ABUSE TRACKER

A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse. For recent coverage listed in this blog, read the full article in the newspaper or other media source by clicking “Read original article.” For earlier coverage, click the title to read the original article.

February 1, 2013

CA- A new scapegoat

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on February 01, 2013

Vindictive victims, greedy lawyers, salacious reporters, inept therapists, unfair laws – these are among the many targets of Cardinal Roger Mahony’s favorite hobby – blaming others for his archdiocese’s on-going clergy sex crimes and cover up crisis.

Today, he’s added another culprit: his allegedly poor education.

According to the National Catholic Reporter, Mahony writes on his personal blog that “Nothing in my own background or education equipped me to deal with this grave problem. In graduate school earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work, no textbook and no lecture ever referred to the sexual abuse of children.”

[Click here for the story.]

This may well be Mahony’s wildest claim yet. Even grade school drop outs know that laws prohibit child sex crimes and that when we know about or suspect child sex crimes, we are supposed to call the police. Period.

When Mahony was in school, there was probably no mention of gang rape or identity theft or child porn either. So because Mahony took no course in these crimes, it’s OK if he enables and conceals them?

Just in case this “poor education” excuse doesn’t fly, Mahony tosses out a few of his old favorites again, taking yet another swipe at the often-Catholic therapists he picked and paid to allegedly “evaluate” pedophile priests (and who often seemed to give Mahony the ‘diagnosis’ that coincidently seemed to be advantageous to him).

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Mahony defends legacy on church abuse in blog

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KTAR

[HISTORICAL EVOLUTION of DEALING with the SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS – Cardinal Mahony Blogs LA]

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The public rebuke of retired Cardinal Roger Mahony for failing to take swift action against abusive priests adds tarnish to a career already overshadowed by the church sex abuse scandal but does little to change his role in the larger church.

Mahony can still act as a priest, keep his rank as cardinal and remain on a critical Vatican panel that elects the next pope.

While Archbishop Jose Gomez’s decision to strip Mahony of his administrative and public duties was unprecedented in the American Roman Catholic Church, it was another attempt by the church to accept responsibility for the abuse scandal that has engulfed it.

Victims were quick to point out that Mahony’s new, paired-down local standing was in stark contrast to his continued position among the prelates at the Vatican.

The decision “is little more than window dressing. Cardinal Mahony is still a very powerful prelate,” Joelle Casteix, the Western regional director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said at a Friday news conference outside the Los Angeles cathedral. “He’s a very powerful man in Rome and still a very powerful man in Los Angeles.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Victims: Continue clergy abuse probe

LOS ANGELES (CA)
10 News

LOS ANGELES – One day after the release of personnel files of priests accused of sexual misconduct, victims of clergy abuse will push the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles Friday to continue investigating the problem.

The diocese on Thursday released files on more than 100 clergy members, and Archbishop Jose Gomez said his predecessor — former Archbishop Roger Mahony — will “no longer have any administrative or public duties.” Meanwhile, Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, Mahony’s former top adviser on sex-abuse issues, stepped down as Santa Barbara’s regional bishop.

“We suggest that Bishop Gomez do more from here and not treat what happened yesterday as the end of the line on this,” Joelle Casteix of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, told City News Service. “We want him to help support more police investigations into sexual abuse. For us, this is the beginning, not the end.”

Casteix and other SNAP members and their supporters held news conference outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels to discuss the issue, insisting that it was only through legal action and continued pressure by victims that the church finally took action.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

At North Hollywood parish that Cardinal Roger Mahony calls home, Catholics react to his rebuke over sex abuse scandal

CALIFORNIA
San Gabriel Valley Tribune

By Dana Bartholomew and Barbara Jones, Staff Writers
dailynews.com
Posted: 02/01/2013

NORTH HOLLYWOOD — He had gone to school there. Launched his rise to cardinal there. And after a lingering clergy sex abuse scandal, retired to live there.

So parishioners at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church expressed both pain and hope early Friday after retired Cardinal Roger Mahony was publicly rebuked by his successor.

“It’s OK, so far. It’s all good,” said Josephine Leong, 67, of Studio City, after a 7:30 a.m. Mass at the North Hollywood parish. “He’s retired anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

“I hope everything will be healed by the grace of God.”

The release last week of personnel files from the Los Angeles Archdiocese had already revealed that Mahony and a top aide had conspired decades ago to shield 14 pedophile priests from the law.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Catholic priest from Minneapolis sentenced to five years in child sex-abuse case

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JOY POWELL , Star Tribune
Updated: February 1, 2013

The Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer admitted to all counts related to his criminal sexual conduct involving two boys and possessing child pornography.

A Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to 20 counts related to child sex abuse and child pornography was sentenced on Friday to five years in prison.

Curtis Wehmeyer, 48, of Minneapolis, was taken into custody at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center in St. Paul after his sentencing Friday afternoon.

The criminal sexual conduct involving two brothers, then ages 14 and 12, more than two years ago in a camper parked at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in St. Paul, where he lived and worked as the parish pastor.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

IL- Abusive priest defrocked, SNAP responds

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 01, 2013

The Catholic hierarchy has finally defrocked Belleville’s most notorious predator priest, Fr. Raymond Kownacki.

Kownacki abused and impregnated a teen, tried to perform an abortion, and assaulted dozens of kids.

Still, it took Catholic officials almost 20 years to defrock him after he’d already been permanently ousted from ministry. These facts clearly show how little Belleville and Vatican staffers care about vulnerable kids and wounded adults.

Starting tomorrow, Bishop Edward Braxton should personally go to each parish where Kownacki worked, begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police, get help expose wrongdoing and start healing.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

HISTORICAL EVOLUTION of DEALING with the SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Cardinal Roger Mahony Blogs LA

Friends in Christ,

This morning I sent this letter to Archbishop Jose H. Gomez giving the history and context of what we have been through since the mid-1980s. There is nothing confidential in my letter. I have been encouraged by others to publish it, so I am do so on my personal Blog. I hope you find it useful.

+ + + + +

February 1, 2013

Dear Archbishop Gomez:

In this letter I wish to outline briefly how the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and I responded to the evolving scandal of clergy sexual misconduct, especially involving minors.

Nothing in my own background or education equipped me to deal with this grave problem. In two years [1962—1964] spent in graduate school earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work, no textbook and no lecture ever referred to the sexual abuse of children. While there was some information dealing with child neglect, sexual abuse was never discussed.

Shortly after I was installed on September 5, 1985 I took steps to create an Office of the Vicar for the Clergy so that all our efforts in helping our priests could be located in one place. In the summer of 1986 I invited an attorney-friend from Stockton to address our priests during our annual retreat at St. John’s Seminary on the topic of the sexual abuse of minors. Towards the end of 1986 work began with the Council of Priests to develop policies and procedures to guide all of us in dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct. Those underwent much review across the Archdiocese, and were adopted in 1989.

During these intervening years a small number of cases did arise. I sought advice from several other Bishops across the country, including Cardinal John O’Connor of New York, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, and then Bishop Adam Maida of Green Bay. I consulted with our Episcopal Conference frequently. All the advice was to remove priests from active ministry if there was reasonable suspicion that abuse had occurred, and then refer them to one of the several residential treatment centers across the country for evaluation and recommendation.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Mahony responds to ban: ‘Not once’ did successor raise questions

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Catholic Reporter

by Joshua J. McElwee | Feb. 1, 2013 NCR Today

Cardinal Roger Mahony, the retired archbishop of Los Angeles who was barred from public ministry by his successor over his handling of sex abuse, has issued a rare public response to the action.

Writing an open letter to Archbishop Jose Gomez, the archdiocese’s current leader, Mahony states that during his leadership the archdiocese became “second to none in protecting children and youth.”

“When you were formally received as our Archbishop on May 26, 2010, you began to become aware of all that had been done here over the years for the protection of children and youth,” Mahony writes to Gomez in the letter, which Mahony has made available on his personal blog.

“You became our official Archbishop on March 1, 2011 and you were personally involved with the Compliance Audit of 2012—again, in which we were deemed to be in full compliance,” Mahony continues.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Cardinal Mahony’s removal not enough, church critics say

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

February 1, 2013

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez’s decision to relieve Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of all public duties over his mishandling of clergy sex abuse of children decades ago does not go far enough, some abuse victim advocates said Friday.

David Clohessy, director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the massive volume of files on abuse that the archdiocese released Thursday evening “reveals the horrors in black and white that victims have known for so long.”

But Clohessy and other church critics said they believe Gomez’s action does not go far enough, noting Mahony remains a cardinal in good standing in the church.

“Cardinal Mahony remains a man of power within the church despite all that he has done,” Clohessy said.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Lawyer who fought for documents’ release says discipline a good first step

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Catholic Reporter

by Tom Roberts | Feb. 1, 2013

Friday’s announcement that a retired Los Angeles cardinal and an auxiliary bishop have been disciplined because of their roles in covering up priests’ sexual abuse of children is a step in the right direction, says a lawyer long involved in representing victims — but, he adds, the discipline is only a step, not an ending.

Attorney Tony DeMarco said Friday the discipline was forced by the court-ordered release of documents that detailed the conduct of church leaders, and a careful reading of those documents will show that some leaders who put children at risk “are still in place.”

The release of approximately 12,000 pages of documents detailing the sexual abuse of children by priests and cover-up by archdiocesan officials was a long-fought victory for DeMarco, who pursued release of the documents, which the archdiocese fought to keep sealed for 10 years. He has represented more than 400 victims of abuse, some of whom were part of Los Angeles cases.

An agreement by the archdiocese to release the documents was part of a 2007 settlement of 508 cases for $660 million. But immediately, the archdiocese took legal steps to block the release, a process that was complicated and delayed when a retired judge who was hired to review the documents recused himself from the process.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Victim group not satisfied with action on Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Miami Herald

By GILLIAN FLACCUS
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A clergy abuse victim group is not satisfied with actions taken by the Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles against Cardinal Roger Mahony after the release of files showing his role in trying to protect the church from molestation scandals.

Archbishop Jose Gomez late Thursday announced that his predecessor, Mahony, will no longer have any administrative or public duties.

Standing Friday in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, a regional director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests called that “window dressing.”

Joelle Casteix (KAS-tihks) says the move is only symbolic, and Mahony is still a powerful man in Rome and Los Angeles.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Church Files Shed Light on Response to Abuse Claims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Wall Street Journal

By TAMARA AUDI, VAUHINI VARA and JIM CARLTON

LOS ANGELES—The 12,000 pages of personnel files released Thursday night by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles promised to shed light on the church hierarchy’s response to decades of sexual-abuse allegations, though plaintiffs’ lawyers and others said it could be days before they are able to fully explore the documents.

The documents were released after years of wrangling during which lawyers for the church repeatedly sought permission to redact the names of senior officials before making the papers public. A Los Angeles judge overruled that request and on Thursday ordered the documents released by Feb. 22. They were posted on the archdiocese’s website within hours, catching many interested parties by surprise. Victims’ lawyers said they were struggling to read through the files and search for new or revealing information.

Nationwide, the church has released thousands of pages of documents over the years relating to abuse, but lawyers and victims’ advocates said the Los Angeles documents represent a landmark release, since the archdiocese is the largest in the country. The documents include the personnel records of 124 priests and stretch back decades, cataloguing abuse allegations, correspondence and reactions from high-ranking church officials. The release was part of a $660 million civil settlement with more than 500 abuse victims in 2007.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Portland’s new Catholic archbishop weighs in on transparency and clergy abuse

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Nancy Haught, The Oregonian
on February 01, 2013

The Most Rev. Alexander K. Sample, the next Catholic Archbishop of Portland, says he will be as transparent as he can about cases of sexual clergy abuse.

Sample, who spent a few days in Portland this week, returned to Michigan yesterday, where he’s been bishop of the Diocese of Marquette for the past seven years.

In a telephone interview, he talked about some of the serious challenges he’ll face as he tries to shepherd a geographical area twice the size of his diocese with more than four times as many Catholics.

People inside and outside the church are wondering about his philosophy toward accusations of clerical abuse. He also talked about his “obvious fondness for traditional liturgy,” the role of women in the church and Catholics who are critical of official church teaching.

