Posts Tagged Los Angeles Archdiocese
Los Angeles’s Costly Lesson for the Vatican ($740 million spent on clergy sexual abuse litigation) / The New York Times
Pope Francis has been meeting this week with eight cardinals he selected to shape proposals for reforming the Roman Catholic Church. It is too early to tell what will result from an agenda that will range from Vatican finances to the recruitment of new believers. But the deliberations surely cannot afford to overlook the shocking price tag announced as a final figure that the Los Angeles Archdiocese paid to victims of child sexual abuse by priests.” (boldface added) Editorial in the New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.
Also of note — “The $740 million the Los Angeles archdiocese has now paid to settle sex-abuse lawsuits is equal to about 2.5 times the total annual spending of the Holy See,” said Phil Lawler of CatholicCulture.org, when speaking about his recollection of a reflection by Jean-Marie Guenois of Le Figaro. “If you add legal costs and earlier undisclosed settlements, you might be able to run the entire operation of the Vatican for three years on the sum spent by the Los Angeles archdiocese to pay for the corruption of the clergy.”
When Los Angeles police were investigating allegations of child abuse by a Roman Catholic priest in 1988, they asked for a list of altar boys at the last parish where the priest worked.
“Archbishop Roger Mahony told a subordinate not to give the list, saying he didn’t want the boys to be scarred by the investigation and that he felt the altar boys were too old to be potential victims, according to a February 2013 deposition made public Wednesday (Feb. 19).
“The detectives investigating allegations against Nicolas Aguilar Rivera, a visiting Mexican priest, ultimately got the names of the boys from parish families. They determined the priest molested at least 26 boys during his 10 months in Los Angeles, according to the priest’s confidential archdiocese file and police records made public by attorneys for the victims.”
By Gillian Flaccus, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Also see “L.A. Archdiocese Settles Final Priest Abuse Case for $13 Million” by Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times. According to the Los Angeles Times, the setttlement ends a decade of abuse litigation that cost the Catholic Church more than $740 million.
Confidential personnel records from five Catholic religious orders were turned over to victims of sexual abuse Wednesday (July 31) in the first wave of a court-ordered public disclosure expected to shed light on the role the groups, operating independently of the L.A. Archdiocese, played in the region’s clergy molestation scandal. The documents pertain to a dozen priests, brothers and nuns accused of sexual misconduct in the landmark 2007 settlement with hundreds of people who filed abuse claims against the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles. An additional 45 religious orders will release the personnel files of their accused clergy by this fall, completing what is believed to be the fullest accounting yet of the abuse crisis anywhere in the Catholic Church.” By Victoria Kim and Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
Read all of Kim and Ryan’s article by clicking here.
At the height of the clergy sex-abuse scandal in 2002, Catholic leaders stayed silent as California lawmakers passed a landmark bill that gave hundreds of accusers extra time to file civil lawsuits. The consequences were costly. Now, state legislators are considering a bill that would give some alleged victims more time to sue. But this time, the church is waging a pitched battle in Sacramento to quash it.” By Ashley Powers, Los Angeles Times
Read this entire article by clicking here.
Voice of the Faithful Urges Pope Francis to “Act Decisively” Regarding Bishops, Clergy Sexual Abuse & His Message to Vatican Congregation
Pope Francis has recommended that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Catholic Church’s child sexual abuse prosecutorial arm, “act decisively with regard to cases of sexual abuse.” Currently, three cases in the U.S. provide an opportunity to see whether decisive action also will include holding accountable bishops who fail to act when sex abuse is revealed:
- Newark Archbishop John Myers has allowed a priest who had admitted groping a boy to continue working with children in violation of an agreement that barred the priest from ministering to children or holding any position involving children.
- Retired Los Angeles archbishop Cardinal Roger Mahony, implicated in covering up clergy sexual abuse based on formerly secret archdiocesan documents, ignored a directive from present Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez and has continued to preside at Confirmation and other public ceremonies.
- Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn remains in office despite his conviction for failing to report suspected child abuse.
Each of these bishops apparently has violated the Essential Norms of USCCB’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which have the force of canon law. In the most recent of these, although several lower-level diocesan employees have “resigned,” Bishop Myers, who several months ago had erroneously described the abusing priest in the case as having been acquitted, has not resigned.
If Pope Francis wishes to demonstrate that the Church will, at last, “act decisively” in matters of child sexual abuse, these are clear instances where he can hold accountable the bishops who fail to act in such cases. Voice of the Faithful® urges Pope Francis to call for investigations under canon law or to censure these bishops directly. He is the only person in the Church who can do so.
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of concerned Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in governance and guidance of the Church. More information about Voice of the Faithful is available on its website by clicking here.
