Orange County Bishops and Their Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card: A History

I'm getting disappointed with Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown. As of recently, I've been reporting more on the kooky actions of former Orange bishops, whether it was homo-hating or homo-hypocrisy, than the current head of the county's Catholics. So it hurts me to report that the latest in Orange County Catholic idiocies again emanates from alumni–in this case Fresno Bishop John Steinbock and his $10,000 donation to the St. Luke's Institute.

St. Luke's is notorious as the place where the Catholic hierarchy send their pedo-priests off for treatment, and it has a special place in Orange County Catholic history. It's where Bishop William Johnson sent Eleuterio Ramos to unsuccessfully rejigger his child-molesting mind in the late 1970s. It's where Bishop Norman McFarland sent Monsignor Michael Harris to find out what the Orange diocese already knew–that Harris was a boy-lover. It was where Placentia native Manuel Moreno sent off Tucson's most notorious pedo-priest while head of the Diocese of Tucson. Why, even Brown sent off a priest to the Maryland center after investigators found the priest had downloaded child porn.

The similarity in all these cases, save for the Orange County connection? In all cases, instead of alerting the police, each bishop sent off an offender to “rehabilitation.” St. Luke's is the Get-out-of-Jail-Free card for generations of Orange County bishops, so kudos to Steinbock for at least admitting the institute has saved his ass in the past. So stop being an ingrate, Brown, and pay your respect!

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