Dallas Resources – July 1–21, 1997
By Ed Housewright
After the Rev. Rudolph "Rudy" Kos was removed as a priest for sexually abusing boys, the Dallas Diocese continued to pay his salary for two years, provide him therapy and help him get retrained as a paralegal, testimony in the civil trial of Mr. Kos and the diocese revealed Monday.
Church officials also paid off $75,000 in credit card debts and loans Mr. Kos had accrued, bringing the total spent by the diocese after he was removed to almost $200,000, said Monsignor Duffy Gardner, the diocese's No. 2 official.
He testified that canon law, the church's operating guidelines, required the diocese to provide this support.
Plaintiffs' attorney Windle Turley asked Father Gardner several times why church officials didn't cut off Mr. Kos' financial support until he provided the names of more boys he had sexually abused. When Mr. Kos was removed as pastor of St. John's Catholic Church in Ennis in 1992 and sent to a New Mexico treatment center for pedophiles, he acknowledged abusing only one boy. Later, other victims came forward.
"If you cut the money off and said, `Kos, level with us or you're not getting another nickel,' don't you think he would have come clean? " Mr. Turley asked. "You'll never know." Father Gardner testified that he hoped Mr. Kos would voluntarily give the names of more abuse victims as his counseling progressed.
"I never thought of doing that to someone who was sick," Father Gardner said of cutting off Mr. Kos' financial support.
Eleven plaintiffs are seeking $146.5 million from the diocese and Mr. Kos, who is accused of sexually abusing altar boys from 1981 to 1992 at three churches.
State District Judge Anne Ashby already has found Mr. Kos, who lives in San Diego, liable for the abuse because he has not responded to the lawsuits. The diocese maintains that it should not be liable for Mr. Kos' conduct.
Also Monday, Father Gardner testified that church officials initially did little to locate more victims of Mr. Kos.
After the first lawsuit was filed against Mr. Kos and the diocese in 1993, he said, church officials placed notices in the Texas Catholic newspaper, prepared a public service announcement for TV and made announcements in churches encouraging victims to come forward, Father Gardner said.
He said at first he didn't want Mr. Kos to face criminal prosecution and the possibility of a prison sentence, although in 1994 he met with District Attorney John Vance to seek prosecution.
Mr. Kos now faces a criminal trial on charges arising from the alleged abuse.
Father Gardner, who would later call Mr. Kos a "pathological liar," said he initially didn't question Mr. Kos' assertion that he had sexually abused only one boy.
"He sucked me into his web like he did everyone else," Father Gardner testified.
He said Mr. Kos called him on a car phone in September 1992 and said he needed to meet with him immediately.
"He said, `I'm in trouble, and I may need an attorney,' " Father Gardner said.
When the two met at Father Gardner's home, Mr. Kos broke down into tears, saying he had sexually abused one boy three or four times, Father Gardner said. A chronology prepared within weeks by the first victim to complain recounted hundreds of instances of abuse on him alone.
"He [Mr. Kos] said, `I can't tell you why I did it. It just all of a sudden happened in my life,' " Father Gardner testified.
He said that church officials had noticed that Mr. Kos spent a great deal of time with kids but thought only that he had a special rapport with them. Father Gardner said he hoped that Mr. Kos would influence many boys to become a priest.
"To find a priest who relates that well to young people is a gem," the monsignor said.
By the time Father Gardner went to the district attorney in 1994, his opinion of Mr. Kos had changed dramatically.
"I realized Kos was dangerous to society," Father Gardner testified. "I couldn't live with myself thinking this man may go on abusing people."
Earlier Monday, Mr. Turley extensively questioned Father Gardner about the diocese's sexual abuse policy adopted Jan. 1. Mr. Turley pointed out that it does not prohibit children from spending the night in the rectory, as most of Mr. Kos' victims did.
Father Gardner replied that a prohibition against overnight visits is included elsewhere in church policies.
Under questioning from Mr. Turley, he acknowledged that the new policy does not require the bishop to tell parishioners why a priest removed for alleged sexual abuse has left. Throughout the trial, Mr. Turley has criticized church officials for not telling parishioners at Mr. Kos' three churches why he was removed.
"The bishop will exercise care to protect the accused cleric's right to confidentiality," the policy reads. "At the same time, to the extent the matter has become public, those closest to the cleric's assignment, including parishioners, have the right to be informed of the bishop's decisions and the reason for the cleric's absence."
Bishop Charles Grahmann, who was scheduled to testify Monday, now is expected to take the witness stand Tuesday.
By Ed Housewright
Bishop Charles Grahmann of the Dallas Diocese defended his decision Wednesday not to more quickly remove the Rev. Rudolph "Rudy" Kos after complaints were raised about boys staying overnight with him.
