Bishop Accountability

Accused Abusers: 244 (including priests, brothers, deacons, and seminarians)
Named Accused Abusers: 211 (including priests, brothers, deacons, and seminarians)
Unnamed Accused Abusers: 33 (including priests, brothers, deacons, and seminarians)
Total Priests: More than 5,000
Persons Alleging Abuse:
Costs since 1985: $10.35 million
Counts of abusers and victims are for 1930-2002.

Report to the People of God: Clergy Sexual Abuse (2/17/04)

See the Dallas Morning News database entry on Cardinal Roger Mahony. The June 2002 database examined the records of bishops and identified those who had allowed accused priests to continue working or had otherwise protected priests accused of sexual abuse. The database is relevant to the bishops' "Nature and Scope" study because the bishops who prepared the surveys for the study are in many cases responsible for the "scope" of the problem.

Los Angeles Archdiocese Reports on Seven Decades of Abuse Claims

By Rachel Zoll
Associated Press
February 17, 2004
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles - the nation's largest - released a detailed study Tuesday on sex abuse of minors by its clergy since 1930, reporting among the highest number of claims against a U.S. diocese to date.

Los Angeles church officials say that, over the decades, they received allegations from 656 people who said they had been molested by 244 priests, deacons, religious brothers, seminarians and one other person.

More than 5,000 priests worked in the archdiocese during that period.

Cardinal Roger Mahony compiled the report as part of an unprecedented, nationwide accounting of abuse cases commissioned by America's bishops to help ease two years of crisis over molestation in the church.

"The archdiocese has committed significant resources to help those who were harmed to recover from their horrible experiences," the report said. "We hope our efforts will help, but we realize that only the grace of God can provide the complete healing the victims need."

The national study of which Los Angeles' numbers are a part is scheduled for release Feb. 27, and some bishops already have started revealing their local figures.

Reporters from The Associated Press have been tracking those numbers and have found that, including Los Angeles, 85 dioceses have reported claims so far against 1,657 clergy since 1950.

CNN reported Monday that it has seen a draft of the national survey, and that 4,450 clergy nationwide have been accused of molesting minors since 1950.

The Los Angeles Archdiocese acknowledged in its report that it is at the center of a "tempest of blame and criticism" over how it dealt with victims and accused priests.

Mahony has been targeted for pledging full disclosure of information about clergy misconduct, then fighting the release of some personnel files to a grand jury, including records of counseling for priests, which the archdiocese considers confidential under state law.

The archdiocese also is facing a flood of civil cases. More than 500 claims have been made against the Los Angeles church since state lawmakers temporarily lifted the statute of limitations on child sex abuse lawsuits.

In the report, Mahony repeatedly apologized for mishandling some cases since he became Los Angeles archbishop in 1985, and asked the region's 4.2 million Catholics to pray that victims heal and reconcile with the church.

But he also argued that the understanding of how best to address abuse has changed over time, and that some approaches previously recommended by psychiatrists and others were only now considered inadequate.

While reports from several other dioceses have contained extensive details about past abuse claims, the Los Angeles study gave more specifics.

The archdiocese is among the few to reveal the names of nearly all of the accused. Its 34-page report explained the evolution of its abuse policy, and had case studies of accused priests to illustrate its approach.

Among them is former priest Michael Baker, who remained in church work even though he admitted molesting two boys, and now faces more than 20 abuse claims. Cardinal Mahony "was far too lenient in permitting him to continue in assignments," the report said.

The accusers are disproportionately male, and, although most of the alleged abuse occurred in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, many of the claims were not filed until the latest wave of scandal, the report said.

Mahony, who was falsely accused of abuse himself, cautioned that some of the allegations could be unsubstantiated. Some claims have been made against clergy who could not have been in the place where the alleged crime occurred, according to the report.

The archdiocese has withheld the names of 33 accused clergy, saying the investigation of their cases was in its earliest stages or the evidence collected so far was considered too questionable.

The archdiocese said it had paid $10.4 million in settlements since 1985.


On the Net: Archdiocese of Los Angeles:

Mahony: Protecting Minors 'Job 1'
The cardinal says the number of alleged victims of molestations by priests is surprisingly high, but that promised action is being taken

By Larry B. Stammer, Richard Winton and Jean Guccione
LA Times
February 18, 2004,1,6110958.story?coll=la-home-local

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony said Tuesday that he was surprised at the number of victims of alleged sexual abuse by priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles over the past 73 years — 656 according to a new report — and renewed his pledge that the protection of minors from molesting priests remained "job 1."

Mahony, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, said recent actions by the archdiocese to remove a once high-ranking priest from a San Marino parish as well as the decision to reveal the names of 211 priests accused of wrongdoing had provided evidence that the archdiocese was keeping its word.

The report released Tuesday by the archdiocese, which tracked sexual abuse claims from 1931 through last year, is proof of his determination to be "open and transparent," Mahony said. He added that he hoped sexual abuse victims who had not spoken out would scan the names and be encouraged to step forward.

"There are probably other victims out there," Mahony said. "I am hopeful that if they look at this list … that they will say, 'Oh, I recognize that name. I had a problem but I was afraid to come forward or say anything.' They might have courage now to say, 'I need help, too,' " Mahony said.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley renewed demands that the church produce personnel records of suspected priests. The church has argued that the records are protected by the state's constitutional right to privacy and the 1st Amendment's freedom of religion clause.

"The assertion by the Archdiocese of the pastoral privilege must give way to a more compelling state interest," Cooley said Tuesday.

"That interest is the prosecution of those who would molest children, regardless of their status," he said.

There is currently one criminal case pending against a former priest in Los Angeles County. The names of the accused clergy in the archdiocesan report were drawn from civil lawsuits, criminal filings and direct complaints to the church.

Outside the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles, a dozen or so abuse victims called the report only a "baby step," in the right direction. They said the cardinal was trying to take credit for the work of victims who had come forward.

