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Contempt charges sought against Cardinal Roger Mahony

Lawyers want him charged for failing to appear as a witness at Michael Kelly’s trial

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Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:17 am, Wed Apr 18, 2012.

Lawyers for the man who won a civil case against former Lockeford priest Michael Kelly are seeking contempt of court charges against Cardinal Roger Mahony.

Mahony was bishop of the Stockton Diocese from 1980 to 1985, during the time Kelly reportedly sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy who attended Church of the Annunciation in Stockton in the mid-1980s. A jury ruled on April 6 that Kelly is liable of sexual assault.

The plaintiff's attorneys, led by John Manly, filed an application on Monday for a court order requiring Mahony to state why he shouldn't be held in contempt of court for failure to appear as a witness in the second phase of the civil suit against the Stockton Diocese.

In the first phase, a jury ruled that Kelly was liable individually. Scheduled to testify on Tuesday during the second phase, Kelly instead flew to his native Ireland to be with his family and seek medical treatment there. He informed Stockton Diocese Bishop Stephen Blaire in a letter dated Sunday.

Mahony's attorney, Michael Hennigan, told the News-Sentinel that Mahony is in Rome and doesn't know when he will return to the United States.

According to documents supplied by the plaintiff's attorney, John Manly, Mahony was originally subpoenaed to testify in the Kelly trial in Stockton during the week of Feb. 27, but the trial date was postponed.

Vince Finaldi, an attorney in Manly's law firm, said in court papers that Mahony would need to testify the week of April 9.

"As of this date (Monday), Cardinal Mahony has not been produced, although he is validly under subpoena, and because Mr. Hennigan refuses to produce the witness, plaintiff has no choice but to bring this present Application for an Order to Show Cause," according to the complaint written by Rebecca Rhoades, another attorney in Manly's law firm.

Hennigan didn't respond that day or on April 10, so Finaldi emailed him again, according to court documents, threatening to seek a bench warrant for Mahony's arrest.

Hennigan responded that Mahony was in Rome. Hennigan said, according to the plaintiff's complaint, that the Manly law firm's subpoena wasn't valid because it stated only the starting date of the trial, not what day Mahony would be required to testify.

"This motion is irresponsible," Hennigan told the News-Sentinel on Tuesday afternoon.

The plaintiff's attorneys were silent for two months and then suddenly ordered Mahony to show up in Stockton immediately, Hennigan said.

Mahony is in Rome for an event called Ad Limina, in which bishops from California, Nevada, Utah and Hawaii give a "state of the diocese" report to Pope Benedict XVI.

It's an event that takes place every seven years, so Mahony is at the Vatican to report on the first six of those years in Los Angeles, which were on his watch before he retired, Hennigan said.

Mahony was bishop of the Stockton diocese before being promoted to the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 1985. He was named a cardinal in 1991 and retired as archbishop last year.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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9 comments:

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:50 am on Thu, Apr 19, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Manly is absurd... In case Bella Clark hasn't noticed... this case is about Mike Kelly and the anonymous plaintiff in San Joaquin county... Boston case variables are apples and oranges to this one. Maybe Bella should stop thinking like a Bay area person like people from Danville and Marin and think locally.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:07 pm on Wed, Apr 18, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Tim certainly outlines one possibility. However, an objective rational person would consider more than one possibility and not throw everyone in the same basket. Each person is an individual. Each person does not do something because someone else did it.

    Each case should be treated as unique. Unfortunately for Tim, if you are a Catholic priest, and you are accused...its means you are guilty. It is not possible that Mike Kelly is innocent in his mind, even though he passed a lie detector test. There is no possibility that he had a mental breakdown after finding his world shattered.

    One might think Tim thinks he is an all knowing god who has no doubts and knows exactly what happened, even though no physical evidence was presented.
    If too many people like Tim thinks this is justice, maybe our country as we thought it would be, is lost..

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:56 pm on Wed, Apr 18, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Mr Sanacore stated... They still haven't answered my questions about whether or not they have hatred for the Catholic Church and whether or not they believe all Catholic priests are pedophiles.

    That may never be known. However, it is a fact that the SNAP representatives have many times stated that “they have never met a false accuser” against Catholic priests. That means in their minds, 100% of all priests who are accused are guilty. They also declare guilt prior to the case even going to court.

    We also know that there is an economic motivation in what they say and do as they are going after money. Joey Piscitelli, their Northern California director has already collected $600,000.

    We also know that there are only 3 paid employees nationally in SNAP and that most representatives of SNAP are unpaid, untrained and unprofessional in their activities. ( according to their National director in a deposition).

