Posts Tagged Los Angeles Times
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.
“From the start of his tenure as the leader of L.A.’s Catholics, Roger Mahony had ambitious plans for the archdiocese. But clergy molestation claims were vying for his attention.”
A year after arriving in Los Angeles, the youngest archbishop in the U.S. Catholic Church had a schedule and an agenda befitting a presidential candidate … Among the thousands of papers that crossed his desk in September 1986 was a handwritten letter. ‘During priests’ retreat … you provided us with an invitation to talk to you about a shadow that some of us might have,’ Father Michael Baker wrote. ‘I would like to take you up on that invitation.’ The note would come to define (Cardinal Roger) Mahony’s legacy more than any public stance he took or powerful friend he made.” By Harriet Ryan, Ashley Powers and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times — Read all of this major Los Angeles Times piece by clicking here.
Fierce Opposition by the Catholic Church Helps Block Bill to Allow Sex Abuse Victims More Time to Sue / Los Angeles Times
A bill that would give some sex abuse victims more time to file lawsuits, which has drawn fierce opposition from the Catholic Church, failed to get enough support Wednesday (Aug. 14) to make it out of a key legislative committee. The bill, which needed nine votes to leave the lower house’s appropriations committee and go to the Assembly floor, mustered only six. Four committee members opposed the bill and seven did not weigh in after an emotional hearing that included testimony from a lobbyist who is also a sex abuse survivor.” By Ashley Powers, Los Angeles Times
Read Powers’s entire article, “Bill to Allow Sex Abuse Victims More Time to Sue Fails to Advance,” by clicking here.
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.
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
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
Statute of limitations is the main stumbling block to prosecuting Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and aides in the sex abuse files from the 1980s released this week, experts say … A nearly insurmountable barrier is the statute of limitations. A quarter-century has passed since Mahony and his chief aide for sex abuse cases, Msgr. Thomas J. Curry, wrote memos outlining strategies to prevent police investigations of three priests who had admitted abusing boys. The 1986 and 1987 letters fall decades beyond the three-year statute of limitations for felonies such as child endangerment, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit those offenses.” By Harriet Ryan, Ashley Powers and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times