More of his interview is coming. Here’s an excerpt:

Q: A priest of the Archdiocese of Portland is facing criminal charges related to sexual abuse. What does an archdiocese owe to a priest in that position? For example, is it appropriate for an archdiocese to give or lend an accused priest money to cover his defense?

A: I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to comment on that situation. I’m not the archbishop there yet and don’t know all the details. But I can answer from my own experience.

A lot of people in the church don’t understand the implications of what we call incardination, the attachment of a priest to a diocese. The church has certain obligations. If a priest is completely dismissed from the clerical state, the responsibility of the archdiocese ceases. But if he is removed from ministry but not dismissed from the clerical state, canon law requires that the church provide some sustenance, some decent support of living to that person. Not that we have to support them in luxury, by any means, but health insurance and a minimal stipend to live on is required. Many of these men are elderly and not able to find other employment.

This causes great concern from people used to a more secular mode, where a person is fired and you’re done with him, you have no other responsibility.

Q: The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, says you’ve “done nothing to distinguish” yourself “from the overwhelming majority of Catholic officials who continue to minimize and hide clergy sex crimes.” How could you be more transparent in regard to this issue?

It’s a very tricky minefield I have to navigate. There are competing interests at stake. First and foremost are the interests of those who have been victimized. But there are also the interests of the accused. We live in a system, in a church, where the accused has a right to defense. And, in civil cases, we have to be concerned for the patrimony of the diocese and the interests of the folks in the pews.

Sometimes the bishop is in the middle. People are angry because he hasn’t done enough for the victims or hasn’t been just to the priest. Parishioners are mad because we’ve removed their beloved pastor and the charges couldn’t possibly be true and why are they bringing it up 25 years later. And the issues of confidentiality and the right to privacy apply to victims as well.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Former St. Paul priest sentenced for sexual abuse of two boys

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.comtwincities.com
Posted: 02/01/2013

Curtis Carl Wehmeyer, the priest formerly at Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul who admitted to sexually abusing two boys and possessing child pornography, was sentenced Friday, Feb. 1, to five years in prison.

Wehmeyer, 48, of Oakdale, was removed from the parish by archdiocese officials on June 21, after the victims, who are brothers, went to the police.

He pleaded guilty Nov. 8 to all of the charges he faced: one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct and 17 counts of possession of child porn.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Tales of Tragedy Told: Archdiocese of LA Releases Files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
A Good Measure

February 1, 2013 By Lisa M. Hendey

The news hit in a big way last night.

It wasn’t a surprise in any way. We know it’s been brewing for years, and what came out last night in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is simply another chapter in a tragedy that’s been unfolding before our eyes. If you’re one of the few who doesn’t know the details of Archbishop Gomez’ release of documents from the abuse scandals and his personal letter, Rocco’s got the best rundown I’ve seen. I’d encourage you to read the full letter by Archbishop Gomez and to look personally at the files released by the Archdiocese.

Catholic bloggers — and indeed anyone who calls themselves “Catholic” — are left to ponder what we can possibly add to the conversation, but more importantly how we pick up the pieces and serve the victims. For me, this tragedy hits home personally. I grew up in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and was educated in her Catholic schools. Along with reading the official statement, I spent the past hour reading the official file of a pedophile priest who served my family parish, someone who was indeed quite close to our family.

Of course this story is not a surprise to me — I’ve watched it play out over the years and end in multiple tragedies for several of the players involved. But reading the official documents, even with names redacted to protect the innocent and the victims, brought me a feeling of nausea so tangible that I had to finally close them and step away. I simply can’t fathom how the abused — those upon whom such horrible acts were perpetrated — must be feeling today. Surely there is a sense of vindication for them, and yet their tales of tragedy — opened fully for perhaps the first time and set on public display — must undoubtedly reopen terrible wounds that have been festering for such a very long time.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Rebuke of Cardinal Mahony casts a lengthy shadow at L.A. churches

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez’s decision to relieve his predecessor, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, of all public duties over his mishandling of clergy sex abuse of children decades ago was met by both resignation and disbelief in churches across the region.

“I was hoping it wasn’t true,” 71-year-old Ann Gapas said outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels after a morning prayer Friday.

“Then I come here this morning and everything is so silent and the news vans are here. It’s so sad.”

The news of the sex scandals have been conflicting for Gapas, who stood outside the cathedral’s doors in a sweater and jeans, holding a church newsletter.

Priests “are our role models and we respect them so much,” Gapas said. “You always hope it’s not true.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Alleged priest sex abuse case in court

CANADA
CJAD

Posted By: Shuyee Lee
lee@astral.com·2/1/2013

Guy Cormier shows black and white photos of himself, including one back in 1955 when he was 10 years old and in the infirmary. He said through a sign language interpreter that he was suffering from injuries after being sodomized by a priest at the Montreal Institute for the Deaf.

“You can see that I’m sad, that I’m not smiling in any of these pictures,” Cormier said while signing to the interpreter.

Cormier said it was a painful period in his youth that led to difficulties in his relationship with his future wife and life in general.

It’s allegations like this that are at the heart of a class action lawsuit that’s finally before the courts.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Steve Lopez: Removing Cardinal Mahony just a first step

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

Just when you think things can’t get much worse for Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, along comes a stunning rebuke from his successor, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez.

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading,” Gomez said of the molestation files Mahony tried desperately to keep out of the hands of police, even as known pedophiles claimed more victims. “The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil.”

So far, so good. But in The Times story on the decision by Gomez to distance the Archdiocese from Mahony, church spokesman and Mahony loyalist Tod Tamberg said the cardinal’s life would be largely unchanged and that he would remain “a priest in good standing.”

Excuse me?

How could he still be in good standing?

And why did it take until Thursday for the archdiocese to announce that Santa Barbara Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, Mahony’s go-to man in the 1980s on molestation, has stepped down? The church has known for years what Curry’s role was in the scandal.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

CA – SNAP’s Letter to California victims

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 01, 2013

Dear California SNAP member;

As you’ve likely heard, thousands of pages of long-secret church records about child molesting clerics and their corrupt colleagues are finally surfacing in Los Angeles.

Make no mistake about it – this is a huge victory for innocent kids and wounded adults. And you deserve the credit!

Maybe you aren’t one of the 500 LA survivors who sought justice in court. Maybe you weren’t abused by an LA area priest, nun, seminarian, bishop, brother or other church employee. Maybe you aren’t a victim (but a loved one or a caring parishioner). None of this matters.

What matters is that progress is being made. This accomplishment is due to you and to every single person in California who joined SNAP or spoke up or called a radio program or wrote a letter to the editor or stopped donating to a diocese or in any way lent a hand – large or small – to our movement.

We thank you and we congratulate you.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Chef der Glaubenskongregation: Bischof kritisiert “Pogromstimmung” gegen katholische Kirche

VATIKAN
Spiegel

[Bing Translator]

Geistliche würden öffentlich angepöbelt, im Internet und im TV Attacken gegen die katholische Kirche geritten: Der Chef der Glaubenskongregation des Vatikans, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, hat in einem Interview eine “Pogromstimmung” gegen die katholische Kirche beklagt.

Rom – Gerhard Ludwig Müller ist einer der mächtigsten Männer der katholischen Kirche. In einem Interview mit der Zeitung “Die Welt” hat er nun eine aufkommende “Pogromstimmung” gegen die katholische Kirche kritisiert. Der Präfekt der Glaubenskongregation im Vatikan verwies dabei auf “gezielte Diskreditierungskampagnen gegen die katholische Kirche in Nordamerika und auch bei uns in Europa”. Diese hätten erreicht, “dass Geistliche in manchen Bereichen schon jetzt ganz öffentlich angepöbelt werden”, sagte Erzbischof Müller.

So wachse eine künstlich erzeugte Wut, “die gelegentlich schon heute an eine Pogromstimmung erinnert”. Im Internet und auch im Fernsehen würden Attacken gegen die katholische Kirche geritten, deren Rüstzeug zurückgehe auf den Kampf der totalitären Ideologien gegen das Christentum.

Beim innerkirchlichen Dialog in Deutschland, beispielsweise zwischen Bischöfen und kritischen Laien, müsse auch über das Wesentliche geredet werden – statt die gleichen Probleme immer wieder neu aufzutischen, sagte Müller. Das geforderte sakramentale Weiheamt für Frauen beispielsweise sei unmöglich, die katholische Kirche könne auch gleichgeschlechtliche Partnerschaften nicht akzeptieren. “Solche Partnerschaften sind grundsätzlich in keiner Weise mit den Ehen gleichzustellen.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Is Cardinal Mahony’s censure a sign of a new Catholic Church?

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Mathew N. Schmalz

With retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony now stripped of his public duties for his mishandling of the sexual abuses cases in his archdiocese, there is a temptation to be either celebratory or cynical.

It’s either an important step in the purification of Catholicism, or it’s an insufficient punishment for a terrible series of crimes.

Does it mark a new beginning for American Catholicism or has nothing really changed?

It all depends upon whether the lesson learned is about punishment or transparency.

When Archbishop Jose Gomez removed his predecessor from acting publicly as a bishop, it was obviously just. Given the extensive evidence that he hid abusers from justice himself, it would be scandalous for Cardinal Mahony to be allowed to participate in the sacraments of confirmation or ordination, which are to be performed by bishops. While Cardinal Mahony has spoken about his “index cards” with names of victims for whom he prays, many felt that his repentance and acknowledgment of responsibility did not run deep enough. If one wants evidence for a purification of the church–as Benedict XVI has called for–one might very well point to this as an important beginning.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Dublin’s high court to hear its first African sexual abuse case

IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter

by John Cooney | Jan. 31, 2013

A court in Ireland is set to hear the case of an African who says an Irish missionary priest sexually abused him when he was a boy attending a Spiritan-run college in Sierra Leone, according to court documents filed late Wednesday in the High Court in Dublin.

This will be the first time an African will have abuse allegations against Irish missionary priests heard in Ireland.

Elvis Kuteh says a priest who is living in Ireland sexually abused him when he was a student at Christ the King College, an elite school in Sierra Leone run by the Spiritans, formerly the Holy Ghost Fathers. The accused priest’s name has not been made public. Kuteh has brought the lawsuit against Fr. Marc Whelan, the current provincial of the Spiritans in Ireland.

Kuteh, who now lives in England, was unable to put the Spiritans on trial in his native Sierra Leone, according to a source familiar with the case. The case is to be heard later this year in the High Court in Dublin.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Cardinal Roger Mahony stripped from public duties over LA sex abuse cover up

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Rome Reports

[with video]

February 1, 2013. (Romereports.com) The current head of the Diocese of Los Angeles, Archbishop Jose Gomez, relieved his predecessor retired Cardinal Roger Mahony of any public duties, after the Diocese released documents detailing its “failure to protect young people” from abuse by priests.

In a letter to the Diocese, Archbishop Gomez reinforced that there was no excuse to justify the abuse, and acknowledged it as a failure. He also apologized to the victims and expressed his desire to help them heal.

The letter also states the archbishop had accepted the resignation of Auxilary Bishop Thomas Curry, who served as Vicar for Clergy under Cardinal Mahony.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Church Personnel Documents Released After Years of Resistance

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The New York Times

By JENNIFER MEDINA and LAURIE GOODSTEIN

Published: February 1, 2013

LOS ANGELES — The release of 12,000 internal personnel documents late on Thursday by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles came after six years of resistance to a settlement reached in 2007 with more than 500 victims of abuse.

The documents reveal how Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, now retired, and other church leaders kept priests accused of sexually abusing young people in ministry and failed to report them to the authorities.

To signal action, the church packaged the document release along with an announcement that Cardinal Mahony had been disciplined by his successor, Archbishop José H. Gomez, who has been in office less than two years. Archbishop Gomez released a statement saying that Cardinal Mahony will “no longer have any administrative or public duties.”

