Orange County Weekly
Documents released by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles shows again how the Orange diocese is still not telling the full story of its sex-abuse scandal
By GUSTAVO ARELLANO Thursday, Feb 28 2013
Over the past month, Southern Californians have largely turned their backs in communal revulsion at former Archdiocese of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony. The outcry emerged after a judge forced the archdiocese to release tens of thousands of pages of once-secret priestly personnel files that told in exacting detail how Mahony and his cronies tried to shield pedophile priests from the law during his career. Because of his inactions, Mahony is now largely exiled from church life, his name forever tainted in any future analyses of his career.
Of course, the vile revelations are nothing new to longtime watchers of the Catholic Church—indeed, some of the breathless tales heralded by major media outlets as exclusives have circulated in the Catholic and alternative press for more than a decade. But the episode at least shows that members of the public will attack the church hierarchy once damning evidence is shoved in their faces. So there’s hope that another major Catholic figure will emerge with his reputation in further tatters after the LA document dump: former Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown.
He retired quietly late last year per Vatican rules requiring bishops to step down at age 75, and successor Kevin W. Vann has gamely tried to have OC’s 1.2 million Catholics remember Brown for his last-minute purchase of the former Crystal Cathedral (to be renamed Christ Cathedral) in 2011 instead of the $100 million-plus in sex-abuse settlements Brown had to sign off on during his term. But while the LA Archdiocese published almost all of its pedo-priests files on its website (it took a judge to do this, but still), it’s more than Brown ever did. When asked in 2005 if he’d publicly publish Diocese of Orange pedo-priests files that a judge forced him to hand over to lawyers, Brown flat-out refused and didn’t bother giving a reason for the secrecy.
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