The Legal Examiner Affiliate Network The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner search instagram avvo phone envelope checkmark mail-reply spinner error close The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner
Skip to main content

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles protected priest child molesters from police by moving them out of state at the direction of Cardinal Mahony for decades. Over twelve thousand pages of documents released as a result of civil lawsuits document Cardinal Mahoney's efforts to mislead law enforcement and parents who suspected that children were being abused and raped.

California has laws that require mental health therapists to report child abuse to authorities. Cardinal Mahony knew that and moved priests suspected of abuse to other states for treatment so that the priests were not at risk of prosecution.

I have seen this same tactic used in Florida and in many other states. For example, the Salesian Order of Catholic priests moved Father Terry O'Donnell from the Tampa campus of Mary Help of Christians School in 2003 in the middle of the school year after the Hillsborough Sheriffs Department began an investigation of O'Donnell based upon reports by parents and students.

The Sheriffs Office discontinued the investigation because Father Terry O'Donnell had been moved out of State and was unavailable for an interview. Another priest at Mary Help of Christians School in Tampa told investigators from the sheriffs office that there was no reason not to believe the reports of abuse by the students. Nevertheless, administrators of the Salesian Order moved Father Terry out ot state to avoid prosection by Florida law enforcement. Don Bosco, the founder of the Salesian Order of priests would never have condoned the criminal behavior of the administrators of Mary Help of Christians.

Church officials in both California and Florida knew that if they could derail or delay criminal statutes of limitiation would run out and they could protect the criminal priests from law enforcement.

Now, it is only the continuing civil lawsuits that can reveal the truth.


  1. Gravatar for mike ference
    mike ference

    How do you cover-up crimes committed by Catholic priests in the Pittsburgh Diocese?

    It’s simple – Just Call 911

    By Mike Ference

    Sometime in the first quarter of 1987, former Catholic priest Father John Wellinger, pastor of Holy Spirit Church in West Mifflin, PA, part of the Pittsburgh Diocese, fed a drug to Greg Witkowski, a teenager attending the University of Pittsburgh. The crime took place in Witkowski’s apartment that he shared with his brother, also a student at Pitt. The drug knocked the youth out for hours, when he awoke, he intuitively called 911. Sadly, that’s when his real nightmare began.

    Running down the stairs and into the street to meet the paramedics, Witkowski would be whisked away to Presbyterian University Hospital emergency room (now University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). He would be admitted, but never examined by a doctor. Keep in mind this young man was given some sort of drug, administered by a lay person, with very bad intentions, according to Witkowski, he also consumed some alcohol, yet, no doctor wanted to be bothered by this type of case.


    Could it be that the call to 911, answered by Pittsburgh paramedics, was the first step in alerting the Pittsburgh Diocese that one of their own had harmed another? Would diocesan officials then alert hospital officials to avoid contact with the patient?

    Or, is it more reasonable to assume that medical personnel, sworn to care for and help others in need would just say we can’t help this guy? I don’t think so. An emergency room doctor, spending so much money on med school and with so much to lose, would never make that call.

    Then why did Greg Witkowski leave Presbyterian University Hospital that day and receive no medical attention? Who paid the bill? These are all questions that I have asked of Paul Woods, Vice President & Chief Communications Officer at UPMC. To verify my story, Mr. Woods can be contacted at 412-647-6647, his cell phone number is 412-352-2058.

    To verify my story with another person feel free to contact former city of Clairton Public Safety Director William Scully. Scully gave me hand-written notes and plenty of information that was almost identical to the information given to me by Greg Witkowski concerning the assault on him in 1987 by Father John Wellinger. I still have the original notes Scully gave to me in the presence of another witness. These notes can be tested, I’m told, to determine the actual age of the paper and writing instruments.

    That’s a story for another day.

    To contact Bill Scully call ALCOSAN, one of the most corrupt government agencies in Pittsburgh, 412-766-4810. Scully is the director of security. Which means; he guards poop.

    If Paul Woods and Bill Scully refuse to answer your questions, I’ll send you a copy of the notes Bill Scully gave to me, and a transcript of an interview I have with a woman from Holy Spirit Church who went to the Pittsburgh Diocese to warn them about Father John Wellinger. She was turned away and labeled a gossip-hound.

  2. Gravatar for mike ference
    mike ference

    I will continue to dictate policy for the all-but defunct Pittsburgh Diocese. I take no pleasure in this role, but do so willingly for the sake of all survivors of catholic clergy sex abuse, worldwide. The sins and the crimes of Donald “The Lavender Don Wuerl” and all the hierarchy of the Pittsburgh Diocese will begin to unravel, one-by-one.

    So far, I have forced the Pittsburgh Diocese and Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, PA to send out caution letters to alumni concerning former Serra High School Headmaster Father Michael LeDoux. LeDoux was credibly accused of sexually abusing a student.

    The letters have been sent out and received by alumni.

    Is one letter enough? I don’t think so.

    According to former city of Clairton Public Safety Director Bill Scully, the McKeesport Police deliberately covered up the attempted murder of my son on December 5, 1989, because again, according to Scully, the shooter may have been sexually abused by former catholic priest Father John Wellinger or perhaps another Serra Catholic cleric.

    So what good is a letter warning of a credibly accused cleric, if the alumni are not warned of a corrupt police department and a corrupt political municipality?

    Is it possible that Serra Catholic alumni or parents of alumni, reported sexual abuse claims to the McKeesport Police years ago, only to have their claims minimized, resulting in no one pressing charges? Maybe McKeesport Police intimidated or coerced alumni of Serra or their parents not to press charges.

    The city of McKeesport is the hub of Synchronized Crime in Allegheny County. One only has to Google the following scandals to get an idea just how corrupt this area really is. Try goggling Tanya Kach scandal, Cornell Middle School Scandal, McKeesport Police overtime scandal, Pat Risha Ralph Imbrogno bid rigging, Zappala Crime Family, etc., to get an idea what a cesspool McKeesport and surrounding communities really are.

    As the discovery process continues to unravel, one can only speculate on the number of civil lawsuits that may be filed against all of these guilty parties.

    If anyone would like more information about my investigation feel free to contact me at 42-233-5491 or email me at

    I’m not a lawyer, but the lopsided settlement that Alan Perer and his firm negotiated for the 32 victims of alleged sexual abuse by priests in the Pittsburgh Diocese more closely resembles being snookered than kindness and generosity on the part of the Pittsburgh Diocese.

    More to come, much more.

  3. Mike Bryant

    Greta information Joe, it is so true that this is a plan to hide, defend, and do anything to prevent disclosure. Keep up the fight.

  4. Joe Saunders

    I thank Mike Ference for his post with the detailed factual data. There has been a world wide conspiracy to protect perverted priests.

    Without factual reports like Mike's it would be hard to believe that this has gone on in every diocese in the world. But it has.

    Watch Mea Culpa on HBO tomorrow night for more facts.

Comments for this article are closed.