"I stand by what I did," Bishop Grahmann said in his second day of testimony in the civil trial of Mr. Kos and the diocese. "I think I made the right decision. In hindsight, you may not agree with those decisions. Hindsight is a very good teacher."
Bishop Grahmann, again testifying before a packed courtroom, said "there was no reason" to remove Mr. Kos in spring 1992 after a social worker who specializes in child abuse said Mr. Kos sounded like a "textbook pedophile." The bishop said he was waiting until Mr. Kos was evaluated for pedophilia by a Catholic psychiatric facility in Maryland two months later.
Plaintiffs' attorney Windle Turley pointed out a number of "red flags" that he said should have alerted Bishop Grahmann to further investigate Mr. Kos. These included letters from two priests detailing the comings and goings of many boys from Mr. Kos' rectory room.
"They were yellow flags," Bishop Grahmann said in response to Mr. Turley's statements.
"Unless you're colorblind," Mr. Turley replied. "How are your eyes? Do you see well?"
Bishop Grahmann, 65, took over as the top local Catholic official in 1990, nine years after the sexual abuse by Mr. Kos is alleged to have begun and two years before he was removed. His predecessor, Bishop Thomas Tschoepe, is 85 and in ill health and will not testify.
Eleven plaintiffs are seeking $146.5 million from the diocese and Mr. Kos, who is alleged to have sexually abused altar boys at three churches from 1981 to 1992.
The 52-year-old Mr. Kos, who lives in San Diego, has already been found liable for the abuse because he hasn't responded to the lawsuits. The diocese maintains that it should not be held liable for his conduct.
On Wednesday, Mr. Turley complained several times to state District Judge Anne Ashby that Bishop Grahmann was being "nonresponsive" when he didn't answer his questions with a simple yes or no. The church's attorney, in turn, complained that Mr. Turley was "badgering" Bishop Grahmann by raising his voice and asking questions rapid-fire.
The bishop testified that he didn't like the sleepovers at the rectory or the overnight trips that Mr. Kos took boys on. But he said church officials never told parishioners that they shouldn't allow their children to stay at the rectory or go on the trips.
Church members still haven't been told that, he said.
"I haven't found a reason to," said Bishop Grahmann, adding that he has told priests of the prohibition on sleepovers and overnight trips.
Plaintiffs' attorney Sylvia Demarest, who represents clients other than Mr. Turley's, reminded the bishop that testimony has revealed that Mr. Kos gave youths drugs and alcohol in addition to sexually abusing them.
She asked what it would take to persuade him that parishioners should be told that children shouldn't stay overnight or go on unsupervised trips with priests.
"I'm not sure," Bishop Grahmann replied.
Ms. Demarest asked the bishop what he would say to the families of the boys who were sexually abused.
"I don't know," he said. "We're profoundly saddened these incidents took place. " Mr. Turley challenged Bishop Grahmann on his statement Tuesday that he directly asked Mr. Kos if he were sexually abusing boys.
The cleric said Mr. Kos denied any abuse.
But Mr. Turley contended that the bishop never asked "the gut question, `Are you sexually messing around with little boys? ' " Mr. Turley said.
"He knew that's what I meant," Bishop Grahmann replied.
"No one in 10 years ever asked Father Kos that question," Mr. Turley said.
"I don't know," the bishop said.
Mr. Turley also asked him about his statement Tuesday that he canceled a test recommended by a psychiatrist to see if Mr. Kos was sexually aroused by pictures of nude children. Bishop Grahmann said Tuesday, and again Wednesday, that he had "moral problems" with the test, in which sensors are attached to a man's penis.
"Was that a greater moral problem than existed with Father Kos handling the penises of various boys? " Mr. Turley asked.
"I think the end never justifies the means," Bishop Grahmann replied.
Mr. Turley also attacked the diocese's sexual abuse policy, published four months before the start of the trial. He said it doesn't address prevention of abuse. Bishop Grahmann said the whole "theme" of the six-page report was prevention, although he said it doesn't list specific preventative steps.
Mr. Turley also said the report doesn't coincide with a national Catholic policy to report even the "hint" of sexual abuse.
Instead, the diocese's policy requires a specific allegation of abuse before church officials act, Mr. Turley said.
Under questioning from church attorney Randal Mathis, Bishop Grahmann said the "hint" of abuse would be investigated, even though a written policy may not require it. Mr. Mathis accused Mr. Turley of playing "semantic games" with the church's policy.
"Any rumors or hints or concern or cautions - even anonymous letters or phone calls - will all be attended to," Bishop Grahmann testified. "They will be evaluated profoundly and deeply, and a decision will be made based on the content of those rumors. " Later Wednesday, an economist testified about the reduced lifetime earnings the plaintiffs will have because the sexual abuse caused psychological problems that cut short their education.
