Are Catholic Hierarchs Bullies?

Are Catholic Hierarchs Bullies?   by Diane Dougherty http://dianedoughertysblog.blogspot.com/


            Meeting Fr. Roy Bourgeois, MM was an exceptional treat.  I could be open with him about my upcoming ordination as a Women Priest. This was a homecoming of sorts after a long period of being “limbo-ed” at the hands of Catholic hierarchs.  I use the word limbo-ed because it denotes a suspended state. 
            In my case, I have felt I was neither in the Catholic Church where I had spent all of my adult years in service of God and God’s people, nor was I out of it.  I explained the long series of events that led me to spend my last 10 years in a hiatus of sorts, trying to recuperate from the devastating psychological roller coaster experienced when the Legion of Christ entangled itself in every aspect of diocesan ministry. 
            As a well formed educator, I stood in a state of shock when I returned from a summer of study and was told my services were no longer needed. The people of the diocese were paying for my master’s in Religious Education and Pastoral Formation at Boston College and I was one summer away from graduation.  This did not make any sense.   Assured that I was a delightful person, and this was simply a business decision, I was to be given one week’s pay. (I negotiated 14 weeks which was in accord with the personnel manual).
            As I looked around the offices, I intuited others were scheduled to follow this path.  The atmosphere had turned toxic.  That this clean sweep of the most highly qualified ministers  the diocesan religious education department  had ever put together, led me to believe our collective services were considered more of a politic, one that would not be continuing. Time and further events proved this perception was dead on.
            Fr. Roy and I came to understand we shared feelings of grief, dismay and disbelief surrounding our vocational choices. A profound grief overwhelmed us that the gospel we proclaimed could be reduced by a hierarch to a lowest common denominator without consultation or consideration.  For me, that included limiting Catholics access to empowering catechesis, by changing the climate to such a degree, leaders were forced to find other employment and be replaced with those who received minimal training. For Fr. Roy, that meant his community would become silent when he received the Vatican’s excommunication over his involvement in Women’s Ordination Movement.
            Dismay overwhelmed us as we experienced the hierarchs use of power to manipulate and maneuver systems by eliminating people they named as having agendas not suitable for Catholic service, so that they could achieve their self appointed goals without recognition of wrongdoing or thought of future consequences.
            And finally we shared a common disbelief that such actions could leave the polity so poor.  In my case, Catholics saying rosaries and going to novenas or being organized by those with little formative catechetical training are much poorer than those who are given full access through quality catechesis that empowers. And for Fr. Roy, Catholics become impoverished when they are denied the right to discuss and debate issues relating to women’s ordination, most particularly when the only roadblock is the hierarch’s own dictates based in their own immovable stamp dated at the particular time they want to define as the beginning of our Catholic Tradition.         
            As we reflected on the hierarchs use of power, we came to the realization that bullying was used to gain access and influence over Catholic people. When Fr. Roy asked me if anything is being done in the schools about bullying, it was an AH-HA moment.  Yes, I found many interesting parallels in what we are now teaching children to reduce bullying in the schools.  Just as public awareness was raised through the terrible issue of sexual harassment in the workplace and abuse of children by those they trusted, public awareness should now be raised about workplace bullying and for Catholics, bullying within the church.   

What is bullying?
          Bullying is a form of abuse.  It involves repeated acts over time attempting to create or enforce one person's (or group's) power over another person (or group), creating an "imbalance of power". http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/amibeing.htm#What
            The Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute says workplace bullying involves "repeated, health-harming mistreatment, verbal abuse, or conduct which is threatening, humiliating, intimidating, or sabotage that interferes with work or some combination of the three." http://www.workplacebullying.org/
            As full time laborers in the field, we can both attest that workplace bullying has taken place.

Characteristics of bullies
            Research indicates that adults who bully have personalities that are authoritarian, combined with a strong need to control or dominate. Prejudice has also been seen as a risk factor in bully identification.     
          These characteristics fall in line with the hierarchs present day teaching that women cannot be priests.  Could this stance be an indication of bullying God by saying God cannot call women into the priesthood? This authoritarianism could also be seen as lay professionals were dismissed without cause or warning, bypassing due process or any formative intervention.  It is a clear indication of the use of domination and control.

Characteristics of bystanders

        A very important piece of research notes that bullying continues when people see themselves as bystanders.  Their belief is that they are not obligated to intervene in certain issues because it is not their problem.  Assuring that laity remains uneducated and ignorant, by denying them access to higher education and formation is one way to keep Catholics, most particularly the next generation in tow. Bullies are then able to say they have the support of the majority instilling fear in anyone tempted to speak out.  The statement by the Vatican that anyone supporting Women’s Ordination commits a crime equal to those who sexually abuse children and will be excommunicated, instills fear in many who attempt to learn more about this subject. Most steer clear.
            Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona recently excommunicated  St. Joseph Hospital, CHW over their choice to save a mother whose pregnancy was killing her.  Could this be an example of a Bishop instilling fear in the polity, expecting the laity to accept the authority of his word? The hospital claims Catholic teaching is about saving life.  They decided to save the mother so she could care for her children, rather than lose both through the pregnancy.  Who is living out Catholic teaching in this instance? 
            Bullies become empowered when people walk away.  In groups where bully mentality is allowed to thrive, injustices and abuses become a regular and predictable group experience. My experience in diocesan work characterizes this injustice short term, while the issue of Women’s Ordination has maintained an unjust presence for centuries. Hopefully in the next few years this will subside because people are speaking out and accepting the consequences.  The broader organization of Catholic Health Care Systems housed in San Francisco stands in solidarity with those operating the hospital in Phoenix.  This verbal affirmation of the decision may be the key that unlocks the door toward stronger and healthier Catholic people.

Strategies to End Bullying 
Understand Bullies will not Mediate
            A key awareness that one is dealing with a bully, lies in the fact that conflict resolution and mediation never work.  As if the issues were set in stone, the bully will never bend.
This comes to light in the three examples given.  Although numerous attempts were made to understand the bishop’s motivation at the Office of Religious Education, the bishop simply went through the process of listening, turning a deaf ear as we all left.  When Fr. Roy requested a meeting to discuss the issue of Women’s Ordination after receiving the letter of excommunication, there has been no response.  That was two years ago. And although mediation was attempted between Bishop Olmsted and the Hospital Board, even allowing an extension for further discussion, nothing changed.
               

Form talking groups
Discuss events with others who share or do not share your concerns.  Look outside the organization for help.  Read and join others who share your concerns. If you work for the church, explore your concern anonymously with individuals in the groups listed.

Birth it into law
In 2001 Professor of Law David Yamada of Suffolk University began the process of encouraging state-by-state anti-bullying laws.  He drafted the Healthy Workplace Bill. Join this effort.

UNITE
Although it is most active in New Zealand and England, explore a new union called UNITE, that believes clergy and ministers need protection from Church bullying.  The union has set up a special helpline for priests intimidated by their bishops or congregations, and reviews complaints as part of its campaign for full employment rights for clergy.

Taking Action
            Rather than becoming a silent bystander that participates in the bullying mentality, I would encourage Catholics to make determined efforts to deal with their issues and creatively bring your concerns to light. Develop a shared, loud voice with others who are concerned!

Inform Yourself
Listen to stories-judge for yourself

Read and Study
Complete a search of books and literature on Workplace Bullying.
Inform yourself of all sides of the issue

Study the foundation of the Women’s Ordination Movement.  Read Women Priests; Answering God’s Call by Catherine Cavanagh for a complete digest of issues.
http://www.womenpriests.org/


Diane Dougherty 770-683-8101  add57@numail.org
 

57 comments:

Katie Elberfeld said...

I am so glad to find you. Even though I am an Episcopal priest, I have experienced much treatment from the church and its people that could well be described as bullying.

I would very much like to talk with you further and am wondering if we might be able to support each other in our struggles -- and to help others who feel this way in both churches.

I haven't been able to find an email address for you, but you're welcome to write me at kae@gabrielcenter.org.

Thank you so much -- I am so grateful to find that I am not alone.

Godspeed.

The Rev. Katie Elberfeld
President, Founder
Gabriel Center for Servant-Leadership
Marietta, GA

Anonymous said...

I just heard this news today... about women being ordained priests. If you look at history, the great saints went through many trials. Sometimes the trial came when they thought God was calling them to do something, but things prevented them from carrying it out. But one thing ALL the great saints have in common is.... OBEDIENCE. St. Theresa of Avila was told by her spiritual director to make offensive signs at Christ during her mystical visions because he thought her visions were really the devil. She obeyed and made the offensive signs, but Christ was all the more pleased because she was obedient.

I could list thousands of examples of obedience by the saints. Satan can imitate many things... he can pretend and imitate kindness, peace, and even humility, but there is one thing he cannot do, and that is obey. His disobedience is why he was sent to hell.

God's will will happen no matter what. Mother Theresa had to go through many trials before starting the Missionaries of Charity, she even said that she "had to do violence to herself" in order to obey her superiors. But she obeyed, and GREAT graces followed because she was obedient.

If you really think God is calling women to become priests, then why is it that you can't obey Church teaching? The FIRST duty of a priest is to obey. If you cannot obey your superiors, then you cannot obey God. You are a sister. Under vows, you are required to obey your superiors. By obeying the Catholic Church, you are obeying God. Do not be misled into thinking "I don't have to obey the pope, because I obey God first." That is a huge deception and a lie from the devil!

Look at the saints... read their stories... especially the saints whose faith was tested through obedience. One of the signs the Catholic church looks for when someone claims to be a visionary or a mystic is "are they obedient?" If they cannot be obedient, then it's clear that this cannot be from God.

Anonymous said...

People call St. Simon and Jude in Huntington Beach, CA “St. Simon and RUDE” because they say the pastor is a bully (and other names that are even worse). He is Franciscan priest Fr. Daniel Barica.

In the church bulletin, he also wrote about his “sexual energy” and anointing his body parts with holy oil after a shower! It makes people wonder if he is another predator that wants little boys.

http://theworthyadversary.com/3767-what-do-you-do-when-the-bishop-wont-listen-you-go-to-yelp

http://theworthyadversary.com/3704-ssj-grooming

http://roomwithapew.weebly.com/blog/problem-priests-the-next-powder-keg-on-the-church-stove

http://www.independent.com/news/2006/oct/04/barneys-on-the-beat-4/

Predatory grooming…creepy! There is even more about him on the internet. In the abundance of caution, you would think the bishop should suspend him while doing an investigation.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to say, at St. Simon and Jude, Daniel Barica will not let you have your wedding or funeral there unless you have been a regular, ongoing donor. I think this is an extreme form of bullying called blackmail. Oh yeah, and a father cannot walk his daughter down the aisle. Most people get married elsewhere.

Bullying seems to happen in the Catholic Church far too often, maybe because priests like the power they have over people who confess their sins to them. These are deep secrets that a priest can use against people, even if it is subtle. Maybe it is the power he has to collect money, like telling people they cannot have their funeral there. The more he collects the better he looks to the bishop. I think that is how they get promoted. Shouldn't the church really be about saving souls?

Anonymous said...

It has gotten so bad that now there are 10 St. Simon and Jude seventh graders that are not coming back in the fall to graduate with the rest of their classmates. That is almost 1/3 of the class! SSJ has a bunch more kids from other classes leaving too. If that does not tell you something is wrong I don't know what will. Those families will not be paying over $7,000 each to the school so Daniel Barica is now costing SSJ six figures in lost income.
A long time ago I posted my displeasure on Yelp with a bunch of other people:
http://www.yelp.com/not_recommended_reviews/saints-simon-and-jude-catholic-church-huntington-beach
At first my post was "recommended", then later got dropped to "non-recommended". I think someone at the church complained. Look at the very bottom and see all the other posts that got removed. People should be able to state their feelings and be included in the church's rating. But then the Catholic Church is used to burying problems. No wonder priests got away with child abuse. I googled the boss of the Franciscans and came up with Father David Gaa (314)353-3421. I read somewhere in this that if you want to complain but are afraid to be identified to ask for the confession privilege.

Anonymous said...

I just saw this link. It talks about Franciscan Pastor Daniel Barica, OFM at Sts. Simon and Jude in Huntington Beach took money from the collection, wrote about his "sexual energy" in the bulletin, had a woman spend the weekend with him, and how a lot of kids have been leaving the school. Those families must be so upset.

http://theworthyadversary.com/4144-spotlight-wins-scandal-continues

This is especially concerning because it shows that the Franciscans have known about him back to when he was first assigned to a parish in Los Angeles:

Mens Club member says:
July 7, 2016 at 9:19 pm
I was afraid to speak up earlier about this. In February a group of us from SSJ went to the annual mens retreat in Malibu. This time the former Provincial Fr. Mel Jurisich was there. During a meeting behind closed doors he said he was the one who decided to send Fr. Daniel to SSJ to “straighten him out”. This shocked me because that means the Franciscans know he has a problem.

There were a lot of complaints when Fr. Daniel was at St. Francis Parish in LA. When too many people stopped donating Mel said he was transferred to Santa Barbara to keep an eye on him. Then after those parishioners got upset Mel decided to transfer him to SSJ. Mel even said Fr. Daniel owes him one. I guess giving him a promotion after he upset all those people would be a very special favor. This makes me think there is something more to their relationship.

It is not surprising to find out lots of students left the school seeing how many don’t come to church anymore. I talked to one of them who said its because of how mad Fr. Daniel and the principle are all the time. Some were getting detentions every week but they did not care. And this student told me most of the ones that are staying say they don’t ever want to come back to SSJ after they graduate. That must be why the average age of this congregation is rising so fast. Cantor Patrick and others quit. Mark and Maurice should tell you the real reason.

Moving Fr. Daniel around is like how they moved problem priests from church to church. Many in our group are not donating now. I don’t know how many more people need to stop donating before they finally do something but I think that day is coming.

Aubry Pabst said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Here is another link about Fr. Daniel Barica, the pastor at Sts. Simon and Jude in Huntington Beach, CA. Looks like more than bullying going on.
http://theworthyadversary.com/4415-coughlin-docs

Catholic Parent said...

Someone told me things about this church that kind of bothered me. She said one of her girlfriends goes to church at Simon & Jude and has invited her to come over to meet this priest Daniel Barica. Her friend said he goes to her house on Lake Street often for dinner. This person does not go to that church so she wanted to know which one it was. Her girlfriend told her there are 2 priests named Daniel, one with gray hair that is well liked and another that is taller and good looking, but not very well liked. Liked or not, I think telling someone a priest is good looking and inviting him over often does not seem appropriate with all that has been going on with priests.

Anonymous said...

Father Dan Barica is a nightmare , we have been contacting the diocese and sending them letters to remove him but they refuse to do anything, I am not sure what else can be done except that we (long term parishioners) just leave our beloved parish which breaks my heart but we are left with no other choice. This man has major issues

Anonymous said...

What has not been mentioned is Daniel's frequent traveling. For someone who has taken (rather loosely) a vow of poverty he sure lives the good life. He has turned a once open and inviting community into a prison. If you aren't part of his clique and bow to his whims you are given the cold shoulder. Many have left and will not return under his shameful leadership.

Anonymous said...

I notice you didn’t call Daniel “Father”. I think how he treats people is the ultimate hypocrisy so he does not deserve that title. It really does seen like he lives the good life off of us. Losing the greatest Franciscan ever is going to make it even harder on our parish. Daniel’s email announcement about Fr Christian is asking us to donate to SSJ but his death should not be another fundraiser. The more money Daniel raises the more secure his job is no matter how many people he gives the cold shoulder to. The funeral donations should be to a separate fund for seminarians or retired Franciscans and not be part of the general fund which could be used to pay for even more of Daniel’s trips. The biggest symbol of the prison you talk about is the fence around the playground. It keeps families from playing there after church like they used to, but it can also trap our school children in case of emergency. Before the fence was installed, some of the other teachers would tell me how upset they were when Daniel told families to leave, sometimes they heard him yelling at them. I think this church has also become a mental prison because we are afraid to say anything publicly. I am afraid of retaliation which should not come from a church. Someone who will speak for you is Paul Fericano. He wrote about Daniel in his Room with a Pew blog. Leave him an anonymous message about your feelings at (650) 465-2008. Give him your name and number if you want him to help you heal. Paul will protect anyone who calls or emails. God bless you for caring about our parish.

Anonymous said...

Let’s keep sending letters to bishop Vann. He will eventually have to do something about it. We can’t give up on our parish.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Daniel and his crew it is no longer a place of peace. He has turned it into a monument of his ego.
The gestapo like tactics which encourages people to turn on one another, is supported and encouraged by him and his administrator. Anything less the total loyalty to Daniel and his mouth piece will not be tolerated.
He bans the American flag and disrespects those who have served and continue to serve. What's next?



Anonymous said...

As the feast day of Saint Francis approaches one would hope the staff would reflect on the prayer of St Francis.
Make me an instrument of peace.
Where there is hatred sow love
Whete there is injury pardon
Doubt faith
Despair hope
Darkness light
Sadness joy
Under the so called spiritual leadership of Daniel,the administration of Colleen, the blind by choice Mark, SSJ has become a place filled with injury,doubt, despair,darkness and sadness. This is the only time apathy would be preferable.
As the festival approaches missing since after Daniel's first year, is the book sale. Something many looked forward to.
Now except for baked goods all there is to purchase Daniel's (over priced and common). Where does that money go? Who pays for the printing, matting and or framing. At least the book sales benefited the parish. Last year he made sure he disrespected Fr. Christian and his group by placing them in the corner while Daniel took center stage. When will SSJ parishioners stop feeding his over inflated ego?
He and colleen use their positions to in effect hold the Sacraments hostage.
I know how they both can be if you dare to stick up for yourself when they ridicule your faith or your works( all for the benefit of the church).

