“We’ve come to the sorrowful realization that the problem is at the top”

Oxnard man files federal lawsuit alleging that Vatican leaders have orchestrated a cover-up of priests accused of abuse and top church leaders who have concealed evidence of the abuse

Pope Francis (left) and Manny Vega (right), a former Marine. (image from ABC7)

Manny Vega, of Oxnard, is suing the Vatican and taking on Pope Francis in pursuit of the one thing he’s convinced his nearly 20-year-fight as a clergy abuse survivor and victim advocate has not brought.

The litigation, filed Wednesday in federal court for the Central District of California, alleges Vatican leaders have orchestrated a cover-up of priests accused of abuse and top church leaders who have concealed evidence of the abuse.

In what the lawyers who crafted it called an unprecedented action against the Holy See, the lawsuit alleges the conspiracy has created peril that justifies the release of the names of offenders, all records of accused abusers across the globe and the names of top church officials involved in the cover-up.“We’ve come to the sorrowful realization that the problem is at the top,” lawyer Jeff Anderson said at a news conference Thursday in Los Angeles.

Vega, 52, is the second Ventura County resident to file a clergy abuse lawsuit this week. On Tuesday, Tom Emens, 50, of Camarillo, stood in front of a microphone in a Los Angeles hotel with his lawyer, Anderson, and said he was sexually abused at the age of 10 by a retired priest who had transferred from the Archdiocese of Chicago to St. Anthony Claret Catholic Church in Anaheim.

Like Vega’s suit, Emens’ calls for the release of church records. Emens’ lawsuit against the California Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and dioceses across California alleged church leaders conspired to conceal information about accused priests.

Vega and other altar boys at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Oxnard said they were molested repeatedly by Father Fidencio Silva-Flores. He described the acts that happened from about 1979 to 1984 at the news conference, arguing people can’t understand the impact without knowing what took place.

“We were raped. … We were fondled. We were sodomized,” he said, adding that the impact of the molestation will never leave him. “It still gives me nightmares. This has been my life.”

Full story at The VC Star.

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Comments

  1. If Mr Vega is correct that Fr Silva Flores transferred to Mexico, I believe that is substantially no different than being transferred to another Diocese in the US. As bad as the abuse was/is, the cover-up far was worse. Follow the dots. Chase them as high up as they go.

    • Say what? says:

      How is the cover up worse than the abuse? The cover up would not exist but for the abuse. And, of course, the cover up undoubtedly enabled more abuse. But the crime is the abuse. When a robber robs a bank wearing a ski mask, the cover up is not worse than the robbery.

      • People with immune deficiencies often develop dangerous infections from pathogens that are quickly suppressed, with little harm, in people with healthy immune systems. By analogy, it could be argued that the “dangerous infection” consists of the sexual abuses, but the “immune deficiency” is a more fundamental spiritual problem that, among other things, promotes the attitudes that lead to abuse and conceals the abuses when they happen.

        • Say what? says:

          Well that “argument” loses. Let’s quit calling these things spiritual problems. Get real. These people are all deliberately acting brazen criminals. The “cover up” is nothing other than a means to hide the pervasive homosexual network throughout the priesthood and hierarchy. Lock up every last one of them and throw away the key.

      • It he continues to wear a ski mask robbing banks and teaches hundreds of others to do the same hiding their identities it IS worse
        So much worse. You miss the point. Especially if the President ( ie Pope ) of all the banks knows in advance the banks that will be robbed and encourages it lying and deceiving all who enquirer about the robberies.

  2. Yet bishops show themselves still to be part of the lavender mafia when they speak its language of LGBTQ, keep AH/HA (activist homosexual/homosexual activists) in their sin or iniquity instead of offering repentance and conversion, promote priests who speak the same way to offices in their dioceses, to auxiliary bishops, then later to bishops, cardinals. Lawsuitss may be a necessary step for those who suffered. For the rest of us, we live our Catholic faith under the episcopal structure, but often without their proclamation of the timeless truths of scripture and tradition. We pray the rosary, attend Mass, confess our sins, offer charity, and let such bishops enjoy their moment of power, but separating ourselves from their errors.

    • Michael P. Mc Crory. says:

      Well put Father Perozich.

    • I have the hope that most of our bishops are just as angry and offended as we are. We will be able to tell who they are by what they accomplish by their works to bring transparency and truth. I know that the VAST majority of priests are holy and virtuous men who are also suffering indignation at the hands of the LGBTQ advocates within the Church that Jesus Christ gave us. The Church will prevail, but the laity will provide the wind for her sails as we enter the turbulent, uncharted waters. Our Blessed Mother, Mary, loves her priests. She will make sure we clean house!

  3. Whoa!!!!

    While it looks good, there is a stench around this case.

    Jeff Anderson, attorney, is part of the network of attorneys allegedly giving financial kickbacks to SNAP for case referral. It would have been better for them to sue Archbishop Gomez et al. This case looks like grand standing attention-getting stuff.

    • Or maybe seeing Vigano’s courage they have found their own.

    • Michael P. Mc Crory says:

      What does it matter Ralph?
      Our Pope , bishops and cardinals are clearly guilty
      of the most awful sins. I am a devout daily communicant Catholic. No punishment is too severe what my Church leaders have been guilty of for many many years now.
      Let’s lend our voices to rooting them out once and for all,
      no ifs or buts about it.

      • Anonymous says:

        You can’t really call yourself devout. You condemn people as guilty with no evidence, just gossip, rumor and innuendo. You say “no punishment is too severe” when the Lord’s greatest attribute is His Mercy. You want to root our God’s chosen.
        Atheists can do better than this.

    • Linda. Maria says:

      Ralph—- I sure do hope they are strong enough, loud enough– whatever it takes! — to get the attention of all who are in a position to help punish guilty Church leaders– and force them to end their horrific evils of clerical sex abuse crimes, and shameful cover-ups! Bless these poor, suffering victims– martyred brutally and senselessly, while serving at Christ’s holy altars, as innocent little altar boys!

  4. Fr. Richard — you were wronged by Bp. McElroy. You are a good, orthodox and holy priest. I pray that McElroy repents, but still suffers consequences for his errors. He Leftist politician, not a Catholic shepherd.

  5. If there was no cover-up, the early abusers would be known and likely subject to civil as well as Church sanctions. Perhaps I’m simplistic, but I believe at least some other potential abusers would realize the risk of being caught was too high. Thus I believe the coverup provided ‘cover’ for some abusers. Further, the coverup exposed that some Bishops would do almost anything to protect ‘the good name of the Church’.
    So I view the coverup as worse than the abuse.

  6. V. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Franciscum.
    R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius. [Ps 40:3]

    V. Let us pray for Francis, our Pope.
    R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. [Ps 40:3]

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