Dr. Everett Dillman of El Paso said plaintiffs who didn't complete college will make up to $810,000 less during their lifetimes than if they had a bachelor's degree. He said that one plaintiff who had the potential, a psychiatrist said, to earn a doctorate will earn $2.4 million less than he could have.
The trial resumes Tuesday. The plaintiffs' attorney are expected to rest their cases next week.
By Brooks Egerton
One of them, the Rev. Richard T. Brown, remains on the rolls of the diocese. An abuse allegation forced him to resign three years ago as pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Rockwall, but he resumed nonparish duties elsewhere after undergoing therapy, diocesan attorney Randal Mathis confirmed.
The other priest, the Rev. Patrick Lynch, dropped from sight in 1995 after telling parishioners at Richardson's St. Joseph Catholic Church that he was taking time off to recover from heart trouble. He has since retired, Mr. Mathis said.
Father Brown did not return repeated calls for this story, and Father Lynch could not be located for comment. He is believed to be living in England or his native Ireland, Mr. Mathis said, and has "denied any sexual misconduct."
Mr. Mathis said he didn't know how Father Brown had responded to the allegations against him. The attorney would say little about why Father Brown was allowed to continue acting as a priest and Mr. Kos was not.
"It's not entirely fair to equate any of these individuals," he said.
The revelations bring the number of Dallas-area priests accused of sexual abuse to at least six.
Only the Kos case, filed in 1993, has come to trial.
No civil or criminal charges are pending locally against Father Brown or Father Lynch.
The Kos civil proceeding enters its ninth week Tuesday, with the diocese trying to fend off negligence claims. Mr. Kos has been found liable for a decade of abuse because he never responded to the lawsuit.
Mr. Kos, who was removed in 1992 from St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church in Ennis, is barred from working as a priest again. He's now using an assumed name as a paralegal in San Diego and is expected to face a criminal trial here later this year.
Father Brown's 1994 departure from Rockwall came nearly a year after a young woman told church leaders that he had abused her in 1981, when she was a girl and he was in Washington, D.C., on a summer study leave.
Mr. Mathis said he wasn't familiar with the Brown investigation but stressed that such undertakings can be time-consuming. He would not allow Bishop Charles V. Grahmann or Vicar General Glenn "Duffy" Gardner to be interviewed.
In a 1995 deposition for the Kos case, the former superintendent of Dallas diocese schools testified that she repeatedly alerted top diocesan officials in the 1980s about Father Brown's behavior but got little help.
Sister Caroleen Hensgen traced her concern back to a report she got at some point after the priest returned from Washington and was serving at Holy Family of Nazareth Catholic Church in Irving. She said the principal of the church school told her that Father Brown might have been "involved with a young girl . . . not from our school."
From then on, Sister Hensgen testified, she would warn principals to keep Father Brown away from students.
In the late 1980s, she recalled, the principal at St. Philip the Apostle in Pleasant Grove "told me that Father was having the boys over to the rectory to help count the collection."
"I said, `During school time?'
"And she said, `Sometimes.'
"I said, `Absolutely no.' "
Later, the principal "told me that Father had come over and he wanted to set up an office for counseling seventh- and eighth-grade boys. I knew that it had been a little girl before, and I just told her the answer to that was no."
Sister Hensgen said she complained to Bishop Thomas Tschoepe, who's in failing health and hasn't testified at the Kos trial. Before long, she said, Father Brown was transferred to St. Mark the Evangelist in Plano, leading her to lodge more protests and warnings.
Mr. Mathis played down the significance of Sister Hensgen's statements, saying she provided nothing concrete or verifiably improper.
"I don't remember anything in Sister Caroleen's deposition that's alarming," he said. "Churches are rumor mills."
Father Brown - who administered last rites to some of the 137 victims at the scene of the 1985 Delta Air Lines crash at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport - now serves at New York and Detroit ministries.
The former American Airlines pilot works "purely with adults," Mr. Mathis said. "He's under continuing medical supervision" since being released from a treatment facility in New England.
Father Brown's accuser has repeatedly been offered counseling - "to bring closure to your traumatic experience," according to a 1995 letter the diocese sent her.
Allegations against Father Lynch date to 1966, when Monsignor Gerald A. Hughes wrote this two-sentence memo:
"Father Patrick Lynch was reported to this office for becoming sexually involved with a student while stationed at St. Pius X Church, Dallas, Texas. This should be kept confidential, but should be a matter of record in view of future appointments."
Mr. Mathis said the current diocesan administration was unaware of the memo until "a victim came forward" amid news coverage of the Kos scandal.
After the man described being abused by Father Lynch in the mid-1960s, church officials searched the priest's personnel file, found the document and paid for the man to get counseling, the attorney said.