"In truth, Mahony didn't make most of those abusers' names public. Brave survivors and persistent prosecutors did," said Mary Grant, southwest regional director for Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests. "The vast majority of them have already been in the public eye thanks to the courage of victims, not Mahony."

The archdiocese's report is part of a nationwide study ordered by the National Review Board of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to determine the extent of sexual abuse in the U.S. Roman Catholic church. The full nationwide study is expected to be released later this month.

It will give the total number of priests accused of abuse, but not a diocese by diocese breakdown. Unlike the report by the Los Angeles Archdiocese, the national report is not expected to list the names of priests accused of abuse.

In an interview at the Cathedral Conference Center downtown, Mahony took personal responsibility for the archdiocese's past failures and for his transfer of several abusive priests to new parishes after they had been treated and counseled.

"We gave many examples of where I failed, where we made mistakes, and we highlighted them," Mahony said of the report. "We said 'Look, in those years this is what we thought. This is what we did. And now we obviously do things differently.' We acknowledge those mistakes," he said.

The California Legislature's decision in 2002 to allow victims of old abuse cases to sue the church during 2003 — a one-year exemption from the statute of limitations — helped to prompt many victims to come forward with their accounts, Mahony said. Of the 656 victims of abuse listed in the archdiocesan report, 522 have come forward since 2002.

"I think the fact that the statute of limitations had been lifted led to that," Mahony said.

The church took no position when the Legislature approved the one-year waiver in 2002, but Mahony said he would oppose changing the deadline once again. Further extensions of the deadline for filing suits over old cases would delay settlement of the existing cases, Mahony said.

"I don't think it should have been extended in the first place," Mahony said. "I think it would be very harmful to the victims, primarily, because if it were extended another year, say, we could never reach settlement in the cases we've got until we know what additional cases there are."

"So that means that everyone who's waiting now would have to wait until 2005 if that were the case, and I don't think anyone wants to do that," Mahony said.

Sexual abuse is on the wane, both in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, the nation's largest, and across the country, Mahony said, citing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' decision to implement a "zero tolerance" church policy against the sexual abuse of minors.

Mahony said the archdiocese's recent treatment of Msgr. Richard Loomis, the once high-ranking church official, is proof that the new system is working. Several years earlier, Loomis had served as Mahony's vicar of clergy, whose responsibilities included overseeing sexual abuse cases against fellow priests.

On Feb. 1, church officials told parishioners at Sts. Felicitas and Perpetua Parish in San Marino that Loomis, their pastor, had been accused in a lawsuit of having sexually abused a teenage boy.

The alleged abuse took place between 1969 and 1971 before Loomis became a priest and while he was teaching at a Catholic high school.

The parish was told that there "was no credible evidence of misconduct" and that Loomis had Mahony's "complete confidence" and would remain their pastor.

Last Thursday, however, the parish was told that another person claiming to be a victim had been identified and that the archdiocese was placing Loomis on administrative leave. The second victim had been contacted by archdiocesan investigators.

"I think that illustrates it, that very case," Mahony said. "In the first instance there was some allegation made. The victim refused to be interviewed." Because of that, the archdiocesan Clergy Misconduct Review Board "felt that we don't have enough evidence to put [Loomis] on administrative leave."

"But they continue to monitor these cases. That's just not the end of it," Mahony said. "But then other evidence came forward which they then were able to investigate and interview the party. And based on their investigation they determined that there was sufficient credible evidence to move forward and put [Loomis] on administrative leave."

Mahony said he knew Loomis was well respected by his parish and many others in the archdiocese for his work over the years. "I mean, they all know him and love him as well. That's not the point. The point is we have policies. We have procedures and are following them regardless where that leads," Mahony said.

The decision to list the names of 211 priests, deacons, brothers and seminarians who had been accused of sexual abuse came after he had asked the archdiocese's priest council for advice, Mahony said.

He said he told the priests he wanted to be as open and transparent as possible. In the end, he said, the priests had agreed that the names should be publicized for "the greater good of the church." He said some priests were surprised when they saw the names of some of their colleagues on the list.


Infobox: The accused

The following is a list of 201 priests, deacons, brothers and seminarians identified by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles as having been accused of sexually abusing minors and the years the abuse allegedly occurred. Some of the allegations have been discredited.

* = Deceased

Accused of molesting 12 youths:

Cimmarrusti, Mario, 1962-69
Garcia, Peter, 1961-83
Harris, Michael A., 1972-90

Accused of molesting 11 youths:

Kearney, Christopher, 1971-84
Lovell, Larry, 1974-85

Accused of molesting 10 youths:

Dawson, John H., 1972-82
Falvey,* Mark, 1959-75

Accused of molesting nine youths:

Ramos, Eleuterio, 1972-89

Accused of molesting eight youths:

Barmasse, Kevin P., 1982-88
Buckley, Michael D., 1965-75
Fessard, Gerald B., 1965-79

Accused of molesting seven youths:

Martinez, Ruben, 1970-81
Vetter,* Henry Xavier, 1953-73

Accused of molesting six youths:

Coughlin, Richard T., 1965-81
Daley,* Wallace J., 1957-63
Dominguez, Jesus Jesse, 1973-88
Miller, George M., 1974-88
Rodriguez, Carlos Rene, 1984-94
Salazar, John Anthony, 1980-86
Van Handel, Robert, 1970-82

Accused of molesting five youths:

Atherton, Gregory, 1967-86
Sandstrom, Lawrence, 1955-69
Warren,* A. Thomas, 1991

Accused of molesting four youths:

Castro, Willebaldo, 1973-78
Ginty,* Denis, 1932-80
Kelly, Patrick, 1991
Kohlbeck, Frank, 1981-83
Miani, Titian Jim, 1957-67
Pecharich, Michael, 1974-84
Quinlan,* Celestine, 1957-63
Savino, Dominic, 1977-80
Sheahan, John, 1961-65

Accused of molesting three youths:

