- if I specifically asked that or not.
THE COURT: Overruled.

*********************************

Q Did you ask him where he heard the rumor or from whom?
A Yeah, I said, "What's the source of the rumor?"
Q And what did he say?
A He said he didn't say anything. He wouldn't say -- tell me anything.
Q What, did he refuse to answer?
A Yeah.
Q Well, you're the Bishop. Can't you say, "Father, Monsignor, you tell me where you got this information or who said this so I can investigate this, and until you do or unless you do, I'm putting you on administrative leave"? Did you do that?
A He said -- he said he did not abuse anyone; okay?

*********************************


MR. ANDERSON: Q Let's look at "Action." And is this the action you took or the action that you were contemplating as you wrote this?
A This is the action that's going to happen.
Q It says, "He will announce next Sunday, April 30th, that he will retire May 30th. He already has plane ticket to visit his sister in Wisconsin and plans on retiring there. He will pay himself for vacation...." So it looks like you did- when did he get that plane ticket?
A He already had it. I don't know.
Q This is the first time retirement had been discussed with him, isn't it?
A Yes.
Q The first time retirement had ever been discussed with him was- is 6:30 in the morning when he called you and told you a rumor had surfaced; right?
A Yes.
Q And that's when, as you reflect here, you made the decision to retire him and send him to Milwaukee; is that what you did? A I didn't send him anyplace. He was going to visit 0 his sister in Milwaukee.
Q Now, it's your testimony here today, I think I heard you say, that you weren't concerned about scandal; right?
A No, no.
Q That this get out in public; right?
A No.
Q Let's-
A I just wanted to make sure that he was out of ministry just in case. I mean, I had no way of knowing this or not. There was no allegation against him. I wanted to be extra safe and sure for God's people.
Q Bishop, I- listen to my question now. I think you had said earlier that at this time you weren't concerned about scandal; correct?
A I'm not- no.
Q And you weren't concerned, if I heard you testify correctly, that- if I heard correctly, you testified that you had no concerns about this getting out in the public; is that right?
A I had no concerns about scandal. And if gets out there in the public, I have- I have no control over that, if rumors are going around the community.
Q Well, you're trying to keep it out of the public here?
A No, no, no, I'm not trying to keep it. I don't have a responsibility and I think I would be defaming his character if he's denying any wrong and I were to get that out in the public. I can't do that with someone whose claiming to be innocent.
Q Let's look at the paragraph above, second paragraph from the bottom: "I do not act on rumors, as I may hear from second or third hand parties about these accusations; but if a person who claims to have been abused contacts me, I will have to put him on administrative leave, take him out of the parish immediately." You wrote that; right?
A Yes.
Q Then you wrote, "If any of this becomes public by being in the media, he will leave the parish immediately." What are you doing here, Bishop?
A If someone comes to me with an allegation, I'm going to take him out of the- the parish.
Q Only if it's-
A He's the one who feared the scandal, not me.
Q Only if it's public? You're the one that wrote this. You're the one that said if it goes public, I take him out; if it doesn't, I move him out; right?
A I'm taking him out already in a month, but I'm saying if an accusation comes before that time, I'm going to take him out.
Q You didn't put him on administrative leave, did you?
A No.
Q Because it didn't go public?
A Because there was no-
Q No-
A No, because there was no allegation against him.
Q These are your words, Bishop. Let's take your words, your words, "If a person who claims to have been abused contacts me, I will have to put him on administrative leave." You had that power, right, to put him on administrative leave?
A If an allegation came to me.
Q And then you write, "...take him out of the parish immediately." You didn't do that, did you?
A Because I didn't have an allegation.
Q Okay.
A This is if an allegation comes to me before he's gone in a month.

*********************************

Q Are you aware that the secret archive and the protocol enumerated in the code of canon law 1917 and again enumerated in the canon law in 1983 was designed to keep these files secret to avoid scandal? Were you aware of that?
A No.
(CofA: Um, well if they're secret, will the bishop testify about them under oath?)

