|It's Likely There Are Thousands More Crime Victims of Pedophile Priests in LA, Considering Case #bc307934 Alone
By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels
December 7, 2007
My sister in is a news junkie. Every morning she goes out and walks up Haight St. to get the NY Times, the Chronicle, and a stack of the free dailies they have in San Francisco. Yet until we talked last week, she had never even heard about the one-year window in 2003 that allowed persons in California to file lawsuits against the Catholic Church, no matter how many years or decades back their rape by pedophile priests took place.
California Seminarians recruited boys into the priesthood and pedophilia at the same time. The older pedophiles developed younger pedophiles who then became parish priests around Southern California. Church hierarchy did not just allow pedophilia to take place, but they regularly promoted known perpetrators to high places in Education, Recruiting, and Advocacy, with titles such as Director of the Office of Family Life.
Known California pedophile priests instead of going to prisons, got new assignments where they'd have even more access to children, and more freedom to propagate their crimes. There was more going on here than benevolent neglect.
A quick read of just one complaint filed in the LA clergy cases leaves one thinking there are probably thousands more crime victims of Baker, Rucker, Boyer, Wempe, Loomis, Martini, Miani, Roemer, Hagenbach, Reilly, Burbank, Caffoe, Henry, Miani, Rodriguez, Falvey and the other Jesuits at Blessed Sacrament in Hollywood -- the list of perpetrator priests is lo-o-o-o-o-ong in LA alone.
Here are excerpts from the original complaint for just one of the 506 LA cases, written by plaintiff attorney Tony DeMarco of Kiesel, Boucher & Larson.
DeMarco, by the way, got a bachelor's degree in Journalism before going on to law school. . .
Quotes from the Complaint # BC307934, filed December 17, 2003:
From 1955 through 2002 at least 28 high ranking priests within the LA Archdiocese inner circle who have been accused or convicted of sex abuse, occupied the highest positions.
Well placed priests including Bishops Juan Arzube and G. Patrick Ziemann "used their prominence in the archdiocese administration to cover up for other priests.
Priests involved in education such as Leland Boyer and Gerald Fessard utilized their positions of authority to gain access to victims and then to funnel the children they molested into seminaries and the priesthood.
These 26 priests and likely many others occupied positions such as Auxiliary Bishops, Vicar for Clergy, Vicars General, deans, and teachers at local seminaries and as recruiters for seminaries.
The elevation of child molesters to these positions helps explain why so many child molesting priests were protected by the Defendant Doe Archdiocese, how so many child molesters became priests, and how so many seminarians and priests became child molesters.
THE PRESENCE OF SUCH A HIGH NUMBER OF MOLESTERS IN THE ARCHDIOCESE underscores the institutional and cultural acceptance and acquiescence that is concordant with the systematic failure of the Defendant Doe Archdiocese to take appropriate action to prevent further abuse.
Child molester priests congregated in three arms of archdiocesan religious education. Administrators, faculty at the Junior Seminary, members of the Cocations Commission who acted as recruiters for Junior and Major Seminaries.
In these capacities child molester priests had increased opportunities to seek out additional victims who they then steered into the seminary.
Once they were preyed upon and, for too many, inculcated into a perverse lifestyle, the only thing unacceptable about molesting children was being caught by someone that might complain.
There can be little doubt that this systematic molestation of children at the seminaries, grade schools and parishes, was known within the community of priests. Fellow priests did nothing to prevent the continuation of abuse because they themselves were molesting, or they feared reprisal from the high ranking priests who were child molesters.
The complaint gives short bios on the following priests:
G. Patrick Ziemann
All of these were associated with Our Lady Queen of Angels Junior Seminary
MORE FROM COMPLAINT:
For much if not all of this time the Defendant Doe Archdiocese and the Vatican have been aware of priests' sexual improprieties with young boys.
In his capacity as Auxiliary Bishop, Arzube exercised extraordinary influence in promoting other pedophiles within the priesthood and in aiding coverups and transfers of molesting priests. One such molester that Arzube had a direct part in promoting was Joseph Pina, who for many years served at St. Alphonsus parish in Los Angeles.
Richard Loomis: Vicar for Clergy, received complaints re priests.
Not less than 11 children at several different parishes and hospitals that were molested by Clinton Hagenbach throughout his career have come forward. At his parish assignment, Hagenbach regularly had boys alone with him in his rectory bedroom in which he maintained a fraternity house like environment that was obvious to parish staff and fellow priests. In 1978 he joined McLaughlin, the pastor at his parish, as an
(Hagenbach in 1981 was) elevated to being a Judge in the Synodal Tribunals of the defendant Doe Archdiocese, where he remained until 1986 shortly before his death.
Several other priests are listed:
Michael Wempe - Scores of children who were molested by Father Michael Wempe throughout the late 1960s through the 1980s have come forward. In the late 1960s Wempe was made an "Advocate and Notary for the Archdiocese Courts."
All elevated to high positions
Theodore Llanos - was not removed after complaints were raised in the 1970s and 1980s. Rather in the early 1990s he was elevated to the personnel board.
On the Personnel Board Llanos could influence decisions regarding whether child molester priests should go to treatment or evaluation, whether they should be removed, or transferred, and if so to where.
Micahael Baker - after returning from Jemez Springs for treatment assigned to the Office of Vicar for Clergy under his friend timothy Dyer who was Vicar for Clergy.
Rene Carlos Rodriguez
After complaints about abuse of 4 children he was promoted to Director of the Office of Family Life in Santa Barbara for the Los Angeles archdiocese. "in that post he had regular contact with Catholic families and children, often visiting them in their homes."
In at least one case "Rodriguez molested the three -- brothers 1988 - 1994
On page 41 of 47 of the complaint: Conclusions
"As a result of dangerous conditions created by Defendant Archdiocese Defendant Does 2 - 16
"The sexual abuse of plaintiffs by the perpetrators arose from, was incidental to, and was in the course and scope of the Perpatrators influence with defendant archdiocese, Defendant Doe Schools, parishes and orders and Doe's 16 - 1000
(YES, IN THIS ONE COMPLAINT THERE WERE ONE THOUSAND DEFENDANT DOE'S.)
"And each of these Defendants ratified or approved of that sexual contact.
(At all times Defendants) knew that the Perpetrators had a history of committing sexual assaults against children and that any child at, among other locations, Defendant Does 2-16 schools and parishes, and hospitals, were at risk to be sexually assaulted by the Perpetrators.
Archdiocese "Knew or should have known children were at risk to be sexually assaulted."
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