Mahoney, Avery, child rape, lies mortal sin

It never ends.  This was sent to me by a non-clergy, Catholic friend who is also incredibly disgusted with the hierarchy handling of clergy sex abuse.  He is aware, as I am, that these men and the cover-ups and deniles of wrong doing have nothing to do with the faith and beliefs of the Catholic Church.

By Victoria Kim, Ashley Powers and Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times

January 21, 2013, 2:31 p.m.

 

Fifteen years before the clergy sex abuse scandal came to light, Archbishop Roger M. Mahony and a top advisor plotted to conceal child molestation by priests from law enforcement, including keeping them out of California to avoid prosecution, according to internal Catholic church records released Monday.

The archdiocese’s failure to purge pedophile clergy and reluctance to cooperate with law enforcement has previously been known. But the memos written in 1986 and 1987 by Mahony and Msgr. Thomas J. Curry, then the archdiocese’s chief advisor on sex abuse cases, offer the strongest evidence yet of a concerted effort by officials in the nation’s largest Catholic diocese to shield abusers from police. The newly released records, which the archdiocese fought for years to keep secret, reveal in church leaders’ own words a desire to keep authorities from discovering that children were being molested.

In the confidential letters, filed this month as evidence in a civil court case, Curry proposed strategies to prevent police from investigating three priests who had admitted to church officials that they abused young boys. Curry suggested to Mahony that they prevent them from seeing therapists who might alert authorities and that they give the priests out-of-state assignments to avoid criminal investigators.

One such case that has previously received little attention is that of Msgr. Peter Garcia, who admitted preying for decades on undocumented children in predominantly Spanish-speaking parishes. After Garcia’s discharge from a New Mexico treatment center for pedophile clergy, Mahony ordered him to stay away from California “for the foreseeable future” in order to avoid legal accountability, the files show. “I believe that if Monsignor Garcia were to reappear here within the archdiocese we might very well have some type of legal action filed in both the criminal and civil sectors,” the archbishop wrote to the treatment center’s director in July 1986.

The following year, in a letter to Mahony about bringing Garcia back to work in the archdiocese, Curry said he was worried that victims in Los Angeles might see the priest and call police.

“[T]here are numerous — maybe twenty — adolescents or young adults that Peter was involved with in a first degree felony manner. The possibility of one of these seeing him is simply too great,” Curry wrote in May 1987.

Garcia returned to the Los Angeles area later that year; the archdiocese did not give him a ministerial assignment because he refused to take medication to suppress his sexual urges. He left the priesthood in 1989, according to the church.

Garcia was never prosecuted and died in 2009. The files show he admitted to a therapist that he had sexually abused boys “on and off” since his 1966 ordination. He assured church officials his victims were unlikely to come forward because of their immigration status. In at least one case, according to a church memo, he threatened to have a boy he had raped deported if he went to police.

The memos are from personnel files for 14 priests submitted to a judge on behalf of a man who claims he was abused by one of the priests, Father Nicholas Aguilar Rivera. The man’s attorney, Anthony De Marco, wrote in court papers the files show “a practice of thwarting law enforcement investigations” by the archdiocese. It’s not always clear from the records whether the church followed through on all its discussions about eluding police, but in some cases, such as Garcia’s, it did.

Mahony, who retired in 2011, has apologized repeatedly for errors in handling abuse allegations. In a statement Monday, he apologized once again and recounted meetings he’s had with about 90 victims of abuse.

“I have a 3 x 5 card for every victim I met with on the altar of my small chapel. I pray for them every single day,” he wrote. “As I thumb through those cards I often pause as I am reminded of each personal story and the anguish that accompanies that life story.”

“It remains my daily and fervent prayer that God’s grace will flood the heart and soul of each victim, and that their life-journey continues forward with ever greater healing,” he added. “I am sorry.”

Curry did not return calls seeking comment. He currently serves as the archdiocese’s auxiliary bishop for Santa Barbara.