Buckman, Franklin, 1962-81
Caffoe, Lynn, 1973-94
Casey, Edward, 1974-79
Duggan,* Albert J., 1963-71
Grimes,* James, 1958-59
Lyons, Denis, 1968-82
Marshall, Thomas, 1960-63
Nocita, Mike, 1975-84
O'Connor, Donal, 1959-61
Reilly, Terrence, 1959-76
Ruhl, John, 1970-82
Sullivan,* Thomas, 1952-58
Wolfe,* Phillip, 1975-89
Ziemann, G. Patrick, 1967-86

Accused of molesting two youths:

Abercrombie,* Leonard, 1970s
Ahumada, Arturo, 1999-2000
Anderson,* Roger, 1981-83
Boyer,* Leland, 1973-82
Cabot, Samuel, 1980-85
Carey,* Cleve W., 1963-66
Carriere,* David, 1978-79
Cotter, Patrick J., 1963-64
Cronin, Sean, 1972-80
DeLisle,* Harold F., 1967-77
Gallagher,* George Michael, 1953-62
Garcia, Cristobal, 1980-84
Hanley, Bernard Brian, 1965
Hawkes,* Benjamin, 1973-85
Hernandez, Stephen, 1984-85
Jaramillo, Luis, 1986-88
Johnson, Dave, 1977-79
Lindner, Jerold, 1973-85
Loomis, Richard A., 1969-74
Mahony, Roger, 1970-93
McKeon,* Martin, 1962-65
Moody, Michael Andre, 1980
Pina, Joseph D., 1979-90
Plesetz, Gerald, 1973-77
Rowe,* Dorian, 1967-79
Santillan, John, 1977-85
Scott,* George, 1947-58
Sharpe,* Joseph, 1958-64
Stadtfeld,* Joseph, 1958-66
Stallkamp,* Louis G., 1974-79
Tepe,* Raymond (Jose), 1958-68
Van Liefde, Christopher, 1971-75
Wadeson, John, 1973-77
Weber,* Francis J., 1959

Accused of molesting one youth:

Alzugaray, Joseph, 1967-70
Arzube, Juan, 1975-76
Balbin, Victor, 1978-84
Berbena, Christopher, 1980
Berumen, Matthias A., 1990
Brennan,* John Lawrence, 1954-56
Cabaong, Honorato, 1978-84
Cairns, James, 1971-73
Carroll, Michael J., 1968-71
Casey,* John Joseph, 1944-45
Cavalli, Vincent V., 1966-68
Coffield, John V., 1959-60
Corral, Andres S., 1981
Cosgrove,* John V., 1979-80
Cousineau, David, 1970-73
Cremins,* Daniel J., 1965-71
Cruces, Angel, 1978-84
Deady,* John P., 1956-57
DeFore, Donald, 1977-78
DeJonghe,* Harold, 1980-82
Diesta, Arwyn N., 1982
DiPeri, Joseph B., 1977
Doan, Michael Son Trong, 1999
Dober, Edward, 1989
Doherty,* John B., 1967-69
Dolan,* James, 1962
Dowd,* Francis, 1963
Dunne, Joseph, 1993
English,* Thomas Patrick, 1969-70
Farabaugh,* Clint, 1973-75
Farmer, Donald G., 1967-69
Farris,* John V., 1951-54
Faue,* Mathias, 1965-67
Fernando, Arthur, 1973-75
Fernando, Walter, 1980-81
Fitzpatrick,* James J., 1962-63
Fitzpatrick, Thomas Q., 1987
Foley, George, 1971-74
Ford, James M., 1968-71
Gaioni, Dominic, 1977
Granadino, David F., 1985-88
Grill, Philip, 1965-66
Guerrini, Roderic M., 1976-78
Gunst,* George, 1955
Guzman,* Vincente, 1931-41
Haran,* Michael Joseph, 1948
Havel, Thomas E., 1968-72
Hill, Patrick, 1979-81
Horvath,* Bertrand, 1971-74
Hunt,* Michael A., 1957-58
Hurley,* John J., 1949
James, Joseph, 1958
Jayawardene, Tilak A., 1990
Jimenez-Pelayo, Emmanuel, 1975
Juarez, Anthony, 1957-58
Kareta, Greg, 1980
Kavanaugh, Philip, 1973-74
Keeney, John, 1974-76
Kelly,* Matthew H., 1969-71
Kenny, John, 1976-77
Klikunes, Bruce, 1976-77
Kohnke,* John, 1973-74
Lacar, Sylvio, 1978-84
Lapierre, David, 1983-84
Leon, Modesto, 1995-96
Loofborough, Charles, 1978-81
Lopez, Joseph, 1963-66
Lorenzoni, Larry, 1957-58
MacSweeney,* Eugene, 1959
Maio, Eugene A., 1963
Manning, Robert, 1970-71
Martin,* James Aloysius, 1934-38
Martinez, Ernest, 1965-66
Martini, Richard M., 1990-91
Mateo, Leonardo, 1959
Mateos, Francisco, 1976-79
McElhatton,* Thomas, 1943-45
McGloin, James, 1963
McHugh, Patrick, 1972-74
McNamara, Patrick, 1960s
Mendez, Jose J., 1985-87
Meyer, Louis L., 1968-69
Molthen,* Vincent, 1961-62
Monte,* Alfred, 1947
Nwankwo, Cyril, 1997
O'Carroll,* Charles, 1956-58
O'Dwyer,* Patrick F., 1959
O'Loghlen, Martin, 1965-68
Orellana, Samuel, 1987
Pacheco, Gary, 1975
Peck, Daniel P., 1996
Pena, Amado, 1981-83
Pick,* Louis V., 1947
Ploughman, Bernard, 1963
Porter, Thomas A., 1965-70
Reilly, Patrick, 1980-84
Roebert, Michael, 1969-70
Roper, William, 1970-73
Rozo Rincon, Efrain, 1969
Ryan,* Joseph Francis, 1945
Salinas,* Gabriel, 1958-60
Sanchez, Juan, 1992
Sanchez, Manuel, 1978-81
Schaller, Emmett Gilroy, 1979-80
Scheier,* Maurice, 1948
Sharkey, Joe, 1968
Specialle, Stephen Emmet, 1985-86
Sprouffske, Michael M., 1963-69
Tacderas, Joseph, 1983
Tamayo,* Santiago L., 1978-84
Teluma, Lukas Bao, 1995
Terra, Michael, 1979-80
Thorne, Vance, early 1970s
Tresler, Carl D., 1998
Tugade, Valentine, 1978-84
Van ter Toolen,* Vincent, 1961
Verhart, John, 1957-58
Villa Gomez, Gillmero Nemoria, 1964-65
Villaroya, Ernesto Corral, 1983
Weitz,* Wilfred, 1959-61
Wishard, John W., 1980

