Restraining Order Sought against Man Accused of Threatening Mahony

Associated Press, carried in LA Daily News
December 6, 2007

Attorneys have requested a temporary restraining order against a man they claim threatened Cardinal Roger Mahony and other church officials after he was kicked out of church for allegedly using drugs.

Edward George Filek, 61, allegedly "made general threats" against Mahony and other cathedral workers, according to documents filed in a petition for a restraining order dated Wednesday. The petition asks the court to order Filek to refrain from assaulting, stalking or phoning Mahony and two monsignors, and to stay at least 100 yards away from them.

Cardinal Roger Mahony waves to those in the Guadalupe Procession as they enter East Los Angeles College Stadium for Mass Sunday, December 2, 2007.
Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz

Mahony recently told fellow priests that he was attacked earlier this year because of the Catholic Church's sex-abuse scandal. Filek was not linked to that attack.

Filek was thrown out of Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral on Sunday after he started "doing drugs" during Mass, according to a report filed with the petition, which says he returned to the cathedral later in the day and security guards called police when he refused to leave.

He came back Monday, made threats and stated "you will be sorry," according to papers filed with the petition.

No number was listed for Filek in an area phone directory and it was not immediately known whether he had an attorney.

Filek was arrested at least once during his visits to the cathedral this week. A security guard report says the Los Angeles Police Department advised guards to seek a restraining order because Filek was a repeat trespasser.

A call to the Los Angeles archdiocese was not immediately returned Thursday.

Mahony, 71, told priests at an October conference that he was roughed up outside the cathedral this summer. He did not file a police report about that incident.

Mahony has declined to comment publicly about that incident and a church spokeswoman would not confirm the attack, but it is referred to in the petition, which states Mahony had "been subject to physical assault during 2007."

The Rev. Joseph Shea, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Glendale, related Mahony's story to The Associated Press. It happened in late July or early August as the cardinal was dropping off letters at a mailbox near the cathedral, Shea said. Mahony was so badly beaten that he was hospitalized and it took him several weeks to recover, Shea added.

After a Daily News story about the assault, police officers talked to Mahony, but they said he did not want to pursue an investigation.

The church has reached settlements totaling about $660million with 508 alleged victims of sexual abuse. Checks for most of that money were mailed Monday.


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