The censure amounts to a dramatic public repudiation of a cardinal who dominated Catholic life in Los Angeles for more than two decades, but may have little import other than to bolster the church’s public relations, according to church experts. The retired Cardinal Mahony has now been restrained from speaking in public, but he retains his priestly authorities and may still celebrate Mass.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Cardinal Mahony Relieved Of Public Duties, Publicly Censured By Archbishop

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LAist

Cardinal Roger Mahony has been relieved of his public duties, following the release of church documents that document in blunt detail how he helped priests accused of molesting parishioners escape prosecution.

Archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Gomez posted a letter on the diocese website describing the recently-released church files as “brutal and painful reading.” He said that Mahony would be relieved of public duties and Mahony’s advisor on sex abuse cases at the time Bishop Thomas Curry would be stepping down from his current position as a regional bishop in Santa Barbara:

My predecessor, retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, has expressed his sorrow for his failure to fully protect young people entrusted to his care. Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry has also publicly apologized for his decisions while serving as Vicar for Clergy. I have accepted his request to be relieved of his responsibility as the Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara.

An archdiocese spokesman told the Los Angeles Times that Mahony’s day-to-day life as a retired priest residing at a North Hollywood parish won’t be changed. He’s still a “priest in good standing” and he will be eligible to vote for a pope until he turns 80.

But church critics still say the move to publicly censure Mahony and remove him from public duties, including confirmations, is unprecedented. Terrence McKiernan, president of bishopaccountability.org, told the TImes, “Even when Cardinal [Bernard] Law was removed in Boston, which was arguably for the same offenses, this kind of gesture was not made.”

Rev. Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer and Dominican priest, said the Vatican would have “absolutely” been consulted on a decision like this: “This is momentous, there is no question. For something like this to happen to a cardinal…. The way they treat cardinals is as if they’re one step below God.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Six Things to Know about the Los Angeles Archdiocese’s Predator-Priest Records

CALIFORNIA
Fort Mill Times

SAN DIEGO —

Last night, the Los Angeles Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church took two major actions: it released 12,000 documents relating to priests accused of child sexual abuse, and simultaneously announced Cardinal Roger Mahony had been relieved of his duties. Cardinal Mahony has been heavily criticized for his handling of sex-abuse charges against Church officials, and yesterday the Church also relieved his subordinate, Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, the current Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara, of his responsibilities. As the former Vicar for Clergy, Bishop Curry served as Cardinal Mahony’s point person on claims of sex abuse within the Church.

Irwin Zalkin, an attorney with The Zalkin Law Firm who has represented numerous victims of child sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests, and has been directly involved in the efforts to obtain public release of the documents from the Los Angeles Archdiocese responded to questions today about the news from the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

Q: What do you think of Cardinal Mahony’s demotion?

A: The demotion of Cardinal Mahony is nothing more or less than a public relations ploy. He is retired and not very involved with the public anyway. This man is a criminal aider and abetter of child sexual abuse and should be criminally accountable. Criminal prosecution against him is long overdue.

Q: What’s the history of these records and why are we hearing about them now?

A: In the summer of 2007, a $660 million global settlement was reached between 508 victims of sexual abuse within the LA Archdiocese and several Catholic religious Orders. The settlement required the LA Archdiocese to release files on all priests who, over the last 50 years, had credible claims of sexual abuse made against them. While the settlement included a very clear process for identifying which records to make public, it has taken six years to get the LA Archdiocese to comply with that agreement. Finally, the world can know the whole truth about what they did to protect predator clergy members and the Church’s reputation at the expense of young innocent children.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

High Court to hear case of African man allegedly abused by Irish priest

IRELAND
The Journal

THE HIGH COURT will hear the case of an African man who claims he was abused by an Irish priest working in an Irish-run school in Sierra Leone, TheJournal.ie has learned.

The plaintiff is suing the Spiritan congregation (formerly the Holy Ghost Fathers) for damages. The alleged abuser was a missionary working in the school. It is the first time a survivor of alleged abuse in Africa will take a case in the Irish courts.

Elvis Kuteh says that the Irish priest sexually abused him while he was a student at the King College, an elite school run by the Holy Ghost Fathers. As a result, he is taking a civil case against the Spiritans.

The Spiritans are represented in name on the court papers by Marc Whelan, as he is the current provincial of the Spiritans and the ‘public face’ of the congregation. He is NOT the priest against whom allegations of abuse have been made.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

No comment from Vatican on Mahony

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by John L. Allen Jr. | Feb. 1, 2013

A spokesperson told NCR today that the Vatican is not planning on releasing a public comment on a decision by Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles to relieve his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony, of all administrative and public duties over his “failure to fully protect young people entrusted to his care.”

Gomez announced in a Thursday letter, which coincided with the release of files from Los Angeles concerning priests who committed sexual abuse, that he had also accepted a request from Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry to be relieved of his duties.

Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson, told NCR that although he has received several requests for comment from news agencies, there are no plans at this time to issue a statement. Among other things, he said, the Vatican needs time “to better understand the situation.”

As a technical matter, Gomez’s action affects only Mahony’s responsibilities in the Los Angeles archdiocese. He remains a cardinal and a voting member of three Vatican departments: the Congregation for Eastern Churches, the Council for Social Communications, and the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See. Mahony will turn 77 on Feb. 27, which means that should a conclave occur in the next three years, he would also be eligible to cast a vote for the next pope. (Mahony participated in the April 2005 conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.)

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Editorial: The Vatican is unable to find the church’s real scandal

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by NCR Editorial Staff | Feb. 1, 2013

Editorial

It would be difficult to develop a script more revelatory of the confounding priorities of the Vatican than that contained in the news of recent days. Real scandal — covering up the rape of children, compromising the church’s reputation with bizarre behavior and sexual shenanigans by its priests — is met with either silence from on high or unpersuasive explanations.

Meanwhile, advocates of open discussion about church teaching on women, celibacy, contraceptives and homosexuality — advocates who have advanced questions, not scandal — are met swiftly by the long arm of the law in the form of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

What the church finds deserving of its wrath in light of what it will tolerate to preserve the clerical culture and protect bishops is increasingly inexplicable to anyone outside that culture.

The record grows more grotesque by the week:
• Cardinal Roger Mahony’s long and expensive battle to keep secret files showing how priest sex abuse cases were handled in the Los Angeles archdiocese appears to be coming to an end. It is anticipated that soon files dealing with dozens of cases will finally be released. Mahony succeeded in diverting the spotlight from the truth of the matter long enough that it will probably be impossible for the legal system to do anything about what it finds in the documents.

A hint of what might be ahead was evident in a separate release of internal files on 14 priests and they show, according to the Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press, that the cardinal and other archdiocesan officials protected priests from prosecution, hiding at least one they knew had raped an 11-year-old boy and abused as many as 17 others.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

CA – Facts about Mahony’s alleged “restriction”

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 01, 2013

Headlines falsely claim that Mahony has been “banished” or “punished” or “outed.” That’s baloney. Listen to what knowledgeable Catholic staffers and journalists are saying about this.

From long time Mahony public relations flak Tod Tamberg:

“(Tamberg) said that beyond canceling his confirmation schedule, Mahony’s day-to-day life as a retired priest would be largely unchanged. He resides at a North Hollywood parish, and Tamberg said he would remain a ‘priest in good standing.’ He can continue to celebrate Mass and will be eligible to vote for pope until he turns 80 two years from now, Tamberg said.”

From noted Catholic blogger Rocco Palmo:

“While a sitting archbishop may make any request he wishes on the extent of his cardinal-predecessor’s role and public presence, it technically has no bearing on anything whatsoever. By the provisions of canon law, the universal faculties granted every member of the College, or any limitation of them in specific instances, rest solely within the competence of the Holy See. Ergo, barring an explicit papal move restricting his de iure perks, Mahony retains his seat in a Conclave to elect the next Pope until his 80th birthday in 2016, and all the other prerogatives that come with the “red hat” for life.

Likewise, Curry’s departure as regional bishop for Santa Barbara has no legal impact on his standing in active ministry – only the 70 year-old prelate’s resignation submitted to Rome, and its acceptance by the Pope, can officially end his ministry as an auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Father Brennan Walks Out “In The Sunshine;” Msgr. Lynn Taken Into Custody

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ralph Cipriano

Moments after he had been convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, Msgr. William J. Lynn bowed his head at the defense table. The issue now was whether his bail would be revoked, and the speaker was Lynn’s longtime antagonist, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington.

The monsignor had just been convicted of a third-degree felony that “calls for a lengthy jail sentence,” Blessington roared. “Let’s start it today. That’s justice.”

The monsignor had his back to courtroom spectators, but everybody could see the back of his neck and his ears turning bright red.

Moments later, family members wept silently as the monsignor was led away by sheriff’s deputies. “Oh God,” one young woman sobbed. His shame was now complete. Lynn would spend the night as the newest inmate at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, known as CFCF, at 7901 State Road in Northeast Philadelphia.

Outside the Criminal Justice Center, Father James J. Brennan walked out into the mid-afternoon heat and was immediately surrounded by reporters and TV cameras.

“I’m very tired, I’m very grateful, I’m very blessed,” the priest said as he thanked his lawyers, William J. Brennan and Richard J. Fuschino, Jr., who basically represented the priest pro bono.

“I think we’re a little punchy,” said attorney William J. Brennan. “We’re just happy to to be out here in the sunshine with Father Brennan, and to be going home.”

Instead of jail.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

CA – Four parts to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles situation

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Joelle Casteix on February 01, 2013

The brave and persistent survivors who fought to get these records uncovered and the truth made public deserve praise for their courage and constancy. We thank them for leading the fight to make the truth known about what Church officials in Los Angeles knew about clergy abuse, and what they did to prevent this information from being made public.

Thanks are also due to their families who supported them and the advocates who helped them. Victims of abuse often need a good support system, and these families and advocates have provided a great one. We thank them deeply for their unwavering commitment to the victim that they supported.

There are four parts here: Gomez, Mahony, Curry and the files. . .

Archbishop Gomez refuses to act decisively to prevent future cover ups. There are three problems with his alleged ‘restriction’ of his predecessor.

First, his predecessor is already retired. Second, Catholic bishops have long claimed they’d ‘restrict’ wrongdoers – like child molesting clerics. But they rarely follow through. And third, this virtually meaningless move will likely have zero impact. It won’t make a single Catholic official – now or in the future – to start acting with courage and compassion and honesty in clergy sex cases. It’s like a band aid on cancer.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

TO POTUS OBAMA: Please Tackle QB Mahony Superbowl Sunday

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

LA Catholics’ longtime “quarterback”, Cardinal Mahony, reportedly continued this week trying to run his shameful “hide the ball” plays right under the judicial official’s nose. When the judge blew the whistle, however, Mahony’s new coach, the current Archbishop, Gomez, was forced presumably by his lawyers to bench permanently Mahony and his old complicit “receiver”, Bishop Curry. Gomez, of course, had to have known of Mahony’s misdeeds for some time and appears just to be trying to protect his assets.

What a farce. Where have the Los Angeles prosecutors been for a quarter century? It is time for POTUS, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, to “suit up” and tackle Mahony now. Cardinals Mahony, Law, Bevilacqua, Rigali, Brady, Egan and others get caught “red-handed”, give a phony apology and get sent off with lucrative retirement packages and the power to vote in the upcoming papal election. It is a disgrace and a mockery of the legal process. Bevilacqua has now met his maker just before he was likely about to be prosecuted. The others must be brought to justice now! As a lawyer, I am confident a determined prosecutor can get over the statute of limitation defenses with creative prosecutions. It has been done before.

It seems evident that this is just the tip of the iceberg of child sexual abuse in religious organizational settings. What is disturbingly also evident, to me as a parent and a retired experienced lawyer, is that neither local legislators nor prosecutors have dealt with many of these cases adequately, timely or comprehensively. President Obama was just re-elected with the strong support of mothers and mothers-to-be who wanted him to protect their access to family planning. They also expected, and still expect, his help in protecting the families they have, and will yet have, from sexual violence in institutional settings. These families need his help now!

A petition has been opened for signatures asking President Obama to set up a national investigation commission into the sexual abuse of children by priests, rabbis, ministers and other religious leaders. Please take 30 seconds to sign it no matter where in the world you live. This is a worldwide epidemic. Just click on the below link at:

[Click here for the petition.]