The confidential files of at least 75 more accused abusers are slated to become public in coming weeks under the terms of a 2007 civil settlement with more than 500 victims. A private mediator had ordered the names of the church hierarchy redacted from those documents, but after objections from The Times and the Associated Press, a Superior Court judge ruled that the names of Mahony, Curry and others in supervisory roles should not be blacked out.

Garcia’s was one of three cases in 1987 in which top church officials discussed ways they could stymie law enforcement. In a letter about Father Michael Wempe, who had acknowledged using a 12-year-old parishioner as what a church official called his “sex partner,” Curry recounted extensive conversations with the priest about potential criminal prosecution.

“He is afraid … records will be sought by the courts at some time and that they could convict him,” Curry wrote to Mahony. “He is very aware that what he did comes within the scope of criminal law.”

Curry proposed Wempe could go to an out-of-state diocese “if need be.” He called it “surprising” that a church-paid counselor hadn’t reported Wempe to police and wrote that he and Wempe “agreed it would be better if Mike did not return to him.”

Perhaps, Curry added, the priest could be sent to “a lawyer who is also a psychiatrist” thereby putting “the reports under the protection of privilege.”

Curry expressed similar concerns to Mahony about Father Michael Baker, who had admitted his abuse of young boys during a private 1986 meeting with the archbishop.

In a memo about Baker’s return to ministry, Curry wrote, “I see a difficulty here, in that if he were to mention his problem with child abuse it would put the therapist in the position of having to report him … he cannot mention his past problem.”

Mahony’s response to the memo was handwritten across the bottom of the page: “Sounds good —please proceed!!” Two decades would pass before authorities gathered enough information to convict Baker and Wempe of abusing boys.

Federal and state prosecutors have investigated possible conspiracy cases against the archdiocese hierarchy. Former Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said in 2007 that his probe into the conduct of high-ranking church officials was on hold until his prosecutors could access the personnel files of all the abusers. The U.S. attorney’s office convened a grand jury in 2009, but no charges resulted.

During those investigations, the church was forced by judges to turn over some but not all of the records to prosecutors. The district attorney’s office has said its prosecutors plan to review priest personnel files as they are released.

Mahony was appointed archbishop in 1985 after five years leading the Stockton diocese. While there, he had dealt with three allegations of clergy abuse, including one case in which he personally reported the priest to police.

In Los Angeles, he tapped Curry, an Irish-born priest, as vicar of clergy. The records show that sex abuse allegations were handled almost exclusively by the archbishop and his vicar. Memos that crossed their desks included graphic details, such as one letter from another priest accusing Garcia of tying up and raping a young boy in Lancaster.

Mahony personally phoned the priests’ therapists about their progress, wrote the priests encouraging letters and dispatched Curry to visit them at a New Mexico facility, Servants of the Paraclete, that treated pedophile priests.

“Each of you there at Jemez Springs is very much in my prayers and I call you to mind each day during my celebration of the Eucharist,” Mahony wrote to Wempe.

The month after he was named archbishop, Mahony met with Garcia to discuss his molestation of boys, according to a letter the priest wrote while in therapy. Mahony instructed him to be “very low key” and assured him “no one was looking at him for any criminal action,” Garcia recalled in a letter to an official at Servants of the Paraclete.

In a statement Monday on behalf of the archdiocese, a lawyer for the church said its policy in the late 1980s was to let victims and their families decide whether to go to the police.

“Not surprisingly, the families of victims frequently did not wish to report to police and have their child become the center of a public prosecution,” lawyer J. Michael Hennigan wrote.

He acknowledged memos written in those years “sometimes focused more on the needs of the perpetrator than on the serious harm that had been done to the victims.”

“That is part of the past,” Hennigan wrote. “We are embarrassed and at times ashamed by parts of the past. But we are proud of our progress, which is continuing.”

Hennigan said that the years in which Mahony dealt with Garcia were “a period of deepening understanding of the nature of the problem of sex abuse both here and in our society in general” and that the archdiocese subsequently changed completely its approach to reports of abuse.

