Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $40,515 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Cardinal Mahony, LA archdiocese sheltered abusive priests, files show

Catholic World News - January 21, 2013

Church leaders in the Los Angeles archdiocese, led by retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, worked for years to protect abusive priests from public exposure and prosecution, newly released archdiocesan records show.

The Los Angeles archdiocese has released files that show the handling of sex-abuse complaints by Church leaders in recent decades. The files were released on January 21, in fulfillment of a court order. The archdiocese had fought for several years to avoid making the files public.

The files—the first of thousands that will eventually be made public under the court order—record exchanges in which Cardinal Mahony and his aides discussed how to shelter abusive priests from law-enforcement officials and ensure that parishioners were not apprised of the priests’ crimes.

In a statement released on January 21 after the files were made public, Cardinal Mahony renewed his apologies for mishandling sex-abuse cases. He explained that he had been “naïve” about the issue, and believed that abusive priests could be rehabilitated. He lost that naivete, he said, when he began meeting with the victims of sexual abuse. The cardinal reported that he had met with dozens of victims between 2006 and 2008.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($128,202 to go):
$150,000.00 $21,797.70
85% 15%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: frjohndowney9908 - Jan. 22, 2013 2:08 PM ET USA

    I am a Priest in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. I was ordained in 1981 and served during both Cardinal Manning and Cardinal Mahony's time here. I remember quite well a situation in which a Priest was accused. People convicted him with gossip in his parish, the news went after him and his Priestly reputation was ruined. Cardinal Mahony did everything he could to protect this Priest. When the Priest was found to be innocent everyone was silent. He continues to suffer, though he did nothing wrong.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

When Catholics are less Catholic than non-Catholics 17 hours ago
Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18
Challenge Grant Begins as Synod Ends October 17
What's wrong with this Synod, IV: Unprepared for marriage October 17
No, mainstream religious orders aren't attracting vocations as fast as younger traditional orders October 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6