Heads Roll in LA

California Catholic Daily
February 14, 2011

Los Angeles archbishop Cardinal Roger Mahony has accepted the resignation of Vicar for Clergy Msgr. Michael Meyers in the latest sex-abuse scandal to strike the archdiocese.

Msgr. Meyers had been Vicar for Clergy since 2009. Among his responsibilities was to make sure that no priests with a history of sexual abuse were assigned to active ministry. But a New York Times inquiry regarding a priest assigned to Holy Name of Mary parish in San Dimas revealed that the priest, Fr. Martin O'Loghlen, 74, had admitted to having a long-term sexual relationship with a high school girl in the 1960s. He later sought to contact his victim and ask her forgiveness, admitting he was a "sex addict."

Cardinal Mahony accepted Msgr. Meyers' resignation on Friday and removed Fr. O'Loghlen from active ministry the day before.

Fr. O'Loghlen had been assigned to Holy Name of Mary two years ago, but apparently the archdiocese failed to research records showing he had previously admitted to sexual abuse of the high school girl.

"Father O'Loghlen had sex on several occasions with Julie Malcolm in the 1960s while she was a student at Bishop Amat High School in nearby La Puente, Ms. Malcolm said," the New York Times reported. "Nearly three decades after the abuse ended, Father O'Loghlen tried to reach Ms. Malcolm, who was then living in Phoenix. After receiving several phone messages from Father O'Loghlen, Ms. Malcolm filed a complaint with the Diocese of Phoenix and later filed a lawsuit against the priest and his religious order, the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. In 1999, she settled the lawsuit for $100,000, Ms. Malcolm said."

"The failure to fully check records before granting priestly faculties is a violation of archdiocesan policy," Cardinal Mahony said in a prepared statement. "We owe it to victims and to all our faithful to make absolutely certain that all of our child protection policies and procedures are scrupulously followed."

The latest scandal comes four years after the Los Angeles archdiocese paid out a record-setting $660 million to settle 508 claims of sexual abuse by priests.

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