Scroll down for updates as they come...
Just received word that the Catholic Diocese of Orange just settled a civil suit filed against it and former Mater Dei High School boys' basketball coach Jeff Andrade. Strange, considering diocesan lawyers were publicly proclaiming they were raring to start the trial. And isn't it convenient that they announce it on a Friday afternoon, just as the weekend starts and reporters are busy planning how to lose the weekend in a glass of Jack Daniels? Details as they come over the weekend...
**UPDATE: The Associated Press is up first with a story. The Orange diocese also settled three other cases involving molestations. Bishop Tod D. Brown's prepared statement: "The settlement of these civil cases represents the moral obligation for the church for such behavior by adults in positions of responsibility. By settling these cases I sincerely hope that it will enable the women who brought these actions to begin the process of healing and reconciliation" We'll spare ustedes the snide, truthful remarks for now--dinner calls...
**UPDATE: Screw dinner. The settlement means Monsignor John Urell will no longer have to testify, signifies Brown and others can't be put on the witness stand and be forced to tell what they know. "Moral obligation," Bishop Brown? How about the moral obligation John Urell had to report Michael Pecharich to Child Protective Services? How about the moral obligation you had to disclose a molestation allegation per your Covenant with the Faithful, and the obligation to not twist it around to suit your needs?
**UPDATE: Press release by the Orange diocese after the jump:
Here's the link. Initial thoughts: Diocesan attorney Peter Callahan is still uppity. Brown speaks of hoping that the settlements "will enable the women who brought these actions to begin the process of healing and reconciliation.” Gee, why didn't he care for the victims when Jane C.R. Doe, Jeff Andrade's victim, had to undergo an eight-day interrogation?
Callahan: “In the Andrade case, although we were ready to present our case before the trial jury, it was the view of the Diocese that a lay employee of the school had committed a wrong and if there was a way to compassionately compensate the plaintiff, then the Diocese would propose and join in that resolution.” "Compassionately compensate," eh, Petey? Just like paying a statutory rapist $100,000?
Apparently, Callahan and Co. want to fight the contempt of court citation filed by John Manly against Bishop Brown. "The effort to repudiate Bishop Brown's character, and by extension Msgr. John Urell, is unwarranted. We will seek a clear ruling of dismissal by Judge Andler at the earliest opportunity." Unwarranted, Petey? Nah, Brown did it all with his big, hypocritical mouth.
Now, I go to dinner...
**UPDATE: What a great weekend for Mater Dei. First, the football team beat Corona Centennial, now this. Go Monarchs!
**UPDATE: We have a figure: $6.885 million, for four victims. Brief statement by John Manly:
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"[The settlements are] the highest average of any diocese in California, and it reflects several things: the gravity of the harm done to the client, and the amount of culpability on the part of the diocese and the schools involved. This case was mostly about Mater Dei, and parents who send their children there should be very concerned. In my view, what the diocese didn't want jurors to here is the atmosphere of allowing teachers to rape kids. It was open season."
The hearing for contempt is still on--it's up to the judge to hear it or not.
**UPDATE: The Orange County Register weighs in with a preliminary report: boy, is it terrible. No monetary figure like this infernal blog ($6.885 million), and they describe it as "clergy abuse cases" even though the accused were two choir directors (Larry Stukenholtz and Albert Lee Schildknecht), a basketball coach (Andrade), and a teacher at Santa Margarita High whose name escapes us. No wonder the story has no byline. Can't wait for Mickadeit's take...
**UPDATE: Correction on the amount above. It's $6.685 million, which other news organizations have rounded off to $7 million. I'm done with this thread--click on the Ex Cathedra link to read more!