*********************************


Q Okay. Then let's look at the next "if." "If any of this- if any of this becomes public by being in the media, he will leave the parish immediately." In other words, if the public finds out about this, you pluck him out and send him away; right?
A If I get the allegation, I'm going to pluck him out.
THE COURT: All right. Ladies and gentlemen,we'll take our break now. We'll take our break. Do remember the admonitions during the break, and we will see you all in a few minutes.
(Thereupon the jury retired from the courtroom, and the following proceedings were had:)
THE COURT: For the record, the jurors have left. Counsel, we'll spend just a couple minutes talking about the- well, let me ask first, Mr. De Marco, did you read this?
MR. DE MARCO: Your Honor, I have, but I will confess that I've been watching the proceedings, too, Your Honor. I certainly haven't had an opportunity to conduct the legal research in response.
THE COURT: Well, I'm not sure how much legal research is required on this. I think what we'll have to do- again, I do appreciate being alerted to the issues, but I don't know what foundation will be laid with Father Doyle vis-a-vis these opinions. It does seem to me, without mentioning any of the specific opinions, that some of them very well may be speculative and not admissible; some of them may be admissible. So I think this is- this falls into the category of we will have to take it as it comes. I will listen for your objections, and if they're appropriate, I'll sustain them.
MR. WEAKLEY: I suspect we won't be getting to Father Doyle today.
THE COURT: Well, maybe, maybe not. We'll see. All right. We'll see you in a few minutes.
MR. DE MARCO: Thank you.
(Thereupon a recess was taken)
(Thereupon the jury returned to the courtroom, and the following proceedings were had:)
THE COURT: All right. Welcome back, folks. Please have a seat, everyone. We'll be back on the record with everyone present. Bishop Steinbock is seated on the stand. And, Mr. Anderson, you may resume your examination.
MR. ANDERSON: Thank you, Your Honor.
BISHOP JOHN STEINBOCK, resumed the witness stand and testified further as follows:
CONTINUED CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. ANDERSON:
Q Bishop, back to C-here. Below the paragraph about the public, if it becomes public, the next paragraph begins with, "There is no criminal problem, as the limit of statutes has passed." You wrote that, didn't you?
A Yes, but obviously I was wrong.
Q Well, you know, you're not a lawyer. What in theworld made you believe, mistakenly or otherwise, that the statute for criminal had passed?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Relevance.
THE WITNESS: I just thought that.
THE COURT: Overruled.

*********************************

Q Bishop, in 1995 you're aware that there had been lawsuits across this country because of cover up of sexual abuse by Bishops like you? You're aware of that, were you not?
A Well, I don't really say -- I'm not covering up anything.
Q I'm just asking, are you aware that in 1995, the time you wrote this memo, that there had been lawsuits across this country against Bishops for covering up sexual abuse? Were you aware of that?
A Only a few I think covered up. I think the press made- used the word "cover-up." I mean, how do you talk about something- you've got to protect also privacy rights and everything else. I think the word "cover-up" takes in a lot of things. I mean, you say the government covers up a lot. I don't know.

*********************************


MR. ANDERSON: Q What made you believe that?
A I just thought that.
Q Well, was that wishful thinking?
A No. I thought that was fact.
Q Bishop, when did you first realize or learn that when an adult lays his hands on the genitals of a child and manipulates the genitals of a child and places them on the body of a child for sexual purposes, it was a crime? When did you first realize that?
A You know, it's really hard for me to say. I think society-
Q No, you.
A Me?
Q You.
A I think I thought, along with society, for so many years it was-
Q Bishop, I'm going to ask you to focus on the question. When did you first learn that it was a crime for an adult, a person over the age of 8, to engage in sex with a kid?
A Well, I think we would all think that was always a criminal case.
Q If you knew that, then why didn't you turn it over to the law enforcement for them to determine whether or not a crime had been committed and the statute of limitations had passed or not?
A Because I do not have an allegation of that against him. This is way back in 1995. As I said, I had no cause to take his faculties away. There was no allegation.
Q You were concerned about a civil suit because you go on to say, "There can always be a civil suit"; right?
A Well, there can always be a civil suit. But I'm also thinking of his- you know, that might be a civil suit against him. I mean, I wasn't aware that they'd probably just come at the Diocese alone. I figured they would also go after the priest.
Q You're not concerned about the Diocese's exposure here; is that-
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Relevance.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, let me rephrase. Q Are you suggesting to us that you're not concerned about the exposure of the Diocese here-
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Relevance.
MR. ANDERSON: Q- by how you're handling this?
THE COURT: Overruled.
THE WITNESS: I believed I did everything a reasonable person could do to protect God's people and to do what's the best interest of God and the people of God.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Well, you go on to write here- why don't you read what you write here beginning with "There can always be a civil suit," and then read that for the jury.
A "If there is a civil suit," this is if an allegation comes out later, not now-
Q Bishop, would you read it, please.
A Okay. "If there is a civil suit, he will have to get his own lawyer, as the diocesan lawyer cannot take his case, as he may have to defend the Diocese, and there can always be a conflict of interest." That's also with if there was sexual abuse here.
Q Thank you for reading that. And you read it the way you wrote it in 1995; right?
A Right.
Q And it reflected the state of mind that you had at that time in 1995 when you wrote it; right?
A Well, you know, I did this late at night; and you know, it's all with supposition that he's innocent. But if there should be some guilt to come out later, find out about it, then this would- this is where it would have happened. But I still have no allegation regarding this whatsoever.
Q Bishop, look at the next document in the confidential file. It's marked . Do you see it? At the top it says, "Tony Herdegen"?
A Yes.
Q Dated March , 2002?
A Yes.
Q This is a document also in the "C" file and- the confidential file, prepared by you, notes to yourself for the file; correct?
A Yes.

