Loading
Bishop Tod Brown of Orange County could face prison time
Bishop Tod Brown of Orange County
Bishop Tod Brown of Orange County

.- Yesterday afternoon witnessed the first time that a judge began criminal contempt-of-court proceedings against a U.S. Catholic bishop. The hearing against Bishop Tod Brown of the Diocese of Orange County could result in a sentence ranging from a verbal warning to jail time.

On Tuesday, Bishop Brown waived his arraignment for violating a court order, which is the equivalent of him entering a plea of not guilty.

The bishop caused Judge Gail Andler to open a contempt of court hearing by sending Monsignor John Urell out of the country to receive medical treatment, before he had finished completing his testimony in a sexual abuse lawsuit.

The attorneys of the plaintiff in the sexual abuse case asserted that Bishop Brown sent Msgr. Urell, who was responsible for handling diocesan sexual abuse allegations, to Canada for psychological treatment before he could conclude his deposition. 

The bishop stated that while he knew Msgr. Urell would be called back for further deposition, the treatment center in Canada, which focuses on care of the clergy, could admit Urell immediately.

Bishop Brown decided to send Urell because he broke down during a deposition with the plaintiff’s attorneys. 

"When Msgr. Urell was there for half a day, he couldn't take it because he was too upset about having to testify about hiding all these allegations," Venus Soltan, one of the plaintiff’s attorneys said in court. "This is plain and simply hiding the facts."

Callahan disagreed emphasizing there was not a court order in effect when Urell went to Canada, and that he also did not know anything about the current sexual abuse case in question.

Superior Court Judge Gail Andler listened to the opening statements in Bishop Brown’s contempt of court case before postponing the hearing until December 3 and ordering a subpoena on Urell until the same date.

Also being heard that day is a motion filed by Callahan to dismiss the contempt matter altogether.

"I was disappointed that the judge didn't rule. We were hoping that the bishop would have the opportunity to exonerate himself by telling the truth but he didn't get the opportunity," Callahan said.

John Manly, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said outside court that he was pleased the judge had allowed the contempt hearing to go forward and that he intends to call Urell in to complete his testimony on Dec. 3.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
17

Liturgical Calendar

April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 13:1-15

Gospel
Date
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Second Reading:: 1 Cor 11:23-26
Gospel:: Jn 13:1-15

Homily of the Day

Jn 13:1-15

Homily
Date
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: