LA Archdiocese Document Dump Shows Anew How Former Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown Was a Pedo-Priest Protector Extraordinaire

Categories: Ex Cathedra
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Brownie: Still loving his pedo-protectin'
Yesterday, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles released thousands of pages of personnel files that confirms what those of us who have followed the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal have known for a good decade but which the vast majority of Catholics refuse to acknowledge: that their leaders, for forever, not only knew about the pedophile priests in their ranks but actively sought to cover up the rapes.

So why should we care about what happens in LA? Because some of those personnel files involve priests who raped in Orange County back when we were part of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which we're going to display in the coming days. And, unsurprisingly, because part of the coverup up in LA involved the Diocese of Orange and our own former, perpetually bumbling bishop, Tod D. Brown.

In today's episode of How the Brownie Protects Pedo-Priests, we turn our attention to disgraced priest Michael D. Buckley. We had previously written about Buckley in 2005, when information at the time revealed Buckley molested at least eight boys while at Immaculate Heart of Mary in SanTana, back when it was a part of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Information at the time on Buckley's perversion was hard to find, though, namely because his personnel file hadn't been released by then-Cardinal Roger Mahony, and it was technically an Archdiocese of Los Angeles case and thus out of my beat.

Now that his case file is out, though, it turns out that Buckley was a monster in Orange County--and that not only LA diocesan officials know, but that Brown never bothered to alert Immaculate Heart of Mary parishioners after hearing from the victims who finally brought Buckley down.

The earliest mention of Buckley's pederast ways pertaining to OC wasn't as part of child molestation but an actual consensual relationship. In an unsigned 1980 note to then-Cardinal Timothy Manning, someone said that then-bishop Manuel Moreno, the Placentia boy who would go on to shield muchos pedophiles in Orange, Los Angeles and Tucson, had received reports of a field worker "spreading a story about his activities" with Buckley, who was then the pastor in the Santa Barbara County town of New Cuyama. By then, Buckley's personnel file had already been filled with anonymous, mysterious complaints alleging some sort of malfeasance.

All niceties were dropped, however, in another early 1980s note, which explained thusly that "Father Michael Buckley is a homosexual...molests children." The source said she "learned this from her neighbor...whose son was involved over a ten-year period when [Buckley] was in Orange County."

That would've been at Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Buckley would remain in ministry until 1994, when a group of brothers from Immaculate Heart of Mary brought their stories of abuse to Mahony--this after the family had personally complained to Manning in 1975 after the sister of the abused brothers caught Buckley at their home molesting a brother (Manning promised them that Buckley would never again serve in a ministry with children, which was a crock of shit). In 2002, that same sister called the Diocese of Orange's sexual-misconduct hotline to retell their stories of molestations. The family, according to the notes jotted down by the person who took the call "brought the matter to the attention of the three Bishops in Orange over the years," but that they had never helped on the matter.

Despite knowledge of Buckley's OC-rapist days, then-Bishop Brown never disclosed Buckley's name as one of the pedo-priests in Orange County during his much-vaunted "Covenant with the Faithful" transparency phase. Technically, he didn't have to, given Buckley's crimes occurred during the Archdiocese of Los Angeles days--but dontcha think parishioners at Immaculate Heart of Mary might've wanted to know that a priest who served their for nearly five years in the 1970s had been removed for molesting boys there? Even after another of Buckley's victims, in a letter written to Mahony, said Buckley had "named classmates and friends of mine whom he had been with before me"?

Of course not--Catholics don't want to hear the inconvenient truth. Heckuva job, Brownie!

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yeah, they should be..denied the eucharist... or made to do penance. OR, we could do to them what we do to non priest pedophiles, throw their asses into prison where the convict population will give them exactly the type of justice they deserve. One thing you gotta love about convicts, they know how to handle the sickos who harm kids.

Liz Gonzalez
Liz Gonzalez

I've grateful that you're getting this news out, but it sickens me.


Perhaps Mahoney should have been behind bars years ago instead of voting for the next pope


They ought to be excommunicated—denied the Sacraments, including the Eucharist—until they have confessed, repented, and done penance by making amends and apologies.

The mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small.

18usc241 topcommenter

Last week, an  OCWeekly article lead me to ask the pope (via Twitter) to exorcise Orange County law enforcement leadership. This week, an OCWeekly article leads me to ask God to exorcise my church. 

Reasons to be pissed.


The truth will out. I only wish the press and yourself, Gustavo would recognize that SNAP has much to answer for in regards to it's control over victims in this scandal. 

I'm a victim who stood with and near SNAP at every press conference in L.A. since 2003. I was arrested for handcuffing myself to Mahoney's throne and for that spent a day in jail was tried as a criminal and did 300 hours of community service for my crime. How much time have Brown and Mahoney served for their crimes? None.

Back to the Church created counter intelligenge effort called SNAP. It came out of the mists fully formed and funded and handed to us victims by our own lawyers. They led and still lead all press conferences representing victims. There's one problem victims don't know how they have decided on how to "represent" us ;when they never ask us what we want or who we want leading us. There is only one other entity that controls without democracy in this situation and that's the Church. SNAP behaving exactly like the Church? How can this be? Because ,Gustavo SNAP is the Church. Founded by Dominicans and led by a Dominican priest Tom Doyle. Doyle in his own book describes for American Bishops how to set up control and fund "committees" to control "victims and their families".

To prove to you how little SNAP is loved by L.A. victims; of the roughly 550 compensated L.A. victims only 15 gave any donations to SNAP after the settlement here.  15????

There is a real cover up here but I doubt you'll do anything about it. You've drunk the SNAP koolaid and probably need to lie down.  Truthfully yours, Jim Robertson

Mitchell_Young topcommenter

Brown, Mahoney. Both advocates for immigration amnesty. Guess if you don't respect national boundaries, you don't respect sexual ones. 

GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@godlessjim Jim: with all due respect, what does SNAP have to do with this story?

GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@Mitchell_Young Oh, I'm sure you support these ghouls like no other—most of them, of course, were Whites.


@GustavoArellano @godlessjim SNAP will be the people "blasting' in your own quote today in front of the L.A. Cathedral and the world press' {"Blasts" an interesting war word. perfect for connection, per usual with SNAP for the last 10 yrs, with the people of faith in the pews.]

In other words an unelected entity: SNAP, will be representing victims who never voted for SNAP's representation. So who is doing the deciding on what victims want or think if victims , particularly L.A. victims are left out of the policy and decision making process in regards to our own abuse and settlements?

Gustavo, SNAP is counter intelligence created by the Church. Just like the FBI/ U.S. government did to the anti Viet Nam war movement; the Black Panthers; and the Act Up movement. and the Occupy movement.

With all due respect back at you. SNAP is going to speak today for victims? No, It will be the Church talking for victims. Now that's a  "story"..

SNAP may make certain correct noises but damage control is what it is and what it was created to do. 

So the "story" as you call it. is just a tad more complicated than the new press will admit. Don't bother to investigate deeply. Those days of investigative journalism are gone.

I can only say I am 66 years old and have been an activist since my teens For the civil rights movement; for Cesar Chavez (I didn't eat grapes for years) ;for the anti war movement; for the Gay and Women's rights movements and I have never seen anything that compares to SNAP. Never! Democracy was absolutely essential to all those movements yet not with SNAP.

GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@Mitchell_Young You really want to play this census? How about if I show you more gabachos were molesters than Mexicans, you  publicly proclaim your inherent inferiority to a piece of Mexcrement?

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