*********************************

Q Okay. You go on to state, "If someone makes an accusation against him, I will have to put him on administrative leave, have a psychologist evaluate him to see if there is any danger now in his life of abusing children before returning him to ministry." There's a big "if" here. In other words, if nobody makes a direct accusation against him, you can put him back in ministry; is that what you're writing there?
A No. I'm planning on taking him out of ministry in a month. And I'm saying just in case someone might come, it will give me reason to suspect then, and I'll have to do this, take him out of ministry even earlier. I gave him a month to move --
Q You're --
A -- even though there was no allegation.
(CofA: Do you hear a panicked liar in that tone?)

**********************************



MR. ANDERSON: I'll offer C-.
MS. McGUIRE: No objection.
THE COURT: It will be received.
(Thereupon Plaintiffs' Exhibit No. C-2, a document dated 3/22/02, was received in evidence.)
MR. ANDERSON: Q This is now seven years later, isn't it, Bishop?
A Uh, five- yes.
Q And Dan Avila spoke to you. Dan Avila is one of your priests; correct?
A Yes.
Q And at that time what position did he hold in the Diocese?
A I believe he was pastor at Hanford.
Q And it states that Phil Scarborough or Scarbano-Scribarno, in his 40s, was told by his brother James that a group of people, two or three, asked if anything happened to him when he was young at Wasco when Father Herdegen was there. So you got another report here, don't you?
A Yes.
Q And it goes on to state, and you write, "I called Dan Avila." Did you call him the next day?
A The next day.
Q And you told him to speak to Phil; correct?
A Yes.
Q And you told him to tell Phil- why don't you read what you wrote there, and then I'm going to ask you what you mean in the first three lines.
A "I called Dan Avila. Speak to Phil (If you cannot speak directly to his brother James) to speak to his brother. Tell him that Father Avila mentioned this to Bishop, and Bishop wanted to follow this up." So I could find out if there's a victim.
Q So when you say "Bishop," you're writing this?
A About myself- whoops, excuse me.
Q Okay. You're writing this to yourself, and you refer to yourself as "Bishop"?
A Yes.
Q The next sentence, would you read what you wrote.
A "This is the first time anyone has said anything of Monsignor Herdegen in this regard."
Q That's a lot like what you wrote in 1995 in Exhibit C-when you said, "No knowledge has come to me about this from any other source," isn't it?
A I'm saying that I have no knowledge. No one else approached me, other than Monsignor Herdegen himself, regarding this.
Q So are you concerned about the same things in 2002 when you write this confidential file- memo for your eyes only and the others that you allow in the Diocese- let me rephrase that. At the time you're writing this, are you thinking about the same things you were thinking about in 1995 when you wrote C-2?
A No, because now I have an allegation that apparently is against him from someone, and I'm trying to find out who's making this allegation so I can find out if there's any credibility or not.
Q It goes on to state, "If anything did happen, the Bishop needs to know this, wants to apologize, and offer to pay for counseling if he is in need." Before you testified, George Santillan did. And I asked him, "George, has the Bishop or anybody from his office ever come to you or offered an apology to you?" And you know what he said?
A No.
Q He said no. Why not?
A I had Father Dan Avila speak to them, offering- exactly doing what I said here, "The Bishop needs to know this, wants to apologize, and offered to pay for any counseling if he is in need." I had Dan Avila speak, I think, to both- both brothers. And also Pat Gordon, when he did the investigation, I also told him to make sure- you know, that the Bishop would like to see them and offer counseling to them.
Q I'm going to refer you to Exhibit C-3. This is typewritten to Bishop John Steinbock regarding Monsignor Herdegen, Tony Herdegen. It states, "Bishop." Who wrote this document?
A Dan Avila.
Q And it's maintained in the "C" file, and it's written to you; correct?
A Yes.
MR. ANDERSON: I'd offer C-3.
MS. McGUIRE: I'm sorry, which one is it? Is it-
MR. ANDERSON: It's to Bishop John Steinbock re Monsignor Tony Herdegen. "Bishop, at your request I followed up on information received."
MS. McGUIRE: I know, but there's two that have notes at the bottom.
MR. ANDERSON: Got handwritten notes at the bottom.
MS. McGUIRE: Okay. Does it say "received"?
MR. ANDERSON: Received April 10th.
MS. McGUIRE: Okay. No objection.
THE COURT: It will be received.
(Thereupon Plaintiffs' Exhibit No. C-3, a letter from Fr. Dan Avila, was received in evidence.)
MR. ANDERSON: Q Bishop, this is not signed, but you say it is written to you. From whom?
A From Dan Avila.
Q And at this- at this point is Dan Avila, Father Avila, the designated person investigating this matter the way you've designated Pat Gordon to investigate?
A No. I sent Father Avila to try to find out the names of the persons who were abused so I could have Pat Gordon do the investigation.
Q And the handwriting at the bottom is whose?
A Is my handwriting.
Q Would you read for the jury, please, and the Court what you wrote.
A "Received this notice"- doesn't say "this notice." "Received April 0th, 2002. Pat Gordon, same day," meaning I gave it to Pat Gordon to follow up on and investigate.
Q Just- why don't you just read the note, please, and I'll have a question.
A Okay. "I will call priest and try to have him track down Santillans through Scribarnos. Have Father talk to Santillans, and if it is true, to ask them to contact the Bishop so he is assured they are all right. Counseling if necessary. Letter read in churches on weekend of April 6-7 should be sufficient in searching for any other possible victims."
Q And this is what you wrote before a letter was actually read in the parish; right? You did have a letter read later; right?
A I had the letter read before I received the letter. I had already gotten the note from Dan Avila about the possibility of Monsignor Herdegen having sexually abused, and I had that very- was- that was March 3rd, and then on April 6th and 7th, I had this letter read in all the parishes of the whole Diocese, and I didn't receive this note from Dan.
In fact, I remember calling him and saying, "Remember I asked you to send me a note in writing?" And then I received that April 0th. So I had- I had- I had the letter read in all the parishes before I even received this note from Father Avila.
Q Who led you to believe that reading a letter in the parishes should be sufficient? Is that your judgment or the judgment made by somebody else?
A I think that's a policy of most Dioceses.
Q I'm referring to Exhibit C-4, and this reflects a four-page document that is- what is, C-4?