    In my opinion, SNAP does more harm that good and other child advocate organizations should be embraced.

     
  • Ben Sanacore posted at 7:17 pm on Wed, Apr 18, 2012.

    Ben Sanacore Posts: 104

    One's first thought when someone flees from a court case is they're guilty of something. If there's credible evidence for the flight, then it is most likely the reason for fleeing. In other cases where there's no credible evidence and the accused feel that they cannot receive a fair trial, then they may not see any other choice but to flee. Durng the Salem Witch Trials, people who faced false accustions chose to flee rather than face those false accusations without any hope of being found innocent. After the Fr. Kelly verdict, it's likely that falsely accused priests will decide to leave rather than face a trial without hope of being found innocent; destruction of their lives; and continual persecution from people who have an ax to grind and who blur or fuse legitimate cases of pedophilia with fantasy ones.

     
  • Tim Lennon posted at 5:42 pm on Wed, Apr 18, 2012.

    Tim Lennon Posts: 45

    Cardinal Mahony reminds me of Cardinal Law of Boston who fled the country three days before he was to testify in court in Boston. The Vatican blessed this move by giving Cardinal Law a plum job there. Would Cardinal Law have been charged with a crime if he stayed? Maybe, maybe not. But flee in the face of court proceedings he did.
    This evasion of responsibility of church officials for crimes against children is, regretfully, not new. Sacramento diocese has had six priests jump to other countries. Nationwide it is widespread practice of church officials, either of moving priests around to various parishes and dioceses to cover or they allow them to flee.
    Mahony's evasion, the missing Mgsr. Cain, and the fleeing Kelly share a common theme, they don't want the truth out there.

     
  • Ben Sanacore posted at 5:28 pm on Wed, Apr 18, 2012.

    Ben Sanacore Posts: 104

    Wow, what a surprise! The witch hunt continues. In SNAP an its operatives minds: evil witch #1 is Fr. Kelly; evil witch #2 is Bishop Blaire; and now evil witch #3 is Cardinal Mahoney. It all reminds me of how Senator Joe McCarthy would call people before his committee to be grilled and falsely accused of being communists. I wouldn't be surprised if they manage to dig up some more people to accuse and attempt to have them arrested too. Roger Mahoney was also falsely accused of being a pedophile and was cleared by a police investigation. They couldn't get him on that, so now they want to get him on contempt of court. They still haven't answered my questions about whether or not they have hatred for the Catholic Church and whether or not they believe all Catholic priests are pedophiles. If their only interest is supporting vicitms of abuse, then why won't they answer the questions. They are valid questions when they pursue Catholic priests regardless of any credible evidence with an unusual zeal. Then they express an enormous kind of intense pleasure when a Catholic priest takes a fall like Fr. Kelly when there is no credible evidence. It's kinda like a compulsive-obsessive hunter who experiences great excitement and extraordinary pleasure when he kills big game in the African continent. If SNAP and its advocates are so interested in real justice, maybe they could explain to us what criteria they use to screen accusers to determine if their allegations are false. As far as anyone can tell, no such criteria exists. If an unfounded accusation is made, it seems to be guilty until proven innocent to them, but even when a priest is cleared as Fr. Murty Fahy was, it doesn't look like SNAP and its advocates will ever believe or admit any Catholic priest is innocent.

     
  • Dave Pierre posted at 9:23 am on Wed, Apr 18, 2012.

    DPierre Posts: 18

    Let the record show that Fr. Kelly was brutally attacked by contingency lawyer John Manly, a mean-spirited and venomous individual with a profound hatred of the Catholic Church:

    http://www.themediareport.com/hot-topics/attorney-john-c-manly/

    --

     
  • Arabella Clark posted at 7:51 am on Wed, Apr 18, 2012.

    Arabella Posts: 129

    Look at what readers are saying about Kelly fleeing to Ireland over at the Irish Journal paper: http://www.thejournal.ie/irish-priest-returns-home-in-middle-of-us-sexual-abuse-trial-421634-Apr2012/?new_comment=1#comment-357593

     
  • Arabella Clark posted at 6:19 am on Wed, Apr 18, 2012.

    Arabella Posts: 129

    Eric Macleish, bulldog powerhouse CIVIL lawyer in the Boston pedophile priests cases, not only compelled Boston's CARDINAL LAW to be deposed and testify in the pedophile cases, but was in large part -along with Boston civil lawyer Mitch Garabedian- responsible for helping to get the cardinal to step down for his role in covering up pedophile priests' activitites.

    Go get em, Manly!!

     

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