The Orange Diocese is spinning yarns. But the truth is in the documents

I love paperwork.

Yesterday, the Diocese of Orange issued a statement responding to the latest sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit against Fr. Richard T. Coughlin. In it, they said:

Richard Coughlin was ordained in the archdiocese of Boston in 1953 and incardinated in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in the 1960s, predating the Diocese of Orange, which was founded in 1976. Coughlin left parish ministry upon founding the All American Boys Choir in the early 1970s. Coughlin never served as a priest of the Diocese of Orange. (emphasis mine)

They’re parsing words here. The diocese is trying to say that after 1976, when the Diocese of Orange was formed, Coughlin did not serve as a priest in any official capacity. Are they trying to say that he’s the chorus’ responsibility? I don’t know.

But the truth is far different. Here are photos of the 1993 Diocese of Orange Catholic Directory. Yes, I have a copy. I am that weird.


The third priest in the top row—the one RIGHT UNDER the word “SERVING” is Richard T. Coughlin. Here is a closeup. (Excuse the marks in the book. It’s a used copy).



But it gets better. When it comes to the “official” listing of priests in any diocese, the bible, so to speak, is The Official Catholic Directory (OCD). It is the authoritative source. EVERY listing must be approved by every diocese and archdiocese. In fact, it is so precise, that the Catholic Church in the United States submits the OCD to the IRS every year to establish their tax exempt status and the placement of priests and other U.S. religious (priests who belong to religious orders).

In 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993, Coughlin is listed as a priest of the Diocese of Orange on special assignment with The All-American Boys Chorus.

The diocese might say, “See?! He’s on Special Assignment. He’s not our priest.” Sorry that doesn’t work. Other priests on special assignment are Msgr. John Urell, one of the diocese’s most powerful priests at the time and the “bishop’s man” when it came to the cover up of abuse. And he also said Mass every Sunday at the parish where he was in residence. Now, he’s a full-time parish priest.

Here is the listing from the 1990 OCD (yes, it’s tiny. Forgive me):

Here is the OCD listing from 1991:

Note: For those of you who have been following these stories for a while, you’ll see that there are a number of other names that are familiar: Franklin Buckman, Eleuterio Ramos …

I also have the listings from 1992 and 1993. I can get the listings going back to 1976.  But I’m a horrible graphic artist and no one wants to look at page after page of proof that the Diocese of Orange is lying to you.

You get the point: Coughlin was a priest of the Diocese of Orange. He served in the Diocese of Orange with the full permission and blessing of the bishop. Period.

If the Diocese is going to lie to you about this—something that I can prove with their own paperwork, available in their own libraries—what else are they going to lie to you about?



9 thoughts on “The Orange Diocese is spinning yarns. But the truth is in the documents

  1. Vicki, sorry for the misspelling but I have another friend that has the “e” on the end. In my profession, details matter so I understand why it is important to you. I also meant to say “grandkids” when talking about playing on the playground after church. And the trip that Father Daniel Barica took was to Ecuador, not Costa Rica. He also went to Florida often to visit his mom.

    There are others who also know you quit because of Father Daniel so please don’t be afraid to come forward. Someone needs to sit down with the SSJ school families I read about and find out why they left. Then get the list of all the people who stopped donating and do the same. I know of a family that used to donate $1000 per month and the dad told me he stopped because of Father Daniel.

    Why you quit is not really important compared to whatever cash was taken from the collection. After reading about the All American Boys Choir and my research on Gus Krumm, it really disturbed me to discover Father Alex took money from Sts. Simon and Jude. I read all that happened with Father Daniel was Father Rusty told him to stop. When they told predators to stop, that did not work out well for the church.

    Trips to Ecuador and Florida costs thousands. If Father Daniel stole from the collection to go on those trips, that violates the public trust. What if he is now stealing smaller amounts of cash that go unnoticed? That would mean a percentage of your donations are still being stolen. This is not OK. I will not consider donating again until the Franciscans or the Diocese makes a public statement about what is going on. No one should risk any more of their money being taken.

    For those who do know it happened, reporting Father Daniel is not optional. It does not matter how much or how long ago. If Father Rusty really does know about theft, he is obligated to call the police. He is also obligated to Jesus and be truthful. As someone in law, I know that anyone else who knows also has a duty to contact the police. If a member of the Pastoral Council or the Finance Council chooses to not report what they know and enables any chance of continued theft, he or she can be prosecuted as well. This can turn into a very serious legal matter for everyone involved.

  2. A. F., The Franciscans paid a lot more than $2 million. I saw this article that says they have already paid out $28.6 million! Are they allowed to spend money like that without donor approval?
    Now when I read about Fr. Manville and Fr. Barica in HB, it makes me think us OC Catholics are being lied to again. When Fr. Manville admitted to stealing in his deposition, were criminal charges filed? Did the diocese tell those parishioners? It is no excuse if it happened a long time ago. That is like a bank robber coming clean years later but never getting arrested.
    This info about priests stealing has me worried about my church. Is Fr. Daniel Barica guilty or innocent? If he did not steal, the diocese should have made a public statement of innocence by now. Not saying anything is the worst thing they could do because it makes it look like another cover up of a priest abusing his power.
    Per Mark 4:22-23 “For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”
    Bishop Vann, the words in the Bible are what Jesus wants of us. Your lawyer speaks on your behalf so denying that Fr. Coughlin was part of the diocese even though he is in your official records is the same as you directly lying to us. Not telling us about Fr. Manville stealing is also the same as you lying to us. You need to hold Fr. Manville accountable, just like anyone else that takes money from a church.
    We have ears so tell us what is going on. Obey God and be transparent. Tell us how much was stolen from this church in HB and any other church in the diocese you control. Do not cover up anything about any priest any longer.