************************************

Q Did you ask him what he was referring to when he wrote to you [in 1995] about the mistakes that he had made in the past?
A Well, I think every person could talk about mistakes they've made in the past, so I had no reason-
Q Bishop-
A- to ask him. No, I did not ask him.
Q Excuse me. Okay. Thank you. And when he wrote to you that he had made these mistakes in the past, why didn't you ask him, "What are you talking about, Father? What mistakes have you made?"
A Well, I could tell you a lot of mistakes
(CofA: Hedging.)

************************************


A It's summary transcript of conversations with Howard Marion Santillan.
Q And you had this transcribed. And this is an interview and a recording of it as prepared by Father Avila with Howard Santillan; correct?
A No. This, I'm sure, would have been Pat Gordon.
Q Okay. Excuse me, Pat Gordon.
At this point is Pat Gordon your designated guy to do investigation for you pertaining to sexual abuse?
A Yes.
Q And this reflects that interview; correct?
A That's what it says.
MS. McGUIRE: I'm going to object that it lacks foundation.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. ANDERSON: Q This was presented to you, was it not? A It would have been presented to me after he did the- I don't remember at this moment what this contains, because I haven't looked at it since. This would have been
Q And Bishop-
A April- oh, I think April 6th is when he gave it to me, and that-
Q Bishop, let me just ask you a question here, please. This summary is a document that was prepared by Pat Gordon is what I hear you say; correct?
MS. McGUIRE: I'm going to object. It calls for speculation.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Was this prepared at your direction as a part of investigation of this matter?
A Yes, he'd make a report of this investigation.
Q Okay. And who is to make the report?
A Pat Gordon, the human resources director.
Q And is this his report of that investigation?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Calls for speculation. Lacks foundation.
THE COURT: Do you know whether that's his report or not, Bishop Steinbock?
THE WITNESS: Well, as I say, I really don't remember having- I'm sure I read it.
THE COURT: No, that's not-
THE WITNESS: Okay.
THE COURT: The question is do you know whether the document you're looking at is Mr. Gordon's report, yes or no?
MS. McGUIRE: Maybe he'll have to take a minute to look at it.
THE COURT: Yeah, you're welcome to look at it.
MS. McGUIRE: If you'd like.
(Witness examines document.)
THE WITNESS: I would say yes, it's his report.
MR. ANDERSON: I'm going to ask a foundational question, Your Honor.
Q There was some earlier testimony- well, let me ask you this: Do you know if it was Pat Gordon or Father Avila that went and spoke to Howard Santillan?
A I had Father Avila try to find out who the alleged victims were. I'd have to read Father Avila's note to me. I'm not sure whether he talked to them or not.
Q Well, it states, first at the top, April 2002; correct?
A April 2002.
Q Look at the first page. It says April 7, 2002. Do you see that?
A Tell me the C what, C-?
Q -4.
A C-4?
Q It was the first page.
A Okay.
Q Do you see it?
A I'm seeing it, yes.
Q Okay. Would you please read this. Look at this and see if you can identify what it is for us, Bishop. It's
in your "C" file.
A It's a report on his investigation.
Q Done at your request?
A At my request.
Q And when you say "his," who is the "his" that's doing the investigation for you?
A Pat Gordon, the human resources director.
MR. ANDERSON: Thank you. I'll offer C-4.