“We now have retired FBI agents who thoroughly investigate every allegation, even anonymous calls. We aggressively assist in the criminal prosecution of offenders,” Hennigan wrote.

Mahony and Curry have been questioned under oath in depositions numerous times about their handling of molestation cases. The men, however, have never been asked about attempts to stymie law enforcement, because the personnel files documenting those discussions were only provided to civil attorneys in recent months. De Marco, the lawyer who filed the records in civil court this month, asked a judge last week to order Curry and Mahony to submit to new depositions “regarding their actions, knowledge and intent as referenced in these files.” A hearing on that request is set for February.

In a 2010 deposition, Mahony acknowledged the archdiocese had never called police to report sexual abuse by a priest before 2000. He said church officials were unable to do so because they didn’t know the names of the children harmed.

“In my experience, you can only call the police when you’ve got victims you can talk to,” Mahony said.

When an attorney for an alleged victim suggested “the right thing to do” would have been to summon police immediately, Mahony replied, “Well, today it would. But back then that isn’t the way those matters were approached.”

Since clergy weren’t legally required to report suspected child abuse until 1997, Mahony said, the people who should have alerted police about pedophiles like Baker and Wempe were victims’ therapists or other “mandatory reporters” of child abuse.

“Psychologists, counselors … they were also the first ones to learn [of abuse] so they were normally the ones who made the reports,” he said.

In Garcia’s 451-page personnel file, one voice decried the church’s failures to protect the victims and condemned the priest as someone who deserved to be behind bars. Father Arturo Gomez, an associate pastor at a predominantly Spanish-speaking church near Olvera Street, wrote to a regional bishop in 1989, saying he was “angry” and “disappointed” at the church’s failure to help Garcia’s victims. He expressed shock that the bishop, Juan A. Arzube, had told the family of two of the boys that Garcia had thought of taking his own life.

“You seemed to be at that moment more concern[ed] for the criminal rather than the victum! (sic)” Gomez wrote to Arzube in 1989.

Gomez urged church leaders to identify others who may have been harmed by Garcia and to get them help, but was told they didn’t know how.

“If I was the father … Peter Garcia would be in prison now; and I would probably have begun a lawsuit against the archdiocese,” the priest wrote in the letter. “The parents … of the two boys are more forgiving and compassionate than I would be.”

victoria.kim@latimes.com

ashley.powers@latimes.com

harriet.ryan@latimes.com

Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times

 

Here is the feeble response/statement of the cardinal.  Meeting, apologies and crying do not undue the harm perpetrated. 

 

STATEMENT FROM CARDINAL ROGER M. MAHONY REGARDING
SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS BY CLERGY
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony
Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles
January 21, 2013

With the upcoming release of priests’ personnel files in the Archdiocese’s long struggle with the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy, my thoughts and prayers turn toward the victims of this sinful abuse.  Various steps toward safeguarding all children in the Church began here in 1987 and progressed year by year as we learned more about those who abused and the ineffectiveness of so-called “treatments” at the time. Nonetheless, even as we began to confront the problem, I remained naive myself about the full and lasting impact these horrible acts would have on the lives of those who were abused by men who were supposed to be their spiritual guides. That fuller awareness came for me when I began visiting personally with victims. During 2006, 2007 and 2008, I held personal visits with some 90 such victims.
Those visits were heart-wrenching experiences for me as I listened to the victims describe how they had their childhood and innocence stolen from them by clergy and by the Church. At times we cried together, we prayed together, we spent quiet moments in remembrance of their dreadful experience; at times the victims vented their pent up anger and frustration against me and the Church.
Toward the end of our visits I would offer the victims my personal apology–and took
full responsibility–for my own failure to protect fully the children and youth entrusted into my care. I apologized for all of us in the Church for the years when ignorance, bad decisions and moral failings resulted in the unintended consequences of more being done to protect the Church–and even the clergy perpetrators–than was done to protect our children.  I have a 3 x 5 card for every victim I met with on the altar of my small chapel. I pray for them every single day. As I thumb through those cards I often pause as I am reminded of each personal story and the anguish that accompanies that life story.
The cards contain the name of each victim since each one is precious in God’s eyes
and deserving of my own prayer and sacrifices for them. But I also list in parenthesis the name of the clergy perpetrator lest I forget that real priests created this appalling harm in the lives of innocent young people.
It remains my daily and fervent prayer that God’s grace will flood the heart and soul
of each victim, and that their life-journey continues forward with ever greater healing.
I am sorry.

