Randy Engel
The life and times of Archbishop John R. Quinn & friends: A study of the West Coast homosexual network, Part I
The San Diego Diocese: A homosexual epicenter
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By Randy Engel
June 6, 2023

Introduction

This series chronicles the life and times of homosexual Archbishop John Rafael Quinn (1929-2017) and his homosexual hierarchical entourage, friends, and hangers-on, who have dominated the West Coast “gay” mafia for more than six decades.

I originally subtitled this work, “Why Should McCarrick [who represents the East Coast homosexual mafia] Get All the Attention and Publicity?” but I decided against it, as by the time my article goes to press, most Catholics will have forgotten the retired-resigned-laicized, and still publicly unrepentant, Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick, the former Archbishop of Washington, D.C., who has since left the Capuchin St. Fidelis Friary, in Victoria, Kansas, and settled at an undisclosed facility in Missouri. The 92-year-old McCarrick is currently facing a criminal trial at the Dedham [Mass.] District Court for three counts of indecent assault and battery against James Grein, with two civil trials against the former cardinal pending in New York and New Jersey.[1]

Like McCarrick, Archbishop Quinn’s homosexuality was well-known in clerical circles both in the United States and the Vatican, but, as with McCarrick, the vice of sodomy proved to be an advantage, not a disadvantage, in his rapid rise up the hierarchical ladder in the post-Conciliar era.

As we begin tracking the major events in Quinn’s long clerical career, the reader can easily discern the important paradigm power shift of the clerical “gay” mafia from East to West that followed the post-Spellman and post-Bernardin eras of AmChurch, The result was the Modernist dynasty of Cardinal Roger Mahony in Los Angeles and of Archbishop John R. Quinn in San Francisco which dominated the Catholic scene in the United States from the mid-1980s through the early years of the 21st century.

The McCarrick scandal focused on the East Coast homosexual network in AmChurch.

Now, it’s time to turn our attention to the less familiar but equally important West Coast homosexual network using the late Archbishop Quinn as our principal guide. Luckily for us, he didn’t disappoint!

John Rafael Quinn – The Formative Years

A native Californian, Quinn was born on March 28, 1929, in Riverside, the second son and fourth child of Rafael and Elizabeth Quinn. I thought it odd that his lengthy mortuary obituary should mention that there were “many years” between his birth and that of his three siblings, and that he was raised largely by his eldest sister, Rita, as his mother had already entered the workforce.[2] There was apparently enough money to pay for music lessons as by the time Quinn graduated high school in 1947, he was both a top-ranked academic and an accomplished pianist. There was no commentary on Quinn’s father, Rafael, in a biographical data except that he died in 1953, five years after his son had entered the seminary. One gets the impression of young Quinn as being the proverbial “Mama’s boy,” – the “golden child,” of the family unit, and a common harbinger of homosexuality.

On the Ecclesiastical Fast Track

In the fall of 1947, young Quinn enrolled in the Immaculate Heart Seminary in El Cajon, but later transferred to the St. Francis de Sales Collegiate Seminary on the campus of the University of San Diego.

Quinn’s bishop was the Most Reverend Charles Francis Buddy, the founding bishop in 1936 of the new San Diego Diocese created from the Los Angeles Archdiocese (included San Diego, Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties) and founder of the University of San Diego, which also served as the seat of the San Diego Chancery.

Buddy took a shine to young Quinn early on and put him on the ecclesiastical fast track. As soon as Quinn had completed his basic seminary courses, Buddy sent him to Rome to complete his studies for the priesthood at the North American College and the Pontifical Gregorian University. Father Quinn was ordained to the priesthood in Rome on July 19, 1953, by Bishop Buddy at the Church of San Marcello. Quinn stayed in Rome to complete his theological studies.

When Quinn returned from Rome to the San Diego Diocese in 1954, he was initially assigned to serve at his home parish of St. Francis de Sales, in Riverside, but then moved quickly on to serve as an associate pastor at St. George’s Parish in Ontario, Calif. His pastoral experience, however, was cut short when just a year later, Buddy assigned him to a teaching post at the Immaculate Heart Seminary School of Theology in San Diego. Five years later he was promoted to vice rector (1960-1964) and then rector (1965 -1966 ) of the Immaculate Heart Seminary, while also serving as President of St. Francis Collegiate Seminary. In addition, he served on the Diocesan Tribunal and became a close consultor to Bishop Buddy.