************************************

MR. ANDERSON: Q You allowed him to continue to minister and exercise his faculties in Milwaukee; correct?
A No, not his faculties. I told him not to exercise- I didn't take away his faculties, but I told him not to exercise his priestly ministry.
Q Where is it written, if at all, that you in any way restricted his faculties to minister in 1995?
A I didn't restrict his faculties. I simply asked him not to do any ministry-
(CofA: Doubletalk)

***********************************


THE COURT: Any objection?
MS. McGUIRE: Your Honor, my objections were addressed earlier in terms of certain redactions, but I don't have any-
THE COURT: Oh, is this the-
MS. McGUIRE: Right, right. I have no objection.
THE COURT: That's not an objection to admissibility.
MS. McGUIRE: Right.
THE COURT: All right. The document will be received, but Mr. Anderson, you understand- you recall our discussion with respect to publishing it at this point?
MR. ANDERSON: Very mindful.
THE COURT: All right.
(Thereupon Plaintiffs' Exhibit No. C-4, a investigation report, was received in evidence.)
MR. ANDERSON: Q This reflects an interview that was done of Howard Santillan, was it not?
A Yes.
Q It also at the second page reflects that Mr. Gordon, on April 24th, 2002, states, "Today I met with Howard Santillan and his mother at their home in Wasco." Were you aware that he met with Howard and his mother?
A Yes.
Q And this reflects his findings as reported to you; correct?
A Yes.
Q And look at the third page. That goes on to discuss his findings as a result of information he got from Howard and his mother in that meeting; correct?
A Yes.
Q Look at the fourth page. It states at the second to the top paragraph: "Finally Howard told me he had discussed my earlier call to him with brother George and that he would be willing to talk to me." It states: "He is presently recovering from a liver transplant, and I obtained his phone number in Phoenix, Arizona. George Santillan, [REDACTED]. After this information has been considered and determination can be made whether or not to pursue a phone interview with him, given George's health, I think this would only be after a decision is made as to what direction this investigation will take." My question to you is, Bishop, did you after getting his phone number, that is, George's, ever make a call or anybody else at your direction make a call to George to get information or apologize?
A I think I take for granted that Pat Gordon would have followed up.
Q Going to refer you to the next exhibit, which is marked -8.
MR. WATERS: Just, for the record, Mr. Anderson moved in Exhibit- or C-3. That should be the entire memo. I just 0 want to make sure the record's clear.
MR. ANDERSON: Excuse me.
THE COURT: The exhibit was received. I'm not sure-
MS. McGUIRE: I think it was C-that we were just talking about.
MR. ANDERSON: Yes, C-is page . It's actually C-4 through -7, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Is that- is that one document?
MR. ANDERSON: It is.
MS. McGUIRE: Okay.
THE COURT: Any objection to -5, -6, and -7?
MS. McGUIRE: No objection, except for what we've discussed.
THE COURT: Sure.
MR. ANDERSON: My error.
THE COURT: No problem.
MR. ANDERSON: Thank you. Q I'd like to direct your attention to C-8, Bishop. Again, this is a memo to you. At the top it's your handwriting, "Received April 6, 2002"; correct?
A Yes.
Q And it's regarding Monsignor Herdegen and addressed to you as Bishop; correct?
A Yes, it's the same letter that was C something.
Q Okay. It's just a copy of the other letter; right?
0 A Yes.
Q Okay. C-9, I don't know why- if it's- I think the other letter didn't have handwriting at the bottom of it, did it?
A Yes.
Q It did. Okay.
A Very important handwriting.
Q I direct your attention to C-9. Now, this is May 3rd; correct?
A Yes.
Q And this is a letter from you to Monsignor Herdegen; correct?
A Yes.
Q On May 3rd; is that correct?
A Yes.
Q And you kept this and had it put into the confidential file?
A Oh, I think it may have been, I'm not sure-
Q Okay.
A- in the regular file, too.
MR. ANDERSON: I'll offer C-9.
MS. McGUIRE: No objection.
THE COURT: It will be received.
(Thereupon Plaintiffs' Exhibit No. C-9, a May letter, was received in evidence.)
MR. ANDERSON: Q And in your letter to Monsignor Herdegen, you write, "As I told you in our phone conversation of April 6, you no longer have faculties to exercise your priesthood publicly while the allegations against you, though many years ago, are under investigation." Would it be correct to say that at this point in time, you still believed Monsignor Herdegen had not committed a crime?
A No, after the investigation by Pat Gordon, so- I called him on April 6th to take his faculties away. And I now have cause canonically to take his faculties away.
Q You go on to state, the second paragraph, to Monsignor Herdegen, "I want to assure you very much of my support and prayers during this very difficult time for you." You're concerned about Monsignor Herdegen, aren't you?
A I'm concerned for everyone.