Source: Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Mahony's Mea Culpas Not Very Convincing

By Steve Lopez
LA Times
February 18, 2004,1,5799329.column?coll=la-util-local-metro

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony had me worried for a while. The leader of the Los Angeles Archdiocese was keeping such a low profile at the Rog Mahal, I thought maybe he'd lost his knack for damage control.

Not to worry. Turns out he's still the king.

Mahony has done us all the favor of releasing a self-assessment called "Report to the People of God," which names 211 priests and other church employees who have been accused of molesting 656 minors since 1931.

In a grave preface, Mahony apologizes to victims, acknowledges his own mistakes and promises "to do all in my power to prevent sexual abuse by anyone serving our archdiocese now and in the future."

The document is a beautiful piece of work, because to those who want to believe, it resembles a staggering breakthrough in truth-telling.

But this may be the wrong place for "People of God" to put their faith.

For starters, every one of the 211 names of the accused had already been made public. The names of another 33 accused priests were withheld because the accusations hadn't been checked out yet, or were deemed unreliable by the archdiocese.

By the archdiocese?

I thought the problem all along was that the archdiocese couldn't be trusted to expose its dirty secrets.

The good cardinal himself has spent nearly two years fighting the release of documents to Los Angeles Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, who is still trying to get to the bottom of the scandal.

As Cooley told me Tuesday, all he wants is to convict child molesters and their protectors, and all he gets from Mahony are roadblocks.

"It's really been a battle royal," says Cooley. "You've got the largest prosecutorial agency in the United States of America slugging it out in court for more than 20 months with the largest archdiocese in the country."

I asked Cooley, a good Catholic boy, if he had any idea why Mahony would insist on keeping those documents under lock and key.

"It may be far more revealing than … what people have speculated about," Cooley said. "That would be the most reasonable motive to continue the cover-up."

Cooley's other guess is that Mahony may be anticipating a blistering review of his leadership by the National Review Board, whose report on the national scandal is due later this month. Perhaps the cardinal figured that from a public relations standpoint, a slap of his own wrist today will take some sting out of the clobbering he might take tomorrow.

But Mahony's mea culpas aren't terribly convincing. The report by the archdiocese offers the usual long-winded defenses, namely, that until the last 15 years or so, very little was known about molestation, the extent of the problem in the church and the best way to treat perpetrators and victims.

There's some truth in all of that, and a lot of hooey, too.

I don't care whether it's 1950, 1975 or 2004. If you don't know what to do about a priest pushing himself on a defenseless child, you shouldn't be wearing a collar, let alone running a diocese. It's as simple as this: A) Call the police; B) Comfort and treat the victim; C) Excommunicate the priest; and D) Fire anybody who knew about it and kept quiet.

Richard Sipe, a retired priest who testifies in molestation cases, has often hammered the same point in my conversations with him: The problem wasn't the small percentage of bad priests, but the large percentage of church leaders whose unconscionable sin was to keep a lid on scandal, protecting themselves rather than the victims of known predators.

One reason for the decades of silence, Sipe insisted, was that scandal had always reached into the top tiers of church hierarchy. So it comes as no surprise that the list of 211 accused molesters in the L.A. Archdiocese includes two former auxiliary bishops and a monsignor who was chief financial officer.

Then there's Msgr. Richard A. Loomis, who stepped down last week as pastor of a San Marino parish following accusations against him. And what did Loomis do before his assignment in San Marino?

He was Mahony's vicar general, overseeing sex abuse allegations.

"Anyone who ran another organization like this would have been fired long ago," says Ryan DiMaria, a former abuse victim who is now an attorney representing 25 people with claims against the Los Angeles archdiocese.

Kathy Freberg, an Irvine attorney with 101 clients who have sued the L.A. Archdiocese, chortled when she came to a soul-searching passage in the "People of God" report. It said the church needed to "examine its conscience" to figure out "to what extent" a fear of public scandal "may have been a motive" for the code of silence.

Gee, Father McFeely. You really think that could have been a motive?

"It's infuriating," Freberg said. "The church is painting a picture of spending 20 years trying to figure out what to do with pedophiles. But when you litigate these cases and get into the records, you see that all they were intent on doing was covering up."

Sure, Mahony may have learned from his mistakes and ushered in reforms, but he accepts too little blame for the former and too much credit for the latter.

This is the cardinal who personally reassigned two priests accused of molestation only to have them prey on more victims. This is the cardinal who teed off on former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, the church's National Review Board chief who made the mistake of getting too close to the truth.

"To act like La Cosa Nostra and hide and suppress, I think, is very unhealthy," Keating said of Catholic leaders.

Within days, Keating had "resigned." It was a hit the mob would have been proud of.

Steve Lopez writes Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at steve.lopez@

L.A. priests named in abuse
D.A., victims say list of 211 names not enough

By Michael Gougis and Dana Bartholomew
(Long Beach CA) Press Herald
February 17, 2004,1413,204~21474~1962685,00.html

The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles formally released an unprecedented report Tuesday naming 211 priests and clergy accused of molesting children since 1930, but victims said it did not go far enough and demanded the church release personnel records related to criminal cases.

