A Blast from Bishop Cirilo Flores' Child-Abuse-Condoning Past!
Blessed are the anonymous sources, for they bring justice to the little ones...
Turns out newly ordained Diocese of Orange Bishop Cirilo Flores has a proud past of defending and condoning child abusers--and I'm not even talking about his treatment of numerous Orange diocese pedophile priests. Nearly 30 years ago, Flores was involved in investigating a nationally notorious child-abuse case in the Diocese of San Bernardino and not only did nothing about it, he agreed with the abuse.
The scandal in question happened at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Indio. In the summer of 1980, reports arose that nuns disciplined elementary-school-age children by tying them to chairs with ropes, taping their mouths shut, locking them in closets, making them stand outside in the brutal Coachella Valley sun for hours at a time, forcing them to assume all fours while arching their back, and smacking them around every once in a while. The San Bernardino bishop immediately created a five-person panel to investigate the charges. On the board was a young lay lawyer named Cirilo Flores.
News accounts from the time report that the panel found such disciplinary measures ''questionable" and ''ill-advised and imprudent,'' and the diocese immediately banned those forms of punishment. However, the board absolved the nuns of any wrongdoing and blamed the media for exagerrating the abuse (the more things change...). "The board was very impressed with the presentation and intent of some of these disciplinary measures,'' Flores told the Associated Press at the time in a story filed July 9, 1980. ''We found no maliciousness whatsoever nor any abusive intent and that is the reason we do not recommend any change in personnel at this time,'' he said.
Niiiice. It's one thing to smack the knuckles of a foul-mouthed kid with a ruler, quite another to tie them to a chair. "The majority of parents supported the teachers' actions," the AP wrote as Flores stating, and, hey, a lot of people continue to support Mater Dei boys' basketball coach Gary McKnight despite him allowing an admitted teen rapist back on school campus. Not only that, but if the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal has taught us anything else besides that nearly all bishops are agents of Satan, it's that when there's smoke, there's Hell on Earth.
And that's what leads us to the case of Edward Anthony Rodrigue.
Rodrigue (not a typo; this is his last name) is the Eleuterio Ramos of the Inland Empire, a monster who raped children again and again and again while church officials did nothing. In December of 1979, Rodrigue was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of child abuse but placed on three years probation and ordered to undergo rehabilitation. Of course, none of this worked and Rodrigue was placed back in ministry in the San Bernardino diocese.
A diocesan attorney at the time of Rodrigue's "rehabilitation"? Cirilo Flores.
Now, it must be pointed out that Flores wasn't Rodrigue's personal attorney, nor is it known if he was the head legal counsel at the time for the San Berdoo diocese or just a helper: records are non-existent or shredded, and priests in the Orange diocese are banned from speaking with me (and head spokesdrone Ryan Lilygren won't even return my email!). But, refry this: Flores was the only lawyer who served on the investigating committee into the Indio school child abuse, which should attest as to his seniority in the San Bernardino diocese. So, it's perfectly reasonable to make the connection that Flores had his hands with Rodrigue at some point in the pederast's career. From the desert to the sea to all of Southern California, Cirilo Flores is just as much of a joke as his predecessors. Not that wabs care, though: go Aztlan!
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts