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« Bishop Brown's Lawyers Continue Evasion Tactics & An Article On Msgr. Urell In The Toronto Sun | Main | Rush Limbaugh: Anatomy Of A Smear »

Friday, September 28, 2007

Comments

Loyolalaw98

Maximus,

Thanks for suggesting heading over to your other blog to read a more balanced view of what is or is not going on.

You probably read in the OC Register their quoting of Father Joseph Nettekoven at St. Justin Martyr in Anaheim. Nonethless, here are his insightful words:

"Not everything we read in the papers is the gospel truth. Words can be misinterpreted, sentences can be taken out of context and shaped to mislead the meaning of what is being said, even by those who claim to be Catholic ... Some who suggest only that they want to get to the bottom of an issue and lay it out for everyone to see, even though it may mean a character assassination in the process, will even ask for you to 'say a Hail Mary' for them."

Jimbo

Of course not everything printed and said is gospel truth, but then I'm willing to hear what the truth is regarding Father Urell going away to Canada in the middle of his deposition. Hmm, I guess no treatment facilities exist in neuroses-plagued Southern California. I have no personal feelings toward the man. In fact, I hope and pray for his well being. But I also want to know what's been going on in this diocese, and what continues to go on.

I find it disconcerting, to say the least, that a man in his position could not finish his testimony and then board the plane to Canada. A man of this disposition should NEVER have been give the responsibility to confront abusers within priestly ranks. He lacks the constitution for it.

There are few ways some people can be forced to tell what they know. This is the only way, unfortunately, the truth will come out. Can you propose another way? I'll be waiting.

And while I find the jackpot-lawsuit mindset/culture disgusting, sometimes it performs a necessary function.

Thomistic

I'm confused by this post, especially this part:

No one denies Monsignor Urell's role in the Church's mishandling diocesan clergy abuse cases. But the current case being litigated against the Diocese has nothing to do with that. It does not even involve clergy abuse. It involves a 26-year old Jane Doe suing the Diocese over an two-year sexual relationship she had with a thirtysomething Mater Dei High School coach named Jeff Andrade when she was 15 to 17.

Here's why:

What was written there seems to come dangerously close to dismissing what happened to this girl, just because the abuser was not a priest or religious.

Moreover, there is something deeply troubling about referring to the imbalance of power involved in any kind of sexual activity between a thirty-something year old teacher and a fifteen to seventeen year old girl as a "two-year sexual relationship".

Adults can't have a "sexual relationship" with children and children can't consent to a "sexual relationship" with adults. All that can occur with respect to sexual activity between adults and children is an imbalance of power, abuse of trust, and predatory sexual acts.

Why would anyone refer to an abusive relationship like that, a relationship that is both illegal and immoral, as a "two-year sexual relationship"?

How does that not come across as whitewashing what occurred?

Then, when one considers the other circumstances involved: that the two-year abusive relationship was something of an open secret; that it occurred at a diocesan Catholic school that has a history of covering up the sexual abuse of minors; that former Mater Dei boys' basketball coach Jeff Andrade revealed in court that Bishop Brown allowed him, a confessed, but never prosecuted sex-offender, to continue working in Orange County parishes; it becomes more difficult to see how anyone could be, in any way, dismissive of what went on in this case.

The Diocese of Orange is liable for what goes on at Mater Dei and other Catholic schools, and Bishop Brown isn't just in charge of where Tridentine Masses are allowed (and he actually has less authority in that matter than he ever did before) or who is allowed to kneel after the Lamb of God, he's also in charge of the Diocese of Orange.

If it can be determined that there was negligence or malfeasance on the part of Diocesan officials with respect to this case, I see no reason why this Jane Doe, a victim of sexual abuse (no matter how complicit she may have appeared during the abuse) should not receive a financial settlement or be awarded one after a trial. It is perfectly legal and just for her to seek justice in this matter.

As for Msgr. Urell, I have met him on many occasions. He seems like a very nice man. He told me that when he was young, he wanted to be an actor. He barbecued hamburgers for me and some other young men, all looking in to St. John's Seminary, at Bishop McFarland's residence on the grounds of Holy Family Cathedral. I have no personal animus against Msgr. Urell.