In a letter opening the 30-page "Report to the People of God," Cardinal Roger Mahony asked forgiveness from "victims, their families and friends,

from the Faithful and from society in general for the mistakes of the past.'

"I acknowledge my own mistakes during my 18 years as your Archbishop,' wrote Mahony, who has headed the nation's largest archdiocese since 1985. "Apologies are vitally necessary, but, of themselves, are insufficient.'

The report names 211 priests who have been accused of molesting 519 boys and 137 girls over the past 73 years. An additional 33 priests have been accused, but their names were not included because the allegations were too recent or contained insufficient information to investigate.

While the report stressed that many of the allegations had been repudiated Mahony himself was named in the report but was cleared of wrongdoing victims and their advocates suggested the report grossly underestimates the number of victims.

"People should be very skeptical of these reports,' said Mary Grant of Long Beach, a spokeswoman for the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests and herself a victim of molestation by an Orange County priest. "This comes from the same bishops who have been harboring these priests for decades. It's only a small first step.'

SNAP joined District Attorney Steve Cooley in demanding the Los Angeles archdiocese allow law enforcement officials access to priests' personnel records. The archdiocese maintains the files are protected by privacy laws because they contain the spiritual, pastoral and psychological counseling received by priests accused of sexual misconduct.

The issue is being decided by a court referee.

"I again urge Cardinal Mahony, as I did in 2002, to give priority to the protection of children from child molestation by providing the fullest possible disclosure of the tragic history of sexual abuse by clergy working in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,' Cooley said in a statement.

Mahony compiled the report as part of an unprecedented, nationwide accounting of abuse cases commissioned by America's bishops to help ease two years of crisis over molestation in the church.

The national study is scheduled to be released Feb. 27, and some bishops already have started revealing their local figures.

The Los Angeles report notes that of 5,000 clergy who have served the archdiocese in the past 75 years, 244 priests, deacons, brothers, seminarians and one bogus priest have been accused of sexually abusing children.

The report noted that 16 of the accused priests are still ministering to parishioners. The archdiocese has determined that allegations against a dozen were not deemed to constitute child abuse or were not credible. Investigations against the remaining four have not been completed.

The list names several disgraced priests from the Long Beach area, including Michael Wempe, Michael Baker, Monsignor George Scott and Theodore Llanos, who killed himself in 1996.

The report does not, however, reveal where the priests were or currently are assigned.

Tuesday's reports shows that Father Baker, who was assigned to St. Lucy in Long Beach and St. Linus in Norwalk, admitted "misconduct' with two boys between 1978 and 1985, but was eventually assigned to parishes throughout Los Angeles County where he ended up molesting children.

Although at first reassigned to limited ministry for retired priests, the report shows that by 1991, Baker was being assigned on an interim basis to various churches until they could find a permanent priest.

In 2000, two people came forward alleging Baker had molested them as children at locations in Mexico, Arizona and California between 1984 and 1999.

In Tuesday's report, Mahony wrote that he placed "too much reliance on Father Baker's perceived good faith in self-reporting, and was far too lenient in permitting him to continue assignments despite the boundary violations.'

Victims' advocates said the report does little to allay fears that the church hierarchy continues to protect accused child molesters.

"We don't expect a notorious, polluting chemical company to just disclose its dangerous dump sites,' SNAP spokeswoman Grant said. "We expect them to fence and clean up those sites, and warn others about them.'

SNAP officials also said 10 priests named in civil litigation against the archdiocese should be immediately removed from ministry.

Church officials contend they had investigated the complaints and found no reason to remove those priests at this time.

The church has investigated abuse allegations against the Rev. Edward Dober of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Paramount, and determined that they were unfounded.

The report also said the archdiocese had paid $10.35 million to settle an unspecified number of molestation cases since 1985.

In his report, Mahony documents a growing awareness of sexual abuse, feeble efforts to control it, and the stringent "zero-tolerance' policy now in place to deal with sexually abusive priests.

Los Angeles Archdiocese Names Those Accused of Abuse Since 1930

By Laurie Goodstein
New York Times
February 18, 2004

T he Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the nation's largest, released a report yesterday identifying 244 priests, brothers, deacons and seminarians who have been accused of sexually abusing a total of 656 minors since 1930.

The Los Angeles Archdiocese is the third of the 195 American dioceses to disclose the names of accused abusers, spokesmen for both the national bishops conference and victims advocacy groups said.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore was the first to do so, posting names on its Web site in 2002, and the Diocese of Tucson was the second.

"It was a painful decision to reach," said Tod M. Tamberg, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, "but we wanted to provide our people with the fullest accounting that we can of what we know. If this helps other victims to come forward and to approach the church with information, than that painful decision has been well taken."

Naming those accused of abuse is still not accepted practice. Next week, the church in the United States is scheduled to release two reports on the scope and causes of what was once a secret trauma, but neither report will disclose the identities of those accused or even how many worked in which dioceses.

Victims of sexual abuse say that by failing to make the names public, dioceses are continuing to cover for the abusers and discouraging other accusers from coming forward. Many victims said they had the courage to report their abuse only when they realized that others had been molested by the same person.

"We certainly think it's in the public's best interest and it is the morally responsible thing to do to put the names out," said Paul Baier, president of Survivors First, a victims advocacy group in Wellesley, Mass., that has compiled a database of nearly 2,000 church officials accused of abuse.

Church officials say bishops have been reluctant to name those accused of abuse because some have been wrongly accused, and also because some are dead.

Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco, director of communications for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, "Mainly the issue is that since so many of these cases are based on allegations that go back several decades and haven't been proven, there's a concern about not accidentally including people who might be innocent of the charge."

The report from Los Angeles notes that in disclosing the names of accused priests "we walk on tender ground."

