Los Angeles Cardinal Roder Mahony Hid Abuse, Files Show


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I thank Tom Myles for this link.

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Los Angeles Cardinal Hid Abuse, Files Show


Published: January 21, 2013

LOS ANGELES — The retired archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, and other high-ranking clergymen in the archdiocese worked quietly to keep evidence of child molesting away from law enforcement officials and shield abusive priests from criminal prosecution more than a decade before the scandal became public, according to confidential church records.

Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Cardinal Roger Mahony

The documents, filed in court as part of lawsuit against the archdiocese and posted online by The Los Angeles Times on Monday, offer the clearest glimpse yet of how the archdiocese dealt with abusive priests in the decades before the scandal broke, including Cardinal Mahony’s personal involvement in covering up their crimes.

Rather than defrocking priests and contacting the police, the archdiocese sent priests who had molested children to out-of-state treatment facilities, in large part because therapists in California were legally obligated to report any evidence of child abuse to the police, the files make clear.

In 1986, Cardinal Mahony wrote to a New Mexico treatment center where one abusive priest, Msgr. Peter Garcia, had been sent.

“I believe that if Monsignor Garcia were to reappear here within the archdiocese we might very well have some type of legal action filed in both the criminal and civil sectors,” Cardinal Mahony wrote.

Monsignor Garcia admitted to abusing more than a dozen young boys, most of them from families of illegal immigrants, since he was ordained in 1966, and in at least one case he threatened to have a boy he had molested deported if he talked about it, according to documents filed in court.

He was never criminally prosecuted, and has since died.

In a 1987 letter regarding the Rev. Michael Baker, who had also been sent for treatment in New Mexico after admitting that he had abused young boys, Msgr. Thomas J. Curry wrote to Cardinal Mahony that “he is very aware that what he did comes within the scope of the criminal law in California.”

“It is surprising the counselor he attended in California did not report him, and we agreed it would be better if Mike did not return to him,” the letter continued. It would be decades before Father Baker was convicted of sexually abusing children.

In a written statement released on Monday, Cardinal Mahony, who took over the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1985 and retired in 2011, apologized to the victims of the sexual abuse.

“Various steps toward safeguarding all children in the church began here in 1987 and progressed year by year as we learned more about those who abused and the ineffectiveness of so-called ‘treatments’ at the time,” the statement said. “Nonetheless, even as we began to confront the problem, I remained naïve myself about the full and lasting impact these horrible acts would have on the lives of those who were abused by men who were supposed to be their spiritual guides.”

Cardinal Mahony said he came to understand that impact only two decades later, when he met with almost 100 victims of sexual abuse by priests under his charge. He now keeps an index card for each one of those victims, praying for each one every day, he said in the statement.

In a phone interview, J. Michael Hennigan, a lawyer for the archdiocese, said that the documents represented the “beginnings of the awakening of the archdiocese of these kinds of problems,” and that the lessons learned in the intervening decades helped shape the current policy, under which all accusations of abuse are reported to the police and all adults who supervise children are fingerprinted and subjected to background checks.

Lawyers for some of the priests accused of abuse fought in court to keep the documents and many others confidential. But over the coming weeks, many more church records will also be released as part of a settlement between some of the victims and the archdiocese.

Ray Boucher, a lawyer representing some of the plaintiffs in those cases, said the files released on Monday were “particularly damning,” because they showed the “wanton disregard for the health and safety of children, and a decision by the highest members of the church to put its self-interest and the interest of abusive priests ahead of those of children.”

Mr. Boucher added, “I think when the full light is shown, the public will begin to understand just how deep a problem this is.”

A version of this article appeared in print on January 22, 2013, on page A16 of the New York edition with the headline: Los Angeles Cardinal Hid Abuse, Files Show.



    14 Responses to “Los Angeles Cardinal Roder Mahony Hid Abuse, Files Show”

  1. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    Fr. Michael Baker: http://www.kfoxtv.com/ap/ap/crime/files-show-how-la-church-leaders-controlled-damage/nT3kq/

  2. Michael Skiendzielewski Says:

    In a phone interview, J. Michael Hennigan, a lawyer for the archdiocese, said that the documents represented the “beginnings of the awakening of the archdiocese of these kinds of problems

    Yeah, Mr. Hennigan, let me ask you this…………while Mahoney was in his “deep sleep” (beginnings of the awakening), you were drawing down your hefty legal fees. How could you properly advise the spiritual leader of L.A. if he were, in fact, asleep at the wheel while the children were being abused?

  3. ERW Says:

    Honestly! How coud anyone ever believe those holier than we?. They all knew and kept it under wraps, for “the good o the church” They finally have been forced to admit the abuse. Aiding and abettig is a crime for everybody else under the law, why not for them? They knew how to cracking the whip over the rest of us, making everybody else feel guilt ridden and squeezing everybodys money, for which they did not ever give an accointing, but lifed hiwh and decadently.

  4. Deanna Leonti Says:

    Really?..@ERW RIGHT?!..

