March 18, 2005

Personnel Bile No. 6: The E-mail and the History

Orange County Weekly


Document #6 in our Orange diocese document derby doesn't reveal any new accusations of priestly boy-buggering. Instead, it's a e-mail written by diocesan vicar general Michael Heher the day that lawyers for both sides announced the $100 million settlement, along with the diocese's own history on how the deal was done. Some notes on the e-mail:

*Heher, knowing of dissension within Orange diocesan employees, sends the history of the settlement by separate e-mail and warned priests, "This is for your information, not for publication (emphasis in the original).

*Heher concludes his memo by telling priests that if they speak with reporters, "Recall that you are acting as the Bishop’s agent. Criticisms and complaints are best made directly to the Bishop, not through the media." To date, not a single Orange County priest has commented on the sex-abuse scandal.


From: Father Michael Heher < >
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2005 17:52:46 -0800
To: < undisclosed-recipients:; >
Subject: Settlement Agreement Signed

The detailed settlement agreement has been signed by all parties and the "gag order" has been lifted. The Diocese resolved 90 civil cases for alleged acts of the sexual abuse of minors. Here is a quick outline of the specifics:

§ The cost will be $100 million; 50% of this money will be paid by our various liability insurers.

Posted by kshaw at March 18, 2005 02:36 AM