 

Someone else also sent me this.

 

The CWR Blog

 
January 18, 2013 03:22 EST
No, I’m not talking about the hiring of Chip Kelly away from the Oregon Ducks (who play all of ten minutes from my home). Here is the surprising news, as mentioned by David Pierre, Jr., a contributor to CWR, on his MediaReport.com site:

The conviction of Philadelphia’s Msgr. William J. Lynn last June was historicand widely trumpeted by an overheated media, as Lynn became the first member of the Catholic hierarchy to be found guilty in a criminal court for endangering children.

And the sole reason Lynn sits in jail today is because former priest Edward Averyhad pleaded guilty to sexually violating a 10-year-old boy in the late 1990s. Prosecutors claimed that Lynn should not have placed Avery into a ministry assignment because the priest had a prior abuse accusation dating back to the 1970s. Had Lynn kept Avery out of public ministry, prosecutors charged, he would not have been able to abuse the 10-year-old.

But in a truly shocking development, Avery took the witness stand today in a Philadelphia courtroom and recanted under oath his guilty plea.

This remarkable turn-around indicates that Msgr. Lynn may likely be sitting in jail based on a crime that never even happened!

The Philly.com site reports:

Avery’s admission potentially plunged three separate cases into turmoil: his own, the case against Engelhardt, and last year’s conviction against Lynn.

After hearing about Avery’s testimony, Lynn’s lawyer said he plans within days to ask a Superior Court or Common Pleas Court to reconsider Lynn’s case.

“If there’s a question about (Avery’s) guilt, then there’s no way you convict Lynn, because Lynn was only convicted as a derivative of Avery,” said the lawyer, Thomas Bergstrom.

Bergstrom said he could ask Lynn’s trial judge, M. Teresa Sarmina, for a new trial based on the newly disclosed evidence, or he could ask a superior court judge to free Lynn on bail while the new evidence is investigated.

Bergstrom said he believes Avery told the truth today. “I think they forced him into this plea and they made a deal for him that he couldn’t turn down,” he said.

The BigTrial.net site has many more details:

The rape that Avery pleaded guilty to supposedly happened in a storage closet at St. Jerome’s parish after a 6:30 a.m. Mass back in 1999. But Avery said he almost never said Mass at St. Jerome’s, because he was employed as the chaplain at Nazareth Hospital. He was at the hospital every day of the week, beginning at 3 a.m., and he stayed on the job until 8 p.m., Avery said.

This was his routine 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Avery testified. At Nazareth Hospital, Avery said Mass every day, and the service was televised, he testified.

McGovern asked Avery if he was friends with McGovern’s client, Father Charles Engelhardt, on trial at the second archdiocese sex abuse trial for allegedly raping Billy Doe.

“We were acquaintances,” Avery said.

A 2011 grand jury report said that after Father Engelhardt had sex with Billy in the sacristy at St. Jerome’s, he told Father Engelhardt [sic; should be “Father Avery”] about it. According to that grand jury report, Father Engelhardt [sic, ditto] allegedly went to Billy and said he heard about his “session” with Father Engelhardt, and that Billy’s session with Father Avery would soon begin. Then Avery raped the boy.

Did you ever discuss with my client having sex with Billy Doe, the defense lawyer asked.

No way, Avery said. The only thing he remembers discussing with Engelhardt was Pasta Night, which was every Wednesday at the St. Jerome rectory, where both Engelhardt and Avery lived at the time.

Why did you take the plea bargain, McGovern asked.

