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September 19, 2007


john manly

Matt, maybe you can call your pal's lawyer and see if he can arrange the depo. I'll take John Urell's depo anytime, anywhere. Also, I'm still waiting for you to take me up on my invitation to come and see the documents on John Urell. I really don't know how you can still defend the indefensible on the ground that you personally think John Urell is a nice man and a "good priest". Nice men and good priests don't look at protecting pedophile priests as a career opportunity. They also don't go to going away parties for serial rapists like Fr. Mike Harris. Unfortunately that is precisely what your old buddy Monsignor Urell did. In terms of politics last time I looked protecting kids from priest rape and teacher rape had bi-partisan support. This is universally true everywhere in the united states except on your web site.

Manly out.


Also, I'm still waiting for you to take me up on my invitation to come and see the documents on John Urell.

I'll take you up on your offer when I have time to read the nearly 900 pages, which will be mid-October.

Nice men and good priests don't look at protecting pedophile priests as a career opportunity.

And decent people don't fall over themselves trying to imply someone is a pedophile on the basis of no evidence and smear someone in the press, while protesting "Hey! I'm not calling the media and leaking this!"

In terms of politics last time I looked protecting kids from priest rape and teacher rape had bi-partisan support. This is universally true everywhere in the united states except on your web site.

I think that's what is known as changing the subject, Mr. Manly -- unless you believe voicing my support for Monsignor Urell and criticizing you is the same as wanting kids to be victimized by priests and teachers. It sounds to me like you are believing your own press.

Tell me --if the Church was broke, would you still be litigating away?

Steven Greenhut


How come you never deal with the heart of the issue? Since you don't have time to read the depos, did you read those LA Times articles I linked to on my blog detailing how the diocese and Urell dealt with the scandal? I've read many of the depositions, and it doesn't take that long to read them. It's strange that you would take such a strong position without having done any apparent research into the main criticisms of Urell.

Did you read Bill Lobdell's July article about the Harris scandal -- the way the church slimed Harris' victims, defended Harris and Urell even attended the going away party even though he had the report from St. Lukes that seemed to confirm the worst about Harris. Have you talked to any victims who have dealt with Urell?

What makes some of us so angry is the way the church leadership, of which Urell was a part, handled the issue once victims came forward. As the Times put it in the 2005 article, “For more than two decades, officials in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange covered up for priests who molested children, shuffling predators from parish to parish and diocese to diocese, protecting them from prosecution and failing to warn parishioners of the danger, according to church documents released Tuesday. … The pattern of deception involved two bishops of Orange — William R. Johnson, now deceased, and Norman F. McFarland, who retired in 1998 — and Auxiliary Bishop Michael P. Driscoll, now bishop of Boise. It also involved Msgr. John Urell, then a top diocesan official and now pastor of St. Norbert Church in Orange."

Are you arguing that the cover-up and shuffling didn't happen, or that Urell wasn't involved in it, or that it doesn't matter even if he was involved?

Maybe you can address those issues rather than constantly changing the subject or making Manly the focus of your writing.




On the contrary. My posts were on a couple of very specific points, while you and Manly have attempted to change the subject and paint anyone who doesn't want Msgr. Urell hanged from the nearest yard-arm seem as some kind of enabler of molestation.

If I were a full-time editorial writer, I would have time to read the depos. But I run this blog while running my consulting business and taking care of my family, so my cup of time doesn't runneth over.

You hold no corner on anger at Church leadership in allowing molestor priests to remain priests rather than turning them out. I'm a Catholic and am angry about the damage it has done to the victims, to the faithful and to the institution of the Church. The Church has been and is paying an enormous moral price, not to mention an enormous financial price.

I have no objection to the Church compensating victims. That's justice. But I also don't want the Church ruined with enormous punitive damages. Sometimes I get the impression you and others have come to see the Church as the Bishops and some bad priests, and they're the only ones affected by Mr. Manly's attempt to wring God knows how many millions more out of the Diocese. The Catholic Church is vastly more than that, and I wish you would keep that in mind.

I have read those articles, by the way, Steve. They are sickening to read. I have also been on the press relations side dealing with the LA Times and have personally experienced them omitting information (for whatever reason) that would greatly alter a story's angle. But assuming the LAT article is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, Christianity affords everyone the opportunity for repentance, forgiveness and redemption.

When it comes to Msgr. Urell, you and Manly seem primarily interested in portraying him as a cold-blooded monster. My personal experience with him as pastor is totally the opposite, which suggests to me that the story is more complicated than how it has been conventionally related.

Maybe you can address those issues rather than constantly changing the subject or making Manly the focus of your writing.

Again, the subject-changing has been coming from you and Manly. My posts were sparked by Manly's insistence that Bishop Brown violated the Covenant with the Faithful by not revealing a 42-year old false accusation of molestation, and by Manly's attempt to publicly smear Msgr. Urell as a pedophile.

That was the subject.

Apparently Msgr. Urell and Bishop Brown are fair game, but any criticism of Mr. Manly is out-fo-bounds.


What is at the heart of this issue? To answer that questions should we listen to a lawyer with a financial interest in the litigation who pops off with acid sound bites like " Nice men and good priests don't look at protecting pedophile priests as a career opportunity"?
Or should we listen to a columnist who never misses an opportunity to crack back at the Catholic Church? No thank you to both.

