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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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Re Missing Link collection below: Email editor Jay Nelson of Albuquerque at jay@sarabite.info CLICK IMAGES to enlarge

Sunday, December 19, 2010

L.A. Personnel File battle and new book by Albuquerque victim: 2 sides of the pedophile priest issue

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(Same story as posted here last Wednesday with less offensive headline*... I liked the headline but several people said they did not think it was funny....)

“I was in hell and I couldn't tell anyone. Who do you tell that a priest said God wants you to ejaculate with him?”- Albuquerque victim. “Roman Catholic dogma holds that its clergy are representatives of God and Christ on Earth,” defense attorney for pedophile priests.

Two different items that came across my desk Tuesday show the current state of miscommunication between the Catholic Church and thousands of people who came forward as victims of pedophile priests in the past decade. So in this post, City of Angels Blog is running coinciding quotes from the two pieces.

First source, yet another document in the Church's ongoing effort to prevent priest personnel files, promised in 510 abuse cases settled in L.A. in 2007, from even being turned over to a mediating judge for possible release to the public. Filed Dec. 1 in L.A. Superior Court, we have quotes from "Declaration of Donald Steier," attorney for L.A. Archdiocese who defends numerous priests in California. Second source is a book published last month, by one victim of one priest in Albuquerque co-written with a local reporter. "Raped: Memories of a Catholic Altar Boy” delivers graphic accounts of Fr. Robert** John Smith's excapades with a teenage boy in New Mexico motel rooms in the 1970s.

Steier [pictured at right] continues to argue that files of priests involved in clergy abuse settlements should not be turned over for public scrutiny, because of specific Catholic beliefs, such as the mystery of Confession. Dioceses around the country use similar arguments for legal secrecy, claiming 1st Amendment religious freedom; in fact, in Connecticut the Church appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to keep personnel files secret, and lost just last year. Still Steier claims:

“Every Roman Catholic priest I have represented believed his private communications to the Archbishop or Vicar for Clergy or diocesan counsel would be and remain confidential.” {CofA: If these guys are so godly, and the priests are so innocent, what is the L.A. Archdiocese and Cardinal Roger Mahony really trying to hide in these files?]

Monte and Domrzalski write in Raped: Memories of a Catholic Altar Boy :

"You remember Fr. Smith, my intermediary to God who kept a duffle bag full of porn magazines, a supply of Schlitz Malt Liquor and smokes he gave me, dildos, vibrators, plugs, a blowup sex doll, and pills he gave me to calm my nerves and help me perform. I’ll share with you how he would masturbate, stick his fingers up his ass, and then say Mass and distribute the Holy Eucharist."

Steier repeats the circular argument he’s made in numerous motions filed last two years to prevent release of priest files: that the Catholic Church has to cover its pedophile crimes because secrecy and a special Confessional relationship are part of the Catholic religion. Steier writes that the relationship between a Roman Catholic priest is “Integral to Roman Catholic dogma that holds that its clergy are representatives of God and Christ on Earth.” As a result “Confidential communication from priests to their superiors is required and has been promised to the priests.”
On Page 25 of “Raped” Larry Monte and Dennis Domrzalski write: “Father Robert John Smith was able to ingratiate himself into my family. My parents were devout. They thought priests were God’s representatives and could do no wrong.”

{CofA: I think the crimes of 5700 priests discovered in last ten years in USA pretty much proves Catholic Clergy are not representatives of Christ on Earth, but Church Attorneys still pull this rabbit out of a hat and use it to obstruct the pursuit of truth.]

Most controversial in Steier’s declaration, and why it ended up in my News Alerts, is the Church Attorney’s denouncement of plaintiffs in the L.A. Clergy Cases from 2007, claiming a good half the cases were exaggerated, some totally false, inferring allegations against priests he represents are false, the plaintiffs were con artists who got the idea from reading the SNAP message board. SNAP and Joelle Casteix in Los Angeles held a press event outside Steier’s office Monday to protest remarks Steier makes in the Declaration, quoted here:

“In a number of cases, to aid my investigation, I have had accused priest clients take polygraph examinations performed by very experienced former law enforcement experts, including LAPD, the Sheriff Department, and FBI. In many cases the examinations showed my clients’ denial of wrongdoing was ‘truthful,’ and in those cases I offered in writing to the accuser to undergo a similar polygraph examination at my expense.