***********************************

Q You didn't tell her anything about about other reasons for his retirement, did you?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Vague.
THE COURT: Overruled.
THE WITNESS: There would be no reason for me to say anything. No reason whatsoever.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Well, you know she's got a grandson or two that are in the middle of a divorce that Monsignor Herdegen has a relationship with and has for years. Isn't that a good reason to maybe protect this kid or these kids?
A I would say that's not quite phrased directly-correctly. To say that, you know, they had any danger, I would not agree with that.
Q Well, obviously, because you didn't do anything; right?

**********************************


Q You treat your priests like family, do you not, as Bishop?
A I don't think all priests would say that. I mean, they're my brothers in the Lord.
Q Of course they are.
A Yeah.
Q And you're close and loyal and- and because you don't have children of your own, you treat many of the priests like- well, as a shepherd and as your children in some ways; correct?
A No. They're my brothers, not my children.
Q Well, you have affection for them?
A Yeah. But I care for everyone. I would never do something for a priest that would put anyone in danger in their lives, of God's people.
Q Well, you're concerned about how this is such a difficult time for him; correct?
A Yeah, it's a difficult time for him. It's a difficult time, especially, for the Santillans.
Q Did you ever send any letters to the Santillan family talking about the difficult time that they've been through for decades?
A You know, the main thing, I had Pat Gordon-
Q Did you do that, Bishop? Answer the question.
A No, because I had Pat Gordon reach out to them, care and concern and please come and see the Bishop.
Q Bishop, did you ever send a letter of support, of support such as you sent to Monsignor Herdegen, expressing concern for their well-being, prayers, or anything like that that you sent to Herdegen here?
A Well, you got to realize in the same letter to Herdegen, I'm taking away his faculties. I mean, I'm not just simply reaching out to him. I'm taking his faculties away and letting him know I'm going to keep him in my prayers, as I do everyone.
Q So your answer is you never sent a letter to the victims; right?
A No, because I figured Pat Gordon would follow through with all of that.
Q Exhibit is what, Bishop?
A This is-
Q And- excuse me, Bishop. These are really one document, are they not?
A Yes.
Q And this is what?
A Well, this is why I have a human resources director who knows the law and what he has to do legally. It's information to Kern County District Attorney from Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, law enforcement purposes.
Q And this was sent at your direction?
A Yes.
Q Okay.
A But I'd forgotten about it.
Q And maintained in your confidential file; correct?
A Uh, yes.
MR. ANDERSON: I'll offer--
THE COURT: Any objection?
MR. ANDERSON:- -, and -.
MS. McGUIRE: No objection.
THE COURT: They will be received.
(Thereupon Plaintiff's Exhibit No. C-11, C-, and C-11, a document, was received in evidence.)
MR. ANDERSON: Q Directing your attention to another exhibit-
MR. WATERS: Let me get the binder for him.
MR. ANDERSON: And Mr. Waters is going to get a clean copy, as evidently I don't have one.
Q After this- while he does that, for the record, Counsel, Mr. Waters is directing the witness to Exhibit 234.
Do you have 234 before you, Bishop?
A Yes.
Q And it is a two-pager, which would be 34. And this is a handwritten letter to you, is it not?
A Yes.
Q From Monsignor Herdegen?
A Yes.
Q And you recognize his handwriting?
A Well, I wouldn't recognize his handwriting, but I'm sure it must be.
Q And it says on April 25th, '95; correct?
A Yes.
Q This is 1995. And underneath it says, "The feast of St. Mark." Is that the date of the Feast of St. Mark?
A I'm- I can't say for sure.
Q Well, you failed theology today, then. It says- I'll offer
MS. McGUIRE: No objection.
THE COURT: It will be received.
(Thereupon Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 234, a document, was received in evidence.)
MR. ANDERSON: Q It says, "Reverend Bishop John." That's you, isn't it?
A Yes.
Q And this is his letter of resignation, is it not?
A Yes.
Q At the third paragraph of his letter of resignation to you, read for the jury what he wrote to you.
A Beginning at the start?
Q "I'm grateful to God for this."
A "I'm grateful to God for this. The mistake- mistakes I have made in the past, I beg God's mercy and forgiveness. I appreciate your goodness, loving fatherly care, and your concern for me in the past and now in the present. Please accept my request for retirement, going on 78. I feel the need is urgent. I'm sure my people will understand this and not blame you. You have been so helpful in lifting up my spirit with your warm welcome and heartfelt understanding. May God bless you for it. I pray God gives you health of soul and body for the many years you still have of Bishop- as Bishop and thereafter."
Q When he writes to you, as you read it there at the third paragraph, "I'm grateful to God for this," and then he states, "the mistakes I have made in the past," I beg God's mercy and forgiveness," what is he referring to?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Speculation.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Did you ask him what he's referring to by the mistakes of the past?
A Well, first of all, "I'm grateful to God for this"-
Q Bishop, just listen to this question, and I'll ask you another.
A Okay.
Q Did you ask him what he was referring to when he wrote to you about the mistakes that he had made in the past?
A Well, I think every person could talk about mistakes they've made in the past, so I had no reason-
Q Bishop-
A- to ask him. No, I did not ask him.
Q Excuse me. Okay. Thank you. And when he wrote to you that he had made these mistakes in the past, why didn't you ask him, "What are you talking about, Father? What mistakes have you made?"
A Well, I could tell you a lot of mistakes, but mainly with ministry. He was very conservative.
Q You're requiring his resignation at this point; right? This is 1995.
A Yes.
Q And he's resigning because of mistakes-
A No, no.
Q- that he's acknowledging that he has made in the past?
A He doesn't say he's retiring for that reason in this letter.
Q I'm going to direct you to 35. Now, you'll see that this on Diocese of Fresno stationery. It's April 27th, 1995?
A Yes.
Q And this is a letter from you to Monsignor Herdegen?
A Yes.
Q And maintained in the same confidential file; correct- excuse me, in the personnel file of Monsignor Herdegen?
A I imagine.

