On May 6, Diocese of Boise Bishop Michael Driscoll apologized for his role in Orange County, California's Roman Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal. Driscoll-who was in charge of priest personnel affairs for the Diocese of Orange County from its 1976 inception until leaving for Idaho in 1999-made the stunning admission in a letter printed in the Idaho Catholic Register, stating he was "deeply sorry that the way we handled cases [in Orange County] allowed children to be victimized by permitting some priests to remain in ministry, for not disclosing their behavior to those who might be at risk, and for not monitoring their actions more closely."
What's with the mea culpa? Two words: damage control. On May 17, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge was expected to the release of priest personnel files that were supposed to become public as part of a $100-million settlement reached earlier this year between the Orange diocese and sex-abuse victims, the largest in the history of the Catholic Church. Church sources say Driscoll's name is all over the documents, which molestation survivors claim will show the various cover-ups Orange County diocesan officials executed while Driscoll served as chancellor and auxiliary bishop.
But who needs a judge's decision to see the Light? Take the following quiz and discover for yourself Driscoll's role in the rape of innocents!
1. Of the 21 priests the Orange diocese classifies as having "credible" molestation allegations, how many worked under Driscoll's watch?
c. All but one
2. How many molestation lawsuits did the Orange diocese settle during Driscoll's term?
3. What Orange County pedophile once testified that Driscoll asked him to stop molesting girls?
a. Gerardo Tanilong
b. John Lenihan
c. The president of the local NAMBLA chapter
d. Ted Llanos
4. After the diocese settled a 1991 lawsuit filed against John Lenihan, what disciplinary actions did Driscoll take?
a. Made Lenihan go to psychological counseling
b. Transferred him out of St. Boni face in Anaheim to another parish
d. Defrocked Lenihan
5. When Siegfried Widera transferred to Orange County from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in 1976, Milwaukee Bishop William Cousins told Driscoll that Widera once had "a moral problem with a boy." What was the moral problem?
a. Just a mix-up, sir-the boy's shorts accidentally fell to his ankles
b. Showed him pornography and gave him alcohol
c. Was arrested on a molestation charge
d. Told him the Freemasons and Jews kept Pope Paul VI in a Vatican basement
6. In a 1991 deposition for a civil trial against Orange County priest Eleuterio Ramos, Driscoll claimed he had only heard secondhand complaints about Ramos molesting boys. During that trial, who testified under oath that they went directly to Driscoll with their concerns about Ramos?
a. A priest
b. A church librarian
c. A parochial teacher
d. All of the above
7. When a parent revealed to Driscoll in the mid-1980s that Father Robert Foley had molested her boy on a Boy Scout trip, Driscoll:
a. Sent Foley to an Indian reservation, as he did three other pedo-priests
b. Sent him to Liverpool, England, along with a letter to church leaders across the pond that the parent "has threatened to go to the police" and Foley "is in jeopardy of arrest and possible imprisonment if he remains here."
c. Sent him away on vacation until things cooled down, as he did Andrew Christian Andersen
d. Sent him to Tijuana as he did Ramos
8. After Boise diocesan officials found child pornography images on a priest's computer in 2002, Driscoll:
a. Suspended the priest
b. Transferred him to a clinic
c. Sent him to Orange County
d. Upgraded his connection to DSL
Gustavo Arellano covers the Diocese of Orange sex-abuse scandal for the OC Weekly. E-mail him at GArellano@ocweekly.com
Answers: 1. c, 2. d-six are known, but the Orange diocese has a habit of settling suits sub rosa, 3. b, 4. c, 5. c, 6. d, 7. b, 8. c To read Driscoll's concilliatory letter, visit www.catholicidaho.org/BishopStatement.htm.