Bishop Disagrees with Register's Reporting of Case

By Bishop Norman F. McFarland
Orange County Register
February 4, 1991

[See also Anaheim Priest Acknowledges Sexual Contact with Girl in 1978 and Why We Are Publishing This Story.]

The Orange County Register asked the Most Rev. Norman F. McFarland, bishop of the Diocese of Orange, to respond to questions about this case. His statement:

"The unfortunate incident that the Register is reporting as molestation (and which was not an act of sexual intercourse) took place in 1978, over 12 years ago. The matter was addressed at that time in the best judgment of my predecessor, Bishop Johnson.

"Since then, there has not been the slightest hint of wrongdoing or scandal connected to Father Lenihan. He has led an exemplary life of dedicated service to the church and community, which I myself have observed and admired over the past four years that I have known him.

"It is impossible, therefore, for me to accept the Register's rationale in bringing this matter to public attention now, and after it has been privately settled.

"I can only stand amazed and chagrined when people can be so certain of their own righteousness as to have no hesitancy in casting the first stone. "


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