Longtime Diocese of Orange Bishop Norman McFarland died yesterday, and more than a few people rejoiced because of his role in creating the see's sex-abuse scandal. McFarland wasn't as clumsy as current Bishop Tod D. Brown, as clueless as founding bishop William Johnson, as despicable as Michael Driscoll or Jaime Soto, as irrelevant as Dominic Luong…where are we going with this? Right–McFarland's many sins in the scandal.
The obits on McFarland by the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times hint at McFarland's role, but speak in vague terms, without naming names or raising holy hell. I understand–none of the reporters cover religion, so aren't versed in McFarland's evil deeds. SO…let's do a roll call after the jump!
*The Orange diocese began its continuing campaign of smearing sex-abuse victims at every possible turn. McFarland hired reprehensible attorney Peter Callahan to badger victims on the witness stand starting with a victim of Eleuterio Ramos, and also introduced the Diocese's relevancy argument–that is, that the abuse of victims happened so long ago, so why should people care now? When the Register reported in 1991 on the case of Mary Grant, who was abused by popular priest John Lenihan during the 1970s, McFarland fumed, “It is impossible, therefore, for me to accept the Register's rationale in bringing this matter to public attention now, and after it has been privately settled. I can only stand amazed and chagrined when people can be so certain of their own righteousness as to have no hesitancy in casting the first stone.”
*In that same story, McFarland revealed what a first-class liar he was. “Since [the abuse of Grant], there has not been the slightest hint of wrongdoing
or scandal connected to Father Lenihan,” he told the Register. “He has led an exemplary
dedicated service to the church and community, which I myself
and admired over the past four years that I have known him.”
What McFarland didn't tell the world at the time was that Lenihan molested at least another girl after Grant–Lori Haigh, who ended up winning a million-dollar settlement against the Orange diocese in 2002.
*Pedophiles that worked for the Orange diocese under McFarland even though His Excellency knew they were pedophiles: Ramos, Lenihan, Michael Harris, Patrick Ziemann, Jerome Henson, Gus Krumm, Michael Pecharich–and those are the ones I can remember off the top of my head, without the help of Google or lawyers forcing diocesan losers to give up the Truth.
*McFarland allowed another pedophile, Edgardo Jimenez Arrunategui, to leave the Orange diocese without facing the law. Jimenez is still a priest, now in Spain.
*The only good attribute about McFarland–his fuddy-duddy pedophile humor. He allowed the Boner Jesus, the infamous mural on the outside wall of St. Joseph's in SanTana, to stand, even after furious parishioners asked the Vatican to investigate. And his classic line to his priests: “Why can't you priests stop touching boys?!”
Services are pending for McFarland, presumably so that Lucifer can make time to give the eulogy.