On eve of Pope visit: a Huntington Beach priest and a discussion of predatory grooming

Note: This post and the author are not implying that Huntington Beach priest Rev. Daniel Barica, ofm, is a child predator. But the post does serve to show possible RED FLAG behavior that should alert parishioners, parents, and Orange County Bishop Kevin Vann.
The crest of the Diocese of Orange. Now grab the oils, it's time for some sexual healing ...
The crest of the Diocese of Orange. Now grab the oils, it’s time for some sexual healing …

 

One of the most common requests I get from parents, groups, and the media is to give an explanation of Predatory Grooming.

Predatory Grooming is how a child sex predator creates “compliant” victims and communities—victims who are manipulated into not fighting back, communities who do not believe victims, and groups of victims who do not report.

I have an information-packed chapter in my book about predatory grooming. Click here for a collection of previous posts addressing the subject. It’s so important, I even discuss it in my TEDx talk (link is to the right —–>)

One of the ways that a predator grooms potential victims and communities is by blurring sexual and body boundaries. A predator does this by openly talking about sex with children; making sexual touching seem “normal”; and by using the counseling, clergy, or power relationship to make it “okay” to talk about sexual touching to inappropriate audiences.

Okay. So what does that look like?

It just so happens I have a great potential example. And on the eve of the papal visit, it’s very appropriate.

Let’s take a peek at a Catholic parish in Orange County, California: Saints Simon and Jude in Huntington Beach. In the June 7 bulletin, pastor Daniel Barica published this letter to parishioners  (it’s page 2 of the link, and quoted below) emphasis mine:

 

For the last 25 years or so, part of my morning ritual after a shower is to bless every part of my body for God’s purposes. The blessing prayer is somewhat like a cross between the prayer Catholics recite after the Gospel is announced and the Breastplate of St. Patrick. My version goes something like this: May God be in my mind, my words, my song, my heart (my emotional center), my digestive system, my bones (praying most especially for my spine these days), my hands and feet to serve, and my sexual energy (which I understand to be relational energy, the part that connects me to others, in chastity, according to the life I have chosen and the vows I have made). I normally use blessed oil of some kind during this ritual.

What? What?! He uses oils to consecrate his sexual energy? Huh? And he’s saying this in the bulletin?

Now, granted, he does say that it’s about chastity … I think … but why does he have to bring up sexual energy at all?

Note: This post and the author are not implying that Huntington Beach priest Rev. Daniel Barica, ofm, is a child predator. But the post does serve to show possible RED FLAG behavior that should alert parishioners, parents, and Orange County Bishop Kevin Vann.

You could chalk up the letter to Barica being a bit “Kooky.”

But that’s how we end up with sex abuse and cover-up scandals.

Barica has crossed the line: he has blurred sexual boundaries and made it okay to discuss sexual energy with children and teens (who can read the bulletin). He’s opened the door by saying that he blesses his sexual energy with oils.

I’m not making a leap here. We have seen this behavior all over the place. In fact, in my own case, the man who molested me and other girls would talk about sex, sexual energy, his girlfriends and virginity. Why? It opened the door with his students … a door to being a potential victim.

This type of behavior needs to be addressed … and stopped.

What makes this statement even more troubling is Fr. Barica’s past and religious order. Barica is a member of the Franciscan Friars based out of Santa Barbara.  The Friars have been the subject of a huge sex abuse scandal. You can read about it here.

Barica has not been accused of abuse, but parishioners at the Mission Santa Barbara have complained that Barica “minimized” the abuse in public statements.

Saints Simon and Jude has also had its share of scandal. Accused and convicted predators who have worked or volunteered there include Gus Krumm and Gary Pacheco. They also had a Boy Scout leader convicted of abuse. Krumm was idolized at the parish, and when it was discovered that he has been credibly accused of abuse before setting foot on parish property, it got ugly. The Franciscans have been cleaning up the debris ever since.

So … why would it ever be okay for Barica to discuss his “sexual energy” and anointing his body with oils after a shower?

In a word: it isn’t.

Hopefully, Bishop Kevin Vann agrees.

Note: This post and the author are not implying that Huntington Beach priest Rev. Daniel Barica, ofm, is a child predator. But the post does serve to show possible RED FLAG behavior that should alert parishioners, parents, and Orange County Bishop Kevin Vann.

2 thoughts on “On eve of Pope visit: a Huntington Beach priest and a discussion of predatory grooming

  1. I have known Father Daniel Barica for almost 20 years. He knows my family and all my children love and trust him completely. There is a person, and we know who he is, that is spreading his filthy lies. Father Daniel has done nothing wrong and this person keeps taking things out of context in order to try and hurt Father Daniel. The Church and school have had to change their ways and this person doesn’t want things to affect him, but guess what? It’s not about you! It’s about the Church and having to protect itself from people suing them. So quit your lies, and quit trying to hurt a priest who is trying to do good.

    1. I do not think anyone is trying to hurt a priest. I just think his behavior needs to be what you would expect of a priest. Like not writing about his sexual energy. (click the link above to see for your self). I was at a Christmas party and a parishioner told me he feels Fr. Daniel is not a nice person. No one should think of a priest like that but there must be a reason. Do you think the guy who wrote this is making up the abysmal behavior of Father Daniel?
      http://roomwithapew.weebly.com/blog/our-mirror-selves
      Maybe he treats you differently so you would not be able to understand how others feel. None of this was happening when Fr. Michael was in charge. I read Michael is not a priest anymore so he was probably upset about something. According to this he is now an intern at a hospital. What a loss for the Franciscans.
      https://www.linkedin.com/in/mlharvey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *