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Vouching for a problem priest

by Brad A. Greenberg

June 22, 2010 | 11:44 pm

Gustavo Arellano does some navelgazing, and writes that Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod Brown, when he was the head of the Diocese of Boise, wrote a letter recommending a long-time problem priest for placement in Tijuana:

Brown’s official endorsement of a pedo-priest—never before revealed—came to light only because of a lawsuit filed against the Boise diocese in 1994 by one of Garcia’s victims in Las Vegas, New Mexico, where the priest practiced in the mid-1970s. At that time, Garcia was on loan from the Boise diocese, and you’ll remember that Brownie’s legal-defense team maintained that “the bishop from the Diocese of incardination of a priest has the responsibility for that priest” in order to wiggle out of a previous sex-abuse lawsuit, right? Not this time!

For the Garcia lawsuit, Brownie sought to dismiss the case against Boise on the grounds that his diocese had no jurisdiction over Garcia at the time of the New Mexico molestation. He went as far as hiring canonical experts to try and worm his way out of the responsibility of owning up to a Boise pedo-priest. The problem was that the Boise diocese had always considered Garcia one of their own, and Brown’s letter to Berlie was the smoking gun that proved it in the eyes of Samuel Herrera, the lawyer representing Garcia’s victim who sued Boise, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe (which includes Las Vegas) and the Servants of the Paraclete (the Catholic order that ran Jemez Springs) for Garcia’s abuse.

More about the discovery process here. Really, it’s amazing that after all these years endless dirt on how Catholic leaders handled pedophile priests keeps coming out. Remember the pope’s Easter?

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