Report: U.K. church officials ‘deliberately misled’ U.S. archdiocese

Catholic News Service

June 21, 2019

By Simon Caldwell

An English church official “deliberately misled” a U.S. archdiocese into harboring a pedophile priest and helping him to escape justice for a quarter of a century, said a report from a child abuse inquiry.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles was persuaded to shelter Father James Robinson, who during the 1970s and 1980s had raped several boys, after officials gave false information about his sexual history.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse concluded in a report published June 21 that the deception meant that Father Robinson “was able to remain in America and avoid prosecution for nearly 25 years.”

It said Msgr. Daniel Leonard, former vicar general of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, England, where Father Robinson was trained, ordained and served as a priest, “deliberately misled the Archdiocese of Los Angeles about the nature of the allegations faced by Robinson.”

The Irish-born Father Robinson was ordained in 1971, but the report said he was abusing boys before he entered seminary, during his formation and after he was ordained.

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