Roggendorf Law Files Suit against Dominican Order, Holy Rosary Parish

Roggendorf Law filed suit today on behalf of a man who was abused for nearly a decade at Portland’s Holy Rosary Church in Northeast Portland, a church operated and staffed by the Western Dominican Province of the Holy Name.  He is using a pseudonym to shield his identity and protect his family from reprisals.

Between the ages of 8 and 17, my client was fondled, kissed on the mouth, and subjected to crude and salacious discussions of pornography and masturbation by Fr. Emmerich Vogt, a priest of the order.  Around age 12, my client reported  the kissing and the graphic sex talk to other Dominican priests at Holy Rosary, but was told to obey Fr. Vogt and to stop complaining.

The complaint seeks $950,000 in damages.

Read the complaint: HERE.

Follow up on Sherwood Priest Ysrael Bien and the Bathroom Camera

As my dearly departed father would say, the plot thickens

From the Oregonian:

Priest pretended to notify police after teen found camera in church bathroom, records say

In my earlier post, I said that “the failure of Fr. Bien to report the camera at all until after it was subsequently “lost” speaks volumes about the continuing systemic failure of the Archdiocese to educate parishioners on the reporting of suspected abuse and misconduct.”

Well, let me hand it to the parishioners, they didn’t just let it go, and they were active in making sure the misconduct had been reported.  Fr. Bein simply lied to them that it had been.

Quelle suprise.

Here’s the load of horse pucky the priest gave the teen’s mother when she followed up to find out what was being done about the camera:

[Fr.Bien] told her that police had visited the parish and they didn’t need the boy’s statement or fingerprints because the priest had filled them in on everything, records say. Police had a suspect in mind who had used similar devices in other places, he continued. They were gathering more evidence to make an arrest, he said.

As the kids used to say, ya, right.

Even better, Fr. Bien started penning what appears to be his first in a series of fictional novels based around police investigation techniques:

“Sherwood police did not have enough to go with from the device,” the priest wrote. “Two sets of fingerprints were found: mine and, by process of elimination, (your son’s). … They were hoping to find a third set of fingerprints to lead them to the perpetrator. But there was none. Not surprising because they said it is consistent with the modus operandi of the person they have in mind. The device – same style and model – is ‘affiliated’ with this person. Unfortunately, these are ‘circumstantial (sic). Because of insufficient and inconclusive evidence, they are not able to place the person they have in mind in our church bathroom. …

“Fortunately, however, other police departments are pursuing the same person for another on-going case investigation (I am not sure if it is a crime of a similar nature or different and bigger). Happily, this is where they are confident they are going to get him. So, officially Sherwood police investigation of our incident is over. But other police departments (Tigard or Beaverton, I’m not exactly sure) are currently pursuing the person they think is also our perpetrator …”

The priest then asked the couple to pray for him because he was having some medical tests done.

On the last part, the medical tests, of course he would add that, to distract from the issue at hand.

In a court of law, if prosecuted, Fr. Bien deserves a presumption of innocence.  No such presumption applies in our regular lives.  I’m going out on a limb here and saying Fr. Bien was likely intimately and personally involved with placing this camera.  If that excludes me from the jury pool in his potential upcoming criminal trial, well, too bad.

Serious kudos to the family here for not letting this go, and for following up with police themselves.  That’s the way that all good Catholics should behave.  I’m proud of them, even as I’m ashamed of one of the priests of my faith.  Always listen to that little voice.

And yes, the device could have been bluetooth enabled.  Now of course, you all should go read the entire article, but let me leave you with this gem: “A judge signed search warrants for the church, Bien’s home, his car, phones and computers.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, Fr. Bien.

Archdiocese of Portland still has problems with its priests

At best, this story shows a disturbing lack of training for Fr. Ysrael Bien.  At worst, it suggests that he may have been involved in sexual misconduct.

Sherwood priest on leave as police investigate hidden camera

A fake outlet that concealed a camera was placed next to the toilet in the men’s room at St. Francis Church in Sherwood.  Per the Oregonian:

A church member initially found a camera – disguised as a power outlet – in a St. Francis bathroom on April 26 and turned it over to Bien.

But Bien didn’t contact police until May 20, when he reported it as stolen.

* * * * * outletcamerajpg-ebf87aaf77d52f2c[1]

The secret camera was placed next to a toilet and would have captured anyone who used the restroom[.]

What the hell is going on here?  Thankfully the Archdiocese has “suspended” Fr. Bien, but the failure of Fr. Bien to report the camera at all until after it was subsequently “lost” speaks volumes about the continuing systemic failure of the Archdiocese to educate parishioners on the reporting of suspected abuse and misconduct.  No mention of whether the camera had bluetooth capability.  Someone could have been—and almost certainly was—taping kids going to the bathroom in the church.  And this idiot doesn’t even report it to anyone for almost a month, and then only does to report it stolen!!!  Something is rotten in the parish of St. Francis.

Trusting individual priests to police themselves or their parishes was shown to be a spectacular failure for the decades leading up to the priest abuse scandal of the 2000s and the Archdiocese’s own bankruptcy in 2004-05.   Yet I’ve seen no communication from the Archbishop to the parishioners to report such misconduct to the Archbishop directly.  That needs to change.  Now.