Mathew 25:13 Keep watch because you do not know the day the hour.

Anonymous said...

I don’t see this post by Mary from Santa Barbara anymore but I found the page I printed. Mary said Fr. Daniel Barica needs anger management and the people of Santa Barbara fought to get rid of him.

“Omg, just when we thought we wouldn’t hear the name “Daniel Barica” ever again we learn about the misery he’s causing to the parishioners of Sts Simon and Jude. I have nothing to say except that you all need to be strong and fight this man at least that’s what we did in SB. Now let me be honest with you all it wasn’t easy but it’s doable. Daniel is not a bad guy he’s sick and needs help. He clearly hates being a priest and is taking it out on all of us. He knows that if he leaves the priesthood he will have nowhere to go and won’t make a dime from the photos he’s taking. He has no real college degree, he’s in his mid fifties and all he knows is taking photos. He is indeed a nightmare and needs anger management to help with all of his insecurities. Keep going SSJ and don’t give up. God bless you all.”

The Diocese of Orange’s own Facebook page has these reviews in case you did not see them:
Andrew Zabarian July 9, 2018: “This diocese is a joke. We have been complaining about Sts Simon and Jude’s Friar Daniel Barica for years and the diocese are doing nothing even though he had been kicked out of several parishes before including Santa Barbara”
Regina Flores July 13, 2018: “Bishop Vann, we don’t want Fr. Daniel Barica at Sts Simon and Jude”

Anonymous said...

This is sad. Somone should have told us what happened with him before.
Well you should also know SSJ Principal Crystal Pinkofsky who was so loved by the students was fired by Barica not long after she asked him for audited financial statements so that she could apply for a grant. A grant would do so much to upgrade the school and hopefully reduce tuition. Was he afraid of what she would find out? Maybe this because of the cash he took from the church basket I read about on the Room with a Pew blog. It says Father Rusty found out and told Mark Purcell and Dan Hart. I hope one of them finally calls the police.
One of the teachers told me Barica abuses his power. He is only powerful as the people who are afraid to speak up.

Anonymous said...

Hold on, if Father Rusty knows money was taken by Father Barica then his Franciscan superior, Father Lackie, should know and is also covering this up. Hiding this and not telling us Santa Barbara fought back is the same as Father Lackie lying to us about his past. Now we lost Father Lackie and got stuck with the guy he is still enabling. Father Lackie also did not tell us he knew about Father Gus Krumm’s sexual accusations while the Franciscans let him continue hugging children here for 5 more years. Then they “transferred” Gus to Ascension church in Portland to hug and potentially abuse more children.

Anonymous is correct, Gus and now Father Barica are only as powerful as the Franciscans and every parish donor who do nothing about priests who bully and abuse. I got the May 31 parish email with Provincial Gaa promising transparency. Protecting a priest with a problem past is not transparency.

A well known church employee told me they receive many complaints about Father Barica but are told to disregard all the ones with no names! So if you were one of these people who complained, you were ignored. If you want to stay anonymous, probably your only recourse is to protest by stopping your donations like they did at other parishes.

I read most of the comments on the various websites about Father Barica but I don’t see any apology or church statement saying what is written is false. Here are some that really stand out:
“I work at the parish office and I assure you all that Daniel Barica is hated beyond words.”
“Daniel uses people and when they are no longer useful he sets out to destroy them.”
“I know Daniel is the cause. He has publicly humiliated Knights who gave their all to improve our parish.”
“No one wants to be the next person DB tosses aside, like the Knight who yelled at him in the parking lot.”
“This new leadership has DEVASTATED families.”
“He discovered that Fr Daniel was taking cash from the weekly collection. Fr Rusty even told Mark Purcell…”
“He is destroying the school and dividing the community. The staff are all scared of him. We the parents tried to talk to him but he was so rude and disrespectful.”
“Omg the playground was a disaster on the VBS BBQ day. Barica went ballistic that day when he saw few of the kids playing there. He yelled at the parents, the kids, the VBS volunteers…”
“I promised my kids that this will be our last year at SSJ. Once again Shame on you Daniel Barica.”
“So far about 100 kids left the school. How many more have to leave before the diocese takes notice?”
“My mom for example laughs with you all the time after mass then goes home and tells my dad how much she hates you.”
“We invested time and money at that school only to be forced out like pieces of garbage.”
“Regarding the affair he’s having with a school mom. I believe it’s true.”
“Disgusted is what comes to mind when I think about this man preaching in front of children.”

I can’t imagine a church would publish a statement an attorney can prove are even more lies. No contradiction to all this makes me believe everything must be true.

Anonymous said...

Since we are on the subject, here is another quote from someone on Like a Welcome Flood. I wish I knew who he is so we can start organizing like they did in Santa Barbara but I don’t want to be the first and have my family suffer too.
“We allowed it to happen by sitting back and watching as our fellow parishioners were being hurt. We silently said to ourselves at least it isn't me. The so called leaders have systemically destroyed our collective spirit. Everyone of us has suffered some type of abuse at Daniel's hands. It may not have been a direct hit but by making SSJ oppressive we have all been damaged.”
“One evening in the parking lot I heard a man let into Daniel with so much anger. I wanted to get out and cheer him on, but I was afraid of the aftermath for myself and my family. I don't know who it was but I am sorry for not having the courage to stand beside you brother. I watched Daniel run away like a scared animal. More people need to stand up and be heard.”
I don’t know how to do this but maybe someone can make a Facebook for people who want to protest but stay anonymous.

Sad at SSJ said...

Reading all of this, I can’t ignore people’s feelings anymore because it makes me sad for how great our church used to be. I knew Fr Rusty very well. He was the Guardian of the Friary at SSJ. That means Rusty was actually in charge of Daniel at the Friary. Rusty confided in me and told me he reported Daniel to Bishop Vann. I do not understand why Vann did not immediately remove Daniel after Rusty told him.
Fr Dan Lackie is Rusty’s and Daniel’s boss because Dan is a Franciscan Definitor. Rusty is required to also report theft to Dan, just like what happened at St James Catholic Church in Torrance when they found out 2 nuns stole half million dollars for Vegas trips and more. It’s well known that Daniel was gone often in places like Florida, central America and God knows where else. Dan and Bishop Vann covering up weekly theft by Daniel does not follow the law, the commandments or their promise to be transparent with us. It’s not too late for them to confess to God and do the right thing.
The Problem Priests story makes it very clear Dan is an enabler as someone called him. Diane B. said she wrote Fr Dan Lackie after he left HB to work in Santa Barbara but he never responded. Some of what she wrote is already recorded but here is more:
“I emailed father Dan three days ago but haven’t heard back from him yet and with all honesty I don’t feel like he will ever respond. It is sad to say that but Franciscans are like the mafia. They cover up for each other.”
“Here is what I said to Father Dan via email:
Dear father Dan,
I am a mom at Sts Simon and Jude school. I’ve never met you before but I heard many good things about you. We have been struggling with father Daniel Barica and our community is suffering big time. He fired Mrs. Pinkofsky our principal who had been there for over 21 years and who was loved by all of us. He also fired our coach Mr Smith and other faculty members. He is destroying the school and dividing the community. The staff are all scared of him. We the parents tried to talk to him but he was so rude and disrespectful. It is too much and we can’t take it anymore. I was wondering if you could come back. I don’t know how easy it is for friars to transfer in between parishes but we need you back for sure. Please keep this conversation confidential. I got your email from a page called “room with a pew” this page talks about what’s going on at SSJ. Please read the comments and please try to do something. I will pray for a miracle and I believe that God will not let us suffer any longer. Thank you father and please don’t ignore my plea.”
“I think we should send a letter to the pope himself. Those Franciscans are a bunch of hypocrites and I am about to lose my faith because of them. They will ruin Sts Simon and Jude’s reputation. It’s simply not right.”
This last one answers someone who asked if she ever got a response to her email:
“Nope father Dan never responded. Let’s face it they don’t care and won’t care as long as they are getting our money. We need to stop donating to Sts Simon and Jude, period”

Concerned said...

I have been following all this. Reading about everything from sex energy to harrassment is like a combination of what is happening with priest sex abuse and MeToo. Not telling this church what he did to people at his other parishes before adds to the Catholic scandal of moving priests like this around. This guy should have an intervention or a leave of absence with some serious therapy. Why isn't that priest Lackie and the others in charge stepping in? A lot of public figures lose their jobs for enabling anyone who does a lot less than what I see is going on there.

Mr. Mens Club said...

I want to say after reading this we thought Father Daniel would be long gone by now. Between him and all the other priests in the news, it is terrible the diocese lets us still be under his control. If Santa Barbara got him transferred away so can we. The guy above used the perfect word to describe the condition under him – oppressive.