At the height of the sexual abuse scandal in 2002, the nation's bishops pledged at their meeting in Dallas to commission two reports, one offering statistics on the "nature and scope" of the sexual abuse problem in the church, and the other analyzing the causes.

The statistical study is being completed by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. The bishops were sent a survey that asked for information about each reported case of abuse. All but a handful of dioceses have complied, church officials said.

The other report, on the causes, is based on more than 100 interviews conducted by a subcommittee of the national review board of prominent laypeople that was appointed by the bishops in response to the scandal.

Both reports are scheduled for release on Feb. 27. CNN reported on Monday that an early draft of the John Jay report found that 4,450 priests had been accused of sexually abusing minors nationwide in the past 50 years.

The number represents about 4 percent of priests to have served in the last half-century, a far higher percentage than previously claimed by church officials. A prominent Vatican official, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, said in 2002 that less than 1 percent of priests were guilty of molesting minors.

The CNN report led John Jay College to release a statement saying that it had "nothing to do with the release of that information." The college said the numbers were taken from a "preliminary report" done in January and were likely to change in the final version because bishops were still providing and amending information as recently as Friday.

About half of the nation's dioceses have recently publicized the information they supplied to the John Jay researchers, Monsignor Maniscalco said. The Diocese of Nashville, for instance, reported in its newspaper last week that 7 of the 378 priests who served in the diocese from 1950 to 2002 had been "credibly accused."

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles went further than most bishops in examining the problem, beginning in 1930 rather than 1950, and in supplying the names of the those accused.

Mary Grant, a leader in the Los Angeles chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said in a statement that her group's reaction could be summed up by saying: "Names are good. Files are better."

"We in SNAP believe that if the cardinal really wants to make a difference, he'll turn over the files about abuse to the police and prosecutors," the statement said. "Kids are safest when molesters are behind bars and not in churches working with children."

The Los Angeles report reflects the impact of a California law enacted in 2003 that lifted the statute of limitations and allowed accusers a one-year window in which to bring civil claims against the archdiocese, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. In 2003 alone, 420 incidents of abuse were reported. Most of the accusers said they had been abused from the early 1960's to the late 1980's.

The report counts 656 people who said they were abused by members of the Catholic clergy or church workers.

John C. Manly, a lawyer whose firm represents more than 50 accusers in California, said, "The low figures in the report are obviously an attempt to minimize the problem."

But Mr. Tamberg, the church spokesman in Los Angeles, said the archdiocese would add names and numbers as more accusations were reported.

Some priests regard the naming of accused priests as a betrayal by the bishops. In the February issue of the conservative Catholic magazine First Things, the editor, the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, took Cardinal William H. Keeler of Baltimore to task for naming accused priests.

"He burnished his reputation by trashing the reputations of his priests," Father Neuhaus wrote. "Some father. Some brother. He is not alone in what he did. Other bishops were appalled, but the rule is that bishops do not criticize other bishops."

Mr. Tamberg said that Cardinal Mahony had consulted the archdiocese's council of priests before deciding to publicize the names.

"This certainly was presented to them, and they endorsed it," Mr. Tamberg said.

Activists say LA archdiocese report on abuse claims is insufficient

By Mason Stockstill
Associated Press, carried in the Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune
February 17, 2004

LOS ANGELES Victims of sexual abuse by priests said Tuesday the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles did not go far enough when it released a report that found 244 priests and other church officials had been accused of abuse since 1930.

Mary Grant of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests questioned how forthcoming Cardinal Roger Mahony has been in light of his position that priests' personnel records should not be seen by a grand jury investigating claims of abuse.

"We feel sad that the cardinal's decision to name abusers in his archdiocese was not to genuinely protect children but to avoid criticism, and is the result of pressure, court orders and exposure for refusing to remove molesters from ministry," Grant said.

Grant and other members of SNAP held a news conference outside the downtown Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral hours after the report was released. Many held signs reading "Names are good, files are better." They also displayed mirrors and suggested Mahony "take a good look at himself."

Mahony, who heads the nation's largest diocese, compiled the report as part of an unprecedented, nationwide accounting of abuse cases commissioned by America's bishops to help ease two years of crisis over molestations by priests.

"The report represents our best understanding of the history of sexual abuse in the archdiocese and our efforts to eliminate this scourge," Mahony wrote.

The report also took the unprecedented step of naming 211 of the 244 accused. The names of 33 clergy were withheld because the archdiocese's investigation into the claims against them is in its early stages. The archdiocese said only 16 accused priests remain in ministry. Of those, allegations against 12 were deemed not to be child abuse or not credible, the report said. The remaining four cases were too recent to have completed preliminary investigations.

Mahony, who was falsely accused of abuse himself, cautioned that some of the allegations could be unsubstantiated. Some claims have been made against clergy who could not have been in the place where the alleged crime occurred, according to the report.

Grant said many of the names in the report have already been made public by accusers. She called on the cardinal to turn over more records to police and prosecutors.

"Children are safest when molesters are behind bars, not working in churches," she said.

That view was echoed by attorney Katherine Freberg, who represents 101 people who have filed lawsuits claiming they were abused by clergy in the Los Angeles archdiocese.

Freberg said the report was little more than a litany of excuses for why church officials did not do more to stop abuse.

Archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg said the report was never meant to be anything more than an accounting by the church of priests who have been accused for misconduct.

"Let's not ciriticize it for what it was never meant to be," Tamberg said. "It's not a complete list. We put it out as complete as we can make it at this moment."

He said that if church officials learn of new charges against priests, they will look into the claims and release the names as their clergy misconduct oversight board sees fit.

Freberg said that's not enough.

"I think if the cardinal were really interested in being 100 percent forthcoming, he would disclose the names of all the priests," Freberg said. "He would disclose the records he has fought the district attorney for over a year in keeping secret."

The archdiocese is trying to keep out of public view a judge's ruling on whether a grand jury investigating clergy abuse can see church personnel records. A tentative ruling in the matter has been issued by a retired judge who is working as a "special master" dealing with some aspects of the case.