Retired archbishop of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony has been presiding at Confirmations, apparently flouting present Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez’s censure in January. On Feb. 1, Voice of the Faithful® issued a National Statement saying VOTF saw “some slight, long overdue justice” in Gomez restricting Mahony’s public appearances for “abetting clergy sexual abuse.” Amid the flurry of media reports surrounding Mahony’s actions, dotCommonweal has posted the following from Grant Gallicho, which is a good overview of the situation with many links to other reports:
Remember how in January, after nearly a decade of legal filibustering, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles finally made public the priest-personnel files it agreed to release as part of a 2007 settlement with abuse victims, except the files were heavily redacted, and remember how those files contained damning memos detailing the lengths to which archdiocesan officials — including Cardinal Roger Mahony — went to shield abuser-priests from civil authorities, and how soon after those memos made news, Archbishop Jose Gomez garnered praise for announcing that Mahony would “no longer have any administrative or public duties,” and how several media outlets reported that Mahony had been “barred from public ministry,”except he really hadn’t, and then he took to his blog to dress down Gomez for “not once over these past years…[raising] any questions about our policies, practices, or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors,” yet, as Mahony’s then-spokesman explained, he had “cleared his calendar of confirmation appointments this year”? Well, he’s doing them again.
Read the rest of Gallicho’s account by clicking this title, “Mahony Unbound,” which appeared on dotCommonweal this past Friday, May 10.
As archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony was famous for his petulance, dispatching angry letters to priests and others whom he considered insufficiently deferential. But now that he finds himself in a subordinate position as a retired and rebuked bishop he displays none of the deference he once demanded.” By George Neumayr
A senior Vatican official called Cardinal Roger Mahony‘s participation in the selection of the next pope “troubling,” but said there was no formal procedure to stop the retired Los Angeles archbishop from attending the conclave next month.” By Tom Kington, Los Angeles Times
There is worldwide outrage that former Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony will be part of next month’s papal conclave in Rome. A poll by an influential Italian Catholic magazine found that an overwhelming majority of its readers don’t want Mahony to be part of the papal conclave to select the next pope after Pope Benedict XVI finalizes his retirement.” By CBS-TV Los Angeles
In the wake of the court-ordered release of 12,000 pages of confidential archdiocese records, Cardinal Roger Mahony (Archbishop of Los Angeles) has been criticized for hiding abuse allegations from police and failing to protect parishioners from accused molesters. But the documents suggest that Mahony at times had to press an unresponsive Vatican to get molesting priests out of the church.” By Victoria Kim and Ashley Powers, Los Angeles Times
Voice of the Faithful® has long called for greater accountability and transparency throughout the Church and has pointed out that, because of constant pressure, attitudes have been shifting slowly. The Los Angeles judge’s order for the archdiocese to release unredacted secret documents has certainly added to that pressure. Reflecting on Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez’s actions regarding Cardinal Roger Mahony, which resulted from the contents of those documents, experienced Vatican watcher John L. Allen gives us this in commentary today in National Catholic Reporter:
… most basically, the culture of the church is evolving in the direction of greater accountability. Yes, it’s happening under external pressure, and yes, it’s taking an awfully long time. Nonetheless, the wheels are slowly grinding in the direction of the idea that when someone drops the ball, there need to be consequences?”
Click this link — Gomez, Mahony and the ‘Sodano Rule’ — and you may read Allen’s entire column.
He says he turned over an archdiocese ‘second to none’ in protecting children — Responding to a public rebuke by his successor, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony insisted that he tried his best to deal with the priest molestation scandal but fell short because not enough was known about the problem early in his career.” By Mitchell Landsberg and Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
The church files are filled with outrage, pain and confusion. There are handwritten notes from distraught mothers, accounts of furious phone calls from brothers and perplexed inquiries from the police following up on allegations of priests sexually abusing children.” By Jennifer Medina and Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times
To those familiar with the protocols of the Catholic hierarchy, the news was stunning. The archbishop of Los Angeles publicly rebuked his predecessor, a cardinal, for his failures in dealing with the priest sex abuse scandal. The action by Archbishop Jose Gomez, relieving Cardinal Roger Mahony of “any administrative or public duties,” was remarkable on two levels.” Editorial in National Catholic Reporter
Only now is the full scope of the roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ culpability in the sex abuse scandal being confirmed. — Not only did the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles fail to protect children from pedophile priests, but its leaders, including Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, subsequently sought to protect its reputation by covering up cases of sexual abuse and shielding priests from the arrest and prosecution they deserved. The archdiocese then spent more than a decade fighting to keep that coverup from being revealed in court.” Editorial in the Los Angeles Times