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MR. ANDERSON: Okay. I'll offer it.
MS. McGUIRE: No objection.
THE COURT: It will be received.
(Thereupon Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 235, a 4/27/95 letter, was received in evidence.)
MR. ANDERSON: Q It's dated April 27th, 1995, and this would be three days after the 1995 memo that we had gone through quite extensively; is that correct? You remember, you had prepared on April 4th?
A Okay. Yes, yes.
Q Okay. This is three days later. You got it?
A Got it.
Q Okay. At the fourth paragraph, you write after you say, "Dear Tony"- you wrote it. Why don't you read it, beginning with "I certainly."
A "I certainly encourage you to continue to be helpful in ministry as your health enables you in the Diocese where you will be retiring."
Q You are writing to him, are you not, by these words recorded at that time that you are expecting him to be- to- you are expecting him to continue to be helpful in ministry; correct?
A I do not believe I'm referring to priestly ministry, because I told him not to be involved in priestly ministry. Ministry for a priest is like a layperson helping people in many different ways.
Q Well, you sent it to Reverend Monsignor Ronald Swett, Dean. Who's that?
A He was the Dean of Kern County, Kern-Inyo County.
Q And you also sent it to Mr. Gary Bethke, the fiscal manager?
A Yes.
Q In other words, you were letting them know that you are encouraging him to continue to be helpful in ministry, as his health enables, in the Diocese where he was retiring, which was Milwaukee; correct?
A Well, I'm not saying in priestly ministry.
Q Now, while you say you had suspended his faculty at that point- did you say that?
A No, no, I did not say that. I said I did not have cause to even take away his faculties.
Q So you allowed him to continue in ministry, whatever faculties he wanted to minister, in Milwaukee;
correct?
A Ask that question again.
Q You allowed him to continue in ministry-
A I-
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Vague.
THE REPORTER: I'm sorry, I can't-
THE COURT: Did you understand the question, Bishop Steinbock?
THE WITNESS: Better ask it again.
THE COURT: All right. Would you restate it, please.
MR. ANDERSON: Q You allowed him to continue to minister and exercise his faculties in Milwaukee; correct?
A No, not his faculties. I told him not to exercise- I didn't take away his faculties, but I told him not to exercise his priestly ministry.
Q Where is it written, if at all, that you in any way restricted his faculties to minister in 1995?
A I didn't restrict his faculties. I simply asked him not to do any ministry-
Q Well-
A- because I did not take away his faculties because I did not have cause.
Q So the only ones, then, that knew that were you and him, right, that's it?
A That's it.
Q Would you refer to 37, please. This would come out of the personnel file. Do you have that before you?
A Yes.
Q Says, "Dear Bishop." And this is from Charlean Downing, is it not?
A Yes.
Q And you received this, did you not, because it's in the file; correct?
A It's in the file.
MR. ANDERSON: Okay. I'll offer it.
MS. McGUIRE: Relevance.
THE COURT: Does someone have a copy I can look at?
MR. ANDERSON: Your Honor, there's another document that puts some context to it that follows.
THE COURT: All right. The objection's overruled.
MR. ANDERSON: Thank you. Referring back to 237, I offer2 37.
THE COURT: It will be received.
(Thereupon Plaintiffs' Exhibit No. 237, Charlean Downing letter, was received in evidence.)
MR. ANDERSON: Q Bishop, this is the letter from a parishioner, is it not?
A Yes.
Q And it says, "Dear Bishop." Would you read the first paragraph that she wrote to you.
A "This is to let you know that I feel letting Monsignor go early is a mistake. He was the only thing my grandsons had after the divorce, and he made them feel important and wanted. During this hard three years, he was the only thing that kept the oldest one way"- "halfway tracking." I don't understand that. "Kept the oldest one"-
Q Okay. You got the first paragraph.
A Okay.
Q So I'm reading this, she is writing to you complaining that you had let Monsignor go early and that was a mistake because he had such a- a close relationship with her grandsons; correct?
A Well, he made them feel important and wanted by her, she was saying that.
Q It goes on to say, "During this hard three years"- during evidently the divorce- "he was the only thing that kept the closest one halfway tracking"- oh, "the oldest one halfway tracking." In other words, Monsignor Herdegen had a close relationship with her grandson; right?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Speculation.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Is that the way you read it?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Speculation.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. ANDERSON: Q You responded to her letter, did you not?