However, it has been brought to my attention that Msgr. Urell did, in fact, mistreat victims of abuse. In fact, he is reported to have told a victim that he called Child Protective Services in relation to abuse claims made against Fr. Michael Pecharich, yet never actually did it.

All of this will come to light.

When it does, I think some people might consider apologizing to others who had it right all along.

It's very sad to be persecuted by people who should be on your own team, but a Christian should expect nothing less in this valley of tears.

Pax,

Thomistic

Rita

Well said, Thomistic. Please God on this feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, may His light shine on the darkness that evil be exposed, and His Church purified.

I understand that in a court of law there are rules about what information/evidence may or may not be allowed in when a case is being litigated. However, as a reader of this blog and a concerned Catholic, I would like to know about the shenanigans of our priests and bishops.`

We don't want to be like the pharisees throwing stones at the woman caught in adultery, but will anything ever change if the laity doesn't start getting nosey?

As for the lawyer trying to stir things up from the bottom of the pot to get a bigger award, that is the way the game is played (unfortunately). I am sure the lawyers for the archdiocese have used certain "tactics" in dealing with the molestation cases.

One thing is for sure, we are becoming an increasingly "sue happy" society. When I was in high school, a Catholic high school I might add, the thirty-something basketball coach got a sixteen-year-old student pregnant. The parents and principal made him marry her and take responsibilty for the child. It was not exactly an ideal solution since the guy was a jerk with a real mean streak.

LCB

I don't wish to see harm come to the Church, but a part of me really wonders what it would be like with Mahony on the hotseat.

Maximus

Thomistic:

Do you think there is a difference between a 32-year old man forcibly raping a 15-year old girl, and that man having a two-year relationship (by all accounts consensual although still illegal) with a girl starting when she was 15?

It is impolitic to say so, and invites accusations of "whitewashing" but there is a difference.

Neither of us know the details of the Andrade case. Neither of us know how mature or immature that girl was. I have four daughters, two of whom are teenagers. Never, in a million years, would either of them have had an affairs with an older man -- whether for two years of two days. And even if they'd been inclined to do so, there's no way they could have carried on such an affair without my wife and I knowing about it -- because we keep track of where our kids are.

But a girl of 15-17 is not a child. She is a young adult. That does not excuse Jeff Andrade in any way. He's a slime ball for fooling around on his wife, and doing so with a minor.

But this has nothing to do with Msgr. Urell. Nothing. No one, including you, has shown how it does, yet you are happy to participate in the Msgr. Urell-as-pinata game being played by John Manly -- who means no good for the Church and in fact wants to loot it for as much money as possible. The Church can reform itself in this area -- and indeed, it is doing so -- without collaborating with those who seek to damage the Church.

Mona Alona

Maximus,

Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't some of the sexual activity take place on school grounds? If kids are in public or private school (not homeschooled) then I could see how the parents might not know about any sexual activity which occured at school. If I were the parent of this 26yr old girl and I found out (however many years later) she had an affair with a Catholic high school teacher at the Catholic high school where I paid tuition for her Catholic education I WOULD SUE THE SCHOOL myself or a least hold the people who were aware of the affair accountable for their tacit approval.

Maximus,


"TRUTH IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER"!

"yet you are happy to participate in the Msgr. Urell-as-pinata game being played by John Manly"

The only pinatas were the "many children" who Msgr. Urell failed to protect. Msgr. Urell shuffled molesters without notifying the police. Msgr. Urell lied to a victim about calling Childhood Protective Services. Msgr. Urell helped mislead a victim about the contrition of a priest who had molested this victim. Msgr. Urell then attended a party hosted by that molester, to celebrate the going away of another molester. Msgr.Urell was the deceptive bat swinging at the pinata. Even Msgr. Urell admits, (now that the glaring spotlight shined the truth) that he should not have attended this molester fest party. I'd like you to defend your position of defending Msgr. Urell's "many" bad choices to Polly Klaus's father.

Maximus, you view the Andrade case as an unfair peripheral matter. Msgr. Urell was knee deep in so many serious cases of abuse, that they all start to mesh together. When you lay with pigs.... you smell like them. Now as far as blaming John Manly...go have a chat with Almighty God on the methods He allows to clean His House.