Mr. Mathis said too much time had passed to investigate properly or even verify whether the man was the student mentioned in the 1966 memo.
Still, he said, the diocese is committed to providing help for anyone who reports being abused by a priest. That vow was made after the allegations against Mr. Kos surfaced.
The abuse report led to a medical evaluation, which turned up the heart disease and led to Father Lynch's retirement, Mr. Mathis said.
Father Lynch told parishioners a different story in a February 1995 edition of St. Joseph's parish newsletter. He wrote that an arterial blockage was discovered after he "experienced a shortage of breath on long points" in tennis and "called this to the attention of my doctor during a regular physical examination."
Only the one man has made allegations against Father Lynch, Mr. Mathis said.
Sylvia Demarest, an attorney for some of the plaintiffs in the Kos case, said she had referred a second Lynch victim to the diocese for assistance. She would not elaborate.
The first complainant declined to be interviewed for this story, and the second man could not be reached.
At St. Joseph, the man who succeeded Father Lynch said Saturday that the allegations come as a terrible surprise.
There was plenty of grumbling about absences and lack of activity, the Rev. Don Fischer said, but "never, ever, ever" anything like child molestation.
"I am saddened by the accusations," Father Fischer said. "If the community is going through some pain over this, I'd certainly like to help."
At Our Lady of the Lake, some who worked closely with Father Brown said they were shocked to hear about the sexual abuse allegations that led to his removal.
"He doesn't show any kind of penchant for children," said former youth ministry worker Pam Morrow. "A more religious and humble man on the face of the Earth I can't imagine, except maybe the pope."
When Father Brown left Rockwall, she said, he said he would be helping diocese officials launch a grief ministry.
Besides Father Lynch, Father Brown and Mr. Kos, at least three other
Dallas-area priests have been accused of molestation:
Jurors in the Kos trial have been told in detail about the allegations against Mr. Peebles and Mr. Hughes, and they've heard Father Brown mentioned to a lesser degree. They have not heard about Father Lynch or Father Hoover.
Mr. Mathis said he has checked out allegations against a few other priests
but turned up nothing solid. Some of the claims are extremely vague or
anonymous; others involve priests who are dead or have been gone from
the diocese for so long that investigations would be impossible, he said.
By Ed Housewright
Catholic Bishop Charles Grahmann of the Dallas Diocese has appointed a nine-person "crisis management team" to respond to concerns raised by the sexual abuse civil trial of the diocese and former priest Rudolph "Rudy" Kos.
The committee was proposed to Bishop Grahmann by Bronson Havard, editor of the biweekly newspaper Texas Catholic , in a Sunday memo stamped "confidential" that was obtained by The Dallas Morning News.
"We could call this team the `Committee for the Church,' " Mr. Havard wrote. "They will serve as an ad hoc committee for 3-4 weeks only. They must move quickly, organize now, make recommendations to the bishop, and be ready by the time the jury delivers its verdict in the week of July 22-27."
The committee held its first meeting Monday, said Monsignor John Bell, the diocese's No. 3 official and a member of the committee.
He would not comment on what was discussed.
Mr. Havard's letter proposes the following action by the committee:
* A letter from the bishop "to all the faithful. "
* A letter of advice to priests and deacons.
* A special edition of Texas Catholic.
* Public relations statements.
*A "response team to the media."
* A Web site chat room.
* A speaker's bureau.
Mr. Havard wrote that the bishop's speech to 300 people at a Catholic fund-raiser last week, in which he apologized to the victims of sexual abuse, "is a good beginning for a broad initiative to help the Church of Dallas get through this time of trial."
Plaintiffs' attorney Sylvia Demarest called the crisis management team an attempt at "damage control. " Besides Monsignor Bell and Mr. Havard, the committee members included Monsignor Don Zimmerman, pastor of Christ the King Catholic Church in Dallas; Steve Landregan, former editor of Texas Catholic; Douglas Bushman, director of the Institute for Pastoral and Religious Studies at the University of Dallas; Michael George, director of the Catholic Community Appeal; Mary Edlund, who heads pastor al planning and research for the diocese; Margaret Janecek, the special assistant to Bishop Grahmann; and Theresa Vo , director of Catholic Counseling Services.
By Ed Housewright
The plaintiffs in the sexual abuse trial of former Catholic priest Rudolph "Rudy" Kos and the Dallas Diocese need far less psychiatric treatment than recommended by the plaintiffs' experts, a psychiatrist for the church testified Wednesday.
Dr. John Looney of Duke University Medical Center estimated that prolonged treatment for the most troubled sexual abuse victim would cost $247,000, compared with an estimate of $517,000 for the same young man by a plaintiffs' psychiatrist.
