|Bishop Robert Henry Brom|
Bishop Robert Henry Brom came to San Diego from the Duluth MN diocese in 1989 as Coadjutor to Leo Maher. Brom arrived under a cloud of a credible allegation of abuse by a former seminarian from the Winona MN seminary where he had been Rector.
The article published by the activist group Roman Catholic Faithful (2003) reprinted below and the San Diego Magazine article (Cf. God Incorporated, July 2007) give some picture of Brom and his behaviors. More coverage can be found in the achieves of the San Diego Union Tribune where accounts of his plea for bankruptcy in the light of claims for compensation of clergy sexual abuse and the subsequent judgment of 192M against the diocese are detailed.
see other news articles re: San Diego Diocese Sexual Abuse Case
Considering the persistent chicanery demonstrated by Brom and the diocese I choose to publish here the file of my personal contact with him as follows:
|DIRECT CONTACT A.W. Richard Sipe with Bishop Robert H. Brom (From files)|
September 4, 2001. 2-3 P.M./Chancery Office: meeting with Bishop Brom, Fr. Steve Callahan, PE [hand delivering letter of Joseph Caperna, M.D., 9/24/01]
BB found PE credible and mentioned that his story was similar to that of Philip S. a known victim of Fr. Wm Kraft. BB asked Paul if he would be satisfied with a 250K settlement.
September 20, 2001. 2:30 PM. PE’s hospital room (UCSD Thornton Hospital), Steve Callahan, Alexandra Kelly, Esq. (the 250K was certain) Kelly said to me in the hall, “Don’t expect that in one check.”*
September 28, 2001. 10-11 A.M. I requested an appointment with BB through Steve Callahan. Only BB and I were present. The reason for this meeting was a follow up: a physician at the UCSD AIDS clinic where I was a volunteer counselor told me of a concern he had about another patient he was treating who had been a seminarian at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, CA as a candidate for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. He admitted that he had a homosexual orientation and prior sexual experience, but had every intention of remaining celibate. He claimed that some members of the faculty and student body had propositioned him for sex. He was disturbed by these advances and complained to the administration. He felt that the rector ignored his report and considered him a troublemaker. The matter came to the attention of Cardinal Mahony who requested an appointment with Mr. F. At a meeting over a meal Mr. F. claimed that the Cardinal not only seemed indifferent to his complaint, but also made a “pass” at him. He dropped out of the seminary more burdened than ever. He wanted to do something but resisted making his complaints public for fear of suffering more humiliation.
BB’s response to the narrative was: “Now I understand why Bernardin had him [Mahony] preside at his funeral.”
BB introduced the subject of the allegations of abuse made against him in MN by Mr. Jeffrey Maras and Jacobs. He said that he did not know the latter man at all. He had counseled the former (his primary accuser) who came from a “very difficult and complicated family background”. BB stated that one of Maras’ complaints against him was he wanted to call him “Bob” and BB refused that familiarity. Archbishop Roach of St. Paul was also a party in the allegations of abuse and wanted to “fight” the case in court.
BB said, “[Cardinal] Bernardin told me to settle.”
Maras signed a retraction in the office of a lawyer in Nebraska in 1993. “He (Maris) became so angry at the signing that [lawyer] had to take him out of the room.”
BB quotes Maras saying: “God damn it, Bob, you know you raped me”.
BB also talked about his experience and responsibility for handling the Fr. Tom Adamson case when he was still in Winona.
BB asked me three questions:
BB said that a lawyer friend here in SD had ghost written a defense of him in the SD press. He asked would I be interested in writing his story? (defense)?
He asked me if I thought he should accept an Archbishopric. [this question continues to mystify me.]
BB said that he was going to visit a priest friend (name) for the weekend “Is that O.K.?” (9/28 was a Friday)
BB did not shake hands when I left saying he had a cold. [I have an impression from meetings with him and observing him in other situations that he suffers from Hyperhydrosis]
November 12, 2001, 11:30 A.M. I met Fr. Callahan at the Topanade restaurant on Fay St. in La Jolla. I had made the invitation as a social gesture. His father, my wife, and I had all trained at the same psychiatric hospital in Baltimore—Seton. All of the conversation was social, get acquainted—no business.