A I don't remember. I don't remember-
Q I'll show you-
A- remember even getting it.
Q- Exhibit 238, Bishop.
A Okay.
Q Came out of that file. And it's dated May 20th. Do you see 238?
A Yes.
Q The same day as 237, May 20th?
A Uh-
Q It’s dated May 20th, Bishop, from Charlean Downing where she talks about a mistake and her grandsons and the divorce?
A Okay. Okay.
Q Do you see that?
A Yes.
Q Now, 238, do you see that?
A Yes.
Q It's dated the same date?
A Yes.
Q Okay. So you write her back the same day; correct?
A I don't know if I wrote her back. This is to someone else.
Q Well, this looks like it might be somebody else.
A Look at 240.
Q I think I have it out of order. Pardon me. Look at 240. I was mistaken. Look at 240, please. You have 24
before you?
A Yes.
Q And that is your response to- to the letter from Charlean Downing; correct?
A Yes.
Q And written by you and dated May 15th, 1995; correct?
A Yes.
MR. ANDERSON: I'll offer 240.
MS. McGUIRE: No objection.
THE COURT: It will be received.
(Thereupon Plaintiffs' Exhibit No. 40, a response to Downing letter, was received in evidence.)
MR. ANDERSON: Q And in it you write, "Dear Charlean," at the second paragraph you write, "I certainly am in accord with you. The people of God in Lake Isabella have truly been blessed by his presence. Monsignor was the one to ask me to retire for health reasons." You wrote that to her, didn't you?
A Yes.
Q You didn't tell her anything about anything that we've been talking about here in this courtroom here today about other reasons for his retirement, did you?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Vague.
THE COURT: Overruled.
THE WITNESS: There would be no reason for me to say anything. No reason whatsoever.
MR. ANDERSON: Q Well, you know she's got a grandson or two that are in the middle of a divorce that Monsignor Herdegen has a relationship with and has for years. Isn't that a good reason to maybe protect this kid or these kids?
A I would say that's not quite phrased directly-correctly. To say that, you know, they had any danger, I would not agree with that.
Q Well, obviously, because you didn't do anything; right?
MS. McGUIRE: Objection. Lack-
THE COURT: The objection's sustained.
MR. ANDERSON: I withdraw. I apologize for it.
THE COURT: We'll go ahead and take our break, then. Ladies and gentlemen, remember we're not starting tomorrow until 11:30. Do remember the admonitions. Don't have any discussions with anyone about the case. Don't form or express any opinions about it. And I'm going to amplify on one 0 thing- or several things, actually. I know that there was a newspaper in the jury room today, and I was told by the bailiff that you were not reading the article related to this case which appeared in the same section. And I'm going to strongly caution all of you not to read any of the news reports about the case. It's not that I have anything against the media. It is simply that things arereported that are not necessarily received in evidence in this case for very good reasons, and these are things that you should not consider.
So don't read the news reports about the case; don't watch the TV coverage about the case; don't listen to the radio coverage about the case; don't follow the case on the Internet if it's even being carried on the Internet; don't do any research on the Internet; and don't communicate with anybody about the case. All right. Does everybody understand that? It's very important.
All right. Have a very nice evening, ladies and gentlemen. We'll see you tomorrow.

*******************
I, RAQUEL ROBLES, Official Certified Shorthand Reporter of the State of California, County of Fresno, do hereby certify that the foregoing pages contain a full, true, and correct transcript of my shorthand notes and a full, true, and correct statement of the proceedings had and testimony given as reflected herein.
Dated this 19TH day of March, 20029.

_____________________________________
RAQUEL ROBLES, C.S.R., R.P.R., C.R.R.
Certificate No. 200200

(Next in this series: “What Melissa Huckaby Heard,” Steinbock Testimony Day 2)

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1 comment:

city of angels lady said...

Arthur Baselice of Philadelphia writes this comment:

I just read the entire transcript and some one should tell 'Steinbeck' he only makes matters worse when he avoids telling the TRUTH ! His responses are full of lies.
Also he should pick up a dictionary and learn the meanings of: "rumor and allegation." It is interesting that he sent an investigator / personnel employee ( Pat) to meet with the victims I am sure it was to provide aid and comfort !