But that ruling is sealed - along with all the underlying documents.

The archdiocese has maintained that priests' personnel files are private.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley also took the opportunity to call on Mahony to release those documents, saying they "constitute potential evidence of felony crimes."

Freberg's clients are among the more than 500 who have filed claims against the archdiocese since state lawmakers temporarily lifted the statute of limitations on child sex abuse lawsuits. Church officials said $10.4 million in settlements have been paid since 1985.

In the report, Mahony repeatedly apologized for mishandling some cases since he became Los Angeles archbishop in 1985, and asked the region's 4.2 million Catholics to pray that victims heal and reconcile with the church.

"I acknowledge my own mistakes during my eighteen years as your archbishop," he wrote.

But he also argued that the understanding of how best to address abuse has changed over time, and that some approaches previously recommended by psychiatrists and others were only now considered inadequate.

"The common understanding within and outside the church (in past decades) was that this type of misconduct was treatable and curable by more intensive spiritual direction with emotional and psychological counseling, and that this was better achieved privately," the report states.

SNAP members said they won't give up until Mahony releases more documents.

"We want more, a lot more," said Udo Strutynski, who said he was a victim of sexual abuse by a priest. "We want the documents and that's just the beginning."

Associated Press Writer Daisy Nguyen contributed to this story.

A Novel Tack by Cardinal
To keep accused priests' files secret, Mahony is asserting a type of confidentiality privilege that one scholar says 'just doesn't exist'

By William Lobdell and Jean Guccione
LA Times
March 14, 2004

Enmeshed in a high-stakes battle to maintain the secrecy of church documents involving priests accused of molesting children, Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony has adopted a legal strategy more aggressive than that of any other bishop in the country, according to scholars and attorneys.

At the center of the fight are thousands of pages from priest personnel files that Mahony has succeeded for more than a year and a half in keeping from prosecutors, lawyers for victims and the public.

Officials at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles concede that the files include evidence that Mahony and other church leaders improperly handled some cases involving abusive priests.

"We believe that our early decisions were correct at the time they were made but, as our understanding grew, we concluded that those early decisions had generally been too tolerant," said spokesman Tod Tamberg. "In retrospect, then, some of our early policies were mistakes."

Tamberg said that, overall, Mahony should be seen as a national leader in reforming the church's sexual abuse policies. But the cardinal's opponents say that, if all the files became public, they would hobble his leadership of the largest Roman Catholic diocese in the United States.

To keep the files secret, Mahony's legal team is pushing a novel argument in both criminal and civil courts — a claim of what his chief lawyer, J. Michael Hennigan, has called a "formation privilege" between a bishop and his priests.

The archdiocese asserts that the privilege stems from a bishop's ecclesiastical duty to provide a lifetime of formative spiritual guidance to his priests. As claimed by the archdiocese, the privilege would require that sensitive communication between a bishop and his priests involving counseling — including documents relating to sexual abuse of minors — be kept confidential.

Any action by the state to breach that privilege would violate both state law, which shields communications between a priest and a penitent, and the state and federal constitutions' guarantee of religious freedom, the archdiocese's lawyers argue.

"I cannot and will not jeopardize those privileged communications," the cardinal wrote in a Feb. 28 letter to Los Angeles priests and other church leaders. The files could include items such as notes by the cardinal or church investigators on their conversations with victims, witnesses and accused priests; psychological evaluations of alleged abusers ordered by the church; letters about priests' conduct; and assessments by supervisors.

Using the privilege claim, Mahony's lawyers have effectively employed the secrecy of grand jury proceedings as a shield against public disclosure, not only of the disputed files, but of the church's legal arguments as well.

Some church lay leaders and canon law experts — as well as victims' advocates and prosecutors — have expressed reservations and, in some cases, outrage about the cardinal's stance.

Marci Hamilton, a law professor and church-state scholar who has advised lawyers suing the archdiocese, summed up her description of the formation privilege this way: "It just doesn't exist."

Norman Abrams, interim dean of the UCLA School of Law and a privilege expert, said he had never heard of a formation privilege.

Last month, Mahony's legal tactics were criticized by an independent Catholic national review board that issued a report on the sex scandal.

"This argument did little to enhance the reputation of the church in the United States for transparency and cooperation," the report stated. The document also advised bishops and others that "the church cannot and should not hide behind its lawyers or the law blindly and in all circumstances."

The report triggered a fresh round of criticism of Mahony, one of only four bishops it referred to by name as having harmed the church's moral standing during the scandal.

The priest abuse scandal won't go away "unless we have transparency and openness," said William Donohue, head of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, a conservative advocacy group based in New York. "I see a need for Cardinal Mahony to be more cooperative" and to stop fighting prosecutors.

Hennigan defended the archdiocese's legal tactics.

"There is no suggestion in the report that our positions are not principled or lack authority in law," he said, referring to the National Review Board's statement. The formation privilege is "close and sometimes identical to the priest-penitent privilege," Hennigan said.

In one case last year, he said, Ventura County Superior Court Judge Vincent James O'Neill Jr. ruled that Mahony had been correct in arguing that files of an allegedly abusive priest were protected by a privilege and did not have to be turned over to a grand jury in that county. O'Neill's ruling is sealed, because it involves a grand jury.

The review board's report was "enormously unfair … and not well-informed" about the grand jury investigations the church faces, Hennigan said.

The board's criticism will not change Mahony's legal tactics in either the criminal or civil cases, Hennigan went on. "Our strategy is to get these [civil] cases settled."

Mahony's opponents, however, insist that the cardinal's tactics have to do, not so much with sacred church doctrines, as with an attempt to save himself from further scandal.

Critics point out that Catholic confessions, by church law, can't be written down and that superiors, such as bishops, are barred from hearing confessions from priests they supervise. Also, in secular courts, privileges are broken once a third party reviews the material in question — for instance, some could argue, if a bishop receives a psychological report on a pedophilic priest.