July 15, 2002, 1:30 -3:30 Chancery Office. I met with BB a victim and lawyer for three victims of Fr. Galindo. The material of this meeting is sealed because of attorney-client confidentiality.
* [Subsequent to the payment to PE, the Diocese announced in the San Diego Union Tribune that they had settled the case for $80,000; and also stated that the diocese had spent only a total of $250,000 on all of the settlements for abuse. This contradicted the fact that Mr. John Manly, who acted pro bono on PE’s behalf received a check from a diocesan account for the total amount of $250,000.]
September 17, 2003, 3:30 St. Bridgit’s Church office, Cass & Mission Sts. Pacific Beach CA: I had called BBs office to make an appointment regarding the material later recorded in my letter of 11/15/03. Fr. Callahan called to inform me that I would not be welcome in the chancery office and that BB “would not ever meet with me unless his lawyer was present”. The content of my meeting with SC is recorded in the November 15 letter.
My impression was that BB presumed I was the SD source of the material in an article published by a group of reformed Catholics. I was not.
November 30, 2006: I was present at a deposition of BB.
When the transcripts of that deposition are made public they will show discrepancies of BB’s testimony with statements during my visits with him.
Before these personal contacts with Bishop Brom I had no opinion about the allegations brought against him in Minnesota. I now have an opinion with 85 percent psychological certitude that he had some kind of inappropriate relationship with Jeffrey Maras.
November 15, 2003
National Survivor Support Working GroupSeptember 12, 2007 Bishop Robert H. Brom Diocesan Pastoral Center 3888 Paducah Drive San Diego, CA 92186-5728
Dear Bishop Brom:
The clock is ticking. The 144 victims agreed to the San Diego settlement because it included the release of priests’ personnel records. These documents hide what happened in secret and they shield everyone who knew what happened.
The 144 victims who settled and the People of God are still waiting.
Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) strongly urges you, Bishop Brom, as our brother in Christ to release immediately these documents.
We call for disclosure that is complete and uncompromised. The monetary aspects of the agreement are important, but the release of the documents is even more important in the healing process, healing for victim/survivors, for the Church of San Diego, and for the entire Body of Christ. The release of the documents, like the monetary settlement, will be painful for the archdiocese and its people, but is the required next step for real healing.
We urge you to hear the cry of the children who need protection from predators. Protection delayed is protection denied. You hold the key to that protection. You can give the order, the command, to stop the legal wrangling and release the documents.
We also respectfully ask that you use the authority of your office and your leadership skills to persuade religious orders and Cardinal Mahony in Los Angeles, who recently settled with 508 victims, to release all documents, the complete documents, now.
Each life is precious. Too many lives have been victimized. Too many of the faithful have been scandalized. Too much money has been used to rationalize what happened. Only in the truth will we know what happened.
The truth, although personally and corporately painful, is in the historical church records and the current details of archdiocese finances.
We call for full, uncompromised disclosure of all of the costs related to the settlement, including all costs associated with legal representation, public relations experts and all other consultants used by the diocese during these five years of litigation.
Finally, we call for transparency concerning plans to fulfill the Diocese’s obligation for the monetary aspects of the settlement.
It is within your power, the power vested in you by the Church, which is overwhelmingly comprised of the lay faithful, to change the tenor of these times, to stop the pain, halt the hurt, and begin anew.
Let this be the day. Let this be the hour from which full disclosure springs from the rivers of victims’ pain to the restoration of justice and trust in our Church.
Join us in a call to all parties: the judge, and attorneys on both sides to act. Act now and act deliberately.
Kristine Ward, Chair, VOTF Survivor Support Working Group, (OH) 937-272-0308, James Jenkins (CA) 510-599-5173 (cell) Frank Douglas (AZ) 520-404-2489 (cell) Bob Schwiderski (MN) 952-471-3422 Steve Sheehan (MA) 617-319-0477 Tom Byrne (OH) 216-295-0817 Lisa Kendzior (TX) 817-773-5903 Chuck Miller (MD) 301-330-4211 Ed G. Friedl (OH) 330-499-6842 Marjorie Bean (MA) Paul Livingston (San Diego) 619-847-3998
the following from: www.rcf.org