In addition, the lowest treatment estimate by Dr. Looney for one of the victims was $32,000, compared with $130,000 by experts for the plaintiffs.
"I do not think these are low-ball figures," testified Dr. Looney, who interviewed each of the 10 young men who have filed suit. "I went back through the material time and time again to think what these gentlemen might need, and I tried to be very comprehensive."
Plaintiffs' attorneys Sylvia Demarest and Windle Turley criticized Dr. Looney's treatment estimates as too low.
"Listening to Dr. Looney talk, you wonder if any of these boys were sexually abused," Ms. Demarest said outside the courtroom. "He has seriously underestimated the cost. I think he's trying to hold the damages down."
Mr. Turley said: "Some of these boys will come up far short if that's all that's done. It will not cover their needs."
Dr. Looney is the last witness for the defense, which is expected to rest Thursday. Closing arguments are expected Friday in the trial, now in its 10th week.
The plaintiffs, who also include the parents of a young man who committed suicide, are seeking $146.5 million. They allege that Mr. Kos sexually abused boys at three churches from 1981 to 1992. Mr. Kos, who lives in San Diego, has already been found liable for the abuse because he has not responded to the lawsuits.
The diocese maintains that it should not be held liable for Mr. Kos' conduct, in part because it removed him as soon as the first youth reported sexual abuse.
On Wednesday, Dr. Looney discussed the personal problems the plaintiffs have faced since the sexual abuse. They include drug and alcohol abuse, poor school performance, spotty work history, relationship problems and suicidal thoughts, said Dr. Looney, former president of the American Society of Adolescent Psychiatry.
In his cost estimates for some of the plaintiffs, he included residential treatment.
Dr. Looney said he didn't dispute that any of the plaintiffs were sexually abused.
"The goal in doing the interviews was to try to understand what it's like to be within the skin of that person - how they feel, what they're dealing with, what they experienced growing up, how Kos impacted them," Dr. Looney said.
He also gave an evaluation of Mr. Kos, although he did not interview him.
Dr. Looney testified that Mr. Kos had a sexual preoccupation with feet. All the plaintiffs have testified that the sexual abuse began with foot massages.
Dr. Looney said Mr. Kos had a "sexual deviancy," which began as a child when he took naps with his brothers and played with their feet.
Dr. Looney also said that Mr. Kos had "anti-social personality disorder," which he said is a term for people who used to be labeled sociopaths.
Detection of those with the disorder, who take advantage of people with no remorse, can be difficult, Dr. Looney testified.
"They can be bright, charming, very interesting people," he said. "They lie well. They can get punished and not get better. They have no sense of right or wrong. "
Defense Psychiatrist in Kos Case Challenged
By Ed Housewright
The Dallas Diocese rested its case Thursday in the sexual abuse trial of former priest Rudolph "Rudy" Kos and the diocese after plaintiffs' attorneys spent the day asking often hostile questions of a psychiatrist who examined the abuse victims.
Dr. John Looney of Duke University Medical Center didn't review medical, academic and employment records of the young men sexually abused by Mr. Kos before proposing psychiatric treatment plans for them, plaintiffs' attorney Windle Turley and Sylvia Demarest argued.
They also alleged that Catholic officials concealed important information from Dr. Looney, who evaluated the church's response to the allegations against Mr. Kos.
"I would conclude that there was no cover-up based on the weight of the information I have reviewed," Dr. Looney wrote about the Kos matter in March. "It appears that it would be possible for these sexual activities to have gone on for an extended period of time without the knowledge of church officials. . . .
"Fairness to a review of these matters suggests that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas did provide reasonable supervision of this man. . . . "
However, Mr. Turley contended that Dr. Looney, who was paid $160,000, might have reached a different conclusion about the church's handling of Mr. Kos if he had been given more information.
"The diocese filtered and concealed facts from him like they did from everyone else all those years," Mr. Turley said outside the courtroom.
At the end of testimony Thursday, the church's attorney, Randal Mathis, said he was pleased with the evidence he gave to the jury.
He took seven days in presenting his case compared with 28 days for the plaintiffs.
Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday .
"We think the evidence has demonstrated what we indicated at the beginning, that the diocese may not have caught Rudy Kos, but that it was not unreasonable in its supervision of him and in its interpretation of his relationship with the boys," Mr. Mathis said.
Ms. Demarest and Mr. Turley said they thought they put on a stronger case than the church.
"I think the evidence is very clear that there has been a conspiracy to conceal sexual abuse of children," Ms. Demarest said.
Mr. Turley said: "I think we have a very strong case, and I would be very disappointed if the jury doesn't find in our favor."
Eleven plaintiffs are seeking $146.5 million from the diocese and Mr. Kos, who is accused of sexually abusing boys at three churches from 1981 to 1992.
