Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Hit and Run Bishop Accused of Sex Abuse

Edit: this came in from Randy Engle.

FILE - In this March 26, 2004, file pool photo, Bishop Thomas O'Brien, center, is flanked by attorneys, Melissa Berren, left, and Tom Henze, right, as they stand before Judge Stephen Gerst in a courtroom in Phoenix. O'Brien, a former bishop who led the Roman Catholic church in metro Phoenix during a worldwide child sexual abuse scandal, has been accused of molesting a young boy 35 years ago. O'Brien is accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing the boy on several occasions at parishes in Phoenix and Goodyear from 1977 to 1982. The Diocese of Phoenix says O'Brien denies the allegation. (AP Photo/Mark Henle, Pool, File) more +

A former bishop who led the Roman Catholic church in metro Phoenix during a worldwide child sexual abuse scandal has been accused of molesting a young boy 35 years ago.

Retired Bishop Thomas O'Brien is accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing the boy on several occasions at parishes in Phoenix and Goodyear from 1977 to 1982. The Diocese of Phoenix says O'Brien denies the allegation.

O'Brien, now 81, led the diocese in Phoenix as it became embroiled in a global scandal that rocked the Catholic church after allegations surfaced in Boston about pedophile priests going unpunished.

The bishop acknowledged in a 2003 immunity deal that he let church employees accused of sex abuse continue to have contact with children. Weeks after the deal, O'Brien resigned as bishop after he was arrested in the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian.

O'Brien's accuser says the clergyman sexually abused him when he was a child and he had suppressed his memories of it, said Tim Hale, his lawyer.

The accuser, who is now 47 and lives in the Tucson area, started having flashbacks of the abuse in September 2014 when preparing for his son's baptism into the Catholic church, Hale said.
"It has turned his life upside down," Hale said, explaining that his client has suffered profound emotional distress.

Hale said his client's allegation is being investigated by the Phoenix Police Department, which refused to comment.

The diocese issued a statement saying O'Brien denies the accusation and that he was never assigned to the schools and parishes where the abuse is alleged to have occurred. The statement also said the diocese informed prosecutors about the allegation immediately after learning of it in September 2016.

O'Brien's 2003 immunity agreement said a grand jury investigating church sex abuse allegations at the time didn't find evidence that the bishop had engaged in sexual misconduct.
Amanda Jacinto, a spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, said the immunity deal will remain in place, meaning the bishop could not be prosecuted for letting church employees suspected of sex abuse be around children.

But Jacinto said the agreement would not prevent prosecutors from bringing a case against O'Brien if there's evidence that he sexually abused a child.

O'Brien, who served as Phoenix's bishop for 21 years, resigned in June 2003 after being accused of striking and killing 43-year-old Jim Reed with his car.
The bishop didn't stop to help Reed or report the accident to police but told investigators that he didn't realize he had hit a person.

He said he thought he had hit a dog or cat or that someone had thrown a rock at his car. Prosecutors said O'Brien tried to have his windshield fixed.

He was sentenced to probation and 1,000 hours of community service after being convicted of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

John C. Kelly, an attorney representing the Diocese of Phoenix, declined to comment on the lawsuit and the allegations against O'Brien.
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JBQ said...

"Suppressed memory" as evidence is very unreliable. That being said, the hits keep coming.

Anonymous said...

Rotten (and literal) fruits of Vatican II.

Anonymous said...

Despite what a lout this former bishop is, 35 years ago?What physical evidence is there? Everyone is sorry the Church had such lousy bishops and priests back in the days but you can't rob from people today who are unrelated to pay for something when there is no physical evidence. Sounds like someone is trying to shake the money tree here

susan said...

"Suppressed memory"......jackpot!

This bp. may indeed be a skunk, but I seriously doubt the validity of this particular accusation. Coma, amnesia, and other physiological causes of memory 'loss' are certainly valid, but the whole 'suppressed memory' phenom that burgeoned in the 80's and 90's was a psychological construct for the enrichment of the legal offshoot of the (now debunked) "Sybil" fever.

The hits keep coming indeed, and JBQ, I don't think we've seen anything yet.

Tancred said...

This guy is a real louse but.....

susan said...


They got Capone on tax evasion...but I'm fairly certain Capone evaded taxes.

N.D. said...

This much we know is true, it is not the Faithful who are responsible for the heinous sexual abuse crisis, but those who denied The Catholic Church's teaching on sexual morality, and thus the dignity of the human person as a beloved son or daughter.