“To get a lesser sentence,” Avery said. “Every motion that was made was turned down. The options were less and less. I didn’t want to die in prison. That’s why I took the plea.”

 

By Ralph Cipriano
for bigtrial.net

Ed Avery looked the prosecutor in the eye and said he didn’t do it.  He said he never touched the 10-year-old altar boy known as “Billy Doe.” The defrocked priest today rode a bus from the state prison up in Laurel Highlands, Somerset County, all the way to the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia, at least a four-hour trip, just to tell a jury it was all a lie.

Avery said he only pleaded guilty because if convicted at the first Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse trial last year, he was facing a prison sentence of up to 20 years. And the prosecution was offering a sweetheart deal — only 2 1/2 to 5 years in jail.

 So on March 22, 2012, Avery pleaded guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child — the alleged victim of both crimes was Billy Doe — “to avoid a more lengthy prison term,” Avery said.  “I did not want to die in prison,” the 70-year-old former priest told an angry prosecutor.

 Assistant District Attorney Mark Cipolletti was incredulous. “You’re sitting in state prison today because of [Billy Doe’s} allegations,” he said.  “I chose to take the plea,” Avery corrected him.  When Cipolletti attempted to cut off Avery’s answer, a delighted defense lawyer, Michael J. McGovern, stood up and told the judge that Cipolletti can’t do that to “his witness.”

 Judge Ellen Ceisler had a pained look on her face as she glanced over at Avery, and then back at the defense attorney.  “I think he’s a hostile witness at this point,” she said.

 On cross-examination, defense lawyer McGovern asked Avery if he ever had “sessions” with Billy Doe. According to the prosecution, sessions was the priest’s code name for sex with kids.  “Absolutely not,” Avery said. He couldn’t sit here in court and say he was guilty of raping Billy “because it positively never happened,” Avery said.

 The rape that Avery pleaded guilty to supposedly happened in a storage closet at St. Jerome’s parish after a 6:30 a.m. Mass back in 1999. But Avery said he almost never said Mass at St. Jerome’s, because he was employed as the chaplain at Nazareth Hospital. He was at the hospital every day of the week, beginning at 3 a.m., and he stayed on the job until 8 p.m., Avery said.   This was his routine 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Avery testified. At Nazareth Hospital, Avery said Mass every day, and the service was televised, he told the jury.

 McGovern asked Avery if he was friends with McGovern’s client, Father Charles Engelhardt, on trial at the second archdiocese sex abuse trial for allegedly raping Billy Doe.  “We were acquaintances,” Avery said.  A 2011 grand jury report said that after Father Engelhardt had sex with Billy in the sacristy at St. Jerome’s, he told Father Avery about it. According to that grand jury report, Father Avery allegedly went to Billy and said he heard about his “session” with Father Engelhardt, and that Billy’s sessions with Father Avery would soon begin. Then Avery raped the boy.

 Did you ever discuss with my client having sex with Billy Doe, the defense lawyer asked.  No way, Avery said. The only thing he said he remembered discussing with Engelhardt was Pasta Night, which was every Wednesday at the St. Jerome rectory, where both Engelhardt and Avery lived at the time.

 Why did you take the plea bargain, McGovern asked.  “To get a lesser sentence,” Avery said. “Every motion that was made was turned down. The options were less and less. I didn’t want to die in prison. That’s why I took the plea.”

 McGovern asked if Avery was worried about being the target of a civil lawsuit filed by Billy Doe.  “I’m pretty much almost destitute at this time,” he said.  The notion that Avery never touched Billy Doe, and only pleaded guilty because he got a sweetheart deal from the prosecution was first raised last September in an unsuccessful motion to reconsider bail for Msgr. William J. Lynn filed in Pennsylvania Superior Court.

 Lynn, the first Catholic administrator in the nation to be sent to jail for the sexual sins of the clergy, was convicted by a jury on June 22 of one felony count for endangering the welfare of a minor, namely Billy Doe, by not doing enough to protect him from Avery. Lynn previously was denied bail by Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, who presided over his trial; a bail motion on behalf of Lynn was also denied by the Superior Court.