  5. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    It’s RODENT Baloony not Roder Babony. i rest my case…


    pudlo pudlat
    mini wirehair doxie
    Court Reporter

  6. Frank Lostaunau Says:


    This above was handed out at the Diocese of Boston…tee hee…

  7. vinnie Says:

    Let’s call it what it was. Unabashed criminality at the highest levels of the hierarchy, period. Mahony’s tongue should fall off for even feigning concern for victims. It was his fight and his hundreds of millions of dollars that have kept these files from public view for this long!

  8. ClevelandGirl Says:

    Abused children — reduced to 3×5 cards. I have no clean language to describe how I feel about that.

    Binders of women, 3×5 cards of abused children. Not only are women and children slaves, livestock, plants, and dirt according to the buy-bull, they are also nothing more than pieces of paper. Toilet paper. For wiping the arses of men of power and privilege.

  9. ERW Says:

    Cleveland Girl,

    That is exactly how I feel as a woman, about a majority to men. Even today in our Western world, it is small percentage of men who treat women as equals, and with the respect and deference we give them.

    Men will blame women for the evils of the world, and unfortunately–women being each others worst enemy–are doing likewise, because men still hold most power, authority, assets.

  10. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    I don’t understand why that rodent Mahony can’t be tried and imprisoned? Nechemya Weberman the Satmar porker was just given a 103 year sentence for raping a girl for over 3 yrs.

    I hope that weberman gets porked everyday for the rest of his life…LORD HEAR MY PRAYER!

    tee hee…

  11. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    I think that Michael Hennigan resembles a rodent: http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/omwRSVaZlNO/LA+Archdiocese+Agrees+660+Million+Settlement/BZH7doRiz_Q/Michael+Hennigan

  12. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    Porkchop Weberman gets 103 years! tee hee…


    hardly expressionless…

  13. Thomas Says:

    They all acted in the same way, they all followed the same rules. It was not even the Church that they protected—in the end, it was themselves. And now, they have reduced themselves to a mere thing that even the Divine dare not touch. From darkness…into the light the truth must come.

  14. ClevelandGirl Says:

    Thanks ERW! We become our own worst enemies because we’re conditioned/brainwashed/indoctrinated to be so. Case in point: At my *first* mammogram, I was brutally abused by the mammotechs (both women). I’m flatchested (true AA), and they didn’t (I learned later) put my breasts in the machine properly, so despite my remaining *perfectly* still, I popped out. The whole time they were working on me, even before I popped out (which they made out to be my fault), they were rolling their eyes and making faces and generally mocking my underendowment. The most heinous part, though, was the fact that they ended up giving me a double dose of radiation because they had to do each of the four views *twice*. I was so humiliated and angry that I resolved to never get a mammogram ever again, and I was perfectly willing to die of undetected breast cancer should it occur.

    Did I report this? NO! Why? Because I learned a *long* time ago that if you complain to OSU of any medical maltreatment, they label you a head case and even write it in big letters on the outside of your chart (this happened to me after maltreatment by a doctor who said I had “polypharmacy” because I was on an antihistamine, a decongestant, and a birth control pill. He wanted to put me on a tranquilizer, an antidepressant, and an antipsychotic instead. Uh, doesn’t three equal three? Didn’t he want to replace one polypharmacy with another, a much worse one? I wasn’t depressed, psychotic, or in any way mentally ill except that I wasn’t a passive, submissive, and stupid woman and he wanted to turn me into a zombie Stepford Wife. But I digress…). I especially believed that I wouldn’t be believed because it was my first mammogram and I knew they’d think of me as a hysterical, insecure woman with pain fear and possibly sexual issues (afraid of having my boobs touched medically). “You’re just a dumb broad, what do you know? Here, have a tranquilizer.” I had no pain fear, knew it would hurt only momentarily, and was OK with that. I’m a part-time artists’ model, so I have *NO* inhibitions whatsoever about being looked at, and no qualms about being touched by a doctor either.

    FF two years. I get with a good gyno, and she sends me to a different mammography facility. The ladies were totally nice and supportive and appalled by how I had been treated by the OSU mammobitches. Last year, the tech was a woman who had retired from OSU (“D”). I told her what happened, and she knew *exactly* who I was talking about and knew them to be rude and unprofessional. She shared that after retirement she worked with these mammobitches on contingency but found them so awful that she quit after nine months and went with the nice non-OSU facility part-time instead. She let me know that *I wasn’t alone*. She gave me the vindication and validation that I had needed for four years. She gave me what I, as an abuse victim, needed.

    When D asked me why I didn’t report it, I said, “I didn’t know who to report it to, and I figured no one would believe me if I did.”

    I was well-trained by RCC Inc through my earlier priest/nun abuse experiences at age 5 and 6 to even put up with abuse later in life and believe that no one would believe me if I did tell. I’m still their butt monkey despite my consciousness about abuse and its consequences and determination to not be abused ever again. I still have butt monkey conditioned automatic responses that those in power want me to have. I *hate* that I still can’t stand up for myself and can only complain after the fact at best. RCC Inc still has me by the short hairs – even if they never abuse me again (because I stay the hell far away, though I can’t get away from religious abuse by my in-laws and priest nephew), they still get their jollies because anyone in the patriarchal power structure (even women) can still abuse me and get away with it.

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