JBQ said...

@N.D. You got it right. Hear! Hear!

Peter W said...

Over the past decade or so, Judicial investigators, psychologists and psychiatrists across the world have come to a realisation that, beyond the surface tabloid reporting 'repressed memory syndrome', there is in fact a great deal to support the phenomenon.
Within very traditional Catholic cultures it was not uncommon up until recent times for parents to refuse to believe their children if they reported any signs of abuse by priests and/or religious. Because of their status within Catholic society, any kind of sexual aberration was unthinkable and child abuse in particular.
Furthermore, children would have been totally confused by sexual abuse particularly by priests whom they would have identified with God himself. Being abused by a priest would have meant in a very real way being abused by God. These experiences of role confusion with abusing priests/religious combined with the inability and refusal of the family and the rest of the adult community pushed these experiences deep into children's memories only to surface decades later.
The indiscriminate campaign to vilify 'repressed memory syndrome' is fuelled and funded by denialist groups like the Catholic League and 'Pro Bono Sacerdotii.' These and like minded lobby groups perfunctorily label complainants as mercenary 'gold diggers' and opportunists.
The legal and heath systems have developed sophisticated testing to determine the genuine from the charlatans.

Tancred said...

Ooo, there's a credible line of work.

Peter W said...

Always delighted when you 'get it' Tancred.

susan said...

how is it possible for a guy...or a xe(?) make a pig's breakfast of absolutely EVERY topic under the sun?

susan: "water is wet"
feybriel: "no it's not you harpy...research has shown that it's actually quite dry when you get down to the quarkin-bosonist-patempkin substrate....bp. tucho fernandez has done cutting work on the topic, particularly as regards the moistness of lips while kissing...that's a fact."

You're simply wrong in your progressive pop-psychology some actual research not funded by the SPLC for a change. Here's a start for ya....

susan said...

can't read?

Dr. Richard J. McNally; Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University:

“The notion that traumatic events can be repressed and later recovered is the most pernicious bit of folklore ever to infect psychology and psychiatry. It has provided the theoretical basis for ‘recovered memory therapy’ — the worst catastrophe to befall the mental health field since the lobotomy era.”

Dr. Grant Devilly, from the Psychological Health research unit at Griffith University, agrees with Dr. McNally:

“I do not believe there’s such a thing as repressed memory. I haven’t seen a single instance in which a memory was completely repressed and popped up again....I go on science, not fads. And there’s absolutely no proof that it can happen. Zero. None. Niente. Nada. All my research says that strong emotional experiences leave emotionally strong memories. Being sexually molested would certainly qualify.”

In addition:

"Recovered-memory therapy will come to be recognized as the quackery of the 20th century." – Dr. Richard Ofshe, a social psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley (Leon Jaroff and Jeanne McDowell, “Repressed-Memory Therapy: Lies of the Mind,” Time, November 29, 1993);
"If penis envy made us look dumb, this will make us look totally gullible." – Dr. Paul McHugh, chairman of the psychiatry department at Johns Hopkins University (Leon Jaroff and Jeanne McDowell, “Repressed-Memory Therapy: Lies of the Mind,” Time, November 29, 1993);
"You can’t be raped for 10 years and not remember it. Yet, according to the repression aficionados, anything's possible." – Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, professor of psychology at the University of California Irvine (Sasha Abramsky, “Memory and Manipulation: The trials of Elizabeth Loftus, defender of the wrongly accused,” LA Weekly, August 19, 2004).

Peter W said...

Out of date hypotheses. The courts don't accept this stuff any more. They believe the kids who were abused and are now adults. But you wouldn't have a clue about this because you are just cutting and pasting the dodgy propaganda fed you by Bill Donohue and the Catholic League.
You are flogging an ideological horse that died a long time ago.
Go and say your prayers.

susan said...

Horrendous abuse happens and perpetrators should be prosecuted and punished maximally. But 'repressed memory' is a feint used by money grubbing lawyers, shyster psych workers, and defended by leftist prog hacks. You've offered nothing to refute the SCIENCE, but rather fall on the floor, tears streaming, fists pounding, screaming that "gravity isn't fair!, and you suck for saying it is!!!" You lose...on every point of fact feybriel, and you just keep demonstrating your ineptness and illogic.

I will certainly go and say my prayers (once again for you, as I made you a specific Mass intention 2 days ago), but while I do that, how'bout you go and read the story of Fr. Father Gordon twisted wretch.

Peter W said...