In their motion to reconsider bail filed in Superior Court, Lynn’s lawyers said that Avery told his lawyers he never touched Billy Doe. Avery was also given a polygraph test, which he passed.

“This newly discovered information leads to the disconcerting conclusion that the Commonwealth was driven by a zealous and single-minded desire to try [Lynn] and obtain a conviction, despite information that put into question the justice of pursing that outcome,”Lynn’s lawyers concluded in their unsuccessful motion.

It’s one thing to file a motion seeking bail based on what one set of defense lawyers, namely Avery’s, supposedly told another set of defense lawyers, namely Lynn’s. A polygraph, on top of that, is not even admissible as evidence in a Pennsylvania criminal court.

But it’s entirely another matter to yank that defendant out of jail, put in him in a courtroom under oath, and ask him once and for all for the truth.

Lynn is currently sitting in jail serving 3 to 6 year years for endangering Billy’s welfare. But if you follow Avery’s statements to their logical conclusion, it means that stacking the deck in the first archdiocese sex abuse trial wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough for the judge to let in 21 supplemental sex abuse cases dating back to 1948, before the defendant was born, to demonstrate a clear pattern of conduct in the archdiocese.

No, the prosecutors had to get one of the defendants to cop a plea to something he didn’t do, a sex crime that never happened, just to bag Lynn with a “historic” conviction. It’s the sort of thing that an ethics panel or an appeals court might want to look into.  Avery’s admissions today placed the prisoner in jeopardy, as both the prosecutor and defense lawyers took pains to point out in court.

Avery has already served 10 months of his sentence. The inmate currently is in protective custody, the prosecutor noted. That could change suddenly, the prosecutor warned. Avery is a convicted child molester in protective custody, the prosecutor said. He could become a highly publicized convicted child molester suddenly mixed in with the general prison population.

“Life is gonna get even worse when the press is covering it, yes?” Assistant District Attorney Cipolletti asked Avery.  The former priest agreed.  Avery has another 18 months to go before he is eligible for parole. But, as defense lawyers pointed out, the state might take revenge on Avery by not granting him parole, and letting him serve his full five-year sentence. The state could also file perjury charges against Avery, defense lawyers said. If convicted, that could mean additional time, and the former priest could wind up dying in jail.  But none of that seemed to phase the prisoner, who obviously had something to get off his chest, and nothing was going to deter him. Avery, who looked like he had lost weight since his last courtroom appearance, was dressed in a floppy, light-blue prison uniform on the witness stand. He did not have to wear handcuffs, and he was also not wearing his once-familiar toupee.

The prisoner even disagreed with Cipolletti when the prosecutor asked if the priest had been “laicized,” the formal church procedure for busting a priest down to a lay person.  “That’s incorrect,” Avery told the prosecutor. The man with two Ph.D. degrees, in spirituality and gerontology, told the Cipolletti he hadn’t been laicized, he had been “defrocked.” What that meant, the prosecutor cut in, was that Avery could no longer dress up as a priest, present himself as a priest, or say Mass publicly.  That’s all true, Avery told the stunned prosecutor, but he added, “Once a priest, always a priest.”

Lawyers familiar with Avery’s status have said that Avery now serves unofficially as the prison chaplain.  Among the spectators watching Avery in the courtroom were his two civil lawyers. “He killed ’em,” one was overheard telling another spectator before he left.   

After Avery became a hostile witness, prosecutor Cipolletti teed off on him.  Avery had claimed he was destitute. That prompted Cipolletti to ask Avery if before he went to jail, he sold a property that he had originally purchased for a dollar for more than $1 million.  “Yes,” Avery said.

 Cipolletti then went through Avery’s entire personnel file from the archdiocese’s secret archive files. The prosecutor brought up the name of a man who came forward in 1992 to say that he had been sexually abused by Avery back in the late 1970s.  The prosecutor read files that divulged how, when first confronted with accusations of abuse, Avery had told Lynn and other Catholic higher-ups that if he had touched the boy during a night the boy spent in the priest’s bed in the rectory, it was only accidental. But on the witness stand today, Avery owned up to his crime.