“In every case the accuser refused to have his veracity tested by that investigative tool, which is routinely used by intelligence agencies. In my investigations of many cases, I have seen the stories of some accusers change significantly over time, sometimes altering years, locations, and what activity was alleged. In every case, the changes seemed to have enabled or enhanced claims against my clients, or drastically increased alleged damages. In several cases my investigation has provided objective information that could not be reconciled with the truthfulness of the subjective allegations.

“In other words, in many cases objective facts showed that accusations were false. One retired FBI agent who worked with me to investigate many claims in the Clergy Cases told me, in his opinion, about ONE-HALF [his emphasis] of the claims made in the Clergy Cases were either entirely false or so greatly exaggerated that the truth would not have supported a prosecutable claim for childhood sexual abuse.

Monte and Domrzalski write about the Johnson victim’s life since the serial rapes:

"You need to know that thirty-eight years later, you people, your Church, your cardinals and your Holy See are still violently raping me and the more than 15,000 * other kids in the United States- who knows how many worldwide- who were sexually abused and raped by your priests over the decades.

"You've been debasing us in that you and your hypocritical organization won’t take responsibility for the monsters you set loose on us boys and girls, savaging us in that you've tried to keep us silent with your money, dehumanizing us with your twisted and laughable claims that you're being persecuted, stomping on our minds in that you have cared more about your image, organization, and pedophile priests than you have about God’s children; and spitting on our souls by covering up crimes and harboring criminals."

Steier goes on with his arguments that the accusations in the L.A. Clergy Cases could have been false:

“I also recall that the U.S. ….” (CofA: Here Steier writes that since DNA testing has proved many sex assault convictions to be wrong, some of those priests could be innocent, not worthy of City of Angels Lady’s fingertip typing efforts, as totally irrelevant).

Steier says because there were no trials, his client priests priests haven’t had their day in court…

[CofA: If half the charges were false, why did Mahony settle 510 cases for $660 million without going to trial on one of them? Was Catholic legal strategy from the beginning a scheme that because there was no trial, there could not be any guilt?]

Steier's says, "I represent the following individual priests whose files are affected by this proceeding" and names his priest clients:

Michael Baker
Kevin Barmasse
Lynn Caffoe (deceased)
Michael Carroll
Sean Cronin
John Dawson
Edward Dober
Don Farmer
Walter Fernando
David Granadino
Roderick Geurrini
Brian Hanley
Richard Henry
Stephen Hernandez
Ted Llanos (deceased)
Richard Loomis
Richard Martini
George Miller
Donal O’Connor
Samuel Orellana-Mendoza
Michael Pecharich
Joseph Pina
Michael Roebert
Donald Roemer
George Rucker
Manuel Sanchez
Carl Sutphin
Michael Terra
Francisco VItella
Michael Wempe
G. Patrick Ziemann (deceased)

[CofA: Well now we know where Patrick Ziemann is….]

From page one of chapter one of "Raped Memories of a Catholic Altar Boy":

"Dear Holy Father, Your Eminence, Cardinals and Bishops of the Holy See:

"I was fucked by you and your organization, literally- straight up the ass by one of your priests in 1972 when I was fifteen years old. He also gave me blow jobs. As he used to say, he loved to suck cock. I also got to watch your man of God, your successor to the apostles, whack off three or four times a night and spew his cum all over cheap motel rooms.

"Offended by my language? Think it's obscene?

"Well I was offended at being poked by your priest. That was the obscenity."