San Diego Diocese an Overflowing Moral Sewer

By the time, Quinn returned from Rome, the San Diego Diocese was already a flourishing clerical homosexual hothouse with numerous clerical sexual perverts and predators – some home-grown and others imported by Bishop Buddy from South America to help staff Latino parishes.[3]

When I went back into my Rite of Sodomy[4] files [1987-2006] to retrieve some background information on Bishop Buddy, I was astounded by the depth and breadth of the heterosexual and homosexual sexual abuse issue in the San Diego Diocese during the 30-year tenure of this pre-Vatican II prelate with abuse cases going back to the pontificate of Popes Pius XI (1922-1939), Pius XII (1939-1958), John XXIII (1958-1963) and Paul VI (1963-1978).

Of the known, that is, publicized, 36 sexual abuse cases of minors that occurred under Bishop Buddy’s watch:

  • Thirty of the accused and/or sued priests were routinely moved from parish to parish or from position to position, from diocese to diocese, and in some cases from country to country.

  • Only two priests were convicted in a court-of-law with one given a probation, and the other serving a one-year sentence in country of origin (Ireland). Five cases were settled out of court.

  • Approximately six were order priests (Salesians, Oblates, and Immaculate Heart of Mary and Paracletes Fathers), and the remainder, diocesan priests.

  • One sexual abuser was a nun from the Poor Sisters of Nazareth who assaulted an orphaned boy.

  • The grooming techniques used by clerical pederasts on adolescent boys, almost all altar boys, included the use of alcohol, drugs and pornography.

  • Msgr. Donald L. Doxie, a graduate of the Immaculate Heart Seminary in El Cajon, served as vice-chancellor and secretary to Bishop Buddy from 1955 to 1957. He was credibly charged with the sexual assault of a young boy, but shuffled from clerical job to job until his death in 1976.

  • Father Franz Robier, a native Austrian was incardinated by Bishop Buddy into the San Diego Diocese in 1957. Shortly thereafter he was sent off to the Paraclete Fathers in New Mexico for undesignated “treatment.” He was accused of the rape of at least 24 girls in the late 1950s and early1960s, but never served a day in jail. Multiple claims were filed against Robier in 2007 as part of a $198.1 million Settlement against the San Diego Diocese.

  • Adolescent boys were the primary victims of Father Edward Rodrigue, ordained for the San Diego Diocese in 1962. He claimed over 100 male adolescent victims during his 22-year clerical career, but spent only eight years in jail. Although he died in 2009, lawsuits by Rodrigue’s victims continue to be filed and settled by the San Diego Diocese.

Two specific cases involving Bishop Buddy have stuck in this writer’s mind for more than twenty-years, not so much because of the clerical abusers themselves, but because of the bishop’s utterly inexcusable efforts to protect clerical sexual predators who operated in the San Diego Diocese.

Bishop Buddy and the De Francisco Case

The first case involves a Father Luis De Francisco from Columbia, Bogota, who had “ministered” in Florida and Texas before being accepted into the San Diego Diocese to work with migrant workers in the Coachella Valley. In August 1963, de Francisco was arrested by the San Diego police on charges of sexual abuse of children from three different local parishes.

In his report to the Bishop of Cali, Bishop Charles F. Buddy wrote “At that time, arrangements were made between this Chancery and the civil authorities of San Diego in which, if Father left the United States with the promise never to return, the charges against Father would be set aside by civil law.” De Francisco was taken to the border at Tijuana, Mexico, released, and told to return to his home diocese. There was no recorded follow-up by either the Chancery or the police. A letter written by Buddy, which was discovered among the 10,000 documents released by the San Diego Diocese in 2010, warned de Francisco that the police were on his trail, and it would be “prudent and more secure” for him to return to Cali.[5]

Bishop Buddy and the Nikliborc Case

A native of Chicago, Robert Daniel Nikliborc was born on January 31, 1931. He attended Catholic schools including Quigley Preparatory Seminary from 1943-1948, and then entered St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Ill., where he received his B.A. and S.T.B. However, he was never ordained for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Under circumstances never explained, but certainly suspect, in September 1953, Nikliborc transferred to Immaculate Heart Seminary in El Cajon, Calif. where he earned his M.A. in Religion. His letter of recommendation to Bishop Buddy, required under Canon 993, was signed by Mundelein’s Malachias P. Foley, the rector of the Chicago seminary.

