Stuck Inside of Memphis With the Catholic Blues Again

Writing from Staxville, on the eve of delivering a lecture about ¡Ask a Mexican! at the University of Memphis...

Yesterday, the law firm of Manly, McGuire & Stewart filed a contempt of court order against Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown, the latest salvo in the Jeff Andrade case. Manly and amigos are arguing that the Orange diocese purposefully whisked Monsignor John Urell to Canada to avoid finishing a deposition that he couldn't continue back in July after breaking down in tears. The diocese denies the charges, and Urell's personal lawyer, Patrick Hennessey, issued a statement that Urell suffers from an "extremely serious anxiety disorder" and can't give a deposition for "a minimum of least three months...Attorneys for the Diocese of Orange were never consulted about where he should receive hospitalization and treatment."

Both Hennessey and Orange diocesan spokesperson Ryan Lilygren are furiously spinning for Urell. Hennessey got an entire column with Orange County Register columnist Frank Mickadeit yesterday where he said that he noticed Urell "was in distress" in late August and tried to get an appointment with a psychiatrist over Labor Day weekend. On Sept. 4, the psychiatrist concluded after "20 minutes" that Urell needed immediate hospitalization; Urell left for Canada's Southdown Institute on Sept. 6. Lilygren chirped in with his already infamous Sept. 14 "Spin/Facts" memo on the diocesan website:

"The recommendation to place Msgr. Urell in a residential treatment facility was made by Msgr. Urell himself, his doctors, his family and close friends and the diocesan Vicar for Priests, Father Christopher Smith. At no time was the diocesan legal team involved in making this decision."

Following the jump is what Hennessey and Lilygren didn't disclose:

On August 30, Orange County Superior Court Judge Gail Andler ordered Urell to finish his deposition and to prepare to appear in court on Sept. 17. That same day, according to a Sept. 3 letter Hennessey sent to Manly, McGuire & Stewart, Hennessey contacted Diocese of Orange lawyer Peter Callahan "to inform him of Msgr. Urell's apparent unavailability for further deposition." The two later met and went over Urell's deposition. The letter stands in stark contrast to Hennessey and Lilygren's public proclamations, and the timing makes the entire episode stink like a toilet after a man relieved himself of cheese grits (don't ask). Perhaps Urell really is messed up in the brain and soul right now, but he sure picked an interesting time to get some therapy, ¿qué no? And, more importantly, why didn't Hennessey tell Mickadeit about his meeting with Callahan (or maybe he did and Mickadeit didn't report it) ? And how does Lilygren sleep at night? Paging Rainier Wolfcastle...

Download Hennessey's letter to Manly, McGuire & Stewart here.


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