Daniel Murray: As mentioned above, the Orange diocese secretly settled a sex-abuse lawsuit in 2004 against Murray yet didn’t remove him from the priesthood, instead placing him on administrative leave.

The inactive list: From 1995 until 2001, the Orange diocese kept Eleuterio Ramos, Siegfried Widera and Michael Harris on its list of priests under “inactive leave,” those clergymen who weren’t officiating over Mass but were nevertheless in good clerical standing with the diocese. Ramos and Widera just happened to be the most notorious pedophile priests in Orange County history, each admitting to Church officials that they raped dozens of boys, while Harris was forced to resign as principal of Santa Margarita High School in the mid-1990s after the Church received a couple of sex-abuse allegations and a psychologist classified him as an ephebophile, someone attracted to teenage boys. Ramos, Widera and Harris were removed from the inactive list only after civil lawsuits were filed against them.

It’s not as if the diocese hadn’t previously removed pedophile priests from the inactive list; in 1996, it nixed the name of Andrew Christian Andersen from the list after he violated parole in New Mexico by trying to rape a teenage boy in that state. The parole happened after Andersen pleaded guilty in 1986 to molesting four boys at St. Bonaventure in Huntington Beach.

See no evil, smile some more!
Illustration by James McHugh
See no evil, smile some more!


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