It appears that God has removed the bat from Msgr. Urell's hands because he failed to protect children. That bat has now been placed into John Manly's hands to strike out at the real corruption within the Church. I know it's difficult for you Maximus because Msgr. Urell is your friend. Yes, God can forgive Msgr. Urell for his bad choices, but there are bad consequences to bad choices. You seem to think that Msgr. Urell should be exempt from this norm. You are wrong. Msgr. Urell isn't exempt and this is why he is suffering now. If you love Msgr. Urell so much, pray for him quietly. Stop hanging Msgr. Urell up, so... so high, just like a pinata, so the media isn't tempted to respond, (to how ridiculous you sound to so many) and take huge swings at him. You are doing this. You are not helping him. The only P.R. "Profound Reality", you should be defending is the protection of children and exposing the sources that hid this evil. That is how you show love for the Church.

Father John Hardon said that in order for the Church to be a Holier Church...it was going to have to become a poorer Church. Let's hope that John Manly hits a grand slam.

Father John Hardon also said that only heroic Catholics would survive the problems within the Church. Others would be swept up in the watering down of the faith and the deception of truth. Why are you so swept up with defending the indefensible, Maximus? Heroism does not involve defending the wrongdoing that God is exposing. Please, even though it may be frustrating to you, rethink your strategy. You don't want to be perceived as Maximus Hubris. I am sure that you will attack me and you will attack anyone and everyone who tries to adjust your blinders. You should be humble, stop defending the indefensible and let the truth speak for itself.

Atlanta Catholic

It is interesting that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) when they had similar problems quickly adopted a Youth Protection Training (YPT) program everyone involved with a child must be certified in. They also requires two adult protection.

Two adult protection requires that at least 1 YPT adult per 2 adults with children at all times. In the event you had 3 adults on a trip and a child needed to go home or to the hospital, everyone goes home since you cannot leave any child with just 1 adult.

Does the BSA require finger printing to become a leader, no. Does the Diocese, yes. Who has the larger problem?

What is also interesting is the fact that any adult who has been finger printed has had to do this more than once. I know friends who had been finger printed as many as 3 times within the Orange Diocese. A good question is why?

If the goal of finger printing is to keep this in a central data base for review, then why would you need to be finger printed more than once. More importantly, I have read that the finger printing program selected is dependent upon the Diocese selection. Well isn't that nice.

Again, are the records shared from Diocese to Diocese, or do we still have an environment in which a monster like Coughlin can do harm in an East coast diocese, and a West coast diocese not being aware of such a demon upon arrival?

It isn't the public's or media's fault the Catholic church has a black mark. It is the consistent perception from ANY responsible individual or representative from the church, like Mahony, who most certainly appears to be with-holding information. Like it or not, only 1 bad apple will spoil the bushel (over entire US Catholic Church) for others who truly may have put their best foot forward like Bishop Brown.

If the church wants this mess over, then they need to clean house from the top, not from the laity! They need a united front, not fractured fronts (aka Dioceses), and they need to do it quickly before they drive good Catholics away from the church.

That is the key, we are a Church, not churches. Do it as one and get this mess over, or to hell with all of them!

teacher18042

Having a role does not mean an evil role. His notes recounting the counseling of two distraught people are empathetic and ethical. You do the best you can do at the time with what you know at the time. Urell had nothing to do with the Andrade case. He is being literally crucified by the secular liberal press, a frightened clergy and an embarrassed laity. People do horribly wrong things and in openly trying to initiate repair of those wrongs you lay yourself open to future criticism by those pure souls with the hindsight of the future. Wonderful. No wonder doctors won't stop at bloody accidents. Urell should've run far and fast but in his kindly gentle way he tried to help in good faith. So you broke him. And now say there's something suspicious about the fact that he was breakable? is he not human? Have you no conscience or mind to think rightly? GO BACK over ALL the documents. This is much ado about NOTHING regarding him. As for those who speak of his breakdown, you are the puritans who invented the dunking chair. He has given his heart and soul and mind to the service of a Church who allows him ruined and his heart and mind breaks from it. So does mind. It is a Godless world and a frightening onee, and St. Norbert's is a lesser place for the loss of this gentle saintly man.

Patrick

Maximus,

I heard you speak on the radio news today. I no longer live in California, but I stream Los Angeles radio stations over the web.

Xenon HID

Nice info.Thanks for sharing.

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