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Action against Cardinal Mahony: Readers aren’t impressed

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Paul Thornton
February 1, 2013

It didn’t take too long for Friday’s front-page story that Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Gomez had relieved his predecessor, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, of his public duties for readers to start filling up the morning mailbag. And it wasn’t with letters praising Gomez for taking decisive action; to the contrary, the reaction has varied between “it’s about time” and “too little, too late.”

Letters written in response to the article will likely run in Sunday’s paper, and they can also be viewed at latimes.com/letters. Here’s what we have so far (and some of these submissions may make it onto Sunday’s page).

Charles Fox of Huntington Beach says Gomez shares some guilt:

“Let me see if I’ve got this right: Gomez became L.A.’s coadjutor archbishop on April 6, 2010. Until last week, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles did everything it could to prevent access to its records of child abuse. After years, the church exhausted all legal procedures and released the records. Thursday evening, Gomez striped Mahony of his remaining public duties and issued a public apology. Does he expect our praise?

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

+Gomez Breaks the Omerta

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Catholic Reporter

by Michael Sean Winters | Feb. 1, 2013

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading,” wrote Archbishop Jose Gomez in a letter to the clergy and faithful of Los Angeles that was released last night. “The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed.”

“If in hindsight we also discover that mistakes may have been made as regards prompt removal of priests and assistance to victims, I am deeply sorry,” wrote Cardinal Edward Egan in a letter to the clergy and faith of the Archdiocese of New York in the spring of 2002. You will note how far the pronoun “I” is from the word “mistakes” and how the use of the passive voice adds further distance from the horror.

Archbishop Gomez’s voice is the voice of moral authority. Cardinal Egan’s voice was the voice of moral complicity, the voice of the dodger. Gomez did more than speak. He informed Cardinal Roger Mahony that he was relieved of all administrative and public duties within the archdiocese and he removed auxiliary bishop Thomas Curry as episcopal vicar for Santa Barbara.

The news from Los Angeles is stunning. After years of prevarications, years of excuses, years of enormous expenditures on lawyers trying to cover-up the cover-up, Archbishop Gomez has broken the omerta that has surrounded the hierarchy since the sex abuse scandal broke. He has told a cardinal, a Prince of the Church, that he is relieved of all his administrative and public duties. He has told one of his auxiliary bishops to step down. They did not abuse any children personally, as was the case of Cardinal Groer in Vienna. Their removal from public duties within the Church is a consequence of their failure as administrators and leaders, a failure that has been sadly but conclusively documented for all the world to see. Finally, after so much sulfur clogging the nostrils of the Church, we have a whiff of accountability.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Is Cardinal Mahony barred from public ministry?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
dotCommonweal

February 1, 2013,

Posted by Grant Gallicho

Following the release of decades-old memos detailing Archdiocese of Los Angeles officials’ efforts to conceal sexual-abuse cases, the new archbishop of L.A., Jose Gomez, has relieved Cardinal Roger Mahony of public duties and relieved auxiliary bishop Thomas Curry of his episcopal duties (.pdf). The archbishop’s statement comes with the release of twelve thousand pages of diocesan personnel files related to the scandal. Gomez writes:

I cannot undo the failings of the past that we find in these pages. Reading these files, reflecting on the wounds that were caused, has been the saddest experience I’ve had since becoming your Archbishop in 2011.

My predecessor, retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, has expressed his sorrow for his failure to fully protect young people entrusted to his care. Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry has also publicly apologized for his decisions while serving as Vicar for Clergy. I have accepted his request to be relieved of his responsibility as the Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara.

Most reporting on this letter has characterized Gomez’s decision as a suspension: Mahony is “barred from ministry,” Jerry Filtau writes. Michael Sean Winters hails Gomez as morally courageous: “If you want to see what leadership looks like, re-read Archbishop Gomez’s bold, succinct, unaffected, rigorous letter.” Yet, according to diocesan spokesman Tod Tamberg, Mahony’s daily routine will remain largely unchanged.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Read the letter barring Los Angeles Cardinal Mahony from public ministry

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Catholic Reporter

by Pam Cohen | Feb. 1, 2013

On Thursday, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez issued a letter regarding the release of files of priests who “sexually abused children while they were serving in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.”

In the letter, which you can read below, Gomez writes that he has barred retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, who was archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011 and has been a cardinal since 1991, from future activities with the archdiocese.

For more on Mahony’s ban, read Jerry Filteau’s story here, and keep an eye on NCRonline.org over the next few days. We’ll continue to keep an eye on the situation.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Sexual Abuse and the Church: Everyone Knew Better

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Huffington Post

Michael D’Antonio

In the annals of bureaucratic indifference, the phrase “we didn’t know any better” is often employed by those who looked past human suffering and helped abusers to escape responsibility. In the cases of priests who have raped and molested children, Catholic bishops have often offered this excuse after the world comes to know that they protected their brothers rather than report their crimes to police.

The “we didn’t know better” excuse echoed again from Los Angeles recently where newly released documents show that then Cardinal Roger Mahony and his advisor Monsignor Thomas Curry long maneuvered to shield known abusers from police and prosecutors. In one case Mahony advised a priest whom he knew had abused 20 child victims to stay out of California “for the foreseeable future” to avoid “some type of legal action filed in both the criminal and civil sectors.” In another case Mahony considered Curry’s suggestion that an offending priest see a psychiatrist who is also a lawyer because the attorney-client privilege would bar the doctor from reporting his crimes. “”Sounds good –please proceed!!” wrote Mahony.

These notes, among many others, show a pattern of deference to priests whose victims included many who were children of undocumented Mexican immigrants. One letter noted that a priest named Peter Garcia admitted molesting boys “off and on” for decades but felt safe from prosecution because his victims feared the authorities. He even confessed to threatening one child with deportation if he ever complained to police.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

The LA Document Disclosure and Hierarch Resignations

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Jeffrey R. Anderson

While better late than never as the saying goes, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles today continued to preserve its own reputation at all costs. Simultaneous to releasing 12,000 damning documents that illustrate decades of concealment, cover up and deliberate, reckless disregard for the safety of children in the Archdiocese, the Archdiocese made public the resignation of Bishop Curry and Cardinal Mahony from any public ministry. After fighting in court against the release of these documents for over six years, it is incredibly disingenuous of the Archdiocese to now make news of the resignation of these two officials. The resignations are an empty gesture, a hollow attempt to right decades of horrific wrongs by these two hierarchs and many others.

In the end, survivors have triumphed. What is finally made public this evening by court order, as a provision of the 2007 settlement, is a long time coming for the survivors, their families and those survivors who have yet to come forward. 12,000 documents, encompassing the secret files on all of the credibly accused priests within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, these documents expose the truth; they unveil a concerted conspiracy to deny, minimize and conceal, to preserve the reputation of the Archdiocese over the safety of children at all costs. Although today the Archdiocese’s shameless attempts to save face have not changed, what has changed is the scope of public knowledge regarding the appalling practices of this Archdiocese in the handling of dangerous predators among its ranks. The released files lay bare the festering flesh of this Archdiocese for all the world to critique, a momentous day for survivors indeed.In the end, survivors have triumphed. What is finally made public this evening by court order, as a provision of the 2007 settlement, is a long time coming for the survivors, their families and those survivors who have yet to come forward. 12,000 documents, encompassing the secret files on all of the credibly accused priests within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, these documents expose the truth; they unveil a concerted conspiracy to deny, minimize and conceal, to preserve the reputation of the Archdiocese over the safety of children at all costs. Although today the Archdiocese’s shameless attempts to save face have not changed, what has changed is the scope of public knowledge regarding the appalling practices of this Archdiocese in the handling of dangerous predators among its ranks. The released files lay bare the festering flesh of this Archdiocese for all the world to critique, a momentous day for survivors indeed.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

CA – SNAP responds to punishments for Bishop Curry and Cardinal Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 01, 2013

Bishop Thomas Curry stepping down is a small, belated step in the right direction, though it’s obviously only being done because the horrific extent of his complicity is about to become publicly known. He should have been fired long ago.

Several bishops across the globe have stepped down when their reckless, callous and deceitful actions in clergy sex cases has become known. It should happen far more often. But it would be much more powerful if the Pope and other high ranking church officials would actually force their corrupt colleagues out.

Hand-slapping Mahony is a nearly meaningless gesture. When he had real power, and abused it horribly, he should have been demoted or disciplined by the church hierarchy, in Rome and in the US. But not a single Catholic cleric anywhere had the courage to even denounce him. Shame on them. …

Statement by Los Angeles SNAP leader Esther Hatfield of Huntington Beach CA

The posting of this information by LA Catholic officials is a public relations gambit to divert attention from years and years of deception about pedophile priests and children’s safety. They’ll posture as “transparent.” But that will be a desperate and laughable ruse.

In truth, LA church officials – including Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Jose Gomez, Bishop Thomas Curry and others – have relentlessly and expensively and successfully fought for years to keep these horrific secrets secret.

It’s ludicrous for Mahony, Gomez and Curry to claim to be “forthcoming” with records they’ve successfully kept hidden for decades, using millions of dollars from generous parishioners to pay high prices lawyers to obstruct disclosures.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

UPDATE: More than 100 LA Catholic clergy files released following sex abuse suit; Mahony pulled from duties (PDF)

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KPCC

Frank Stoltze with KPCC wire services and KPCC staff

UPDATE 6:31 a.m.: The following is a sampling of the reaction to the release Thursday evening of thousands of pages of personnel files of priests accused of child molestation, and of Archbishop Jose Gomez’s decision to strip Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony of his duties:

•Los Angeles archdiocese: The files’ release “concludes a sad and shameful chapter in the history of our local church.”
•Archbishop Jose Gomez: “I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children.”
•Rev. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit and senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University: “It’s quite extraordinary. I don’t think anything like this has happened before. It’s showing that there are consequences now to mismanaging the sex abuse crisis.”
•Terry McKiernan, founder of BishopAccountability.org, which tracks the release of priest files nationally: The reprimand is a “purely symbolic punishment that they hope will satisfy at least some people in the archdiocese. I don’t think that many savvy observers of this will be deceived.”
•David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP): “Hand-slapping Cardinal Roger Mahony is a nearly meaningless gesture. When he had real power, and abused it horribly, he should have been demoted or disciplined by the church hierarchy, in Rome and in the U.S. But not a single Catholic cleric anywhere had the courage to even denounce him. Shame on them.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Baptists should heed mother’s plea

UNITED STATES
Associated Baptist Press

By Christa Brown

A mother, who says her son was repeatedly molested by a minister at one of the Southern Baptist Convention’s largest churches, claims the church needs to come clean about a cover-up of child sexual abuse.

“I want people to know the truth,” she said in a written statement released to CBS News last Saturday. “The hurt our family endured … is indescribable…. The church never reported John to the police…. We ask that Prestonwood take responsibility for their cover-up, and to say they are sorry.”

After minister John Langworthy was allowed to simply walk away from abuse allegations at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, in the late 1980s, he went on to serve two decades as music minister at another prominent Southern Baptist church, Morrison Heights in Clinton, Miss. There, he recently received a 50-year suspended sentence for molesting multiple boys as young as 6. But Langworthy avoided prison time because, in the plea bargain process, prosecutors were concerned about the statute of limitations.

So, thanks to many years of secrecy surrounding his crimes, minister John Langworthy walks away with no prison time. But no one should overlook the fact that his crimes could have been disclosed many years earlier — and countless kids better protected — if only the leadership of Prestonwood had spoken up and reported Langworthy to police.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Debt-Ridden Boston Archdiocese …

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Catholic Insider

Debt-Ridden Boston Archdiocese Pays Lay Execs $3.7M, Violates Fiduciary Responsibility and Motu Proprio

The Boston Archdicoese, saddled with $137 million in debt and operating deficits of $11 million in the past two years, paid their top lay executives $3.7M in salaries and benefits in the past year. They acknowledge many are overpaid, and to add insult to injury, they even gave raises to some overpaid execs last year. This excessive spending on salaries violates the diocese’s fiduciary responsibility to make proper use of donor funds, and it also violates the recent Motu Proprio from the Pope Benedict XVI. Because the Massachusetts Attorney General has oversight for Non-Profits and their use of donor funds, she has reason to intervene. Meanwhile, Cardinal O’Malley appears to be fiddling, as the fiscal and moral version of “Rome” is burning.