I miss the pre-oppressive days at Simon and Jude. When the priests had us over often for parties. When we could meet for coffee on Saturday mornings at the school lunch tables. When our grandkids were not locked out of the playset and could run on the field after church without getting yelled at. When donating and volunteering was appreciated and not expected. When we were not used as our priest’s personal checkbook. And before the kids had to hear Father Daniel tell us about his sexual energy and how each morning after he showers he looks at himself in the mirror and applies oil before he gets dressed.

What I heard him say at mass is still worrisome and inexcusable. Priests can’t talk like that under any circumstances but especially to kids. I saw the OC Register story that the California Franciscans already paid out $28.5 million in abuse cases. What a waste. We need to be told how they spend our donations. With all that has already happened, why would they take the risk and let a priest with sexual energy be stationed at a school of all places?

Look at the people who quit or were fired: Russ Smith, Trent Amelotte, Crystal Smith, Chris Sumpter, Tammy Copeland, Vicki Gray, Patrick Bell, and the others. And the past volunteers and the kids who stopped going to school here. Even Santa had to leave against our protests.

I don’t care if Colleen knows I don’t give any more. She knows Mark Purcell stopped donating, he told me. And Mark told me he took it one step further by actually registering at another parish. Ask the people in the church office, they know this because they have the records.

When Father Daniel found out Rusty told the bishop on him, Daniel started to retaliate against him. A priest used his power to get back at another priest! One day when Father Rusty and I were talking, he told me he wanted to leave. I would have reacted the same if I was the subject of such wrath.

I finally got the courage to write this because I don’t want the church to keep hiding the truth. It might bring shame to SSJ but better that than shame to a sexual energy victim.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I always questioned the real reason Nancy Cunningham stopped working at SSJ. I heard her criticize Fr. Daniel in a staff meeting so maybe she was asked to leave. Dan Michalek told me he had Fr. Daniel over for dinner and said to him how unhappy people are but I guess that did not do any good. I am surprised Fr. Daniel did not retaliate by firing Monica when he got rid of others who spoke up, like Russ Smith. Before Russ got fired, he told me how upset he was about Fr. Daniel running people off the field. Many of them were school families like the Tritz family (Chuck Linnen’s grandkids) who pulled their kids from SSJ school. And Russ told me he was very upset when Fr. Daniel said to his daughter in front of all the other parents in baptism class that she could not get her baby baptized because she did not contribute enough money. The parents must have been stunned. Maybe Russ’ firing was retaliation too but Fr. Daniel waited a while to make it look unrelated. It could not have been because Russ forgot how to teach PE all of a sudden. I wonder if anyone else got fired for reporting Fr. Daniel after the parent meeting when he told everyone in the room that all religions other then Catholicism are a cult. Fr. Daniel should have been fired for saying inappropriate comments like this. What he believes and does with his private life is between him and God but it’s a bad example to kids. I am on guard for my family and still creeped out over the fact that he has sexual energy.

Email I was included on: said...

To: Ryan Thornton, OFM
SS Simon & Jude

Dear Ryan,

It has taken me quite some time to sort through all my feelings in order to respond in a frank and thoughtful manner. I trust you and others will accept what I have to offer in good faith.

I was saddened and troubled to read your response to _________ , which you copied to me and several others in this email thread. Regardless of what anyone may think of _______ or her reasons for coming forward, she does not deserve to be dismissed by you, the Franciscans, and the Diocese of Orange. Her rejection is a repudiation of every survivor who has attempted to get the church to listen to them. And that includes me.

It would be easy to excuse a friar's inexperience in these matters. But ignoring grievances, invoking church attorneys, and using veiled threats are all triggers that would seem to indicate a disturbing absence of pastoral skills. When new members of the clergy respond in this way, attempting to silence people rather than acknowledge their feelings and experiences, serious questions need to be raised.

What should we believe are the intentions of a newly ordained follower of St. Francis of Assisi? What does a friar's apparent allegiance to a fellow friar tell us about that friar's understanding of the clergy abuse crisis? What are we to make of his sensitivity and compassion for those who seek his help? And what does it divulge about the Franciscans in general when some Franciscans behave in un-Franciscan ways and are not held publicly accountable?

You have every right to ask to be removed from Ms. ______ email list. But to make that appeal as a Catholic priest without truthfully addressing her concerns is simply unacceptable. Such a request immediately becomes woven into the fabric of a greater denial. Unfortunately, it is precisely this kind of re-victimizing that continues to haunt the Franciscans and the church.

Dan Barica’s hurtful language and behavior are painfully real for many of us. This may be an unpleasant reality for you and other members of the clergy to accept, but there's a terrible history here that's repeating itself. Only when the Franciscans and the Diocese of Orange can accept and deal with the problem honestly and compassionately will the suffering be relieved.

All of us, Catholic, non-Catholic, laity and clergy alike, have been battered by the systemic blows of clergy abuse. We have all been traumatized by its dark shadow. The current election cycle and the anxious political climate it has created is a stark reminder of what happens when tyrants are elevated to positions of power and claim the truth is what they say it is.

Before responding to similar situations in the future, I sincerely hope you and other friars will pause to consider the impact your words may have, as both priests and Franciscans, on everyone who struggles to be understood.

In peace,

Paul

Paul Fericano, Director
SafeNet
www.mysafenet.org
A Room With A Pew

Anonymous said...

After seeing this we need to be open with each other if we are to bring about change like I saw they did in Santa Barbara. I have been bothered ever since I received this letter. Father Gaa in Oakland is in charge of all the Franciscans in this Province. He did not accept any accountability for Father Daniel. He is his boss so writing him should be all that is necessary, but he passed the buck to the diocese. Brushing people off and making it more difficult to lodge a complaint made me realize the abuse disgrace to our church did not really change much. Those in charge still protect their priests.

“May God give you peace. I am writing to acknowledge receiving the copies of your email correspondence with many people regarding Fr. Dan Barica, OFM, the Pastor of Sts. Simon and Jude parish that you sent to me last week. As I am sure you are aware, Sts. Simon and Jude parish is part of the Diocese of Orange and all personnel concerns are handled directly by the diocese. I encourage you to bring any problems you have regarding the parish or the parish staff directly to them. Sincerely Yours, Fr. David Gaa, OFM Minister Provincial 1500 34th Avenue Oakland, CA 94601 510-536-3722 sbfranciscans.org”

His words did not give me peace. “As I am sure you are aware” sounds like it was written by his lawyer because lawyers like to put words in your mouth. Who could ever be aware that the guy in charge of the Franciscans will not accept complaints against them?? Father Gaa must have the authority to discipline his priests so he has to address what people are saying. At minimum acknowledge complaints and forward them to the diocese to check out. It’s like HR telling me they cannot accept a report about my manager and talk to the CEO instead.

This dark side of priesthood makes me question my faith like the mom said earlier. Father Gaa’s letter also showed me what that mom wrote earlier was right - the Franciscans cover up for each other.

Men's Club volunteer said...

I saw a story on TV about Rap artist Common who was harassed and abused. He said abuse is allowed to continue when no one talks about it.

I don’t see people talking about our situation after church like they must have done up in Santa Barbara. I bet they had meetings about Fr Daniel when he was there or made a petition to let the Franciscans know what he was doing to get him transferred.

Jim Ortale was not afraid to talk about Fr Daniel when he emailed several of us from the Men’s Club about him when Jim said Who does he think he is? After that Jim told us the earful he got when Fr Daniel called him into a private meeting. Jim should not have to stay silent. Ceasar, Rudy, Terry and other Knights should not have to stay silent either because they told me they also don’t like the situation we are in.

Look at what was written by other people, Paul Fericano, Virginia Jones, Andrew Zabarian, Regina Flores, Rachel Chu, Tia Thompson, and students of SSJ. Heather Blake even wrote Fr Daniel is having an affair. If what they wrote is not true, SSJ would have had to sue people like Heather to protect its reputation.

I don’t get it, Fr Daniel must know something Fr Dan and the Franciscans did he can use to retaliate against them. That is the only reason I figure they keep quiet about all of this.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see people saying their feelings. Here are text messages between 2 people. I am glad I got a copy to share what was said:

You sure called it on Fr. Daniel – I hear he’s ruined the school. I told ___ no more $$ to the church:(

Hi ___ I left my phone and just saw this. It’s too bad because that was a great place. Someone told me to Google his name because of all the stuff on the internet. It says he even fired Russ Smith?

Russ was fired, but hired by the diocese an hour later. Fr Daniel is an anal idiot and should be ousted.

My letter to Bishop Vann said...

Dear Bishop Vann,

Our family is from Sts Simon and Jude. We heard about Father Gus Krumm’s sexual past with minors. But When the Franciscans released their credibly accused clergy earlier this year, we thought Father Gus would be the only one from this church on the list. We were shocked to find out there were several more credibly accused of abusing minors that lived right next to our school. Whether or not something bad happened to a victim that has not come forward yet, you and the Franciscans should not have put children in harm’s way.

