Rape Victims Sue Oakland Diocese

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According to the San Francisco Chronicle, seven people who were allegedly raped by Oakland Catholic priest Stephen Kiesle filed a lawsuit against the Oakland diocese of the Roman Catholic Church yesterday, claiming that the church knowingly kept Kiesle on as a priest, exposing children to him, even after he admitted his monstrous crimes.

As the lawsuit was being processed in Oakland Superior Court, the victims, as well as their families and lawyers, showed up on the steps of the new Oakland cathedral, where they told the press how Kiesle destroyed their lives, even raping his own stepdaughter until she was forty years old. Kiesle pled no contest to charges of lewd conduct back in 1978, and even asked to be defrocked, but it wasn't until 1987 that Catholic higher-ups decided to expel him from the priesthood. Even then, he continued as a volunteer at a minister for eight months, lurking around unsuspecting children in Pinole. To this day, Kiesle lives in Walnut Creek, free from any future prosecution.

While the Vatican has spent years treating the rape of children as merely a public relations inconvenience, Oakland's own bishop, Salvatore Cordileone, threw himself into the effort to deny the right of gays and lesbians to legally marry the consenting adults who love them and want to build a life together. Cordileone was the most important leader in the 2008 campaign to pass Proposition 8, working overtime to raise money, recruit election professionals, and coordinate with Protestant evangelical ministers; he even led a rally against gay marriage in San Diego, presiding over prayers to Mary and exhorting the crowd to stand between homosexuals and their chance to celebrate their love in the presence of their friends and families.

When contacted by the Chronicle, Diocese spokesman Mike Brown refused to comment on the lawsuit.

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