There is enough content here to take multiple blog posts. We will cover as much as possible today and continue in subsequent posts. That Boston was paying excessive six figure salaries to lay execs has been a public complaint for more than three years. That nothing is being done about it, even with the window-dressing of a “Compensation Committee” formed in 2010 is an even bigger travesty, especially even after publication of the Pope’s “Motu Proprio.” First we cover the “Motu Proprio” and diocesan code of conduct guidelines, then the salaries, the Compensation Committee report, and then examples.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

CA – Victims beg Catholics “Read abuse files”

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[the Los Angeles files]

Posted by Joelle Casteix on February 01, 2013

■Victims beg Catholics “Read abuse files”
■And they urge ex-church staff: “Help fill in gaps”
■Group believes archdiocese records are incomplete
■SNAP: “Now’s the time for witnesses & whistleblowers to step up”
■Mahony’s restriction & Curry’s resignation are “weak,” victims say

What:
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will react to the moves by two top Los Angeles officials (Archbishop Gomez & Bishop Curry).

They will also urge:
— victims, witnesses, police, prosecutors, church employees and lay Catholics to step forward with information about clergy sex crimes and cover-ups that is NOT in the newly-disclosed files,
— parishoners and the public to read the files carefully and discuss them with friends, family and fellow church-goers, and
— law enforcement authorities to “double down” on efforts to prosecute high-ranking Catholic supervisors who ignored, enabled and concealed the “heinous crimes” of 252 LA-area predator priests.

When:
Friday, February 1 at 11 am

Where:
Outside of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple (at Hill), Los Angeles.

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NSW police officer jailed for teen sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Bega District News

By Stephanie Gardiner
Feb. 1, 2013

A former NSW police officer and church youth group leader convicted of child sex charges, who told one of his victims ‘‘now we are one’’, has been sentenced to at least seven and a half years’ jail.

Wayne Paul Mason, 42, was a ‘‘serial seducer of underage females’’, using his position of influence as a youth group leader and jujitsu teacher at a Baptist church in Sydney’s south-west between 1996 and 2005, NSW District Court Judge David Frearson said.

A jury found Mason, who was an officer with the NSW Police between 1997 and 2003, guilty of 44 child sex, pornography and pervert the course of justice charges.

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LA Catholic Archdiocese releases names of sex abusers among priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Voice of Russia

On Thursday, the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles released personnel files of over a hundred clergy members involved in the 2007 settlement of a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by priests.

Archbishop Jose Gomez said that former Archbishop Roger Mahony would “no longer have any administrative or public duties.” In the wake of the scandal, Mahony’s ex- top adviser on sexual abuse issues, Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, stepped down as regional bishop of Santa Barbara.

The clergy files include the names of priests, culminating years of legal debate over whether names should be redacted from the paperwork.

“The 2013 public release of the files of clergy who were subject of the 2007 global settlement concludes a sad and shameful chapter in the history of our local church,” the church statement said.

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Abuse victims silent no more

UNITED STATES
The Kansas City Star

February 1

By SARA SMITH
The Kansas City Star

It would be comforting to call the horrific violations recounted in “Mea Maxima Culpa” unthinkable.

But after decades of revelations about the epidemic of sexual abuse of minors in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the ever-accompanying accounts of enabling church officials, a new documentary from Oscar winner Alex Gibney tracks the problem to its source.

“Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” begins its enraging journey by introducing the crimes of the Rev. Lawrence Murphy, who molested hundreds of boys under his care at St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee.

Along with the powerlessness of his prey, the failure to act by nuns, police, other priests and more than one archbishop allowed Murphy to assault deaf youths for more than 20 years.

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Abp. Gomez: “I find these files to be brutal and painful reading.”

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic World Report

February 01, 2013

By Carl E. Olson

Rocco Palmo provides an overview of the latest news from the Archdiocse of Los Angeles:

Ten days after an initial release from 30,000 pages of clergy sex-abuse files in the archdiocese of Los Angeles sparked widespread scorn and calls for the prosecution of now-retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and his then-vicar for clergy, now Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, in a letter to the 5 million-member church released tonight, Archbishop José Gomez announced that the embattled auxiliary would be relieved of his pastoral oversight of Santa Barbara County, and that the iconic Mahony – the longest-reigning American cardinal named after Vatican II, whose quarter-century tenure saw the LA church become the largest diocese in the nation’s history – “will no longer have any administrative or public duties.”

This site created by the Archdiocese contains the clergy files in question; it states, “There are approximately 12,000 pages in the files being released, in accordance with the Court orders. Media reports that there were 30,000 or more pages were inaccurate.” It also explains, “124 files are being released with names. Of this number, 82 files have information on allegations of childhood sexual abuse and 42 files have no information on allegations of childhood sexual abuse but, in those instances, the ‘proffers’ are being provided.” Proffers are “summaries of personnel files, prepared for litigation that describe some of the documents in that file.”

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“There Is No Excuse” – In LA, Gomez Goes DEFCON 1

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Whispers in the Loggia

Indeed, it is a stunner.

Ten days after an initial release from 30,000 pages of clergy sex-abuse files in the archdiocese of Los Angeles sparked widespread scorn and calls for the prosecution of now-retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and his then-vicar for clergy, now Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, in a letter to the 5 million-member church released tonight, Archbishop José Gomez announced that the embattled auxiliary would be relieved of his pastoral oversight of two of the LA church’s three counties, while the iconic Mahony – the longest-reigning American cardinal named after Vatican II, whose quarter-century tenure saw his hometown church become the largest diocese in the nation’s history – will, according to his successor, “no longer have any administrative or public duties.”

“The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil,” Gomez said. “There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed.

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US Archbishop Releases Abuse Records, Raps Cardinal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Jakarta Globe

Michael Thurston | February 01, 2013

The archbishop of Los Angeles stripped his predecessor of all church duties as he released files on more than 100 clerics, as required under a 2007 lawsuit deal over alleged sex abuse.

Archbishop Jose Gomez said retired Cardinal Roger Mahony will “no longer have any administrative or public duties,” while Mahony’s former top adviser on sex-abuse issues, Thomas Curry, has stepped down as a regional bishop.

“These files document abuses that happened decades ago. But that does not make them less serious,” he wrote, releasing the personnel files online after prolonged wrangling over whether the names should be blanked out. …

But the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a victims group, dismissed Curry’s resignation as a “small, belated step in the right direction” and said “hand-slapping Mahony is a nearly meaningless gesture.”

“The lesson here for Catholic staff is clear: if you successfully conceal your wrongdoing, you can keep your job. If, however, you fail, there’s an extraordinarily slim chance you might experience some slight consequences,” SNAP director David Clohessy said in a statement.

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2 clergymen will receive Salem Award

MASSACHUSETTS
Salem News

BY TOM DALTON STAFF WRITER

SALEM — Two members of the clergy who fought against racism and child sex abuse will receive the 2013 Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice.

The Rev. Thomas Doyle, who warned Catholic Church hierarchy about the looming priest sex abuse scandal two decades before it became a worldwide crisis, will be honored along with Horace Seldon, a former United Church of Christ minister who devoted much of his life to fighting racism.

The award ceremony is Tuesday, March 26, in the Morse Auditorium at the Peabody Essex Museum.

In the 1980s, long before the scandal erupted in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, Doyle warned U.S. Catholic bishops about clergy sex abuse.

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Retired Los Angeles cardinal punished over abuse revelations

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Religion News Service

David Gibson | Feb 1, 2013

(RNS) Retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony has been stripped of his official duties in an unusual public rebuke by his successor that followed the release of thousands of pages of internal church documents showing how Mahony and aides for years conspired to cover up the sexual abuse of children by clergy.

The current archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez, also announced late Thursday (Jan. 31) that Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Curry, a longtime aide to Mahony who was deeply involved in the cover up, had resigned his position overseeing the Santa Barbara region.

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil,” Gomez said in a statement addressed to Catholics after the archdiocese lost a long legal battle and posted on its website personnel files for 122 priests who were accused of molesting children.

“There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed,” said Gomez, who Pope Benedict XVI named to replace the embattled Mahony in 2011.

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Leichte Beute der Kritik

DEUTSCHLAND
der Freitag

Kirche Die Empörung über die verschobene Aufklärung des Missbrauchsskandals bei den Katholiken verdeckt: Auch die Politik ist bisher untätig geblieben

Vielleicht war Christian Pfeiffer einfach blauäugig, als er sich im Juli 2011 über den einstimmigen Beschluss der deutschen Bischöfe freute: „Es war ein sehr langsamer Prozess“, sagte der Hannoveraner Kriminologe damals, „es gab Ängste und wir mussten Vertrauen gewinnen.“ Doch schließlich war er davon überzeugt, dass die Bischöfe ihm und seinem Team freie Hand lassen würden, um das Ausmaß sexuellen Missbrauchs im Bereich der katholischen Kirche „ohne Scheuklappen“ zu untersuchen.

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Marx: Kommunikationspannen bei Pfeifferstudie, aber keine Vertuschungsversuche

DEUTSCHLAND
Munchner Kirchenradio

Der Münchner Kardinal Reinhard Marx hat die Umstände der Vertragskündigung mit dem Kriminologen Christian Pfeiffer bedauert. „Das ist kommunikativ nicht gut gelaufen“, sagte Marx

Si­cher seien auch auf Sei­ten der Kir­che Feh­ler ge­macht wor­den, nach­dem die deut­schen Bi­schö­fe im No­vem­ber die Kün­di­gung des Ver­trags mit Pro­fes­sor Pfeif­fer zur Er­for­schung der Miss­brauchs­fäl­le be­schlos­sen hat­ten. „Es gibt aber keine An­zei­chen, wir woll­ten etwas ver­tu­schen oder ver­harm­lo­sen, da­ge­gen wehre ich mich ganz ent­schie­den“, er­klär­te Marx bei der Ab­schluss­pres­se­kon­fe­renz zur Früh­jahrs­voll­ver­samm­lung der baye­ri­schen Bi­schö­fe in Wald­sas­sen.

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Jonathan Dobrer: Cardinal Roger Mahony helped sell out Catholic Church’s soul

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Daily News

By Jonathan Dobrer
dailynews.com
Posted: 01/31/2013

Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony apologizes for realizing only late in the game that molestation was going on, or having any idea of its scope, or believing that is was really traumatic. Really?

The only plausible excuse he has for any part of the cover up is possibly a mistaken view on the efficacy of therapy for pedophiles. In the 1980s, some might have thought it could work. They were quickly disabused of that notion but allowed children to continue to be abused.

Mahony’s statements of remorse for his sins of omission ring hollow, since he worked day and night until his retirement to keep the records sealed and prevent the victims and their families from knowing what was reported, who got sent to rehab, and how many were reassigned. He worked virtually till the day that the records and correspondence were released to keep the documents secret, then just highly redacted. All this was done to “protect” the identity of the victims, he claimed. Not credible. None of it.

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Trailer for “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” Documentary

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

As an addition to what I posted earlier today about the “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” HBO documentary, here’s a trailer. Again, this HBO documentary will air 4th February on HBO at 9 P.M. ET.

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How about a little spin to go with your files?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Worthy Adversary

[the Los Angeles files]

Posted by Joelle Casteix on January 31, 2013

Moments after a judge ordered a final halt to decades of secrecy by top LA archdiocesan officials, Archbishop Jose Gomez’ lawyer made this outlandish claim:

Michael Hennigan said that after what he called an inevitable “media blitz” over the file release, he hoped the focus would shift to the church’s current well-regarded program for preventing abuse.

“You’ve written almost nothing about what has happened in the last 10 years,” he told reporters outside court. “The church is at the front edge of how to deal with these issues.”

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Cardinal Mahoney Bearing Witness

UNITED STATES
Waiting for Godot to Leave

My friends, do you wonder why people abandon the Church? Do you wonder why atheism is all the rage among the pierced and tattooed teens and college kids who work at Subway? Do you wonder why nobody takes the whole God thing too seriously any more?