The 52-year-old Mr. Kos, a free-lance paralegal in San Diego, has already been found liable for the abuse because he hasn't responded to the lawsuits. The diocese maintains that it should not be held liable for Mr. Kos' conduct.
On Thursday, the plaintiffs' attorneys repeatedly criticized Dr. Looney's reports on the plaintiffs, saying he either ignored or wasn't given access to key information. On his first day of testimony Wednesday, Dr. Looney gave much lower estimates of the costs associated with the psychiatric treatment needed for the victims than plaintiffs' experts.
Under questioning from Mr. Turley, Dr. Looney acknowledged that before preparing his evaluations he didn't:
* Read Mr. Kos' ex-wife's deposition, in which she says she told a marriage tribunal official that Mr. Kos was gay and was attracted to boys. The official, who wrote at the time that "something is fishy," testified earlier that she didn't say that.
* Know that several church officials warned Mr. Kos as early as 1986 to stop allowing boys to spend the night in his rectory room.
* Know that a social worker told the No. 2 diocese official in April 1992 that Mr. Kos sounded like a "textbook pedophile" and should immediately be removed from contact with children. Mr. Kos was not removed until September 1992 when the first youth complained of sexual abuse.
* Read Mr. Kos' records from a New Mexico treatment center for pedophiles where he was sent immediately after being removed.
Mr. Mathis said Dr. Looney had everything he needed for his evaluations.
"The diocese has not screened information," Mr. Mathis said outside the courtroom. "He interviewed many, many of the principal people involved, in addition to the plaintiffs, and had a very clear understanding of all the facts and circumstances."
In response to a question from Mr. Turley, Dr. Looney said he agreed with Bishop Charles Grahmann's statement last week that church officials weren't "alert" to signs of sexual abuse by Mr. Kos.
"He got by with it a long time," Dr. Looney said.
He also said that the overnight stays were inappropriate.
"I agree it's not a good practice looking back, knowing what we know now," Dr. Looney testified.
Mr. Turley and Ms. Demarest raised their voices frequently during their questioning of Dr. Looney, demanding that he answer "yes" or "no." "Doctor, listen to my question," Mr. Turley said at one point.
"You can answer `yes' or `no' without elaborating."
"I'd like to finish my answer if I could," Dr. Looney answered.
Mr. Mathis complained once to State District Judge Anne Ashby that Mr. Turley was "badgering" Dr. Looney. The judge sustained his objection.
Ms. Demarest also appeared frustrated several times when Dr. Looney didn't answer her questions succinctly.
"I wonder if we're speaking the same language here," she said to him at one point. "Is there a problem with answering the question? The question is real simple."
She said Dr. Looney made several incorrect conclusions in his reports on the abuse victims.
For instance, he wrote that one of the plaintiffs wanted to have a sexual relationship with Mr. Kos. This report was mentioned during testimony last month, and the subject, a 28-year-old financial planner, angrily responded to it outside the courtroom.
"He wanted to have his first sexual relationship, and he wanted to have it within the trusting relationship with Father Kos," Dr. Looney wrote.
"Isn't that absurd? " Ms. Demarest asked.
Moments later, Dr. Looney said, "I'll be glad to revise the evaluation to a reasonable extent. I believe it was a very careful evaluation, and it captures the spirit of what was conveyed to me."
Ms. Demarest also expressed outrage that Dr. Looney wrote that the sexual abuse was "a fairly minor stressor, relative to a lot of major stressors" in another plaintiff's life.
"I submit there wasn't a single major stressor in his life when he met Father Kos," Ms. Demarest said to Dr. Looney.
By Brooks Egerton and Ed Housewright
With Catholic leaders prepared for the worst in a multimillion-dollar sex-abuse civil trial, Dallas Bishop Charles Grahmann will announce new spiritual initiatives Sunday in a letter that priests are expected to read from the pulpit.
He will ask all parishes and chapels in the nine-county Dallas diocese "to designate Friday of each week for a year as a time of prayer and fasting for victims of child abuse," according to an advance copy of his remarks.
"Perhaps this can help atone for the evil that has touched us all." The bishop will also ask priests to celebrate a special Mass on Fridays, beginning Aug. 1, "for all victims of child abuse, known and unknown.
"If you will join together in prayer, I am sure that victims of abuse will receive the necessary graces from the Holy Spirit to achieve a spiritual and physical healing."
Closing arguments are expected Monday in the diocese's marathon trial in which the church is accused of negligence, misrepresentation, concealment and conspiracy. Eleven plaintiffs, alleging more than a decade of sexual molestation by the Rev. Rudolph "Rudy" Kos, are seeking $146.5 million in damages.
