Okay, okay, okay: to have ever put hope in the Covenant with the Faithful--a 2004 PR trick by Bishop Tod D. Brown of the Catholic Diocese of Orange that swore to create a more transparent group of pedo-priests and their apologists but cost the county faithful nearly half a million dollars--was an exercise in stupidity. But the way Brownie and his crew continue to make a mockery out of its seven bullet points, placed near the entrance at all Orange diocese parishes, keeps getting more and more laughable with every passing year.
Consider the latest folly, found in a civil lawsuit filed in Santa Barbara Superior Court against a group of Franciscan friars that includes former Sts. Simon and Jude pedo-priest Gus Krumm. Buried in it is a fascinating passage involving Krumm and Michael Harvey, the current pastor at the Huntington Beach parish. Seems that last year, a former parishioner wanted to speak with Harvey about Krumm and unknown incidents that happened while he terrorized Surf City.
Harvey did better than offer no comment--he wanted to make his comments legally disappear.
According to a Nov. 3 complaint for the case:
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When the parishioner stated he wished to discuss notorious Franciscan perpetrator Father Gus Krumm, Father Harvey's response was immediate and premeditated: before the parishioner could say anything further about Krumm, Harvey insisted that any discussion regarding Krumm be in the context of the confessional, thus rendering the communication penitential.
In other words, folks: padres aren't obligated to report sex-abuse crimes if made in the confessional booth, because that's privileged. For Harvey to insist that the parishioner complain about Krumm in confessions is satanically genius!
"In so doing," the complaint added, "the Franciscans have turned the Constitution on its head, using First Amendment protections to shield Franciscan perpetrators from law enforcement and to make the world a much more dangerous place for children."
Brown isn't technically Harvey's boss, since Harvey is a Franciscan and they're technically not diocesan priests. But Sts. Simon and Jude is a Orange diocese parish, and Brown does have the authority to kick Harvey out. Will he do so for Harvey's violation the Covenant and for Harvey trying to circumvent the law? Does Pope Benedict XVI approve of gay marriage?