Cardinal in Los Angeles Is Removed From Duties

New York Times, By Jennifer Medina & Laurie Goodstein, January 31

Los Angeles — Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, who retired less than two years ago as the leader of the nation’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese, was removed from all public duties by his successor, Archbishop José H. Gomez, as the church complied with a court order to release thousands of pages of internal documents that show how the cardinal shielded priests who sexually abused children.

The documents, part of a record $660 million settlement in 2007 with the victims of abuse, are the strongest evidence so far that top officials for years purposely tried to conceal abuse from law enforcement officials. The files, which go from the 1940s to the present, are the latest in a series of revelations that suggest that the church continued to maneuver against law enforcement even after the extent of the abuse crisis emerged.

Bishop Thomas Curry, who was the vicar for clergy and one of the cardinal’s top deputies and his adviser on sexual abuse, also stepped down as the regional bishop for Santa Barbara, Calif.

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In a letter [PDF] on Thursday, Archbishop Gomez wrote that the files are “brutal and painful reading.”

LAT: Los Angeles Archdiocese: Priest abuse files
LAT: Cardinal Mahony stripped of public church duties
LAT: Church abuse: Action against Cardinal Mahony ‘extraordinary’

1 comment to Cardinal in Los Angeles Is Removed From Duties

  • Raja

    Cardinal Mahony used cemetery money to pay sex abuse settlement

    Los Angeles Times, By Harriet Ryan, February 10

    Pressed to come up with hundreds of millions of dollars to settle clergy sex abuse lawsuits, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony turned to one group of Catholics whose faith could not be shaken: the dead.

    Under his leadership in 2007, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles quietly appropriated $115 million from a cemetery maintenance fund and used it to help pay a landmark settlement with molestation victims.

    The church did not inform relatives of the deceased that it had taken the money, which amounted to 88 percent of the fund. Families of those buried in church-owned cemeteries and interred in its mausoleums have contributed to a dedicated account for the perpetual care of graves, crypts and grounds since the 1890s.

    Mahony and other church officials also did not mention the cemetery fund in numerous public statements about how the archdiocese planned to cover the $660-million abuse settlement. In detailed presentations to parish groups, the cardinal and his aides said they had cashed in substantial investments to pay the settlement, but they did not disclose that the main asset liquidated was cemetery money.

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