Priests who are credibly accused must have sexual energy.

Our priest Daniel Barica, actually told us he has sexual energy. And he put it in writing in the Sunday bulletin. I was so shocked when he said it I still have a copy. I am sure you saw it too but you have kept quiet about it all this time. Isn’t paying $100 million in sex abuse claims in your diocese enough?

We don’t want another priest here with sexual energy. That is too dangerous for our school children. It does not matter how long ago Father Daniel told us he has sexual energy. We found out he was almost 40 years old in 1999 when he became a priest. Did you look into his past before allowing him to work in Orange County? Background checks should apply to everyone.

Parents who just wanted to celebrate mass with their families became very uncomfortable during Father Daniel’s sermon that day. They could not walk out or cover their kid’s ears without drawing attention. He did not just say he has sexual energy, he said he used oil on his body. Imagine what people were thinking. Would you keep employing a teacher who talked like that in the classroom?

Something is not normal about him and he seems to get angry easily. You tell us you will be transparent so please answer this: Are our families safe from Father Daniel’s sexual energy? If you do not answer openly for everyone to know, that tells me you can’t guarantee our safety. If there is any risk, you must move Father Daniel to a place where his sexual energy can be monitored.

When Father Alex was accused of sexually abusing a child here, an OC Register article said he testified under oath that he took money collected from parishioners each week. How much did he take over the years? Now I read certain people know Father Daniel also took money from our donations. Have you notified the authorities to investigate? Is cash being taken off the top by priests a problem in your diocese? Please be transparent about what is going on as you promise.

Our festival is this weekend so is that money at risk too? A lot of familiar faces don’t want to help anymore. Many of our school children transferred to Sowers and Huntington Christian school, our enrollment is suffering. It’s hard to look people in the eye at the festival knowing what they are thinking, pretending nothing is wrong.

People should not be afraid of their own priest, this never happened when Father Michael was here. The information on the internet about what is going on is embarrassing. Why didn’t you warn us about him? Did you let him transfer here thinking no one would find out? Look how that worked out for bishops who transferred other priests who caused shame to our religion.

People I talk to say they are waiting this out and hope someone replaces Father Daniel soon. How many more families need to leave our church and school before you do something?

Yes I have a lot of questions. I think everyone in this parish deserves your answers.

Observer said...

I can’t help thinking about the guy who wrote that he did not get involved with the altercation someone had in the parking lot with this priest because he was worried about aftermath for his family. The idea that someone stays quiet or else worry about consequences from a priest is not Catholicism.

From SSJ said...

I received the parish email yesterday with the letter from Bishop Vann and it made me want to also state my feelings. His letter does not address any complaints against Fr Daniel or his sermon about using oil on himself after he showers. In fact I still don’t see any apology or comments from him regarding the complaints. Here is what Bishop Vann wrote in OC Catholic Aug 15, 2018:
“I appreciate the righteous anger expressed toward those who have failed to follow due process and the demands of accountability. I also want to assure you that I am committed to join with my brother bishops to address these failings. A competent independent national investigative body comprised of qualified professionals needs to be created so that if we have systemic issues within our Church, they can be thoroughly reviewed and addressed. I pledge my support to this and will allocate diocesan funds for this purpose.
Unequivocally, I join my brother bishops who have already spoken out to identify the root cause as a crisis in holiness. Shepherds who sincerely seek the Lord do not abuse the power that Our Lord has entrusted to them. Those who abuse this holy office fail Christ and his Church.
In this difficult time, please join with me to pray that our Church be purified, that all the people who have been wounded by abuse on the part of the clergy experience healing, and that I, along with the rest of Church leadership, act with wisdom, courage, and humility to fulfill the office that the Lord has entrusted to us.”
Bishop Vann has to mean what he says. He is not just telling us priest sex abuse is unacceptable. He writes about priest abuse of power too, like shunning people which can cause emotional and spiritual abuse. If money is missing, that is a financial abuse of power. After reading Room with a Pew, I have no doubt Bishop Vann knows of numerous complaints in Santa Barbara and Huntington Beach. To ignore allegations of “systemic issues” can really make the Bishop an enabler. At minimum he should have the HBPD do a proper investigation into what is going on with the church donations.

Anonymous said...

I saw the emails about the Franciscans leaving Simon and Jude. Mission Santa Barbara and Mission San Luis Rey apparently will stay Franciscan. So why would they abandon a church right on the way between those 2 missions while keeping remote churches in Spokane, Washington and Milwaukie, Oregon? It’s probably a way to get rid of Daniel without having to acknowledge all the people he upset and the steep decline in school enrollment. This diocese has a mess to clean up.

Curious said...

You know, it could be the $28 million in settlements reported in the newspaper is the reason why the Franciscans are leaving so many parishes. I looked into it more and found out all their troubles almost put them in bankruptcy. With the new law extending the time to file abuse claims this could still happen. I would like to be told how much in donations was used to pay lawyers to try to protect these priests. When the news about Fr. Gus Krumm as a minor abuser hit Simon and Jude, they transferred him to Ascension church in Portland without giving those families a heads up. Then when they finally found out, the Franciscans transferred him to St. Francis in Sacramento until those parishioners found out too. Now both of these churches are no longer run by Franciscans. Once they leave Simon and Jude, all 3 parishes where Fr. Gus served will not have Franciscan priests. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Anonymous said...

SSJ Parishioners .... Did you know?

Posture Change during the Eucharistic Prayer

From time to time it is worthwhile to examine why we do the things we do. This is especially true for us Catholics who wish to show proper reverence and awe for the Most Holy Eucharist. We know that what we do at Sacred Liturgy forms us, and others who observe us, in ways that sometimes supersedes words! This is especially true with bodily postures.

Some people point to an informality that continues to foster itself in our society: our casual manner in the way we address people by using only first names, our relaxed attire at social engagements and not “dressing up,” and the fact that we do not stand up when someone of importance walks into a room. It can also creep unconsciously into our celebration of Liturgy.

In order to counter this indifference and help foster a sense of awe and gratitude for the gift of the Eucharist, Bishop Vann has asked that we make a change in our posture during the latter part of the Eucharistic Prayer. Currently we stand from the Great Amen until after receiving Holy Communion. The faithful are now asked to start kneeling after the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei) in awe and veneration of what is taking place on the Altar of Sacrifice. This change is to be implemented in parishes by the last Sunday in August and will help us to prepare ourselves spiritually for the dedication of our Cathedral, where this posture change will become normative.

There are occasions when this posture won’t be possible, such as when an individual is prevented by ill health, or for reasons of lack of space, of the large number of people present, or for another reasonable cause. It might not be possible in our communities that are worshipping in temporary Worships Spaces that don’t enjoy the use of kneelers. However, we can all enjoy a heightened awareness and attentiveness to the sacred action. Through our increase mindfulness of “doing things differently,” this change in posture will hopefully help us become more conscious and intentional about our sense of reverence and awe of Jesus’ Body and Blood.

This posture change is in keeping with the directives that we have been given in the General Instruction to the Roman Missal (GIRM), which is the “instruction manual” for how we celebrate Mass. The directives in the GIRM give us both universal norms for the Roman Catholic Church as well as “particular law” for the United States. It also gives authority to a Diocesan Bishop to establish norms for the benefit and well-being of the faithful for his particular diocese, which may vary from the surrounding dioceses and change over time. Our gestures and postures help to bring about a unity as we all do things the same way at the same time. It also helps to make clear the meanings of different parts of the Mass and fosters our participation in our Sacred Liturgy. Let all that we do help us enter into our prayer and worship to bring about our sanctification and that of our world.

Good riddance said...

In this last week under the control of Father Barica, I think these comments from Room with a Pew sum up the situation over the last few years:
"Let's just say no more to him and his group of brown noses. My kids are not returning to SSJ after Christmas, they will start at a new school where the principal cares more about the kids than satisfying and feeding the pastors ego. So until then I will keep sharing this blog and encouraging others to quit feeding the pig."
"I wish more people had his courage to stand up to the oppressive regime."
"Daniel tried to wiggle out of his lie by playing the victim card and told this parishioner that the parishioner needed to RECORD Daniel's words better!!! What??? And this is our pastor? Our spiritual leader? The parishioner told me he was stunned by this new low even for Daniel."
"Many of you have called Daniel a narcissist, you are partially correct. Having had the opportunity to observe as well as getting to know Daniel, my diagnosis is Narcissistic Personality Disorder as well as Sociopathy. This is a dangerous combination as we have all experienced. Since he ego won't allow him to admit and seek help for his issues. While that makes him a victim of his mental state, it does not absolve him of responsibility. He is fully aware of his actions and will never apologize for them."
My comment which I bet other men’s club members agree with: Good riddance! I hope the new priests apologize for the control and oppression we have endured and actually prove they want people to return by publicly demanding the removal of the brown nosers and enablers of this oppression of any authority, especially Mark Purcell, Colleen Murray, Fr. Rusty, Fr. Vincent, Fr. Ryan and Fr Dan Lackie in Santa Barbara. Then bring back Santa and tear down the unwelcoming fence around the playground so the kids can play like they used to.

