Yesterday, we wrote about how the Diocese of Orange is using a laughable argument to try and keep secret personnel files on pedo-priest Denis Lyons in a recent civil suit. Unsurprisingly, Lyons' lawyers also filed a brief for the same purpose using the same tactic of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown: that any correspondence between Lyon and his superiors is confidential information protected by the United States Constitution because it's a religious belief. "For the Roman Catholic Church to be free to continue its practices, which have done immeasurable good for billions of people around the world for two millennia, its internal communications to confront and reform wayward priests must remain free from civil process and public disclosure," wrote attorney Donald Steier on Lyons' behalf in a Jan. 16 motion. Considering that the Vatican's practices over two millennia have included conversion by the sword, homo-hating, and protecting child rapists, does Steier really want to go down that road to Damascus?
Apparently, shockingly, he does. In a bizarre game of chicken, Steier goes as close as possible to admit Lyons has molested boys without explicitly stating so in order to save his client.
In his brief, Steier freely admits that plaintiff attorney V. James DeSimone wants documents from Lyons' personnel file that "involve the internal workings of the Roman Catholic Church when confronted with the possibility that an ordained priest has a sexual problem, which is forbidden by Church law. Those proceedings entail an intimate process by which the Church, through the bishop and his surrogates, attempt to save the soul and profession of a priest who has been ordained as a representative of God on Earth."
Geez, what kind of a "sexual problem" would Lyons have had that would entail the salvation of his soul? Whacking off? Getting it on with consenting adults? Or raping kiddies? $4 million in settled civil suits regarding pedophilia don't lie.
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Then comes this bizarre line:
"Father Lyons does not contend that any church has a protected license to practice illegal sexual contact with children, but that the Church and Father Lyons are in a unique relationship essential to the Roman Catholic Religion, and that the communications within that relationship are sacrosanct from civil process."
Why would Lyons bring up pedophilia in an argument to try and hide his personnel files? Earlier in his motion, Steier talked about unspecified medical problems Lyons has suffered as not being fair to make public, and he could've left the description at that. But arguing that, while buggering boys is bad, talking about it with your superior is privileged information? I haven't seen such a tortured legal argument since Lionel Hutz tried to get Marge Simpson off for stealing a bottle of bourbon from the Kwik-E-Mart. Speaking of Hutz...