A heroic ex-priest immortalized in ‘Spotlight’ uncovered years of Catholic abuse and cover-ups. In death, he has been vindicated

Los Angeles Times

August 29, 2018

By Steve Lopez

Former Catholic priest Richard Sipe, who died in La Jolla this month, was a vocal critic of clergy sexual abuse and subsequent cover-ups by the religious institution. (Nelvin C. Cepeda/ The San Diego Union-Tribune)

All through the Catholic Church molestation scandals that rocked Los Angeles and Orange Counties, I checked in regularly with an ex-priest named Richard Sipe.

From his home in La Jolla, Sipe would offer me scholarly breakdowns on what was happening in California and the rest of the world — on how an institution whose cross stands as a moral compass could harm children, scar them for life and dismiss their suffering in the interest of self-preservation.

Sipe would throw a light on that dark culture of hypocrisy, abuse and cover-ups, and tell me it extended all the way to Rome. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles run by Cardinal Roger Mahony was one of the worst examples of the church’s failings, in his opinion.

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