“I admitted that it happened,” Avery said of the abuse. “I was very sorry that it happened.”  That prompted objections from defense lawyers, who said that Cipolletti was going far beyond the bounds of evidence previously discussed on direct testimony or cross-examination. The judge, however, said it was proper for Cipolletti to cast a wider net when attacking the credibility of a hostile witness.  The prosecutor went through the names of several other alleged victims of abuse from the 1970s who came forward to make accusations against Avery. The prosecutor also took the time to disclose the race of each victim, several of whom were black, possibly for the benefit of a jury that included five African-Americans.

In response, Avery said he had been guilty of “always horsing around” with boys, and wrestling with them. Cipolletti said that the priest had also dropped ice into the boys’ pants as part of his horseplay.  The prosecutor was no longer interested in what the witness had to say, frequently cutting off Avery’s answers. Defense lawyers reacted by falling all over themselves to make objections, saying that the prosecutor wasn’t letting Avery finish his answers. This was true. Sadly, the judge meekly went along with the charade, and the result was the prisoner frequently was silenced.

And many in the audience wondered what else Avery might have to say. But instead they were treated to more oratory from the prosecutor.  Cipollletti went into one long discourse about how abuser priests like Avery had betrayed the faith of young boys who made the fatal mistake of trusting them, prompting McGovern to stand up and ask the judge if it was time for closing arguments, because Cipolletti was certainly making one.

I’m ready to give my closing as well, the defense lawyer told the judge.  That won’t be necessary, the judge told McGovern. The situation in the courtroom, however, had deteriorated, and plainly needed strong direction, but none was forthcoming from the bench. For a fleeting moment, some defense lawyers in the courtroom, which included a former member of Lynn’s defense team, may have actually missed M. Teresa Sarmina, the prosecution-friendly but no-nonsense judge who presided over the Lynn trial.

In response to Cipolletti’s escalating attacks on the witness, which included cutting him off and talking over the witness, Burton A. Rose staged a counter-attack.  Rose, a defense lawyer representing Bernard Shero, a former teacher also accused of raping Billy Doe, asked Avery what would have happened at his plea bargain hearing if Judge Sarmina had asked if he had actually raped Billy. It was a question that according to a five-page transcript of that hearing introduced into evidence today, Judge Sarmina had never bothered to ask.  “I would have had to say no,” Avery said.  “That would have scuttled the plea bargain?” Rose asked.  Yes, Avery said.  “Did you sexually assault that young man?” Rose asked, referring to Billy Doe.  “I did not,” Avery said.  “So help you God?” Rose asked.  “So help me God,” Avery said.  “That’s it,” Rose said before sitting down.

It sure was.

Ralph Cipriano can be reached at rlcipri@verizon.net.
Read more at http://www.bigtrial.net/2013/01/former-priest-now-prisoner-sets-himself.html#2ME5bLc8TTr53u7H.99

My non-clergy Catholic friend had the best aswer that actually covers both Cardinal Mahony and Mr. Avery; 

“Cardinal Mahoney’s response. He basically says that back in 1987 he didn’t realize priests raping children wrong, but he has grown. He must be really stupid because the goods sisters and my mother taught me what mortal sin was from childhood. How did I know it was a sin, yet a bishop claims he didn’t. He is lying and it is insulting that he thinks lay people are so stupid as to believe him. Arrogance. And he still does not admit his responsibility in it all. They still don’t get it.”

…and it goes on…

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About follow1in3

I am a Roman Catholic priest ordained for the Diocese of Wilmington, DE who is also a victim of clergy sexual abuse. I am often angered by the insensitiviy and hostility of other clergy, the hierarchy and the so-called people-of-God. If clergy, bishops included, really and truly understood abuse, (any kind of abuse), I would not feel the need to blog on occasion. It is very frustraing.
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