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Former archdiocesan official says Cardinal Mahony ordered secrecy on abuse complaints

September 21, 2009

The former vicar for clergy in the Los Angeles archdiocese has testified under oath that Cardinal Roger Mahony ordered him not to report allegations of a priest's sexual abuse to police or to parishioners. In a deposition filed last Friday, Msgr. Richard Loomis said that the cardinal ignored his own archdiocesan policies in handling complaints about Father Michael Baker, who had admitted his sexual misconduct in other cases years earlier.

Baker, who was later defrocked, was convicted in 2007 on sex-abuse charges and is currently serving a 10-year prison term. The archdiocese paid $1.2 million to settle complaints involving his misconduct.

Msgr. Loomis, who testified that he was badly upset by Cardinal Mahony's secretive handling of the Baker case, is himself now suspended because of a sex-abuse complaint.


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