Well, there are many reasons.

But one reason is this. It’s because so few bishops do what Los Angeles Archbishop Gomez just did.

Reading these files, reflecting on the wounds that were caused, has been the saddest experience I’ve had since becoming your Archbishop in 2011. … Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties.

Thus writes Archbishop Gomez, banning Cardinal Mahoney, a “prince of the Church”, from any public or administrative duties. Why? Because Mahoney deliberately and with care and precision shielded child abusing priests from the law, shuffling them from parish to parish, and pawning them off on other dioceses. He let the predators have continued access to their prey – innocent children – as long as it did not cost the archdiocese any money or him personally any embarrassment. His reputation and the almighty dollar counted for more than the safety of children, for the effective treatment of priests, or for the service of justice.

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Detroit diocese:?No abuse claims

MICHIGAN
Tribune Chronicle

February 1, 2013

By VIRGINIA SHANK – Staff reporter (vshank@tribtoday.com) , Tribune Chronicle | TribToday.com

The Detroit Archdiocese is reporting that it has no record of sexual abuse complaints brought against Brother Stephen Baker during his two years in Michigan.

The archdiocese made the statement on its website Wednesday after members of SNAP – Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests – a support group for clergy sex abuse victims, called on it to investigate whether Baker had sexually abused any of his students while teaching at Orchard Lakes Schools from 1983 to 1985.

On Thursday, Ned McGrath, communications director for the archdiocese, said there is nothing more the archdiocese can do unless alleged victims come forward with claims against Baker. He said that if that were to happen, the archdiocese would report those claims to the appropriate civil authorities.

“We have looked into it,” he said. “There’s really nothing else we can do unless somebody comes forward claiming abuse.”

Judy Jones of SNAP said on Thursday that the group is disappointed by the Detroit statements. However, she said the organization has not given up on its efforts to locate alleged victims.

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Archbishop Gomez Relieves Cardinal Mahony Of All Administrative, Public Duties

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.c0m) — While apologizing to victims who were sexually abused by members of the clergy, LA’s Archbishop José H. Gomez also Thursday announced he was stripping his predecessor — Cardinal Roger Mahony — of all administrative and public church duties.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles also released personnel files of more than 100 clergy involved in sexual abuse cases.

The names and files were released as part of a settlement stemming from a 2007 lawsuit. The clergy files include the names of priests and church hierarchy who dealt with the individual cases. The church had fought to keep the names private.

For a look at the files, click here.

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Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles releases files as part of sexual abuse lawsuit settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
10 News

LOS ANGELES – After a years-long legal battle, the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles Thursday released personnel files of more than 100 clergy members as part of a 2007 settlement of a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by priests.

In conjunction with the release of the files, Archbishop Jose Gomez announced that former Archbishop Roger Mahony will “no longer have any administrative or public duties,” and Mahony’s former top adviser on sex-abuse issues, Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, has stepped down as regional bishop of Santa Barbara.

The clergy files include the names of priests, culminating years of legal wrangling over whether names should be redacted from the paperwork.

“The 2013 public release of the files of clergy who were subject of the 2007 global settlement concludes a sad and shameful chapter in the history of our local church,” according to a diocese statement announcing the release of the files. “In the 2004 Report to the People of God and elsewhere, the archdiocese acknowledged and apologized for failing to treat victims of abuse with compassion, as well as for employing what we now know to be inadequate standards for treatment and supervision of priests who were found to have abused children and young people.”

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Los Angeles Catholic archdiocese releases priest abuse files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Reuters

[the Los Angeles files]

By Dan Whitcomb and Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES | Fri Feb 1, 2013

(Reuters) – The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, after years of legal battles, released files on Thursday of priests accused of molesting children and removed a top clergyman who had been linked to efforts to conceal the abuse.

Archbishop Jose Gomez said he had stripped his predecessor, retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, of all public and administrative duties. Mahony’s former top aide, Thomas Curry, stepped down as bishop of Santa Barbara.

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil,” Gomez said in a statement released by the nation’s largest Catholic archdiocese.

“There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed,” he said.

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US church releases priest abuse files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Aljazeera

The Catholic Church in Los Angeles has released thousands of pages of documents related to sex abuse by priests, acknowledging a cover-up as “a sad and shameful chapter” of the church.

The Los Angeles archdiocese also announced on Thursday that it has removed top ranking church leaders who have been linked to efforts to conceal the abuses, after years of legal battles.

“The 2013 public release of the files of clergy who were subject of the 2007 global settlement concludes a sad and shameful chapter in the history of our local church,” the archdiocese said in a statement attributed to Archbishop Jose Gomez.

That 2007 settlement with the victims of the abuse cost the church as much as $660m. The Catholic Church in Los Angeles is the largest in the United States.

Gomez also said that his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony, has been barred from any future administrative or public duties in the church.

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Files may reveal what the Catholic Church in Los Angeles knew about sex abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CNN

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

A California judge has forced the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to release some 12,000 pages of church documents revealing how it handled allegations of priest sexual abuse.

There were many – 192 priests and bishops were named in litigation, the archdiocese said.

“The cases span decades,” Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said in a statement Thursday. Some go back to the 1930s.

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A lost warrior for the undocumented?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Religion News Service

Michael J. O’Loughlin | Jan 31, 2013

There was once a time when Catholic Cardinals in the US were champions of progressive causes, especially on immigration. One such icon was Los Angeles’ Cardinal Roger Mahony, who spent decades championing the rights of undocumented Latino immigrants in that city and across the US. In 2006, he campaigned with then Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts to try to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

But now, with startling revelations coming out of LA about Mahony’s attempts to protect known pedophile priests in his archdiocese while seemingly ignoring the victims, some are questioning his ability to fight for the undocumented. From the LA Times:

On a Sunday night at Dodger Stadium in 1986, Archbishop Roger M. Mahony celebrated Mass in flawless Spanish. In an era when immigrants in Los Angeles were routinely derided as parasites and criminals, the archbishop told the crowd of 55,000 that whether they were born in Puebla, San Salvador or Managua, they were part of his flock.

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Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles Releases Clergy Abuse Files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Zenit

[the Los Angeles files]

Junno De Jesús Arocho Esteves
LOS ANGELES, February 1, 2013 (Zenit.org).

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles released a statement regarding the release of Clergy files of those involved in the sexual abuse of children. While the files document abuse cases that occurred several decades ago, Archbishop Gomez stated that it does not make them less serious.

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed,” the Archbishop stated.

Stressing the need to acknowledge the “terrible failure”, Archbishop Gomez stated the need to pray for the victims of abuse and to support them in their healing while “restoring the trust that was broken.”

Cardinal Roger Mahoney, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles, and Bishop Thomas Curry, bishop of Santa Barbara have both expressed their regret and sorry for their handling of the cases. However, Archbishop Gomez stated that he informed Archbishop Mahoney that he will be relieved of administrative and public duties effective immediately. Bishop Curry, who served as Vicar for Clergy during the period of abuses, has requested to be relieved of his duties as Regional Bishop of Santa Clara.

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LA archbishop moves against Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Tablet (United Kingdom)

1 February 2013

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles issued a statement yesterday announcing that he has stripped his predecessor Cardinal Roger Mahony of “any administrative or public duties”, and accepted a request from his auxiliary bishop Thomas Curry to be relieved of his responsibility as the regional bishop of Santa Barbara.

Archbishop Gomez took the action in response to the recent release of archdiocesan documents pertaining to abuse by priests in the 1980s, showing that then-Archbishop Mahony and Mgr Curry tried to keep information from the police and move perpetrators out of the state beyond the reach of law enforcement officials.

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LA abuse scandal: cardinal banished

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Australian

[the Los Angeles files]

AFP
February 02, 2013

THE Archbishop of Los Angeles stripped his predecessor of all church duties last night as he released files on more than 100 clerics, as required under a 2007 lawsuit deal over alleged sex abuse.

Archbishop Jose Gomez said retired cardinal Roger Mahony would “no longer have any administrative or public duties”, while Cardinal Mahony’s former top adviser on sex abuse issues, Thomas Curry, had stepped down as a regional bishop.

“These files document abuses that happened decades ago, but that does not make them less serious,” Archbishop Gomez wrote, releasing the personnel files online after prolonged wrangling over whether the names should be blanked out.

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behaviour described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed. We need to acknowledge that terrible failure today.”

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‘This is a frame-up,’ says father …

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

‘This is a frame-up,’ says father of Brooklyn rabbi arrested for allegedly sexually abusing at least three former students of his at a yeshiva

By Rocco Parascandola , Kerry Burke AND Larry Mcshane / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013

A depraved Brooklyn rabbi, busted for sexually abusing three teenage boys, shamelessly blamed his underage victims for trying to seduce him, police sources said Thursday.

Yoel Malik, 33, a highly regarded member of an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic sect, lured all three teens to Brooklyn motels, prosecutors and police said.

But Malik, after his arrest on 28 criminal counts late Wednesday, tried to convince cops that he was the victim rather than the predator. The boys were all his students at Ohr Hameir, a now-shuttered Satmar yeshiva in Borough Park.

The twisted teacher’s comments “were self-serving,” said one police source. “In other words, they were coming on to him.”

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Brooklyn Rabbi Charged With Sexual Abuse of Boys

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By MOSI SECRET

Published: January 31, 2013

A rabbi from a prominent ultra-Orthodox Jewish family in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, was charged on Thursday with sexually abusing three teenage boys from a school he ran, in a case that is likely to shine yet another spotlight on a secretive community grappling with abuse allegations.

The rabbi and leader of the school, Yoel Malik, 33, is accused of taking two of the boys to a local hotel for sexual encounters and rubbing another boy’s penis through his pants while masturbating in a parked car.

The encounters, the police said, occurred from March of last year until early in January. The three boys ranged in age from 14 to 16, the police said, although prosecutors said they were 13 to 16. The police said no charges were filed concerning a fourth victim, who is currently in Israel. A prosecutor said at an arraignment hearing in Brooklyn Criminal Court that there was a video of Rabbi Malik entering a hotel with the fourth victim at 3 a.m. and leaving later in the morning.

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US-Erzbischof veröffentlicht Akten zu sexuellem Missbrauch

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Die Welt

Der Erzbischof von Los Angeles, Jose Gomez, hat Akten über mutmaßlichen sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern durch Priester veröffentlicht. Auf der Internetseite der US-Diözese sind seit Donnerstag die Daten zu Vorwürfen gegen 124 Priester einzusehen. In 82 Fällen geht es um mutmaßlichen Missbrauch. Die Veröffentlichung ist Teil einer Einigung der Kirche und der mutmaßlichen Opfer von 2007.

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US-Priester am Pädophilen-Pranger

LOS ANGELES (CA)
News.ch (Schweiz)

Los Angeles – Der Erzbischof von Los Angeles, Jose Gomez, hat Akten über mutmasslichen sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern durch Priester veröffentlicht. Auf der Internetseite der US-Diözese sind seit Donnerstag die Daten zu Vorwürfen gegen 124 Priester einzusehen.

In 82 Fällen geht es um mutmasslichen Missbrauch. Die Veröffentlichung ist Teil einer Einigung der Kirche und der mutmasslichen Opfer von 2007.

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Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony Relieved of Duties Amid Child Abuse Probe

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Beverly Hills Courier

[with video]

(CNS) Posted Thursday, January 31, 2013–7:17 PM

After a years-long legal battle, the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles today released personnel files of more than 100 clergy members as part of a 2007 settlement of a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by priests.

In conjunction with the release, Archbishop Jose Gomez announced that former Archbishop Roger Mahony will “no longer have any administrative or public duties,” and Mahony’s former top adviser on sex-abuse issues, Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, has stepped down as regional bishop of Santa Barbara.

The clergy files include the names of priests, culminating years of legal wrangling over whether names should be redacted from the paperwork.

“The 2013 public release of the files of clergy who were subject of the 2007 global settlement concludes a sad and shameful chapter in the history of our local church,” according to a diocese statement announcing the release of the files. “In the 2004 Report to the People of God and elsewhere, the archdiocese acknowledged and apologized for failing to treat victims of abuse with compassion, as well as for employing what we now know to be inadequate standards for treatment and supervision of priests who were found to have abused children and young people.”

