Monterey dioceses named in lawsuit against predator priests
By Amy Larson
October 2, 2018
A former Monterey Catholic bishop is among several bishops named in a newly-filed lawsuit alleging that a sex abuse cover up was carried out in California to keep "predator priests" unrevealed.
The lawsuit filed by Thomas Emens names former Monterey Bishop Richard Garcia, who died three months ago, as well as every other bishop in California.
Emens says he was abused by a priest for two years when he was 10 and 11 years old in the 1970s.
The suit states that bishops and archbishops allowed more than 35 sex abuse perpetrators to flee the jurisdiction after reports of abuse arose. It demands that "all California bishops immediately release the names and documented histories on all clerical offenders in each diocese secretly kept in their possession."
On Tuesday attorney Jeff Anderson called for all California bishops to "come clean with the secrets they know" about "predator priests."
"The Catholic bishops have engaged in dangerous practices. There is, and has been, a grave peril to children in communities across the state," Anderson said. "The problem is everywhere."
The nuisance lawsuit names the archdioceses of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose, Monterey, and Santa Rosa.
"There is a playbook being employed by the Catholic bishops to transfer, move, hide, and keep secret the identifies of all offenders, and their histories, and the documents that reflect their crimes," Anderson said.
"Let the public, let the police, let the people know who the offenders are that you have kept secret and have not revealed," Anderson said.
"Stop allowing kids to be hurt," he said.
The Diocese of Monterey released a prepared statement Tuesday afternoon.
"This appears to be a matter between the Archdioceses of Chicago and Los Angeles. The allegation that the California Bishops are in a conspiracy to conceal child abuse is simply absurd. The allegations outlined in the complaint involve matters that occurred forty years ago and well before the promulgation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002. They also significantly predate the Diocese of Monterey’s Safe Environment Program and all of the safeguards that are contained in our policies. As we have previously reported, the Diocese of Monterey has in place strong policies and procedures to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults under our care," the Monterey Diocese wrote.