Donor transparency said...

Sometimes I think we get financially bullied by Catholic Hierarchs. With all the lost jobs from the pandemic and families with food insecurity, the churches want to continue raise money for their own benefit. Like the O.C. Diocese paying the $100 million to the sex abuse victims. Or spending nearly $100 million to remodel Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral into Christ Cathedral. I do not think these are proper ways to spend our donated money.

I am glad the old pastor at St. Simon and Jude is finally gone because he upset a lot of people. But now the new one is on another spending spree. I have been bothered since getting the email a few weeks ago from Fr. Reynold about wanting to raise money for a new sound system and waterproofing. The old sound system has huge speakers and it is not that old. And the church is built with concrete blocks so yes they get a little wet sometimes. But it does not rain much in Southern CA. Imagine what all that money would do for families in need and for people barely surviving on the streets.

The email said: “To make this happen I’d like to set a goal for us of $750,000 for the Pastoral Services Appeal. That’s $537,000 more than the Diocesan goal. That is about the going rate of an audio/video system for a church building of our size. If we raise more than that we’ll dry up the walls and get everything sealed.”

We already spent that much money to remodel the 2 priest houses! At that cost maybe we should have torn them down and started over. We spent over 3 million for the parking lot which put us deep in debt. Now we are paying tens of thousands for a huge tent to hold services where it hardly rains. Why not enjoy the sunshine during mass and save that expense?

At least the cost to build the new fencing came from one donor. However, our church took his money and did something unlawful: They did not get permits for the fence until after one of the finance people I know reported them to the city. A church is supposed to be an example to us and not break the law.

The permit makes sure the fence is built right. But its other purpose is so the fire department knows about the fence and has access through the gates in an emergency. Can you imagine what would have happened if a fire started while kids were in class? If the firemen got delayed by illegal unpermitted fencing surrounding the school, some of the kids could have died.

For the fence or any work, we have many parishioners who are licensed contractors. Some have offered to do work for free or at a greatly reduced cost. But instead we end up using regular priced contractors coming from far away.

The church not accepting donated work has upset many of our parish contractors. They are not told the real reason they are turned down. It is because the bishop requires a 10% “donation” be given back to the diocese on all contracts they award. So the higher the contract and the more the parish pastor wants to spend, the bigger the kick back to the diocese. If the diocese accepted free work, 10% of free would be zero. So if something should cost $100,000, it costs the donors $110,000 even though a local parish contractor might have offered to do the work for just $50,000.

But the fundraising is not over because most churches do not have enough saved to be able to do the all work. So the bishop loans money to churches in the diocese and he makes interest on the loans. At 10% interest, that is an additional $10,000 for every $100,000 borrowed just in the first year.

The diocese should be honest with our parish contractors and tell them they don’t accept free or discounted work because they get a large kick back from outside contractors plus interest on any loans. All this extra cost comes from the donors, who should be told the truth.

Anonymous said...

I like Fr Reynold Furrell. God answered my prayers when he came to finally replace our last SSJ pastor. But he probably does not realize asking for so much money for an expensive sound system is very insensitive to the feelings of all he families we should be using our donations to help in these difficult times. The diocese needs to allow parishioners to donate their time and talent like they used to, not just expect their treasure. Church projects used to be organized and done by the Mens Club and companies we knew who were willing to donate, not pad costs by 10%. Whatever was not donated we usually paid for by separate fundraisers like Christmas trees and the golf tournament. I think other members feel the Mens Club is a great resource that is not much appreciated like before.

Now donating elsewhere said...

Something else that is just not right. How can the Diocese of Orange, CA not pay taxes but get $24 million in PPP loans funded by people of other faiths (or no faith)? We should be able to decide which religion we want to support with our tax dollar "donations". I hope none of this money went to defense lawyers or for settlements that covered up the behavior of the abuser priests they kept moving around.
http://theworthyadversary.com/5405-diocese-of-orange-snags-more-than-24-mil-in-ppp-loans#comment-1852952

Now donating elsewhere said...

I looked into this more and just read this Associated Press article that says across the country the church got at least $3 billion from PPP! A church getting taxpayer money should have to pay tax.

"Overall, the nation’s nearly 200 dioceses, where bishops and cardinals govern, and other Catholic institutions received at least $3 billion. That makes the Roman Catholic Church perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the paycheck program, according to AP’s analysis of data the U.S. Small Business Administration released following a public-records lawsuit by news organizations."
https://apnews.com/article/catholic-church-get-aid-investigation-39a404f55c82fea84902cd16f04e37b2

It looks like there is even more inappropriate use of money. This L.A. Times article actually quotes our friend Steve Dzida from Sts Simon and Jude in Huntington Beach. It is good to finally see someone stand up for what he and Maria feels is not right. The article is about Bishop Kevin Vann actually filing a lawsuit against someone for questions raised, not statements. People should be able to ask questions of a charity, that is part of oversight. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-11-01/o-c-bishop-sues-charity-administrator-who-accused-catholic-leader-go

Suing someone has to be the ultimate hypocrisy of a church leader who tells us from the pulpit we have to love and forgive each other. Even though others in the article say Bishop Vann may have to pay six figures for the other side’s legal fees if the case gets dismissed, somehow his attorney tries to justify all this by saying people may not donate if Bishop Vann does not sue. ???? This statement makes no sense, I think it has the opposite effect. Bishop Vann giving our donations to Catholic and non-Catholic lawyers is actually a reason to stop donating. Paying lawyers charging hundreds of dollars per hour certainly does not honor my intention as a donor. The article says:

"Costa Mesa attorney and longtime donor Steve Dzida informed the foundation in September that he and his wife were cutting off contributions until the bishop took steps to ensure the charity was outside his control.

“If the foundation is not run in that fashion, I don’t feel like that honors my intent as a donor.... When we supported this foundation we understood that these decisions would be made by a board of directors that was independent of the bishop,” Dzida said."

I would never agree to one dollar of my money going to a church’s charity that has no board oversight or for church’s legal bills. Another attorney I know thinks Bishop Vann authorized $50,000 or more per month as a retainer to Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in Costa Mesa and sent their retainer payments whether or not he used their services each month. After the previous OC bishop likely paid his own attorneys 6 or 7 figures, on top of that he still had to pay $100 million to the priest abuse victims and their attorneys.

Where do you think money for all this comes from? Donors of course, like the above post I read that says Bishop Vann requires a 10% override from parish construction projects funded by parishioners. I wish the mens club and others stop donating in protest like Steve, Maria and me. It will take a larger group to take a stand and finally get the bishop to honor our intentions as donors which is made clear in our parish mission statement: To serve God’s people in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi.

Paying lawyers for libel lawsuits, to defend priest abuse, and other church lawsuits is not part of SSJ’s mission statement. Bishop Vann needs to refund parish donors for all money we gave that he paid to lawyers over the years because this use of our donations is not authorized in our parish mission statement.

Blown away said...

I am blown away by all I read here. This narrative fits well in this blog about Catholic bullying. A priest fires people, shuns parishioners, writes to them about his sexual energy/use of oil, and steals cash from their Sunday collection baskets. Did his boss put him in jail yet? Stealing from a non profit is a huge crime. Then this bishop ignores all of the complaints about this guy, does not accept free work from his members, gets kick backs from contractors, and has illegal fencing that could cause death in a fire at a school. On top of that this church turns its back on the Bible and the commandments of how to treat others by continuing to cover up abuse by priests and suing people. What kind of religion is this? A monthly retainer with a law firm means a portion of every single donor’s money is used to pay lawyers. I would never agree to that. Maybe the lawsuits are more about using lawyers to bully people and keep them quiet with harsh settlement confidentiality clauses and instilling fear in anyone else who would think about questioning this church.

RLS said...

Schools like catholic schools have a very strict no bully order for students. Then why is it ok for priests to bully. Then on top of that steal $ (directly into his pocket or indirectly by church workers and other priests who know but don’t call the cops) from the same people that get bullied. And the bishop guy sues someone who just wants to know what’s going on. What the frick people wake up! You need to know where your $ goes, oh wait if you ask the heirarch bishop may bully and sue you. I can talk to god I dont need a priest to give me guilt about my life and take my money to protect the bad priests. No thanks.

Anonymous said...

Yes there are a lot of bullies in the priesthood that use their power over their people to raise millions and to kick anyone out of the parish they want.

From Fr. James F. Oropel of St. Francis of Rome, Wildomar, CA in a letter to his parish: “This construction project will require $6.4 million and I am pleased to say that through generous donations from people like you, we have raised over $2.5 million to date.” Instead of using this money to build more expensive buildings, he should be using it to help others.

