I, A.W. Richard
Sipe, do depose and state that if called as a witness in this case I
would testify as follows:
My name is A. W.
Richard (Aquinas Walter Richard) Sipe. I have been asked to
render an opinion from the documents provided me and listed
below on the behavior of Fr. Fernando Lopez y Lopez and his
supervising institution—the archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal
Roger M. Mahony. I was trained specifically to serve as a
counselor/psychotherapist to deal with the mental health
problems of Roman Catholic clergy and Religious.
My area of
expertise is the sexual/celibate behaviors of men who profess
“perfect and perpetual (chastity) celibacy” and are presented to
the public by their sponsoring organization as sexually safe. I
have authored seven books on the subject.
previously been consulted in cases of abuse of minors involving
Roman Catholic priests who were alleged/convicted sexual abusers
and who exhibited behavior similar to Fr. Fernando Lopez-Lopez
and were sponsored by a U.S. bishop or archbishop.
A complete, accurate, and current copy of my CV is attached.
4. As of this
date I have received the following documents to review:
Certified Translation of Documents from the Criminal Case Court
of Rome re: Fr. Lopez-Lopez, 09/20/02; convicted of oral sex
with a minor; record of sentence.
RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFF’S SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES 04/28/09;
PLAINTIFF’S AMENDED RESPONSE; RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFF’S FORM
INTERROGATORIES; all by the Archbishop of Los Angeles
Various Documents supplied to the Vatican by Cardinal Mahony as
a Report of Graviora Delicta by Fr. Fernando Lopez Lopez
Deposition of William Portillo, 11/15/ 2010 & vol. 2;
Deposition of Fr. Arturo Valdez 12/13/10;
Deposition of Msgr. Gerard Lopez, Vicar for Clergy. 02/11/11;
Deposition of Richard Byrne, Vice Chair of Clergy Misconduct
Oversight Board, 04/18/11;
Deposition of Fr. Jarlath Cunnane, Pastor. 11/24/10;
Deposition of Msgr. Craig Cox, former Vicar for Clergy. 4/13/11;
Deposition of Julie Chinchilla, secretary. 11/15/10;
Deposition of Fr. David Ochoa, associate pastor. 1/24/11;
Deposition of Gerardo Velasquez. 08/13/09;
records BERENDO MIDDLE SCHOOL
records BELMONT HIGH SCHOOL
Progress Notes from the CENTER for DISCOVERY & ADOLESCENT
CHANGE (1/20/06—4/12/06) produced by PLAINTIFF’S RESPONSE TO
FIRST SET OF INSPECTION DEMANDS FROM THE ROMAN CATHOLIC
ARCHBISHOP OF LOS ANGELES (04/28/09);
RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFF’S REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION (04/05/10);
medical records from MARTIN LUTHER KING HOSPITAL (8/18/03);
medical records (08/23/01—01/08/08) ST. ANTHONY MEDICAL CENTER,
Psychiatric evaluation of Eric C. Li, M.D. (11/21/05);
Records from DISCOVERY PRACTICE MANAGEMENT. (01/20/06—04/11/06)
Kory Hemenway, Ph.D. [Dx: Polysubstance Abuse/Major Depression/PTSD/Family
Conflict]. (Sr. Sheila McNiff payer). Discharge note: “Client
has history of sexual abuse resulting in flashbacks, and
Records from LIBERTY HOUSE (04/12/06—05/30/06 AMA) Sr. Sheila
Medical Records of Mari Madsen, M.D. & SPECIALTY SURGICAL CENTER
(05/15/06) Anal Warts. Sr. Sheila McNiff payer.
Records from TARZANA TREATMENT CENTERS (01/11/06—01/16/06)
Records (03/04/08) CALIFORNIA HOSPITAL MEDICAL CENTER—LOS
ANGELES FIRE DEPARTMENT EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICE. Discharged to
Records from ROYAL PALMS RECOVERY HOME (04/22/08—11/21/08)
Documents found by Fr. Cunnane and passed to Donald F. Woods;
supplied by Donald F. Woods, Jr. to Darci Johnson, Assistant
District Attorney including the Votum of Cardinal Roger M.
Mahony to the CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE
FAITH re: The Reverend Fernando Lopez-Lopez (09/16/05). Note
Report of Patrick Wall on his interviews in Tivoli
(05/20/11—05/23/11) and the statement of Silvio JJadanza.
III Opinions to
constitute some of the opinions I intend to render in this case. If
more documentation is supplied me I reserve the right to expand and
Archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Mahony, was negligent in
conferring faculties on Fr. Fernando Lopez-Lopez in 2001. All
the resultant sexual abuse could have been foreseen had due
diligence been exercised.
IV Facts On Which
The Opinions Are Based
M. Mahony has a Masters Degree in social work and served in the
dioceses of Monterey, Fresno, and Stockton before coming to Los
Angeles in 1985.
