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It just never ends

A Los Angeles archbishop has now apologized for actively plotting with other church officials to keep secret from law enforcement priests in his diocese who had sexually molested children, continuing the dreary and disgusting trend of high Catholic officials expressing remorse for the abuse that they covered up only after they get caught.

Fifteen years before the clergy sex abuse scandal came to light, Archbishop Roger M. Mahony and a top advisor plotted to conceal child molestation by priests from law enforcement, including keeping them out of California to avoid prosecution, according to internal Catholic church records released Monday.

The archdiocese’s failure to purge pedophile clergy and reluctance to cooperate with law enforcement has previously been known. But the memos written in 1986 and 1987 by Mahony and Msgr. Thomas J. Curry, then the archdiocese’s chief advisor on sex abuse cases, offer the strongest evidence yet of a concerted effort by officials in the nation’s largest Catholic diocese to shield abusers from police. The newly released records, which the archdiocese fought for years to keep secret, reveal in church leaders’ own words a desire to keep authorities from discovering that children were being molested.

In Los Angeles, [Mahony] tapped Curry, an Irish-born priest, as vicar of clergy. The records show that sex abuse allegations were handled almost exclusively by the archbishop and his vicar. Memos that crossed their desks included graphic details, such as one letter from another priest accusing Garcia of tying up and raping a young boy in Lancaster.

Mahony personally phoned the priests’ therapists about their progress, wrote the priests encouraging letters and dispatched Curry to visit them at a New Mexico facility, Servants of the Paraclete, that treated pedophile priests.

Meanwhile evangelical Christian Bob Jones University is investigating whether it appropriately investigated sexual abuse allegations of children and adults.

Comments

  1. invivoMark says

    Wait…. They have a “chief advisor on sex abuse cases” for an archdiocese?

    Do these people ever stop and wonder if maybe they’re the bad guys? Because they look and act a hell of a lot like bad guys.

  2. TGAP Dad says

    The only surprising element to this story was the apology, not the actual crime(s). This illustrates how desensitized we’ve become to priests raping children.

    I highly recommend William Lobdell’s book Losing My Religion, which recounts his journey completely out of religion against the backdrop of the catholic scandals in southern California. In one particularly heartbreaking account, he tells of a woman who bore a priests child, and tried to get child support from the priest. Unable to afford a lawyer, she brought the case pro se, and was thoroughly beaten down by the diocese’s powerful legal team. Once the court adjourned, the diocese, upon discovering that a reporter was present, attempted to get the records sealed. That’s the kind of pathology that drives them.

  3. baal says

    “It just never ends”<–The RCC has been consistently telling us for 20+ years now that all the problems are in the past and not worry any more about it.

    @#2, Lobdell has been on Fresh Air (NPR) too. In another of his anecdotes, a molester was put into a remote Aleutian village and pretty much the entire village was victimized for decades. They had limited means and limited ability to even communicate outside of the village. There was, of course, no supervision on the priest.

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