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US-Erzbischof veröffentlicht Akten zu sexuellem Missbrauch

LOS ANGELES (CA)
OTZ (Deutschland)

Der Erzbischof von Los Angeles, Jose Gomez, hat Akten über mutmaßlichen sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern durch Priester veröffentlicht.

Der Erzbischof von Los Angeles, Jose Gomez, hat Akten über mutmaßlichen sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern durch Priester veröffentlicht. Auf der Internetseite der US-Diözese sind seit Donnerstag die Daten zu Vorwürfen gegen 124 Priester einzusehen. In 82 Fällen geht es um mutmaßlichen Missbrauch. Die Veröffentlichung ist Teil einer Einigung der Kirche und der mutmaßlichen Opfer von 2007.

“Diese Akten dokumentieren Missbrauch, der vor Jahrzehnten begangen wurde. Das macht ihn aber nicht weniger schlimm”, erklärte Erzbischof Gomez. “Ich finde es schmerzhaft und brutal, diese Dokumente zu lesen. Das darin beschriebene Verhalten ist furchtbar traurig und böse. Es gibt keine Entschuldigung, keine Erklärung dazu, was diesen Kindern geschehen ist.”

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Clergy Files Produced by Archdiocese of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Personnel Files of clergy who where subject of the 2007 global settlement have been publicly released and are listed below. We ask that you read the introduction page before exploring content below.

Frequently Asked Questions/Clergy Personnel Files:

1. Which files are being disclosed?
The files concern those priests named in the litigation that settled in 2007. Pursuant to the settlement agreement between victims and the Archdiocese, retired Federal Judge Dickran Tevrizian ordered files released subject to certain rules designed to protect the privacy of certain individuals, including the redaction of the names of victims, third parties and church hierarchy.

Judge Emilie Elias then adopted the Judge Tevrizian order with certain modifications. Specifically, she ordered that the names of the church hierarchy generally be disclosed in the files. The Archdiocese accepted her ruling, and has restored the names of church hierarchy in the documents being released. …

Clergy Personnel Files

•Abercombie, Leonard
•Aguilar-Rivera, Nicolas
•Alzugaray, Joseph
•Arzube, Juan
•Baker, Michael
•Barmasse, Kevin
•Boyer, Leland
•Brennan, John
•Buckley, Michael
•Buckman, Franklin
•Caffoe, Lynn
•Carey, Cleve
•Carriere, David
•Carroll, Michael
•Casey, Edward
•Casey, John
•Castro, Willebaldo
•Chandler, David
•Coffield, John
•Cosgrove, John
•Coughlin, Richard
•Cronin, Sean
•Cruces, Angel
•Daley, Wallace
•Dawson, John
•Deady, John
•DeJonghe, Harold
•Devaney, James
•Diesta, Arwyn
•Doherty, John
•Dolan, James
•Duggan, Albert
•English, Thomas
•Farabaugh, Clint
•Farmer, Donald
•Farris, John
•Faue, Matthias
•Feeney, John
•Fernando, Walter
•Fessard, Gerald
•Fitzpatrick, James
•Ford, James
•Gallagher, George
•Garcia, Cristobal
•Garcia, Peter
•Garcia, Richard
•Ginty, Denis
•Granadino, David
•Grill, Philip
•Grimes, James
•Gunst, George
•Hackett, John
•Hagenbach, Clinton
•Hanley, Bernard
•Haran, Michael
•Hartman, Richard
•Henry, Richard
•Hernandez, Stephen
•Hovath, Bertrand
•Hunt, Michael
•Hurley, Daniel
•Jaramillo, Luis
•Kearney, Christopher
•Kelly, Matthew
•Knoernschild, John
•Kohnke, John
•Lapierre, David
•Lindner, Jerold
•Llanos, Theodore
•Loomis, Richard
•Lopez, Joseph
•Lovell, Lawrence
•MacSweeney, Eugene
•Marshall, Thomas
•Martinez, Ruben
•Mateo, Leonard
•McAsey, Joseph
•McCarthy, Kevin
•McElhatton, Thomas
•Miani, Titian
•Miller, George
•Monte, Alfred
•Nocita, Michael
•O’Carroll, Charles
•O’Connor, Donal
•Orellana-Mendoza, Samuel
•Pecharich, Michael
•Perez, Henry
•Pina, Joseph
•Plesetz, Gerald
•Ramos, Eleutario
•Reilly, Terrence
•Rodriguez, Carlos
•Roemer, Donald
•Roper, William
•Rowe, Dorian
•Rozo, Efrain
•Rucker, George
•Ruhl, John
•Ryan, Joseph
•Salazar, John
•Salinas, Gabriel
•Sanchez, Manuel
•Santillan, John
•Savino, Dominic
•Scott, George
•Sharpe, Joseph
•Sheahan, John
•Shimmaly, Edward
•Silva-Flores, Fidencio
•Stalkamp, Louis
•Sutphin, Carl
•Tamayo, Santiago
•Tepe, Raymond
•Terra, Michael
•Ugarte, Jose
•Van Liefde, Christopher
•Vetter, Henry
•Villa Gomez, Nemoria
•Weitz, Wilfrid
•Wempe, Michael
•Ziemann, Patrick
•z-I
•z-II
•z-III
•z-IV
•z-V
•z-VI

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Retired L.A. Cardinal Relieved of Duties as Files Are Released

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Wall Street Journal

By TAMARA AUDI and ERICA E. PHILLIPS

The Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles removed retired Cardinal Roger Mahony from public and administrative church duties Thursday night, just before the church released thousands of pages of personnel files of priests accused of abusing children.

Cardinal Mahony was a well-known figure in Los Angeles who had led the diocese as archbishop from 1985 until his retirement in 2011. His removal from public duties came on the heels of a previous document release that showed he and other church officials allegedly attempting to keep priests accused of abuse from prosecution.

Shortly after announcing the decision regarding Cardinal Mahony, the church unexpectedly released thousands of pages of documents about more than 100 priests believed to have abused children. The document release is part of a $660 million civil settlement reached with more than 500 plaintiffs in 2007.

In a statement, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez called the files “brutal and painful reading.”

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Cardinal in Los Angeles Is Removed From Duties

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The New York Times

By JENNIFER MEDINA and LAURIE GOODSTEIN

LOS ANGELES — Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, who retired less than two years ago as the leader of the nation’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese, was removed from all public duties by his successor, Archbishop José H. Gomez, as the church complied with a court order to release thousands of pages of internal documents that show how the cardinal shielded priests who sexually abused children.

The documents, released as part of a record $660 million settlement in 2007 with the victims of abuse, are the strongest evidence so far that top officials for years purposely tried to conceal abuse from law enforcement officials. The files, which go from the 1940s to the present, are the latest in a series of revelations that suggest that the church continued to maneuver against law enforcement even after the extent of the abuse crisis emerged.

Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, who was the vicar for clergy and one of the cardinal’s top deputies and his adviser on sexual abuse, also stepped down as the regional bishop for Santa Barbara, Calif.

The church had fought for years to keep the documents secret, and until this week it argued that the names of top church officials should be kept private. In letters written in the 1980s, then-Father Curry gave suggestions for how to stop the police from investigating priests who admitted that they had abused children, like stopping the priests from seeing therapists who would be required to alert law enforcement about the abuse.

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Actions against Cardinal Mahony debated at L.A. church

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

Built in the 18th century, Our Lady Queen of Angels Church on Olvera Street is a historic landmark that Cardinal Roger Mahony would frequently visit for various events including the popular blessing of the animals.

But on Thursday, the mood at the Spanish Colonial chapel was decidedly more somber as parishioners quietly discussed Archbishop Jose Gomez’s dramatic decision to strip Mahony of any public and administrative church duties in the wake of the priest abuse scandal.

There were only a few people at the church Thursday evening. But when Mahony’s name was mentioned, other came to join the discussion.

“They seem to be taking drastic measures,” said Ralph Ochoa, a food volunteer. “They have to for the church to survive. A lot of people were hurt, they feel they were betrayed. It hurt parishioners and everyone too.”

Gomez acted after the release of church records showing that Mahony and another church leader tried to hide child abuse by priests from police.

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Cardinal Roger Mahony Stripped Of Duties For Sex Abuse Cover-Up

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Weekly

By Dennis Romero
Thu., Jan. 31 2013 at 10:34 PM

We’re not sure that a stunning rebuke is, but we’re going to guess that this is one.

Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez stated tonight that retired Cardinal and Archbishop Emeritus Roger Mahony would “no longer have any administrative or public duties” for the 4-million-parishioner L.A. Archdiocese.

The announcement came as Gomez unveiled its files related to clergy sexual abuse:

Gomez also said he accepted the the request of Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry “to be relieved of his responsibility as the Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara.”

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Former Cardinal Mahoney Stripped of Public Duties …

LOS ANGELES (CA)
NBC Southern California

[with video]

Former Cardinal Mahoney Stripped of Public Duties for Role in Shielding Alleged Priest Child Molesters

By Samantha Tata

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013

Hours after personnel files detailing years of alleged sexual abuse by Los Angeles priests were released Thursday, the Archbishop of Los Angeles apologized for priests’ past abuse as he took action against two church leaders who were at the helm while the suspected abuse took place.

Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony will “no longer have any administrative or public duties,” and his former Vicar of Clergy Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry will resign as the Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara, Archbishop José H. Gomez said in a statement released Thursday evening.

Mahoney and other top Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles officials maneuvered behind the scenes to shield molester priests, provide damage control for the church and keep parishioners in the dark, according to the church personnel files.

As Vicar for Clergy, Curry was responsible for “promoting the spiritual and physical well-being” for all priests and deacons in the archdiocese, including those who were inactive, sick or on leave, according to the archdiocese’s website. He also doled out assignments for priests and deacons.

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LA archbishop relieves Cardinal Mahony of duties, asks prayers for abuse victims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic News Agency

Los Angeles, Calif., Jan 31, 2013 / 11:05 pm (CNA).- Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez has relieved retired Cardinal Roger Mahony of his remaining duties after the release of personnel files of priests accused of sexual abuse decades ago.

“We need to acknowledge that terrible failure today. We need to pray for everyone who has ever been hurt by members of the Church,” the archbishop said in a Jan. 31 statement.

“And we need to continue to support the long and painful process of healing their wounds and restoring the trust that was broken.”

Archbishop Gomez noted that “effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony” – who served the archdiocese from 1985 to 2011 – “that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties.”

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Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony Stripped of Duties

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CBS 47

[with video]

Reported by: Lemor Abrams
Email: LemorAbrams@cbsfresno.com

A bombshell from the Catholic Church.

Retired cardinal Roger Mahony is relieved of his remaining duties with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

It comes as the Church releases 12,000 documents from files on priests accused of sexual abuse.

Records show Mahony worked for years to conceal molestation by the clergy from law enforcement.

Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Gomez released a statement late Thursday.

He says in part:

“My predecessor, Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, has expressed his sorrow for his failure to fully protect young people entrusted to his care. Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties.”

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LA Catholic archdiocese releases priest abuse files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Times (United Kingdom)

Lucinda Beaman

America’s largest Roman Catholic diocese has released thousands of pages of personnel files of priests accused of child molestation and removed a top clergyman who has been linked to efforts to conceal the abuse.

The former head of the Los Angeles diocese, the retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, has been stripped of administrative and public duties by his successor, Archbishop José Gómez.

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US Catholic archbishop fires cardinal for role in shielding child molestors

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Press TV (Iran)

A US Catholic archbishop has stripped a top cardinal, who led a Los Angeles Archdiocese before him, of all church duties for his role in concealing child sexual abuse offenses by Catholic priests from authorities.

Archbishop Jose Gomez announced in a Thursday statement by the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese that he had removed his predecessor, retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, of all public and administrative duties.

Former top advisor to 76-year-old Mahony on child sexual abuse cases in the church, Thomas Curry, 70, who colluded with him in hiding child molestation offenses by Catholic priests, has reportedly quit his current position as a bishop in the California city of Santa Barbara.