Steier writes that plaintiffs and lawyers are in it for the money:

“A cottage industry exploded, suing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, in particular. ‘Victim advocacy’ groups- working solely with plaintiffs’ lawyers in most cases- maintained hotlines and even a website that presented detailed information on named priests, from which plaintiffs could learn of detailed accusations made by others against those priests. A number of my clients were on that list.

“The prospect of a lucrative payoff from the Archdiocese and its insurers certainly affected some accusations. The cases were settled with no trials whatsoever, in a process that excluded those most affected- the accused clergy. In most cases the priests were never named as parties defendant, but the few who were named ALL refused to settle. Thus, there was NO legal process to separate false claims from valid claims.”

From Raped: Memories of an Altar Boy:

“I was fifteen years old- a confused young guy- and this Catholic priest had just masturbated all over the room. He was naked and was strutting around the room. Then he went and plopped his bloated body on the bed and told me to come and lie next to him.”

*****

'The security of these confidential communications by priests in exceptionally important to the continuing functioning of the Roman Catholic Church.'

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Steier writes: “I am aware of several plaintiffs who testified that they realized that they had abused only after learning that some other person, sometimes a relative, had received a financial settlement from the Archdiocese or another Catholic institution. I also know that private advocacy groups, such as Survivors’ Network for those abused by Priests [commonly called ‘S.N.A.P.’], are active in supporting victims of sexual abuse. SNAP in particular also aggressively attempt to locate and identify new people who claim to have been victims, and they maintain an interactive Internet website with a ‘forum’ or message board,’ among other features, where people can share detailed information between alleged victims pertaining to identity of specific alleged perpetrators, their alleged ‘modus operandi,’ and other details of alleged molestation.

“In effect, a person who wanted to make a false claim of sexual abuse by a priest could go to that website and find a ‘blueprint’ of factual allegations to make that would coincide with allegations made by other people."

Monte and Domrzalski write in “Raped: Memories of a Catholic Altar Boy”:

“Smith always told me that God wanted me to have these feelings, that God wanted me to smoke and drink malt liquor, and that God wanted me to ejaculate with him. That was 1972, I was fifteen years old…. One of Smith’s favorite things was to measure his load. He’s whack off and cum into a cup or glass and hold it up to his eye and swish it around and exclaim what a great ejaculator he was."

Steier says false memories of pedophile priest rape were “planted” by therapists.

“I am aware that false memories can also be planted or created by various psychological processes, including by therapists who might be characterized as ‘sexual victim advocates,’ if not outright charlatans.

“For example, it is reported that most of the approximately seven hundred psychiatric ‘Certificates of Merit’ filed in these Clergy Cases, as required by Code of Civil Procedure 340.1, were signed by the same therapist.”

More of Monte’s memories:

“I don't even know how I felt except that I was sick and horrified and scared and trembling and ready to throw up. I'm fifteen and there’s a forty-two year old man who’s basically got me locked in a hotel room, masturbating and pretty much ordering me to do the same. There’s this grown man, a man of God, who’s been handed down an appostolic succession, walking around a hotel room masturbating and spewing sperm all over the room and into those white towels.”

Steier argues:

“’Confidential files’ such as those at issue in this proceeding may contain complaints and documentation of ensuing activity, including confidential investigation where needed, regarding such complaints concerning a very wide spectrum of problems. Ecclesiastical complaints about how a priest comports himself, dresses, jokes, sings, grooms himself, or recites religious material appear in many of the confidential files. Other complaints [in personnel files] relate to a priest’s alleged insubordination, laziness, diligence, or friction among the clergy. Private financial information relating to a priest.”

Monte and Domrzalski write of the victim’s life:

“So many times I've asked God to take all this from me. The answer I keep getting back is ‘Give it to the Catholic Church, it is not Me.’ So I'm going to help you with your penance by taking you in those hotel rooms with me and Smith.”

Steier writes: “Some documents relate to suspicions or complaints of inappropriate contact with others, both minors and adults. The files often confidential internal communications to the General Counsel or with the Vicar for General who has the day-to-day responsibility to investigate matters with potential legal consequences for the Archbishop.”