Recently, this same Fr. James shamed my widowed Men’s Club friend by telling him that his dancing with an unmarried woman was “Sinful Behavior” and that he had to find another parish. If that is not ex-communication by bullying, I don’t know what is. Fr. James needs to pray to God for being judgmental, apologize to my friend, and apologize to the Men’s Club because it is very upsetting to those of us who know.

More people down the road look like subjects of another power priest. This is from an on-line review of St. Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church in Temecula, CA:
“I think it is sinful to delay a child's baptism in order to force the parents into contributing money to the church.” (Saving a child’s soul should not require money.)
“The final straw that made me write this review was the Mass this week. It was turned into a fundraiser. There was a collection during the Mass for a local Non-Catholic college choir to take a trip.” (The collection basket should be to help the poor and sick. Not choirs. Not priest vacations. Not millions for buildings.)
“I should probably escalate my concerns by making an appointment with the pastor myself and I understand that I am being a coward by not doing this, but all of my concerns have been met with hostility so I give up.” (Parishioners should be able to speak up about things that are not right but don’t out of guilt or shame.)

Just like this lady in Temecula gave up, my widowed friend decided not to say anything about that priest in Wildomar. Maybe something happened to you at your church or the priest said something during a homily you did not agree with but you decided to stay quiet too. Just remember, saying nothing, not calling out angry or financially abusive priests just allows the power imbalance over you to get worse. If no one complains, priests must think their parishes are very happy with them.

Priests are supposed to serve their parishioners, not rule over them. God wants you to speak up about priest problems. Stay quiet and you will suffer in silence.

TC20 said...

I have real examples of what donor transparency is talking about the override from contractors instead of using our own people.… I never really understood before this why St Simon & Jude did not hire fellow parishioners Dan Michalek, John Domenici and Tony Rini. Dan offered to deliver and install new carpeting at a huge reduction but he was turned down. Dan told me how upset this made him, even more so because wife Monica is a teacher there. John Domenici works at Southland Sod Farms and he told me back when the parking lot and landscaping was redone he offered to deliver all the grass for the field at cost. He could not understand why they passed this up. I know his wife Kathi did not like this either. We actually had to pay another company twice for new sod because the first time it was installed not long before the festival and got ruined! So that other sod company got to double dip into our collections. No wonder that whole project cost us over $3,000,000. Tony Rini owns Pace Cabinetry and a long time ago he custom built and donated the altar they still use today. A few years ago, he wanted to install tens of thousands worth of cabinets for free - and they said no. I remember him telling me how upset he was that one of his competitors was getting part of his donations. Tony was so generous to SSJ, now I don’t think he goes there or gives any money.

Financial Abuse said...

KTLA reported a few days ago “A nun who worked as a principal of a Catholic elementary school in Torrance has agreed to plead guilty in connection with stealing more than $835,000 in school funds to pay for personal expenses, including gambling trips, federal officials announced Tuesday.

Mary Margaret Kreuper, 79, of Los Angeles, was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. She agreed to plead guilty to the two charges, which carry a maximum sentence of 40 years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Central District of California.

For a 10-year period until September 2018, Kreuper embezzled money from St. James Catholic School in Torrance, where she was principal for 28 years, officials said. The school is overseen by the St. James church in Redondo Beach.”

$835k gone. Will our ex-priest Barica be finally charged for stealing from St Simon and Jude? I hope it was not this much but with all the debt he left us I would not be surprised. Did you know that we also lost the revenue of nearly 200 students who transferred elsewhere under his watch? Crystal Pinkofsky, Russ Smith, teachers and staff were not happy about what Barica did here but they all kept him in power way too long by not warning the public. Watch out Arizona because he may now be stealing from your church.

Gay Priests? said...

Maybe bullying is caused by priests not being able to release. I am sure a lot of guys out there can relate to getting cranky after a few days of buildup. Like what happens to the sexual energy this Huntington Beach priest says he has? If priests still have access to kids at schools they run, this make me question if our children really are safe from guys that have no other outlet for their sexual energy. I would rather priests take it out on each other, but this is still a grave sin according to the church.

Recent New Ways Ministry report dated May 30, 2021: “The number of gay priests in the Catholic Church is not insignificant. Though there is no way to know for sure, estimates presented by BBC range from 10% of the priesthood to individual seminarians identifying 90% of their classmates as gay.”

From BBC News World September 26, 2020: "I used to go to the confessional in a robe. I would come out of the bathroom feeling guilty for having sexual pleasure alone," recalls Father Rafael. "The reassurance of understanding that it wasn't just me helped me a lot, I cut down (consumption of) pornography and masturbation. Things stopped being as overwhelming as they were before. And I stopped blaming myself for the pleasure." “The presence of gays goes beyond seminaries and parishes, and extends through the hierarchy of the Church, although it pretends that it does not exist, he emphasizes.”

But aren’t the words “Gay Priest” really an oxymoron? As progressive as Pope Francis is, he still says a man cannot be gay and a priest. If priests are committing sins by masturbating, looking at pornography, or are in sexual relationships, then why should lay people like us that they preach to have to follow any church rules? Like missing church on Sunday, having pre-marital sex, stealing, etc. Priests are supposed to be an example to us. Do as I say and not as I do is not OK. A man has to choose one lifestyle or the other. Either become a priest and follow the rules or do not get ordained. Until the church changes its stance on abstinence (which probably will not be in our lifetime), any form of release of buildup with other priests or anyone, is beyond hypocrisy. Priests who don’t follow the rules, and their superiors who turn their heads and ignore what is going on, all must resign from this hypocrisy.

We cannot let the sexual energy of wherever this Huntington Beach priest is now “transferred” by his superiors to AZ, or any other priest, take the innocence of one more child.

Anonymous said...

I know where priest Fr Barica is now at - Our Lady of the Angels Church, 5802 E Lincoln Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85253. That church and staff will be his new protectors if they keep quiet about his bad actions. This is also where the Franciscan Renewal Center is located and any kind of abuse he causes must be reported by the Board of Directors: Charles (Charlie) Brown, Executive Director, Steve Lyons, Chair, Michele (Mike) C. Mencuccini, Vice Chair, Steve O’Neill, Treasurer, Carol Sanger, Secretary, plus board members Diane Catlin, Bob Crawford, Dennis O’Neal, Susan Pitts, Mary Warren, Michael West, and Ex Director Joe Schwab, OFM. The Franciscan Renewal Center is overseen by the Franciscan Province of Saint Barbara. Here are his additional protectors who have swept away numerous complaints at several parishes for years: David Gaa, OFM, Martin Ibarra, OFM, John Gutierrez, OFM, Anthony Garibaldi, OFM, Garrett Galvin, OFM, Bill Minkel, OFM, Dan Lackie, OFM, Tom West, OFM, Stanley Raggio, COO, George Dooley CFO, Mel Jurisich, OFM & Treasurer, Kathleen Flanagan Executive Director, and Father Sebastian Sandoval, OFM Office of Vocations. We need the truth about this man's past because something really bad could happen in the future.

Upset parishioner said...

We seem to have another bully bishop named Bishop David Malloy my family is enduring at Holy Cross in Illinois. https://www.shawlocal.com/kane-county-chronicle/news/local/2021/06/01/batavias-holy-cross-parishioners-in-uproar-as-diocese-replaces-their-beloved-priest/

BATAVIA TOWNSHIP – The pending replacement of a beloved pastor after seven years at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Batavia Township has hundreds of its parishioners upset. “The parish is in an uproar,” “Everybody has a theory over why Fr. Parker is in trouble with the bishop.”

Father James Parker is a good man! Bishops have to be nice to us and our priests like the bible requires. This church is not a good example to my family. My friends keep telling me how great their Christian church is so I will go there with them. After all, isn’t Catholicism a Christian religion? It’s actually a relief to not have to deal with Catholic guilt. My church should not make me worried sick that I can go to hell unless I get the sacraments, pray the rosary and do all the things the priest says I am supposed to do to make it in the gates. Emotionally I just can't handle the guilt anymore.

Catholic Guilt said...

I think guilt is a form of bullying from bishops and priests. The guilt we are thrown keeps Catholics like me under control and publicly quiet about our feelings. These subjects are not really talked about after mass but they are important. This forum really helps because it lets me see what others are thinking.

I can’t make it to church every Sunday so I feel intense guilt from the priest when he tells us we cannot receive unless... How many of you have heard the priest say right before communion you can’t receive if you are not a “practicing” Catholic? What does that mean? Not going to confession at least once per year, missing a holy day of obligation? Will this keep me from heaven? Those thoughts give me guilt.

This exclusive statement upsets me every time I hear it. They say it at Catholic funerals whenever I go too. Once baptized you are always Catholic. In fact if you are not a regular church goer that is even more of a reason to receive every chance you get. The 12 apostles were not even Catholic at the Last Supper but they still received.