Niklibroc was ordained and incardinated for the Diocese of San Diego by Bishop Buddy in February 1955.

The reader will note that Niklibroc took the Profession of Faith and the Oath Against Modernism, not once, but twice, prior to his ordination, and acknowledged in his ordination petition to Bishop Buddy his “grave obligation of perpetual clerical celibacy” consequent upon the reception of Sacred Orders.

Bishop Buddy first assigned the new priest to St. Mary’s Church in National City in June 1955. Five months later, Niklibroc was moved to St. Francis Parish. Within a year of his ordination, Niklibroc had molested boys in both parishes.

Niklibroc initially denied the accusations of molestation against him, but Buddy stated the evidence was “absolute.” In early 1956, Buddy sent the young priest on what was labeled “a special retreat,” (designated as “sick leave” in diocesan records) to Jemez Springs, New Mexico for treatment by the Servants of the Paraclete who operated the Villa Regina Mundi.

Interestingly, It was about the time that Niklibroc entered the rehabilitation center, that the founder of the Paraclete Order, Father Gerald Fitzgerald, wrote to his good friend Archbishop Edwin V. Byrne of Santa Fe:

    These men [clerical pederasts]Your Excellency, are devils and the wrath of God is upon them and if I were a bishop I would tremble when I failed to report them to Rome for involuntary laicization [sic].

    It is for this class of rattlesnake I have always wished the island retreat – but even an island is too good for these vipers of whom the Gentle Master said it were better they had not been born – this is an indirect way of saying damned, is it not?[6]

Whatever recommendations Fitzgerald made in the Niklibroc case, the 25-year-old predator priest was released from the Jemez Springs program and returned to ministry in 1957.

Bishop Buddy first sent him to another parish, St. Boniface Parish in Banning, Calif., which had an Indian mission school. But that assignment, ill-advised as it was, was short lived.

What Bishop Buddy did next defies the imagination!

Bishop Buddy then sent Niklibroc to help administer a rundown Roman Catholic residential facility for orphaned and delinquent boys, ages 12 to 17, called Boys Town of the Desert in Riverside County.[7]

Boys Town of the Desert was originally founded as an Indian school by Franciscan friars in 1890. In the 1950s, it was operated by the Religious Brothers of Charity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, an order created by the San Diego Diocese to manage the facility.

Niklibroc was given the title of administrative assistant and put in charge of fund-raising.

By 1961, Niklinroc had worked his way up the corporate ladder to become President of the non-profit corporation and its main financial officer.

With a former contact from Chicago, the two men formed a salvage company in Illinois. Soon, cash from savaged goods sales began to roll into Boys Town, but Niklibroc didn’t deposit the money directly into the corporate account, but in a bank in Palms Springs where the priest, as of 1963, was living under an alias, aka, Robert Drew Rand, a wealthy business executive.

As “Mr. Rand,” Niklibroc drove expensive cars and even purchased another house in Los Vegas for a cocktail waitress who also served as the priest’s frequent traveling companion. She insisted their relationship was “platonic.”[8]

The Palm Springs real estate agent who sold Niklibroc his $75,000 residence, thought he was married to a young woman of Mexican descent who accompanied Mr. Rand for the sale, but the priest later said she was just his housekeeper.[9] At the time, Palm Springs was gaining a reputation as California’s second largest homosexual oasis, with top honor going to San Francisco.

Later, the priest would claim he maintained his residence with the knowledge and consent of the San Diego Diocese. Diocesan officials never contradicted his statements on his living arrangements and remained tight-lipped as the scandal expanded.[10]

Bishop Furey Inherits the Niklibroc Scandal

Bishop Buddy died on March 6, 1966. His office was filled by then by Coadjutor Bishop of San Diego, the Philadelphian Francis J. Furey who, beginning in 1963, had become the financial manager of the diocese in order to get the diocese out of the crippling debt that Buddy had created.

So it was that Furey, not Buddy, experienced the full brunt of the Niklibroc scandal when it erupted, not over sex abuse, but over tax evasion.

