May 18, 2005

Two Roman Catholic officials who protected alleged molesters still in prominent church positions

San Luis Obispo Tribune

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Thousands of pages of personnel files released as part of a clergy abuse settlement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange reveal that two officials who covered up for molester priests years ago remain in top positions within the church.

The files, released Tuesday, show that Auxiliary Bishop Michael P. Driscoll and Msgr. John Urell knew of repeated allegations of sexual misconduct against Orange County priests yet did little to protect parishioners or prevent future abuse.

Driscoll is now the bishop of the Diocese of Boise, Idaho. Urell, who was a top diocesan official at the time, is now pastor of St. Norbert Church in Orange.

Neither man returned calls for comment from The Associated Press.

Driscoll, 65, posted a lengthy apology on the diocese's Web site earlier this month in anticipation of the files' release.

"At this time I once again want to apologize to the victims who were harmed by priests in the Diocese of Orange and for my role in these cases," Driscoll wrote. "I am ashamed that this happened."

Posted by kshaw at May 18, 2005 08:39 PM