It's at this point in the Declaration that Steier claims, "The security of these confidential communications by priests in exceptionally important to the continuing functioning of the Roman Catholic Church.." and in the Catholic Religion the priest has a unique relationship to his bishop, “which is integral to the Roman Catholic dogma that holds that its clergy are representatives of God and Christ on Earth.”

[CofA: What a great set-up to get away with a ton of criminal activity, just claim your are a “representative of God and Christ on Earth.” That gives you free reign to rape children?

From Larry Monte’s memories: “It's too much pain and shame and torment to even comprehend. It's overwhelming. The Catholic Church gave it to me and to all of us, and now [with this book] I am giving all of it back to you.”

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City of Angels Lady met Tuesday with Dennis Domrzalski, the former Albuquerque
Tribune reporter who worked with Larry Monte on the book published by Dennis' publishing company, Logan Square Press. Over a Swiss mocha, we encouraged 'Zalski to produce 99,999 more books, documenting the lives of the rest of the victims of pedophile priests in the USA with similar stories to tell.

And, watch here for quotes from "Raped" as we are only up to page 31 of the 243-page book.

Stay tuned.

PS: Here is a quote from another thing I read Tuesday, as I went through old posts, to start making them into something like a book based on City of Angels Blog

"It's at a cellular level.

"When a Catholic priest rapes you at age five and convinces you that this is something special you have that you do- I mean whispering in your ear while lushing all over you- If it’s done at that early an age, it gets into your DNA because your cells are still forming.

"Consenting adults can do whatever they want, but it's NEVER OKAY to force sex on a child, because cells in a growing body are still developing.

"Sex before adulthood damages the victim at a cellular level.

"In my case, even though I wasn’t that stunning, there was something implanted in me, literally, by Father Horne's fingers.

"I spewed pheromones."

*****

Support City of Angels Blogs by sending numerous High $5s through PayPal...

-kay ebbtide

Here is the whole photo we took of Steier last year outside Superior Court:





We wrote about Steier before

Photo ran here last August

CofA Post here re other efforts by Steier to prevent release of files.
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"Raped" was reviewed in Albuquerque Alibi Dec. 2

* MORE ON OFFENSIVE HEADLINE: I rewrote the headline but am leaving the old post the way it was. To be honest, if I could draw a cartoon, it would be priest personnel files with cum all over them. That's the image in my head after reading the Steier doc and Monte book on the same day.

I'D LIKE to hear from other readers how they felt about the nasty headline

This is a blog, it captures the moment, and the Church continuing to keep up a facade of innocence has pushed me to this extreme.
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Stay tuned.

** Father Robert John Smith came to New Mexico Santa Fe Diocese as other sick priests were ending up at Servants of the Paraclete, then turned out into the parishes. More to come...

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Don't forget to send Christmas PayPal Clicks to City of Angels Lady who needs lots of chocolat to get through the holidays...

1 comment:

city of angels lady said...

Comment re Donald Steier doc:

Dear Kay:
My name is Larry Monte Jr. and had the pleasure of reading your blog. I was angered by the comments of Nr. Steier. If you want to relay to Mr. Steier I would be happy to submit to his interrogation and hooked up to his lie detector to disprove the veracity of his claims under the following circumstances.

1. He covers all related expenses to the test and that it be done in Albuquerque New Mexico at a neutral setting.

2. I am allowed to review the credentials of the person issuing the lie detector test.

3. Assuming that the results read from the lie detector test prove that I have been truthful Mr. Steier prearranges for a meaningful apology from the US Bishops and the Vatican, and that I am allowed input into the writing of the apology.

4. I have the opportunity for a third party at my own expense to interpret the results before release of any public scrutiny.

If you could be so kind as to forward this on, I would be very appreciative. It would be a pleasure and an honor to put these types of claims to rest.

Sincerely,
Larry Monte