On October 31, 1968, federal officials for the U.S. Attorney General’s Office in Los Angeles arraigned the priest, aka Mr. Rand, on charges of failing to file income taxes on $119, 960 for the years 1963-1965.[11]

Niklibroc eventually pleaded guilty, but insisted that Bishop Furey directed him to plead guilty in order to stave off any possible federal investigation concerning financial irregularities at Boys Town of the Desert which would have put diocesan officials under the microscope of the law. In return, diocesan officials never took any disciplinary action against the priest.

On November 11, 1968, before sentencing, Niklibroc entered the Terminal Island Prison for Men near San Pedro, a federal low security correctional institution and underwent a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation that concluded with the recommendation that no further incarceration was necessary. During this time, Niklibroc had also been permitted to attend, under his own recognizance, various opening ceremonies for the new Beaumont Boys Town campus.

At his official sentencing on November 19, 1969, Nikliborc was given one-year year probation plus the time already served at Terminal. Government officials wanted the priest to serve out at least a two-year prison sentence, but the sympathetic presiding judge deemed the priest had been performing “extremely valuable work” at Boys Town of the Desert, which we know from later court affidavits included the buggering of young boys at the residential facility. One victim called Boys Town of the Desert a smorgasbord for pederasts.

A follow-up state investigation of financial impropriates concerning the priest and Boys Town of the Desert was never carried out because government officials claimed that they met repeated resistance from the lawyers of the San Diego Diocese.

While these legal proceedings were going on, Bishop Furey was made the Archbishop of San Antonio, Texas. He was replaced in 1969 by Bishop Leo Thomas Maher, formerly of the Santa Rosa Diocese.

Bishop Maher became Chairman of the renamed Boys Town of the Desert, now known as American Boys Ranch. With government grants mounting up to a $1 million a year, the diocese started to pay back the bank loan. In 1977 the ill-fated facility was closed down for good, and the land and facilities sold off by Maher for $1.35 million, way below the estimated market price of $4 million.

Niklibroc Returned to Parish Ministry

After being released from prison and serving out his probation, Niklibroc was ready to move on.

In a letter written in August 1971, he informed diocesan officials that he was planning on taking a leave of absence and would be following a new interest in working at St. Mary’s Indian Mission for Boys, also in Banning. As an aside, in that same letter, he asked Chancellor Brent Eagen to ask Auxiliary Bishop John Quinn to pray for him. Where Niklibroc first met Quinn and under what circumstances we do not know, but without doubt, they knew each other.[12]

Bishop Maher had other plans, however. He made Niklibroc pastor of St. Anne’s parish, the poorest church in the San Diego Diocese. There is no record that pew sitters of the largely Spanish migrant parish were ever informed of Niklibroc’s earlier sex abuse record. During the fifteen-years of the priest’s residence at St. Anne’s under Maher, the bishop blocked every attempt to transfer him to a new parish.

In a letter dated April 9, 1976, from Apostolic Delegate Jean Jadot to Bishop Maher concerning Nikliborc and St. Anne’s, Jadot advised Maher to “try to avoid as much harmful publicity for the Church as is possible,” but did not explicitly spell out what the immediate difficulty was.

When homosexual Bishop Robert “Beeper-Sex” Brom of Duluth, Minnesota, replaced Bishop Maher in July of 1990, Niklibroc obviously fared a little better.

Ironically, it was rumored that Pope John Paul II had sent Brom to San Diego to clean up the homosexual mess at St. Francis, even though the record shows that the Holy See was aware that Brom was an active seducer of young seminarians as part of Archbishop Joseph Bernardin’s and Archbishop John R. Roach’s Mid-Western Homosexual Mafia.[13]

Not surprisingly, therefore, homosexual Bishop Brom praised Nikliborc for his “life and ministry as a priest” on his 40th anniversary on January 12, 2001, the year that Niklibroc wanted to retire, although he stayed on as an administrative assistant until 2002. He had served at St. Anne’s for 37 years total.

Nikliborc returned to his Palm Springs home where he continued to draw his monthly pension and benefits from the San Diego Diocese until he died on March 19, 2006.