The heart of this issue is a lawsuit by a young woman who was having sex while she was a minor with an employee of Mater Dei. Manly stipulated that there was no need to conclude Urell's deposition. He then reneged on that agreement. Jubal points out that his reasons are specious and the lawyer and the columnist decide to dump all the abuse sins of the Church onto Urell's lap. And the columnist accuses Jubal of changing the subject? That's ripe.

john manly

Your description of your experience with Monsignor Urell reminds me of Charles Lindberg's description of his meeting with Chancellor Hitler in the late 30's. Matt you are too smart to adopt such a transparently ridiculous position. Just because someone is nice and charming doesn't mean that haven't done terrible things. Oh and by the way I have never accused John Urell of being a pedophile. If you are concerned about that issue you should call Bishop Brown and get him to explain when asked in his deposition whether Urell is being evaluated for Pedophilia he said he did not know. That is the person you should blame for any innuedo being tossed about in the media not me. Oh and while your at it you might consider googling Southdown Institute and read some of the articles about how Southdown personnel think they can cure pedophile priests. Hopefully they have more success treating Monsignor Urell (for whatever he's being treated for) than they had with John Lennihan (diocese of Orange) or Father Geohagan (from Boston) both former patients.

warm regards,
John Manly

Jim Lacy

Jubal, I think you are still missing the point on all this. Urell skipped out on a deposition midstream, and he missed his followup appearance with Manly by going on an unscheduled trip to the clinic in Canada. He nevertheless has evidence to provide that is important to our justice system, and just because he is being deposed does not mean he is personally the "target" of a lawsuit. All he is required to do is answer questions truthfully about abuses he is aware of. I am sorry he is ill, but he needs to pull himself together and get his deposition done, whereever, for justice, and for those in the Church that support the "zero tolerance" promised by our Catholic Bishops. Manly has always said he'll depose him anywhere. Urell just needs to make himself available.


Mr. Manly:

You don't know anything about my interaction with Msgr. Urell -- but that doesn't stop you from reducing it to I think he's "nice and charming."

I did read that depo, and it's pretty clear to me what your intent was. The moment Bishop Brown said Msgr. Urell was at Southdown, your first words were "Now, Southdown is a pedophile treatment facility?"

Your second question was: "And it treats pedophile, does it not?"

Your third question was, "And it has treated pedophiles over the years, has it not?"

So it's pretty clear what you were trying to get at in a deposition you would push to make available to the public.


Jim, I don't believe I'm missing any point. Have I anywhere said Msgr. Urell shouldn't finish his deposition?

john manly

It appears to me the Urell has already spent hours and hours in depositions. So why does Mr Manly insist that he is refusing to be deposed. Why is it so hard to believe that this man has had a nervous break down. He has been "facing the music" for years while his boss, the Bishops continue to throw him under the bus. Let them face the music for a while, Urell was only carrying out their decisions. Now facing extreme anxiety disorder and depression that is so severe that he has to be hospitalized, Manly seizes the opportunity to insinuate the he is a pedophile to the press only to continue to feed his "CASH COW". I doubt that Urell has any information that you can't get from McFarland or Brown who now had no one to hide behind.

john manly


First, all I know is you keep talking about your interaction with Urell being positive.

Secondly and sadly Southdown is primarily known as a priest and professed religious sex offender treatment facility. (it is undisputed that they offer "treatment" for other issues) I did not create that impression or travel around North America telling bishops that I could treat pedophiles Southdown personnel did.

Third, you are right I did ask those questions. If someone goes to the City of Hope is it reasonable to inquire if they have cancer?

Fourth, I did not push to make the deposition public the Bishop and his lawyers sought to have the deposition in its entirety sealed and kept secret.

Finally I would ask you to open your heart and mind to the possiblity that you have an incomplete picture of the Bishop and John Urell. You can attack me and my motives - that is certainly fair game. (My personal policy with lawyers is like Ronald Reagan's with the Soviet's trust but verify.) In that vein, I have several clients (some who were high school classmates of mine at Mater Dei) who would be happy to tell you their stories about what Urell said and did to them when they came forward with allegations of abuse. I ask you to consider meeting these people because I think you could be a tremendous advocate for the victims. I am told by those who know you that you are a good and decent man. Please consider my request as a serious one. I can't blog anymore because I've got to finish my trial documents.

John Manly

Jon Fleischman

This is an interesting string. I thought that I would throw this out to both Matt and John - I have known both of you as friends for a long time -- for Manly and I, it's now been 20 years (goodness!).

I can assure you (Matt) that John is a great human being, and is 'wired correctly' in terms of moral compass in life.

I can assure you (John) that Matt is likewise.

Not sure this really adds much to the substance of the debate, but character references are always helpful, I think.


john manly

Matt, I hope you won't think less of me because I'm friends with Fleischman.


Wow......Is Manly now trying to entice and befriend another outsource???? Don't listen to him Matt. He just wants to use you as another platform to increase the flow of sustenance for his "CASH COW". Do you really think he respects you.....he only respects $$$.... not the "victims", not justice...just $$$. Isn't it sad that these poor victims don't get the full amount of the money that the Church has designated for them.... it is instead 40 percent is going into Manly's pocket and his big expensive house!!

Hate to be Manly

I would hate to be Manly when I have to face the golden gates of heaven. How does he sleep at night? He must have a lot of time to come up with the different lies to say about Urell. Perhaps he should be like Jubal and focus on his family and what is important in life.

Jon Fleischman

Well, I can certainly tell you who John or the rest of us won't see as we at at the gates to heaven -- perverted and sick molestors who use their status and relationship as clergy to molest and otherwise abuse innocent children.

Just the thought it is makes me want to vomit.

So there.


Jon, how about the guys who shuffled the bad eggs from one carton to another so the laity never knew who was who in the zoo?

Art Pedroza


Good point. They ought to get life in the slammer too. And an eternity in Hell.

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