Judge: Turn over priest files to court

LA Times sues to keep names from being redacted

Cardinal Mahony

The following comes from an AP story run on December 10.

A judge on Monday ordered the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to turn over to the court the top-secret files it has kept for decades on dozens of priests accused of sex abuse, bringing the documents closer to public scrutiny.

The order by Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias came five years after more than 550 alleged victims reached a record-breaking, $660 million settlement with the archdiocese that also called for the public unsealing of the confidential files.

Individual priests have been fighting to keep the records closed, but the California Supreme Court declined to intervene earlier this year after a lower court decision in a related case cleared the way for the release of the documents.

Elias gave the archdiocese until Dec. 27 to give her the files on 69 priests to review and then set a hearing for early January to consider arguments from priests who want to keep their files private.

The judge will also hear objections to a previous order that allows the archdiocese to black out the names of some clerics and the church officials who handled the priests. The Los Angeles Times has filed court papers objecting to the order and had an attorney in court Monday.

Holding those officials, including the recently retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, accountable is critical, Ray Boucher, lead plaintiff’s attorney, said….

The cardinal has apologized for his handling of the sex abuse scandal and has acknowledged missteps in how he handled several highly publicized cases, including that of former priest Michael Baker.

Baker told Mahony at a retreat in 1986 that he had molested two young boys, but the cardinal has said he didn’t alert anyone because the priest told him the children were illegal immigrants who had returned to Mexico….

For entire story, click here.

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Comments

  1. I would like to see all of them punished. especially those who covered up anything.

    • Exactly what do you mean by “punished”? A rather broad or global term that could mean lots of things. I’m not sure what you mean by “covered up anything” either. Again– I think specifics would have helped communicate your message.

  2. Maryanne Leonard says:

    Justice will be served more fully on Judgment Day for everyone involved in harming our Catholic children, our faith community, and all of us who bear the shame of what happened to the innocents under the cloak of Catholicism. Having been harmed by a Catholic priest on Church property myself in San Francisco in the early 1960′s, I can testify that it has taken me over 50 years to wrap my head around what happened to me, and I fully expect to go to my grave still damaged. In my day, we just kept silent, and now financial retribution is being sought. Although the payments come the assets of the Catholic Church and greatly reduces the ability of the Church to serve parishioners, the poor, and our Catholic students, I support justice for the innocents and punishment of the guilty. I have not heard that Catholic priests themselves have paid a farthing for their terrible misdeeds, but they should be paying too.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Maryanne,

      Yes justice must be paid, and I have said this even to the Press; however does that mean that the alleged victims and their attorneys should be made millionaires?

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

      • Maryanne Leonard says:

        If it would heal the victims, I would say that it is just that the wealth of the criminals should be redistributed in its entirety to those who will bear the torment of the victimization all the rest of their lives on earth, while the guilty usually get away scot free, especially as concerns their consciences, which most of them don’t have. Money does pay for counseling, which would have to be years-long, sad to say, but doesn’t guarantee liberty from this great burden. It is all we can do besides love and help the victims, but usually they do not want our love and our help, as they are turned away from the Church forever entirely too often, as I was for 40 years. I was so afraid I could not attend Mass without my husband there to protect me, and he’s not even Catholic! Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent for my healing, and it is only partial. Does that answer your question? Nobody paid me a dime, nor did I ask for anything, but the price I’ve paid has been intolerably devastating. As to the attorneys, if I had employed one, he would expect to be paid, and that is an excessively well-paid profession, so yes, more money would be needed to pay for legal counsel, sorry to say. It is not a case of enriching victims, but a few lucky ones are compensated partially by money, which is used to help heal pain that is overwhelming and horrible. The worst pain is that of being ripped apart from your faith community and your faith itself becomes used as a weapon against you, so you question if it is safe to even be a believer. It is torment, Ken, and it demands restitution. This is a crime against a person’s body, soul, spirit and personality and rips at their very sense of who they are and whether or not it is safe to be a Catholic. So the answer is, no amount of money is enough to ruin a person’s one and only life so completely. Wish I could give you the answer you want, but this is the truthful answer from one who knows from personal experience what it is like to have your world ripped apart by a priest on Catholic property.

      • R Stevens says:

        KMF,The Judge has ordered the files to be released ASAP, which means RIGHT NOW! All the leadership involved in the documented coverup of child rape by clergy will not be allowed to have their names redacted from the 30,000 pages of documents that are going to be released. That includes those in the Vatican. Question: when are the People Of God going stand up ALL together and stop the immoral criminal crimes of the Church’s leadership against the children in their charge? Please, read the files when they are released, if you have the guts to do it?

  3. A man asked for a newspaper on the train. The porter brought the LA Times. ”I said I wanted a NEWSPAPER.” Unfortunately in this digital age, you can’t use it for bottom of the birdcage lining.

    • But you can use your digital age device to line the bottom of the bird cage. I see these devices all the time, out in the desert in heaps with other junk, that people blast apart for target shooting … the American eagle dropping its load on these bewitching devices.

  4. Same sex attraction ? Now thats an interesting topic !!!

  5. Purge the Church of all the guilty. Only protect the innocent.
    This is the best way to stop abuse.
    All people must pay for their own crimes, or pay for covering up crimes of others. (And I’m not talking about paying with other people’s money – Diocese money.)

    All sexual activity outside of marriage (between one man and one woman) is a MORTAL sin.
    Pornography is a MORTAL sin.