The critics see a parallel between Mahony and Cardinal Bernard F. Law of Boston, who resigned in 2002 after the court-ordered release of 45,000 pages of church records showed that the bishop and others had routinely covered up for pedophilic priests.

"Cardinal Mahony and other bishops in the Catholic Church really believe they are above the law," said Father Thomas Doyle, a North Carolina priest who co-wrote a controversial 1985 report warning U.S. bishops of a looming priest sex scandal. "Their fundamental goal is self-preservation. Once those files are disclosed, it's the beginning of the end."

Mahony has admitted to having kept in ministry at least eight priests whose records included credible allegations of sexual abuse. Some stayed in the ministry for years. Three of those whom the cardinal kept on the job allegedly committed additional acts of sexual abuse or had "boundary violations" with 10 children, according to a report issued by the archdiocese last month. By February 2002, those priests had been retired or removed from ministry.

Through Tamberg, Mahony declined to say whether the release of documents would reveal further errors he had made in dealing with sexual abuse by priests.

The Los Angeles Archdiocese is fighting in two different sets of legal proceedings to keep priests' records out of the hands of both prosecutors and attorneys for alleged victims.

On the criminal side, the Los Angeles County Grand Jury has subpoenaed nearly 2,000 pages of documents related to the alleged crimes of as many as 31 priests. Mahony has refused to turn the documents over to prosecutors, although he has publicly said he was cooperating with them.

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley has disputed Mahony's claim of cooperation.

"Archdiocese lawyers and lawyers for the accused priests have asserted for several months that certain documents sought by the grand jury are somehow protected and privileged," Cooley said in a statement. "It is my position, both in court and in public, that this claim is not well founded in law."

In a recent letter to priests, Mahony said he had provided law enforcement agencies with all the information they had historically used to put child molesters behind bars, such as names of victims and accused priests, the years of alleged abuse, records of the priest's assignments and each priest's current status and location.

Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. William Hodgman, who is leading the investigation of allegedly abusive priests, said that sort of limited release of information was not enough. "I won't allow the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to dictate how we will run our investigations or our cases," he said.

In fact, however, Hodgman has little choice for now. In January 2003, the archdiocese and prosecutors agreed to give the disputed documents to a referee — retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Thomas F. Nuss — to decide whether a legal privilege shields the documents from disclosure.

Under the terms of the agreement, which was approved by Superior Court Judge Dan Oki, Nuss is being paid $350 an hour by the archdiocese for the time he spends on the case.

Hodgman said he had agreed to the arrangement because it had been "designed to expedite resolution of these issues, not exacerbate or prolong them."

"No one could have foreseen the tortuous route it has taken," he said.

Nuss has held a series of closed-door hearings on the documents and has issued some preliminary rulings, which remain sealed.

Last September, The Times went to court seeking to open Nuss' decisions and hearings to public scrutiny. That petition was rejected by the state appellate courts, and both prosecutors and the archdiocese's lawyers have said that the newspaper's appeal caused further delays in the proceedings.

Nuss' rulings, when they come, will remain sealed, because they relate to closed-door grand jury proceedings. Whichever side loses before Nuss is expected to appeal, which would further delay any release of documents.

Hodgman, however, has now brought charges against one priest, Michael Wempe, and intends to seek Wempe's personnel records in open court. Doing so might not bring any documents to light, but it could force the archdiocese to argue its case fully in public for the first time.

Beyond the criminal proceedings are civil suits in which at least 42 attorneys representing about 500 alleged victims are seeking the personnel records of about 225 priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Lawyers for the plaintiffs and the church are under a gag order during mediation talks aimed at settling the cases. Those talks are expected to continue into the summer.

Sources familiar with the civil mediation proceedings say the archdiocese is following a pattern established in the grand jury probe. It has turned the records of sexually abusive priests over to another retired Los Angeles Superior Court judge, Lester Olson. He will review the documents and make recommendations to the jurist supervising the mediation, Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman, who will ultimately decide what records are privileged.

Mahony continues his legal assertions as other U.S. bishops are losing the battle to conceal documents in courts of both law and public opinion. State court judges in Massachusetts, Arizona, Iowa and Kentucky have ordered dioceses to release thousands of pages of church documents, after finding that the church could not seek immunity under its 1st Amendment right to free exercise of religion.

In Boston, Associate Justice Constance M. Sweeney ruled in 2002 that the church's argument would "have the practical effect of granting to hierarchical church representatives unqualified immunity from secular legal redress, regardless of how negligent, reckless or intentional the representatives' supervision over their subordinates might be and regardless of the severity of the injuries suffered by claimants."

Others dioceses, such as those on Long Island, N.Y., and in Manchester, N.H., have voluntarily turned over boxes of priests' personnel files to local grand juries for review.

In California, Bishop Tod D. Brown of the Diocese of Orange has rejected use of a formation privilege and voluntarily provided most documents sought by prosecutors and lawyers for victims in recent months, the involved parties said.

Five years ago, Brown and Mahony were on the losing end of a costly court battle that forced the release of incriminating documents about alleged sexual abuse by Msgr. Michael Harris, a popular priest from Orange County. In that case, courts rejected many of the privileges asserted by the church, although not the formation privilege, which Hennigan had not yet developed. The dioceses later settled the case with one victim, Ryan DiMaria, for $5.2 million.

Officials in the California dioceses of Fresno, San Jose and Santa Rosa say they are not making the same legal argument as the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

One problem, scholars say, is that there's no mention of the formation privilege in canon law, the internal code of rules that governs the church.

"In these matters canon law has little to say in one way or another," said Ladislas Orsy, a Jesuit priest and visiting professor at the Georgetown University law school in Washington, D.C., who has also taught canon law at the Gregorian University in Rome. Canon law takes "for granted that in a legitimate criminal investigation, church authorities should cooperate with state agencies."




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