It comes as no surprise at all that the references you cite are published in journals which belong to the exact same culture of denialism about the extent and history of the clerical child rapist scandal and the whole industry which has sprung up to spread deflection and dissemblance. You give yourself away by linking your excuse for a defence with ideological tarts like Bill Donohue and his courtier, David La Pierre, the noted bleating troll and denialist extraordinaire.
They all ultimately claim their authority from the deluded ‘First Things’ Rat Pack which gathered around the late Richard John Neuhaus. He and his pals like Novak, Weigel, Mary Ann Glendon & Co were the last of the right wing illuminati to wake up to the fact that child sexual abuse was not simply a matter of a ‘few rotten apples’ but was deeply systemic in the priesthood and large sections of religious life. Weigel and Glendon were the classics who drooled over Marcial Marciel calling him a ‘living saint’ etc etc and were among the very last to realise that they had been conned.
What has contributed greatly to the courts in many countries now accepting the ‘suppressed memory’ argument is that judicial and law enforcement authorities in some countries such as the UK, Ireland, Australia and in some jurisdictions in Latina America, Canada and the USA have served sub poenas ordering diocesan authorities to surrender secret archives on offending priests. In very many cases, the submissions of victims with ‘suppressed memories’ were matched, time and place with the accused priests and religious. In addition to this, evidence of systemic ‘relocation’ of personnel surfaced. A classic example of corporate cover-up was Cardinal Bevilaqua in 1994 instructing poor miserable underlings like Msgr William Lynn to shred files related to historical cases of child sexual abuse.

This doesn’t matter in the least to Donohue and the Catholic League, La Pierre and his ‘Pro Bono Sacerdotii.’ They are so ideologically conditioned into thinking about the Church along the principles of honor/shame societies that they are incapable of accepting that Church and profound dysfunctionality could be used in the same breath. They perpetuate the great lie and, in doing so, demean the victims, their families and communities and in doing so dishonour Christ. Think about it.

susan said...

non sequitur, straw man, squirrel. Weigel, Glendon, et al; neo-cat asses. I never claimed otherwise. Squirrel!

as to your next spurious point; of course children have been abused by predators inside (and outside!) of the Church. I never claimed otherwise. Squirrel!

aaand to your next spurious point; the studies cited were ALL from prestigious LEFT-WING universities and don't like what the science clearly says, you scream like the pathetic member-less pajama boy that you are. Here ya go feybriel...4 of the very first listings under a random yahoo search for "repressed memory accepted in court", (note: they're all recent and up-to-date; your assertions are old and busted)....


On the SPECIFIC topic of repressed memory syndrome (which is ALL that was being addressed) you have NO, ZERO, ZIP, NADA evidence for its validity. I, however, have now cited you 7 prestigious studies and/or abstracts that lay bare the truth of its invalidity.

and you bringing up the victims and their families as if you really care about them is really rich, ya twink....wanna know the very best way to truly help them AND the Church? Get rid of the faggots and boy-buggers from the priesthood. PERIOD. 85% of the abuse has been perpetrated on young, post-pubescent boys; the favorite target of sodomite predators. Get rid of the faggot protecting bishops, and prelates, and 'POPE'!....there’s your cover-up, ya fop. That would go a loooong way in cleaning up the filth and abuse, and it'll also empty out a large part of the chanceries, especially in Europe. But, no; the cocaine-fueled gay orgies continue unabated, while the ringmasters and participants remain in good standing, just out of the light till the din dies down a bit, while a good man in Columbia is excommunicated for defending the Faith and speaking the Truth. “Fr.” Capozzi, sodo-freak extraordinaire, and myriad others of his ilk are protected by bishops and cardinals who don't want their cover blown either. Hell, Coccopalmerio's personal creampuff, er I mean 'secretary' was even being pushed for bishop….real cozy those rainbow types. 85%!....(John Jay Report)

But lemme guess….you don’t like these verified statistics either. Leftisits are the biggest science deniers on the planet. You scream “INTOLERANCE!” while you murder a Trump supporters cause he had a hat on. You holler “BIGOT!” while you shame people for the crime of being white skinned. You rage “HATER!” while you find yourselves having to fake ‘hate-crimes’ to produce any (this is classic!… ….and again, unlike your sorry-ass, fact-less rants, these are all verified).

malignantly narcissistic; projection oriented; neurotically immature; intellectually regressive; reality denying; The Left. Fascism at its utmost. And you, feybriel, are its posterboy.

Peter W said...

It's worse than I had imagined. Get help, quickly.