    The Cardinals and all Diocese Bishops need to stop the SCANDALS commited by ALL Catholics (regardless of rank) within the Church.
    They have not been paying attention to all the various scandals by those who profess to be ‘Catholic’.
    Scandals are counter-productive to Evangelization, not to mention the loss of Souls.
    Mt 18.6; 1 Cor 8:10-12; CCC: 2284 – 2287.

    When necessary – Canon 915, and formal/public excommunication (ab homine) are in order as teaching tools and stopping Scandal.
    1 Cor 5:9-13.

    When Bishops do not do their jobs to correct PUBLIC scandal, the entire Church suffers.

    It was embarassing when O’Reilly of Fox News took the Bishops to task yesterday for not doing anything about those at the Democratic Convention who stated they were ‘Catholic’ and ‘support abortion’ – like Carolyn Kennedy. How many times do you have to be asked to do your own job ? ? ?
    Bishops do your job. Stop worrying about politics, fund raising and money or USCCB or State Bishop Conference Committees. Your job is your own Diocese – first and foremost.

    And our job as Catholics is to report any public Scandals to the appropriate Diocese Bishop. Send documentation such as an article, names, dates, locations, etc.
    If the Bishop does not do his job, send the info to the US Papal Nuncio in Washington DC and also the Vatican.

    • There are different degrees of mortal sin. All degrees of it are included in sodomy.

    • R Stevens says:

      MIKE, when any child has been raped by a priest (scandal) and covered up by the Church (scandal) is a crime (felony) in this country. You call the police first not your Bishop (felony). The Church does not have first amendment rights to rape children and cover it up (felony). This is how you stop the rape of children and coverup in the Church (felony).

  6. Larry from RI says:

    Prosecute all those who had knowledge of and perpetuated these crimes of molestation of children:the priests,any bishops, and the law firms the dioceses had that knew about these crimes and said and did nothing.
    Also prosecute those who rape underage girls and the abortion killing clinics that are covering up these rapes.

  7. Mark from PA says:

    Cardinal Mahoney “didn’t alert anyone because the priest told him the children were illegal immigrants who had returned to Mexico???” I don’t understand this. The kids didn’t deserve help because they were illegal immigrants. I read this story. I was creeped out by when they talked about the priest taking a vacation to Thailand. What is it with clerics and vacations in Thailand? This is just really sad. I guess the Church wants the names to stay redacted to protect their reputations. Sigh!

    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      But But, Cardinal Mahoney retired to work on immigration issues.

      Its so difficult for me to love in Christian Charity Cardinal Mahoney. He is everything a Catholic priest should never be, from what I can tell. How did he ever become Cardinal?
      It makes me rethink the whole greatness of JP II.

      • Bl JPII is “great” because of his philosophical work, not because of his administrative work. He has highlighted the battle field for the next several centuries, more or less depending on how fast creation moves towards the end of time.

  8. Douay-Rheims Bible

    John 3:19 … And this is the judgment: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil.

    “These are files showing the hierarchy of the church making a conscious decision to protect itself … knowing that they were putting children in harm’s way,” he said. “What we want to do is bring as much sunshine to this issue as we possibly can.”

    “”the cardinal has said that he didn’t alert anyone because the priest told him the children were illegal immigrants who had returned to Mexico.”……..Those are not the words or the heartfelt actions of a true champion for the rights of the poor or the rights of illegal aliens. Those are the words and actions of a champion for covering up one’s tracks.

    “It is better for scandals to arise than the truth be suppressed” – Pope Gregory

  9. Abeca Christian says:

    This story really continued to break my broken heart. It tore it more. These realities of our church from our poor church leadership tears me up in pieces. I can only imagine how much more it injures Jesus…way more than my human mind can comprehend.

  10. Homosexuals corrupted the seminaries. Now emboldened by their electoral victories on same-sex marriage they will demand Catholic weddings to desecrate our Church. Sex, abortion and masonry.

    • Dear Gratias: The comment you made says quite a bit about you, and where you are at with regards to stages in life. We tend to think black and white as adolescents, and then, as we grow and mature, we realize that life is lived in the “grey”. The things we thought of as “absolute” are not what they appeared to be— again–with some growing-up and maturity. So–I would suggest that you re-read your comments. They Sounded like a modern day Scribe or Pharisee to me!

      • Anton L. Seidl says:

        Big D: I think Gratias has it exactly right. There should be no tolerance for perversion of this nature. Especially not in our church. The notion of same sex marriage as a civil right has infiltrated even our fellow Catholics. Who do you
        think propagates these ideas? Call me a Pharisee if you like. I see the issue in black and white. No shades of gray.

        • Big D: I merely wanted to point out the long-term consequences of Gay marriage. They will come to Catholic Churches and demand equal marriages as men and women have. Once homosexuals are denied they will have much jurisprudence on their side to fight us tooth and nail.

  11. The reason that bureaucracies keep files is because they do not operate on a trust based system, but on a legalist system. Jesus excoriated the Jewish leadership for their legalism. What does this say about these dioceses that keep files? It says their members do not trust one another. Why not? The Church is a faith, or trust, institution; yet, it does not trust its members, nor its hierarchy. Why not? How can you have a group based on trust when the members do not trust one another? The hypocrisy of this Church bureaucracy will not bode well for its pushers and pimps at the Gate to Heaven.

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