Salesian Order of Priests are the Last Standing in Los Angeles

By Cheryl Buchanan
January 28, 2008

Or maybe it would be more appropriate to say that they are the last lying? But, I've always had trouble with the whole question over when to use "lying" or "laying" in a sentence. If one means not telling the truth and the other means hiding out in the weeds and avoiding responsibility and continuing to hope it will all just go away... well then I guess they both work. Its just a matter of semantics.

Anyway, on January 22nd Plaintiffs represented by Kiesel, Boucher and Larson filed an amended complaint for Punitve Damages against the Salesian Order of priests. This particular complaint pertains to the sexual molestation by: Father Titian (aka "Jim") Miani, Father Larry Lorenzoni, and Brother Ralph Murguia who are the perpetrators named in the trial scheduled for this April 2008. The Salesians are the only Order left who did not take part in the global settlement with the Los Angeles Archdiocese in July of 2007. Several other Salesian cases involving additional perpetrators: Brother John Verhart, Brother Mark Epperson, Brother Anthony Juarez, Brother Ernie Martinez, and Brother Jessie Dominguez are also currently being scheduled for trial.

Father John Itzaina, described as "second in command of the Salesians of the West Coast" recently told the Los Angeles Times on January 24, "We abhor any abuse, especially of the young, be it sexual or psychological, physical, or emotional." He went on to say that the Salesians do not defend Miani, but "absolutely deny" that the Order had any notice that he posed a danger to youth. (Siblings File Abuse Lawsuit Against Catholic Order, LA Times, 1/24/08)

Speaking of semantics... by "abuse" Itzaina must mean someithing other than the sodomy, and oral copulation that Miani was committing before he even came to California and abused the children who are the Plaintiffs in the case set for trial this April. By "notice", he must mean something other than the multiple reports, to two different Salesian Directors, by the children at the orphanage at St. Mary's Salesian boy's home, before he even came to California. By "notice" does Itzaina mean there should have even been something more they needed to know than the fact that Miani was kicked out of a previous seminary for molesting a child, more than a decade before he abused the first Plaintiff in our California case?

Standing, laying, lying, whatever. Its about time, with the growing mountain of evidence against them, for the leadership of the Salesian Order to take some responsibility for the children they have hurt in the past and continue to hurt everyday through their abusive legal tactics, the parishioners who look to them in the present, and for any priests and brothers among them who actually took their vows for reasons that had something to do with truth.


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