In this society that demands inclusion, a priest using guilt to try to exclude anyone from receiving communion to get closer to God is just not right.

Loves Jesus said...

Jesus is not just for Catholics. We have communion at my church too but I feel offended by this religion when the priest tells me I can’t receive at Catholic weddings and funerals. I get it they have their rules but rules can be changed. To deny anyone a seat at His table does not sound like something Jesus would do.

Left st Simon and Jude again said...

I left st Simon and Jude because of the previous egotistical pastor. So did a lot of my friends. This past Saturday I saw they were going to have a church barbeque with games so I thought I would give it another try. Well they served beer which is not appropriate. What if someone drives off over the limit after a couple of drinks. But way worse was some of the songs the band played! What is wrong with the new priests allowing these songs with all the kids there. I looked up the lyrics. Tom Petty: She is all I need tonight, I can tell the whole wide world to shove it. Garth Brooks: I've got friends in low places, where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases my blues away. Just give me an hour and then well, I'll be as high as that ivory tower. The Killers jealousy song: While he's having a smoke and she's taking a drag, now they're going to bed, and my stomach is sick, and it's all in my head, but she's touching his chest now, he takes off her dress now, let me go, and I just can't look it's killing me and taking control.
One of the priests should have walked over and stopped the band mid song. These lyrics are basically condoning Catholics to get high, drunk and tell people to shove it. And while you are at it take off your clothes and hop in bed with someone. Some kids hear this and could figure it must be OK because I heard it at my church. Then guess what can happen. I was so disgusted. I am done going there ever again.

Predator priests said...

From AP News, July 29, 2021

Ex-Cardinal McCarrick charged with sexually assaulting teen

BOSTON -- Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was defrocked after a Vatican investigation confirmed he had sexually molested adults as well as children, has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy during a wedding reception in Massachusetts in 1974, court records show.

McCarrick is the first cardinal in the U.S. to ever be criminally charged with a sexual crime against a minor, according to Mitchell Garabedian, a well-known lawyer for church sexual abuse victims who is representing the man alleging the abuse by McCarrick.

From AP News, March 2, 2021

Accused priest sues bishop, saying he was slandered

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest in Massachusetts who was removed from ministry after the church determined that allegations of child sexual abuse he faced were “credible” has filed a defamation lawsuit against his bishop.

So the church bullies and sues not only its members but each other too? Jesus must be so upset at what we have become.

Then there is this sick news…
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) commissioned the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2002 to conduct a comprehensive study based on surveys completed by the Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States. The product of the study, titled the John Jay Report indicated that some 11,000 allegations had been made against 4,392 priests in the USA.

4392 priests involved!? Is this what priests really mean when they say Do Unto Others?

The church keeps trying to whitewash history and sweep sex crimes of thousands of priests under the rug. They expect the faithful will be so devout that they will ignore the news. Priests tell people how to live their lives but they can’t hold in their own semen. The solution is simple – the church needs to stop any existing or future predator priests by letting them marry, just like pastors in other religions do.

Priest with sexual energy caught stealing said...

I did not go to the SSJ BBQ the end of July but people I know told me how improper and sexual some of the songs were. Which makes me want to question, how does a priest who actually wrote that he has sexual energy not be a possible threat like the other 4000 plus priests the Catholic Bishops identified? Does anyone know if SSJ’s Pastor Barica had that affair with that school mom? If he got off with someone who consented it is still not right.

Someone before said Crystal Pinkofsky the principal was not happy with him. I personally know this because she stopped coming to our meetings. Not kissing up is probably why he got rid of her, Russ, Trent and the others. Most of the rest of the employees and teachers were too afraid of him to miss a meeting or say anything that would make them lose their job too. And if you were a parishioner who spoke up, Pastor Barica and his protectors like Colleen Murray would bully you by blacklisting and alienating you from SSJ. Questioning a priest makes people very uncomfortable so friends would then avoid contact. But not questioning a priest is how he got away with his abusive behavior, stealing, and talking about his sex energy in front of children at mass. I was not there but someone should have stood up and told Pastor Barica to cease talking during this sermon about putting oil on himself after he showers. As one of the other teachers told me, what he did at SSJ was sinful.

I was one of the ones Mark Purcell told that Pastor Barica got caught stealing cash in the act by Fr Rusty. But they covered up this sin too. Did you ever question how a priest could travel so much on a meager salary? With all the trips he took, taking money before it was counted on Monday must have been going on for a long time. On top of that our enrollment took a big hit because parents would not put up with him and his girlfriend Mary anymore. Losing 200 kids x $7k or so per = $1.4M hit to revenue. This must be why they finally transferred him. It has been over a year but it takes a long time to heal from a feeling of hurt and betrayal by a priest.

We found out too late that Pastor Barica was not much liked at St. Barbara Parish at the Mission in Santa Barbara. Fr. Dan Lackie did not warn us about what he did to people up there. I am very disappointed, Fr. Dan let his parishioners here down by covering up what happened before. Not stopping him makes Fr. Dan just as accountable for all the lost students and families who may never want to go to church here again.

Good luck Our Lady of the Angels Church and the Franciscan Renewal Center in Arizona. Whatever you do, don’t let your new pastor Barica bully you or steal from you. Please do not stay quiet about anything inappropriate he does or says to people there. Guard yourselves and your children from the sexual energy he told us he has. In case you did not know, he did not become a priest until around 40 years old, it just might be too hard for him to stop.

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Simon and Jude festival said...

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Speaking of sex, I stopped by the Simon and Jude festival last Sunday night. Some of the songs the band played were very awkward to hear on church property. I did not expect religious chants but wow! I found this website after a search and read about similar music at a BBQ here. On Sunday they played the same song Jealousy (about taking a girls dress off and going to bed). Other ones I remember are Uptown Funk (you up), Rebel Yell (she cried more more more), Hot for Teacher, and perhaps the ultimate bad example - Highway to Hell. Now I am not Catholic but seems like screening out songs like these at any church event would be one of the first things a priest would have to do.

Anonymous said...

The subject of gay priests needs to be addressed by the church because they are ordered to be celibate. They have the same plumbing as the rest of us so what do they do with it when they wake up with a hard on like guys do in the morning? Maybe something bad happened after this priest Barica in Huntington Beach let the world know he has sex energy. Then someone moved him to Arizona but I doubt those people were told his true past. Like most guys, I do not think any priest with working parts can completely ignore all the pressure that builds up.

If priests use sex energy on each other, they should all stop living a lie and just get married.

Priests using each other to relieve themselves is better than this news that hit just a few days ago:
www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-58801183

I thought maybe the total was a couple thousand kids that were abused by sick priest predators and bullied to keep quiet. But this says a couple hundred thousand were abused - just in France. I feel nauseous. In case you cannot link to the site, this is part of what the BBC reported this week:

Some 216,000 children - mostly boys - have been sexually abused by clergy in the French Catholic Church since 1950, a damning new inquiry has found.
The head of the inquiry said there were at least 2,900-3,200 abusers, and accused the Church of showing a "cruel indifference towards the victims".
Pope Francis "felt pain" on hearing about the inquiry's finding, a Vatican statement said.
One of those abused said it was time the Church reassessed its actions.
François Devaux, who is also the founder of the victims' association La Parole Libérée (Freed speech), said there had been a "betrayal of trust, betrayal of morale, betrayal of children".
The inquiry found the number of children abused in France could rise to 330,000, when taking into account abuses committed by lay members of the Church, such as teachers at Catholic schools.
For Mr Devaux it marked a turning point in France's history: "You have finally given institutional recognition to victims of all the Church's responsibility - something that bishops and the Pope have not yet been prepared to do."
According to the Vatican statement, the Pope learnt about the report after he met visiting French bishops in the last few days.
"His first thoughts are for the victims, with a deep sadness for their wounds and gratitude for their courage in coming forward," it read.
"His thoughts also turn to the Church in France, and that, in recognising these terrible events and united by the suffering of the Lord for his most vulnerable children, it can take the path of redemption."
The report's release follows a number of abuse claims and prosecutions against Catholic Church officials worldwide.
The independent inquiry was commissioned by the French Catholic Church in 2018. It spent more than two-and-a-half years combing through court, police and Church records and speaking to victims and witnesses.
Most cases assessed by the inquiry are thought to be too old to prosecute under French law.
Victims were not believed
The report, which is nearly 2,500 pages long, said the "vast majority" of victims were boys, many of them aged between 10 and 13.
It said the Church had not only failed to prevent abuse but had also failed to report it, at times knowingly putting children in contact with predators.
"There was a whole bunch of negligence, of deficiency, of silence, an institutional cover-up," the head of the inquiry, Jean-Marc Sauvé, told reporters on Tuesday.
He said that until the early 2000s, the Church had shown "deep, total and even cruel indifference" towards victims.