  3. “The road to hell is paved with skulls of priests and bishops.” Nothing reminds me more of this harsh but appropriate quote by St. John Chrysostom than some of the priests and bishops who serve in the cesspool of filth that is the Diocese of Orange. They claim to “shepherd” the faithful and deceive the public behind their chasubles and roman collars while blatantly lying, covering up, living contradictory lifestyles, mishandling church accounts, raping the innocent – and they continue to get away with their shameful acts to this very day, all the while celebrating Mass and administering the sacraments. But one day there will be justice for these wolves in sheeps clothing, whether it’s in this world or the next – Nothing gets past the eyes of God.

  4. The wounds of Spotlight are still open. I know families from Sts. Simon and Jude in Huntington Beach that had boys in this choir. They must be so upset.

    The news about the All American Boys Choir made me realize I never healed from the wounds about Father Gus Krumm when he was here at SSJ. I trusted Gus completely. He baptized my children and I attended countless weddings and funerals with him presiding. Most people I know requested Gus for their occasion because he was so well liked for the 10 years he was here.

    When the news about Gus hit, I felt very betrayed. It was like a death in the family.

    I have tried to ignore my feelings but I realize I still cannot heal after all these years without knowing the truth. So I started searching. I read on another of Joelle’s articles someone wrote that the church knew for 2 years about his past while Gus stayed on at SSJ. I had to see for myself and my search found this:

    This OC Register article says: “The Catholic Diocese of Orange allowed a priest to stay at his Huntington Beach parish for at least two years after learning that he had been accused of sexual molestation and that his accuser was paid a monetary settlement.”

    Father Alex Manville had 2 years to warn us about Gus. So did the other Franciscans and the Diocese of Orange.

    Just like with the All American Boys Choir, what if there are other victims? It could be any of our children that are ashamed and afraid to come forward. Choosing not to tell thousands of parish families the truth about what happened is the same as lying to us.

    I read the Franciscans sent Gus to Ascension Church in Portland, Oregon. They lied to those people by not telling them either. They didn’t just transfer Gus, they actually gave him a promotion to be the pastor in charge. That is a lot of power for someone that they already had to pay out a settlement for. I hope some of those parishioners will see this and tell us their feelings on this site.

    I remember after the news, contributions were down. During a homily back then, I heard Father Alex promise that none of our donations would be used to pay for this. How naiive we all were. Where else would the money come from? Then I read that the lawsuit involving Gus and Alex cost the Franciscans $2 million. This new one over Coughlin could cost even more.

    My search about Gus and SSJ lead me to a lot of what is written on line about our current pastor Father Daniel Barica. I know people feel poorly about him but I did not know the extent. I am very concerned that we are heading down a dark path again. I notice less young people, families that stopped coming here, and we are now in debt almost $2 million for the new grounds. After all that, the playground looks like a prison and the lake out front looks like a drowning accident waiting to happen. I can’t even play on the swings anymore after church with my kids. I heard the excuse about campus security and all I can think about is how trapped school children will be in the play set if there is another Sandy Hook crises.

    I found this during my search:

    The last one says Canon Law gives us the right to speak up against any form of abuse and expect justice. I know many people who have complained about Father Daniel, including Vickie Gray who decided to quit because of him. It looks like he has been transferred around after problems at other churches too. I am really worried that if he acts out his sexual energy, the abuse can become another Gus or Coughlin situation.

    Another form of abuse is called financial abuse. I found out Fr Alex admitted that he took donated cash from SSJ during a deposition:
    Everyone trusted Father Alex. If someone like him did it we need to know if what I read about Father Daniel stealing from us is true. There is no way to tell how much cash might be missing each week before it is counted.

    I asked someone I know who used to be on the finance council about this. I found out Father Daniel went on trips as far away as Costa Rica. Franciscans take a vow of poverty so a big red flag went up and someone looked into it. Who was this person and what did he or she find out? An employee would have been in jail for stealing and a priest should be treated no differently.

    Gus and Coughlin were enabled through silence. SSJ parishioners, volunteers and staff, please don’t enable Father Daniel by staying silent about what is not right.

    1. I don’t know where you came up with this garbage but this is Vicki (no e) Gray and Fr. Daniel had NOTHING, let me repeat, NOTHING to do with my retirement. I did not “quit”. After ten wonderful years preparing the beautiful children of SSJ in the RCIA program and in preparation to receive the sacraments of Eucharist and reconciliation, it was time for me to take a break. I had been caring for my terminally ill father in San Diego while carrying out my duties at SSJ and I was tired. It was time to retire, travel with my husband and have the occasional Sunday free. I am currently volunteering in the bereavement ministry at SSJ and continue to gladly serve as an acolyte and liturgical coordinator. PLEASE remove this lie.

  5. It is tragic that the Diocese of Orange has been allowed to deceive the faithful for so many years. However, the Diocese has had lots of help from unethical attorneys that ignored cries for help from children so they could continue RICO crimes, without accountability in a court of law. Too many sex crimes against children continued and one person to blame is DA Rackauckas. He failed file criminal charges before statute of limitations expire on too many sexual predators. DA Rackauckas also failed to extradite Roger Alan Giese from the UK. Maybe someone should sue the DA for legal negligence for failing to hire an attorney who specializes in extradition matters. Giese molested while using his influence within the All American Boys Choir and Diocese of Orange. Thank you to courageous victim for speaking out…..may you find justice and peace.

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