San Diego Mission Church, San Diego, California (Wikipedia/Dmadeo)The Roman Catholic clerical child-abuse scandal continues to generate stories — if not at quite the same pace as it did earlier this year. The latest revelation comes from the Diocese of San Diego, which recently was forced by a court to cough up documents. What they reveal is positively bone-chilling, as this report offered by KCBS-TV explains (WebCite cached article):

Nearly 10,000 pages of previously sealed Catholic church documents have been made public and showed that the Diocese of San Diego long knew about abusive priests, some of whom were shuffled from parish to parish despite credible complaints against them.

After a three-year legal battle over the diocese’s internal records, a retired San Diego Superior Court judge ruled late Friday that they could be made public. Attorneys for 144 people claiming sex abuse made the papers public Sunday.

The report is, unfortunately, very typical of other, similar revelations made over the years by various dioceses around the country (and around the world):

The files show what the diocese knew about abusive priests, starting decades before any allegations became public, and that some church leaders moved priests around or overseas despite credible complaints against them.

What is remarkable, in this particular case, is the complicity of secular authorities, who actively enabled the diocese to shield its priests from prosecution:

In at least one instance, the files included documented abuse by a priest whose name had not before surfaced in any lawsuit or criminal case, the Rev. Luis Eugene de Francisco, who was originally from Colombia. Police investigated de Francisco for allegedly abusing children, but the diocese convinced authorities to drop the case if the priest would return immediately to his Colombian diocese and never return to the U.S.

“In early August 1963, Father was placed under arrest by the civil police of the City of San Diego for violation of the State Penal Code,” then-Bishop Charles F. Buddy wrote the Colombian bishop in the Diocese of Cali. “At that time, arrangements were made between this Chancery and the civil authorities of San Diego in which, if Father left the United States with the promise never to return, the charges against Father would be set aside by Civil Law.”

I find this incredible. Both the diocese and the district attorney consciously chose to throw the children of Colombia under the bus, in order to avoid having to deal with one criminal priest. It’s one thing for the Catholic Church to protect its own … it’s quite another for the district attorney to allow them to get away with it. At some point there’s going to have to be an investigation into the complicity of secular authorities which, no doubt, has helped contribute to the priestly abuse and which helped the Church get away with it as long as it did.

At this point, though, I can only wonder at how pointless all these revelations have been. After all, if it’s not clear to anyone by now that the Roman Catholic Church’s hierarchy is morally bankrupt and not much better than the Mafia, then further exposés, such as this one, will hardly help. I can’t imagine why Catholics continue to support this stinking, festering amoral sewer of a Church — but they do. And they do so happily, and most of them will defend it to the hilt.

So much for “suffer the little children,” eh? Nah. Better to just let them be abused, rather than allow the Church to look bad for having harbored criminals.

If you’re interested, the cache of documents is available online, courtesy of a group that advocates for victims of clerical abuse.

Hat tip: Lordrag at iReligion Forum on Delphi Forums.

Photo credit: Wikipedia / Dmadeo.

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4 Responses to “San Diego Diocese Documents Reveal Criminality”
  1. […] blogged late last year about a cache of documents that had been released as a result of the San Diego case. Those […]

  2. […] of keeping abusive clergy on, despite knowing they have abused children; its frequent attempts to shelter abusive priests from prosecution, and to silence those who would report them; its consistent claims to have done nothing wrong, that […]

  3. […] admission of fault. Their patttern of behavior … over a period of decades … has been to move the abusers so they won’t be caught and silence the victims so no one hears about the […]

  4. […] complicity (usually after-the-fact) in child abuse committed by its clergy. This happened in San Diego a couple of years ago. A little to the north, as the Associated Press reports, the archdiocese of Los Angeles recently […]