Forensic Background
 
LA CONFIDENTIAL WORK PRODUCT 8/8/11
[Case Settled]  
of
 A.W.RICHARD SIPE
In the case of
John GV Doe v Archbishop Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, et al.

I.  Identification

I, A.W. Richard Sipe, do depose and state that if called as a witness in this case I would testify as follows:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. I have 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.[1] A complete, accurate, and current copy of my CV is attached. 

II.         Materials Reviewed

      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 2006;

   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;

   GV records BERENDO MIDDLE SCHOOL

   GV 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);

    GV medical records from MARTIN LUTHER KING HOSPITAL (8/18/03);

   GV medical records (08/23/01—01/08/08) ST. ANTHONY MEDICAL CENTER, LOS ANGELES;

   GV Psychiatric evaluation of Eric C. Li, M.D. (11/21/05);

   GV 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 nightmeares.”

   GV Records from LIBERTY HOUSE (04/12/06—05/30/06 AMA) Sr. Sheila McNiff payer;

   GV Medical Records of Mari Madsen, M.D. & SPECIALTY SURGICAL CENTER (05/15/06) Anal Warts. Sr. Sheila McNiff payer.

   GV Records from TARZANA TREATMENT CENTERS (01/11/06—01/16/06)

  GV Records (03/04/08) CALIFORNIA HOSPITAL MEDICAL CENTER—LOS ANGELES FIRE DEPARTMENT EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICE. Discharged to Jail Doctor.

    GV Records from ROYAL PALMS RECOVERY HOME (04/22/08—11/21/08)

    Documents found by Fr. Cunnane and passed to Donald F. Woods;

   Correspondences 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 especially ADLAGV000193-4.

    Report of Patrick Wall on his interviews in Tivoli (05/20/11—05/23/11) and the statement of Silvio JJadanza.

III  Opinions to be Offered

    5.    These 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 revise them.

The 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

Cardinal Roger 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 (11/23/04).
As bishop, 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 Clergy.
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. [2] Also Cf. 12/28/87 letter of Msgr. Curry to Tamayo in which he tells him to stay away from LA with copy to RMM. (Mahony)
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.
Fr. Fernando 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.
Msgr. Gerard Lopez of San Bernardino rightfully refused Fr. Lopez-Lopez faculties in his diocese as Cardinal Mahony points out in his Votum to the CDF.
The diligence and acuity that Msgr. G. Lopez showed in vetting Lopez-Lopez was certainly available to Msgr. Cox of LA.

Even the 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 delicate matters. [3] 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.”[4]

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.

Msgr. Gerard 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.

Fr. Lopez 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.

Mr. Portillo made his report of known abuse to the civil authorities on July 13, 2004.

Fr. Lopez Lopez was arrested on July 28, 2004.

His trial, conviction, incarceration and deportation are a matter of record.

Sr. Shelia 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)

V Conclusions

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

                                                                        Declarant

[1] A document published in June 2007 on the International Traffic in Catholic Priests lists known clergy offenders who fled the United States after being accused or convicted of abuse. As of that date the Archdiocese of Los Angeles had 14 priests (the most in the United States) who were known for this behavior. Cf. Attachment.

[2] Cf. Sipe & Murray. INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC IN CATHOLIC PRIESTS 2007.

[3] Cf. attached: Sipe 2011. CODE WORDS TO HIDE ABUSE.

[4] Justice Anne Burke is Chief Supreme Court judge in the US state of Illinois. Irish Times. August 13, 2011. She served as interim Chair of the bishops’ National Review Board.

 

 

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