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil,” Gomez proclaimed in a statement issued by the largest Catholic archdiocese in the US.

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Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony relieved of public duties

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Redlands Daily Facts

By Susan Abram and Barbara Jones, Staff Writersdailynews.com

Cardinal Roger Mahony, who has stood at the center of the Los Angeles Archdiocese clergy sex abuse scandal after mounting evidence showed he shielded pedophile priests from law enforcement, has been relieved of all public duties, Archbishop Jose Gomez announced late Thursday.

Gomez’s unexpected announcement came as the archdiocese, under court order, released some 12,000 documents from the internal personnel files of priests accused of sexual abuse.

“Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties,” Gomez said in a written statement.

He also said auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, who served as Mahony’s vicar of clergy and his point person on sex abuse cases, has stepped down as regional bishop of Santa Barbara.

“I have accepted his request to be relieved of his responsibility,” Gomez said.

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US archbishop releases abuse records, strips cardinal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Indian Express

The archbishop of Los Angeles has stripped his predecessor of all church duties as he released files on more than 100 clerics, as required under a 2007 lawsuit deal over alleged sex abuse.

Archbishop Jose Gomez said retired Cardinal Roger Mahony will “no longer have any administrative or public duties,” while Mahony’s former top adviser on sex-abuse issues, Thomas Curry, has stepped down as a regional bishop.

“These files document abuses that happened decades ago. But that does not make them less serious,” he wrote, releasing the personnel files online after prolonged wrangling over whether the names should be blanked out.

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behaviour described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children.

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Files may reveal what the Catholic Church in Los Angeles knew about sex abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CNN

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

updated 7:12 AM EST, Fri February 1, 2013

(CNN) — A California judge has forced the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to release some 12,000 pages of church documents revealing how it handled allegations of priest sexual abuse.

There were many — 192 priests and bishops were named in litigation, the archdiocese said.

“The cases span decades,” Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said in a statement Thursday. Some go back to the 1930s.

“But that does not make them less serious. I find these files to be brutal and painful reading,” he said.

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RETIRED CARDINAL RELIEVED OF CHURCH DUTIES

LOS ANGELES (CA)
U-T San Diego

By Gillian Flaccus Associated Press

Los Angeles

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez announced Thursday night he has relieved retired Cardinal Roger Mahony of his remaining duties and a former top aide to Mahony has stepped down from his post, on the same night the church released thousands of pages of personnel files of priests accused of sexual abuse.

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading,” Gomez said in a statement, referring to the newly released files made public by the church Thursday night hours after a judge’s order. “The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children.”

Gomez announced he has “informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties.”

Mahony, who retired in 2011 after more than a quarter-century at the helm of the archdiocese, has publicly apologized for mistakes he made in dealing with priests who molested children.

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Catholic cardinal stripped of duties as LA diocese child abuse files released

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Reuters in Los Angeles
guardian.co.uk, Friday 1 February 2013

The Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles has removed a top clergyman linked to efforts to conceal abuse as it released thousands on files of priests accused of molesting children.

Archbishop Jose Gomez said he had stripped his predecessor, the retired cardinal Roger Mahony, of all public and administrative duties. “I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behaviour described in these files is terribly sad and evil,” Gomez said in a statement released by the US’s largest Catholic archdiocese.

“There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed,” he said.

Mahony’s former top aide, Thomas Curry, also stepped down as bishop of Santa Barbara.

The 12,000 pages of files were made public more than a week after church records relating to 14 priests were unsealed as part of a separate civil suit, showing that church officials plotted to conceal the abuse from law enforcement agencies as late as 1987.

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In ‘Extraordinary’ Move, Cardinal Relieved of Duties

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Newser

By Matt Cantor, Newser Staff

Posted Feb 1, 2013

(Newser) – The former archbishop of Los Angeles has been removed from all public duties due to the central role he played in the coverup of child abuse. Tens of thousands of pages revealing the extent of the abuse crisis, now posted on the church’s website, are “brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil,” said current archbishop Jose Gomez. The public action against Cardinal Roger Mahony—which comes within hours of the documents’ court-ordered release—is “unprecedented” within the American Catholic Church, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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LA Cardinal Mahony ‘stripped of duties’ over sex abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
BBC News

A retired Los Angeles cardinal accused of mismanaging a child sex abuse crisis has been stripped of all administrative and public duties by his successor.

Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, 76, has apologised for his “failure”, Archbishop Jose Gomez said on Thursday.

The Los Angeles archdiocese, the largest in the US, has released thousands of pages of files on priests accused of child molestation.

Cardinal Mahony retired in 2011, having run the archdiocese for 25 years.

In 2007 Los Angeles paid $660m (£415m) to alleged victims of abuse, the largest sex abuse payout on record.

Cardinal Mahony has publicly apologised for mistakes he made handling the clerical sex abuse issue.

‘They failed’

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading,” Archbishop Gomez said in a statement. “The behaviour described in these files is terribly sad and evil.

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Leading U.S. cardinal punished for role in abuse scandal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Coshocton Tribune

by Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TDOAY

One of the most powerful Catholic leaders in the USA, Cardinal Roger Mahony, the retired archbishop of Los Angeles, has been relieved of his duties for covering up for sexually abusive priests – a role the current archbishop called “evil.”

Just hours after a court-ordered massive release of priest personnel files revealed the extent of Mahony’s role in covering up for known sexual predators, Archbishop José Gómez announced Thursday night that he has relieved Mahony of his remaining duties.

A former top aide to Mahony also stepped down from his current post.

This is the first time since the massive abuse scandal exploded in 2002 hen there were direct repercussions for top church officials. In December 2002, Cardinal Bernard Law resigned his post as archbishop of Boston when protesters and priests called for him to step aside.

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LA Catholic Archdiocese releases child abuse files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
RTE News (Ireland)

The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, after years of legal battles, has released files on priests accused of molesting children.

Archbishop Jose Gomez said he had stripped his predecessor, retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, of all public and administrative duties.

He also removed a top clergyman who had been linked to efforts to conceal the abuse.

Cardinal Mahony’s former top aide, Thomas Curry, stepped down as bishop of Santa Barbara.

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behaviour described in these files is terribly sad and evil,” Archbishop Gomez said in a statement.

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Cardinal Roger M Mahony removed from public life by LA Archbishop Gomez

LOS ANGELES (CA)
IrishCentral

By
PATRICK COUNIHAN,
IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Friday, February 1, 2013, 7:05 AM

A Catholic Archbishop has described the efforts of the American church to thwart police investigations into clerical sex abuse as ‘terribly sad and evil’ – after he banned Cardinal Roger M. Mahony from public life.

The Los Angeles Times has revealed that new documents show that Cardinal Mahony has been removed from all public office by his successor Archbishop José H. Gomez.

Cardinal Mahony was leader of America’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese when Archbishop Gomez took initial action two years ago as the church complied with a court order to release thousands of pages of internal documents that show how the cardinal shielded priests who sexually abused children.

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LA Cardinal Mahony barred from public ministry

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Catholic Reporter

by Jerry Filteau | Feb. 1, 2013

In an action possibly without any precedent in church history, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez has barred his predecessor, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, from any public ministry in Los Angeles.

“Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties” Gomez said in a Jan 31 letter.

He cited Mahony’s alleged failures to protect young people from sexually abusive priests – extensively documented in court filings in recent years – as grounds for the extraordinary decision, in church terms, to bar the cardinal from any future public activities in the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011 and a cardinal since 1991, has long been one of the leading church figures in the United States, a leader in justice for farmworkers, immigrants and other victims of economic injustice.

Church law gives cardinals extraordinary authority even beyond their own dioceses, with Canon 357 of the Code of Canon Law saying that “in those matters which pertain to their own person, cardinals living outside of Rome and outside their own diocese are exempt from the power of governance of the bishop of the diocese in which they are residing.”

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LA archbishop relieves retired cardinal of duties

LOS ANGELES (CA)
St. Augustine Record

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cardinal Roger Mahony, who retired with a tainted career after dodging criminal charges over how he handled pedophile priests, was stripped of duties by his successor as a judge ordered confidential church personnel files released.

The unprecedented move by Archbishop Jose Gomez came less than two weeks after other long-secret priest personnel records showed how Mahony worked with top aides to protect the Roman Catholic church from the engulfing scandal.

One of those aides, Monsignor Thomas Curry stepped down Thursday as auxiliary bishop in the Los Angeles archdiocese’s Santa Barbara region. Gomez said Mahony, 76, would no longer have administrative or public duties in the diocese.

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading,” Gomez said in a statement, referring to 12,000 pages of files posted online by the church Thursday night just hours after a judge’s order. “The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children.”

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Declaración sobre los archivos de personal de sacerdotes

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Arquidiócesis de Los Ángeles

Monseñor José H. Gomez
Arzobispo de Los Ángeles
Los Angeles, 31 de enero de 2013

Hermanos y Hermanas en Cristo,

Esta semana estamos haciendo públicos los archivos de los sacerdotes que abusaron sexualmente a niños mientras servían en la Arquidiócesis de Los Angeles.

Estos archivos contienen documentación sobre abusos que sucedieron hace varias décadas. Pero eso no los hace menos graves.

La lectura de esos archivos es brutal y dolorosa. El comportamiento que se describe ahí es tristísimo y terriblemente malo. No hay excusas ni explicaciones posibles sobre lo que pasó a esos niños. Los sacerdotes involucrados tenían el deber de ser sus padres espirituales, y fallaron.

Hoy, necesitamos admitir esas terribles faltas. Tenemos que rezar por todos aquellos que alguna vez han sido heridos por miembros de la Iglesia. Y tenemos que seguir ofreciendo nuestro apoyo en el largo y doloroso proceso de la sanación de sus heridas, así como de la recuperación de la confianza que fue destrozada.

No puedo deshacer los errores del pasado que se encuentran en esas páginas. Leer esos archivos, reflexionar sobre las heridas causadas, ha sido la experiencia más triste que he tenido desde que asumí la responsabilidad de ser su Arzobispo en el 2011.

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Statement on the Release of Clergy Files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles

[en espanol]

Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Archbishop of Los Angeles
Los Angeles January 31, 2013

My brothers and sisters in Christ,

This week we are releasing the files of priests who sexually abused children while they were serving in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

These files document abuses that happened decades ago. But that does not make them less serious.

I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed.

We need to acknowledge that terrible failure today. We need to pray for everyone who has ever been hurt by members of the Church. And we need to continue to support the long and painful process of healing their wounds and restoring the trust that was broken.

I cannot undo the failings of the past that we find in these pages. Reading these files, reflecting on the wounds that were caused, has been the saddest experience I’ve had since becoming your Archbishop in 2011.

My predecessor, retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, has expressed his sorrow for his failure to fully protect young people entrusted to his care. Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry has also publicly apologized for his decisions while serving as Vicar for Clergy. I have accepted his request to be relieved of his responsibility as the Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara.

To every victim of child sexual abuse by a member of our Church: I want to help you in your healing. I am profoundly sorry for these sins against you.

To every Catholic in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I want you to know: We will continue, as we have for many years now, to immediately report every credible allegation of abuse to law enforcement authorities and to remove those credibly accused from ministry. We will continue to work, every day, to make sure that our children are safe and loved and cared for in our parishes, schools and in every ministry in the Archdiocese.

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Cardinal Mahony relieved of duties over handling of abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Harriet Ryan and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
February 1, 2013

In a move unprecedented in the American Catholic Church, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez announced Thursday that he had relieved his predecessor, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, of all public duties over his mishandling of clergy sex abuse of children decades ago.

Gomez also said that Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Curry, who worked with Mahony to conceal abusers from police in the 1980s, had resigned his post as a regional bishop in Santa Barbara.

The announcement came as the church posted on its website tens of thousands of pages of previously secret personnel files for 122 priests accused of molesting children.

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil,” Gomez wrote in a letter addressed to “My brothers and sisters in Christ.”

The release of the records and the rebuke of the two central figures in L.A.’s molestation scandal signaled a clear desire by Gomez to define the sexual abuse crisis as a problem of a different era — and a different archbishop.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.