LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Catholic Reporter
by Brian Roewe | Mar. 28, 2013
As Cardinal Roger Mahony entered the Sistine Chapel in Rome March 12 to begin the process of electing the next pope, his name made headlines in his home diocese for other reasons.
The cardinal, the Los Angeles archdiocese and an ex-priest agreed to settlements in four clergy abuse-related cases, totaling $9.9 million. The settlements are the first since the late January court-ordered release of 12,000 pages of abuse-related documents, and Mahony’s ban from public and administrative duties in the archdiocese.
On the same day another case, at the northern end of the state, also made headlines when a visiting priest was arrested on suspicion of child abuse.
The former priest at the center of the Los Angeles settlements was Michael Baker, who was removed from the priesthood in 2000 and convicted in 2007 of molesting two children. He was paroled in 2011 after initially receiving a 10-year prison sentence.
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