Cirilo Flores, Former Pedo Priest-Protecting Diocese of Orange Bishop, Passes Away--YAY!

Flores--finished
Flores--finished
Illustration by James McHugh

There should be no tears of sadness shed for the passing of Cirilo Flores, the bishop of the Diocese of San Diego and former auxiliary bishop in Orange who passed away this weekend after a battle with cancer. As is the case with nearly every Catholic bishop of Flores' generation, any good he did in his life (fight for the rights of illegal immigrants, of the poor, against the death penalty) was wiped away forever because of his role in letting pedophile priests in Orange get away with their crimes--not just by never disciplining admitted kiddie fiddlers, but by never even bothering to turn them over to authorities. Yep, that's a prime candidate to become Satan's latest cabana boy.

A refresher: Flores served on the Orange Diocese's clergy-personnel board, the very board charged with investigating charges against diocesan priests. And as I wrote in a 2009 story shortly after it was announced Flores was becoming auxiliary bishop (for you non-mackerel snappers, it's basically a minor-league bishop seat usually given for affirmative action purposes), the board didn't discipline shit while he was there.

From my story:

Flores served on the board from 1995 until this year, a period that also happens to coincide with the Church learning about many cases of priestly sex abuse--but never bothering to discipline the offenders until the cases became public. The inaction of the clergy-personnel team wasn't surprising: Flores' peers on the board during this time include such sex-abuse-scandal luminaries as Michael McKiernan (Brown's longtime secretary, who once told a parishioner that a priest possessing child-pornography images didn't violate Brown's zero-tolerance sex-abuse policy), Daniel Murray (on whose behalf the Orange diocese settled a $500,000 sex-abuse lawsuit in 2004 without alerting parishioners) and John Urell, a man who was so knee-deep in covering for molesting priests as Brown's point man on the issue that he suffered a nervous breakdown during a deposition about his role (see "Bad Moves," Sept. 27, 2007).

Flores served as auxiliary bishop in Orange from 2009 until last year, when he was promoted to become the for-real Diocese of San Diego bishop. He barely served a year there before getting diagnosed with cancer, which still wasn't enough punishment for this pendejo. Heckuva job, Brownie!

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Email: garellano@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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