He was well
acquainted with the problems of sexual abuse of minors by extern
(foreign) priests before coming to Los Angeles: e.g.
He was the
superior of Fr. Oliver O’Grady who was convicted and imprisoned
for abuse and fled to Ireland and Fr. Antonio Camacho who fled
to Mexico after he was accused of abuse. Cf. Mahony deposition
Mahony was aware of the problem of clergy abuse discussed at the
1985 meeting of bishops in Collegeville and when he came to LA
latter that year he appointed Msgr. Curry as the first Vicar for
The Los Angeles
Archdiocese has a long history of extern priests sexually
offending and fleeing the country. (13 recorded as of 2007, the
most of any U.S. diocese) e.g. Frs. Nicolas Aguilar; Diesta;
Garcia; Tilak; Kelly; Marshall; Mateo; Roso; Silva; Tamayo;
Tesler; Tugade; Vetter.
Also Cf. 12/28/87 letter of Msgr. Curry to
Tamayo in which he tells him to stay away from LA with copy to
The case of Fr.
Aguilar is of particular importance because of the exchanges
between Cardinal Norberto Rivera and Cardinal Mahony in which
the cardinal of Mexico City wrote that he warned Mahony of
trouble by means of code that the move was “for family reasons”
that any Catholic superior would understand. He also stated that
he thought the problem was “homosexuality” an often-used code
for sex with minor boys. (04/21/10/ among other sources).
Mahony knew that
some of his priests abused minors and he continued to assign
them to pastoral work e.g. Frs. Baker, Wempe.
Lopez Lopez a Columbian citizen presented himself to LA clearly
as a risk in 2001. Ordained for an Italian diocese only in 2000
and serving in 2 parishes and leaving “for an extended period of
time” under direction of the bishop. Already a Red Flag.
Criminal allegations of homosexuality (and conviction of abuse
of minors) also existed at that time.
Lopez of San Bernardino rightfully refused Fr. Lopez-Lopez
faculties in his diocese as Cardinal Mahony points out in his
Votum to the CDF.
and acuity that Msgr. G. Lopez showed in vetting Lopez-Lopez was
certainly available to Msgr. Cox of LA.
letter from the bishop of Tivoli to Msgr. Cox said that he knew
of nothing “in the external forum” that would
exclude Lopez-Lopez from pastoral work in LA. That is clear
code. There is ample proof that bishops use code to speak about
Also it is common knowledge within the
clerical system that bishops lie at times. As bishop John Ricard
of Baltimore said, “I only lie when I have to.” This is a
familiar phrase that is attested to by many priests and others
who work in chancery offices. [I-Chief Justice Anne Burke]
“wonder what kind of people we are dealing with when we engage
the bishops. How is it that their words say one thing and their
secret intentions say another? Are they ever to be trusted?... I
believe that truthfulness has been a virtue in trouble for a
long time in the Catholic Church.”
The Report of
the car accident that Fr. Lopez Lopez in 2003 showed that he had
minors with him. The prohibition of priests driving with minors
is one of the archdiocesan directives, as is the prohibition of
having minors in a priest’s living quarters, contained in the
Official Policy for the Protection Against Abuse (2002). This
was a red flag and, if missed, was the fault of the Archdiocese
and its head.
Lopez of San Bernardino wrote to LA in January 8, 2004 of his
concern over the presence of Fr. Fernando Lopez Lopez working in
a LA parish. The facts of Fernando’s ineptitude and danger to
others were clear at this time.
Lopez was removed from the parish and sent to the House of
Prayer (and St Andrew’s Abbey) only on July 12, 2004 a full 6
months after they had clear testimony of danger. There is reason
to believe that he abused minors during this interval.
made his report of known abuse to the civil authorities on July
Lopez was arrested on July 28, 2004.
conviction, incarceration and deportation are a matter of
McNiff made special efforts to help John VG Doe deal with some
of the effects of the abuse he suffered at the hands of Fr.
Lopez Lopez. (Cf. medical and treatment records)
6. The ease with
which Patrick Wall and Vincent Finaldi ascertained the facts and
secured documents of Fr. Fernando Lopez Lopez’s history—which
verified the judgment of Msgr. Gerard Lopez of San
Bernardino—demonstrates the due diligence that Cardinal Mahony
should have had for the care of children in his diocese. This case
also demonstrates a casualness and carelessness that is inexcusable
in a member of the hierarchy who has the background and experience
specifically with extern priests and the danger of sexual abuse.
7. In over 20 years
dealing with cases of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy I have
never reviewed a case where the facts speak more clearly for
themselves. No matter how facts were overlooked, or by whom, the
Cardinal alone signed the document giving faculties to Fr. Fernando
Lopez Lopez. His Votum to the CDF is a clear and concise
report of many facts that he could and should have been aware of
prior to granting this priest permission to function in his
jurisdiction. It is a sad commentary on serious neglect and the
endangerment of minors.
Executed this ___
day of August, 2011, at , _______________, California.
A. W. Richard Sipe