Settlements Continue After Niklibroc’s Death

In December 2003, Niklibroc was named in a lawsuit for sexual abuse at Boys Town of the Desert. In 2005 another victim from Boys Town filed a second lawsuit naming Niklibroc as his abuser.[14]

Both cases were included with the 144 plaintiffs who settled with the San Diego Diocese in 2007 for nearly $200 million. The Diocese of San Diego is currently facing an additional 400 claims at a possible cost Catholic pewsitters of $550 million and the possibility of filing for bankruptcy.[15]

A third victim, who did not sue, reported that Niklibroc used to take him from Boys Town to his Palm Springs home and to gatherings for rich donors of the residence, and that the priest sexually abused him.

Although Rev. Rodrigo Valdivia, Chancellor for the San Diego Diocese, claimed that Niklibroc has never been accused of sexual misconduct, when the diocese released the names of credible sexual abusers in October 2010, Niklibroc’s name was on it.

I trust the reader will remember Bishop Buddy’s cover-ups of serial clerical sex abusers in the 1940s to 1960s the next time some dysfunctional journalist attempts to trot out the myth that systematic clerical abuse and subsequent cover-ups in the Catholic Church in America didn’t begin until decades later with the Boston Globe Spotlight investigation of 2002.

As The Rite of Sodomy clearly documents with extended chapters on Cardinal William O’Connell (b.1859 – d.1944) of Boston and Cardinal Francis Spellman (b.1899-d.1967) of New York, the rise of homosexuality in the Catholic Church in the United States and the United Kingdom and Europe at the early turn of the twentieth-century, closely paralleled that of the rise of the secular Homosexual Movement in these countries.

(To be continued)

____________________________

[1] “McCarrick’s lawyers seek to prove disgraced former cardinal not competent to stand trial,” Our Sunday Visitor News, January 19, 2023 at McCarrick’s lawyers seek to prove disgraced former cardinal not competent to stand trial – BishopAccountability.org (bishop-accountability.org).

[2] Obituary at Duggan’s Serra Mortuary, https://www.duggans-serra.com/obituary/Archbishop-John-Raphael-Quinn/San-Francisco-CA/1736288.

[3] See Jason Berry, Lead Us Not Into Temptation – Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children, Doubleday, NY, 1992, pp. 243-258.

[4] Randy Engel, The Rite of Sodomy, Export, PA, 2006. The five-volume set is currently available at www.newengelpublishing.com.

[5]Catholic Diocese Releases 10,000 Pages of Documents in Abuse Case,” by Dean Calbreath, San Diego Union-Tribune, October 24, 2010 at

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/oct/24/catholic-diocese-releases-10000-pages-documents/.

[6] “Decades of Unreconstructed Institutional Denial and Self-Protection,” by Thomas A. Droleskey, December 20, 2011 at http://christorchaos.com/DecadesOfUnreconstructedInstitutionalDenialAndSelf-Protection.html.

[7] “Boys Town Saga,” Jon Standefer, San Diego Union-Tribune, December 29, 1985.

[8] “Priest With 2 Names –Man of 3 Cities?,” by Dial Torgerson, L.A. Times, October 21, 1968.

[9] “More than One Name,” News and Tribune, October 13, 1968.

[10] “Boys Town Probe Reopened by the State,” L.A. Herald-Examiner, October 12, 1968.

[11] “RC Priest Jailed on Tax Evasion,” Lethbridge Herald, November 28, 1968.

[12] All letters cited in this article are found at http://www.bishop-accountability.org/docs/san_diego/Nikliborc_Rev_Robert_D/Nikliborc_File.pdf.

[13] Engel, The Rite of Sodomy, pp. 854-861, 889-917.

[14] Database of Publicly Accused Priests in the United States at BishopAccountability.org.

[15] [Msgr.] Gene Thomas Gomulka, “Red Hat Made Possible Before Bankruptcy by Local San Diego Media,” 2/12/2023, p.1. See also Which U.S. dioceses have declared bankruptcy? Here’s a map | Catholic News Agency.

© Randy Engel

 

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Randy Engel

Randy Engel, one of the nation's top investigative reporters, began her journalistic career shortly after her graduation from the University of New York at Cortland, in 1961. A specialist in Vietnamese history and folklore, in 1963, she became the editor of The Vietnam Journal, the official publication of the Vietnam Refugee and Information Services, a national relief program in South Vietnam for war refugees and orphans based in Dayton, Ohio... (more)

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