Bishop Grahmann is speaking out now because "he's afraid he's going to get lost in the turmoil" when a verdict is announced, said Bronson Havard, editor of the diocesan newspaper, Texas Catholic.
Mr. Havard recently helped assemble a "crisis team" that advised the bishop on drafting his letter.
The verdict could come Tuesday or Wednesday, Mr. Havard predicted, and church leaders "are prepared for the worst " As well they should be, said the Rev. Tom Economus, a Chicago priest who has tracked the case and hundreds like it around the country. He suggested that plaintiffs could win the largest clergy-abuse judgment in history.
And it didn't have to be this way, said Father Economus, who heads an organization of clergy victims called the Linkup.
"Had the bishop responded immediately when the allegations surfaced with true compassion for the victims and their families, the diocese would probably not be sitting in court today," he said.
In testimony, the bishop defended the decision to keep Mr. Kos on the job in the face of complaints that boys were staying overnight with him. Diocesan attorney Randal Mathis has repeatedly argued - to the derision of plaintiffs' lawyers - that church officials long lacked sufficient evidence to act.
Bishop Grahmann, meanwhile, recently told top church donors that abuse victims "need our sincere apology. " In Sunday's letter, he does not use the term "apology. " Instead, he addresses victims and their families by asking "forgiveness in the name of all of us who make up the Church of Dallas." Then, after calling for healing and reconciliation, he adds: "I do not want to make any excuses for what has happened. When a priest uses his position to abuse children, it is a tragedy beyond compare.abuse.ed. One of the priests has since been suspended.
Mr. Kos, who is also suspended from performing his priestly duties, has been battling the diocese for aid under church law. In a letter to Bishop Grahmann last month, he expressed "deep disappointment that you will not provide me the sustenance that is due any priest who has not been dismissed from the clerical state.
"It is this lack of financial support that has resulted in my being forced to accept judgments against me for charges which I completely deny."
Mr. Kos, who has already been found liable because he didn't contest the lawsuit, said earlier this month that he is virtually penniless. Publicity has made it difficult for him to find work in San Diego, where he has been living under an assumed name.
In a May interview with The News , he said he has overcome his attraction to boys, declined to discuss "which ones I had sex with" and expressed regret "for anything I may have done."
Fallout from all the scandal has left Bishop Grahmann looking tired and drawn, Mr. Havard said.
"This is a person who's really torn up by this," he said.
"People closest around him are worried about his health and what this has done to him."
Asked whether the bishop is suffering from disease, Mr. Havard said he was "not privy" to such details. Bishop Grahmann was not available for comment.
By Ed Housewright
The Dallas Diocese covered up more than a decade of sexual abuse of boys by the Rev. Rudolph "Rudy" Kos and should be found liable for negligence and concealment, plantiffs' attorneys said in emotional closing arguments to the 11-week-old civil trial of Mr. Kos and the Roman Catholic diocese.
Meanwhile, the church's attorney maintained that Catholic officials are "good people" who concluded - incorrectly, as it turned out - that Mr. Kos was not engaged in sexual misconduct.
"The diocese clearly was wrong, but at the time it was making what it thought were appropriate, fair and reasonable judgments," attorney Randal Mathis said. "They've tried to react and make changes so this will never possibly happen again.
"We clearly take issue with whether the diocese was negligent in its supervision of Rudy Kos. We don't know whether anything would have caught Rudy Kos under the circumstances. Rudy Kos is clearly a sociopath. He was a smart, manipulative person."
However, plaintiffs' attorneys Sylvia Demarest and Windle Turley argued that Mr. Kos wasn't devious but that church officials ignored a "mountain of evidence" of sexual abuse to avoid a scandal.
"This diocese is more concerned about concealing the truth than protecting children," Ms. Demarest said. "The evidence has shown that for many years the people who ran the diocese acted as though they were above the law, that they were not accountable to anybody.
"Nothing will change, I'm convinced, unless you as jurors give voice to the conscience of our community through your verdict and allow the attitude of the diocese to be shown for what it is."
Whatever the jury decides, "the case in all likelihood is going all the way to the Supreme Court," Mr. Mathis said after closing arguments ended.
Mr. Turley accused church officials of lying before and during the trial and destroying documents to conceal evidence of sexual abuse.
"There was conscious indifference to the rights and welfare of children," he said.
During the daylong closing arguments, the small courtroom was packed, as was an adjacent courtroom with a video feed.
The jury of 10 women and two men will begin deliberating Tuesday.
Eleven plaintiffs are seeking $146.5 million from the diocese and Mr. Kos , who is accused of sexually abusing boys at three churches from 1981 to 1992.
The 52-year-old Mr. Kos, who lives in San Diego, has already been found liable for the abuse by State District Judge Anne Ashby because he has not responded to the lawsuits.
The diocese has maintained, as it did again Monday, that it should not be held liable for Mr. Kos' conduct, in part because it removed him as priest as soon as the first youth complained of sexual abuse.
During his closing argument, Mr. Mathis made it clear - as he did in his opening statement - that the church is distancing itself from Mr. Kos and in no way represents him.
He pointed out that Mr. Kos faces a criminal trial, perhaps later this year.
"He's a criminal who belongs in jail," Mr. Mathis said. "Maybe he's sick and has psychiatric problems, but he's also a criminal."
During their arguments, Mr. Turley and Ms. Demarest asked the jury to award at least $1 million for each of their clients for past mental anguish and $1.5 million each for future mental anguish.
They also requested up to $582,000 in future medical care and up to $3.4 million in lost earnings.
Mr. Mathis criticized the amount the plaintiffs are seeking. He said that only one of the plaintiffs came to church officials with complaints of sexual abuse before filing suit.
"They want millions upon millions upon millions of dollars," Mr. Mathis said.
However, Mr. Turley and Ms. Mathis said the damages being sought are only fair for the serious emotional damage the victims suffered.
One of the alleged victims, whose parents are plaintiffs, committed suicide, they reminded the jury.
The others face years of counseling.
"This therapy is not fun," Mr. Turley said. "They're reliving painful moments, embarrassment, humiliation and shame." He said the abuse occurred during their formative adolescent years when they held priests in high regard.
Not only were the boys sexually abused up to hundreds of times each over many years, many were given alcohol and Valium by Mr. Kos, testimony revealed. As a result, the plaintiffs' attorneys said, many of the victims developed severe alcohol and drug problems that some are still battling.
Mr. Turley told the jurors that their decision would be noticed worldwide.
"This may be one of the rare opportunities to speak to one of the vital issues in this nation," he said. "This jury can speak for the children of the world. I pray that you will not let this opportunity slip by." He said sometimes a jury must help an institution "that has become lost to find its way. " He said a finding against the church would "validate" the young men's complaints and allow them to stop blaming themselves for the abuse.
Ms. Demarest cautioned the jury not to be "taken in by the spin the diocese is putting on the facts.”
"Their lame excuses don't wash," she said.
She said the diocese is a "duplicitous organization that would rather cover up their problems than address them."
Mr. Mathis, meanwhile, urged the jury to carefully evaluate the evidence. He reiterated that church officials thought Mr. Kos was spending so much time with boys only because he could relate well to them whereas some other priests could not.
"Consider how it looked at the time," Mr. Mathis said. "He survived within the job a number of years without being caught. He was a very convincing man."
The plaintiffs' lawyers summarized their evidence of alleged negligence and cover-up by church officials. They said it dates to 1975 when Mr. Kos was seeking an annulment of a brief marriage in the 1960s so that he could enter seminary and become a priest.
Mr. Kos' ex-wife told a marriage tribunal official that Mr. Kos was gay and was attracted to boys, Mr. Turley told jurors. That official, who wrote at the time that "something is fishy," has testified that she never told him that.
Mr. Turley reminded the jury that Mr. Kos' first application to Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving in 1976 was rejected by the outgoing rector, who wrote of Mr. Kos' "instability." The defense has claimed that the Rev. Gerald Hughes was referring to Mr. Kos' divorce and careers before he applied to the seminary, not suspicions of sexual abuse.
The next year he was accepted into seminary, and weeks before graduation in 1981 he made a sexual advance at a former student, according to testimony. Mr. Mathis pointed out Monday that the new rector of the seminary asked that the complainant come forward but that he never did.
The plaintiffs' attorneys' chronology of "red flags" of sexual abuse continued after he was ordained as a priest.
They pointed out that Mr. Kos' supervisor at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Irving first complained of boys spending the night in Mr. Kos' rectory room in 1985. He issued further warnings the next year, finally meeting with Bishop Thomas Tschoepe.
Mr. Kos was warned about the sleepovers, but they continued for years, testimony revealed.
Church officials never followed up with their threat to suspend Mr. Kos and never told parents or church workers that Mr. Kos was not supposed to have boys stay overnight, Mr. Turley and Ms. Demarest said.
Mr. Kos was sent to a psychiatrist for evaluation for pedophilia in January 1992 after a priest who was Mr. Kos' assistant at St. John's Catholic Church in Ennis complained of the sleepovers.
The results of that psychiatrist's evaluation, as well as one five months later by a Catholic psychiatric institution in Maryland, have been in constant dispute during the trial.
Mr. Mathis has argued that the evaluations cleared Mr. Kos of any suspicions
of pedophilia. Mr. Turley and Ms. Demarest objected strenuously, saying
the evaluations confirmed that Mr. Kos was a threat to sexually abuse
Bishop Accountability © 2003