For 13 years, they knew

Why are we only hearing the story of this L.A. bishop now?

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles knew since at least 2005 that one of its bishops had been accused of sexual abuse. Above, Archbishop Roger Mahony, left, who led the archdiocese from 1985 to 2011, and his successor, Jose H. Gomez. (Los Angeles Times)

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles knew for at least 13 years that one of its bishops had been accused of sexual abuse at a parish but did not inform the public until this week, despite repeated vows to disclose such information.

The archdiocese, which over the years has paid out a record $740 million in settlements to victims of priest abuse, had promised to publicize the names of clergy accused of wrongdoing. But Bishop Alexander Salazar’s name was not on several lists released by the church, even though he’d been investigated by the Pasadena Police Department in 2002. The inquiry involving Salazar only became public when Pope Francis accepted his resignation Wednesday as auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles.

According to prosecutors and police, Salazar was accused of committing a lewd act with a child in the 1990s. The archdiocese said the allegations were made by a family who attended the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary church in Pasadena, where Salazar served as a pastor from 1988 to 1992. The family didn’t go to police until 2002, during the height of the priest abuse scandal. Detectives investigated and submitted their findings to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, which decided not to file charges.

In 2004, Pope John Paul II elevated Salazar to the position of bishop. The archdiocese said its officials were not informed about the Pasadena investigation until 2005. But Pasadena police on Wednesday indicated at least some in the church might have known sooner. The department said the incident involving Salazar was said to have occurred at a private residence. But officials made “contact with the church and the school, in an abundance of caution, as they employed the individual against whom the complaint was made,” the department said in a statement to The Times.

Once senior officials learned of the allegations, the archdiocese referred the matter to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which investigates clergy sexual misconduct, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said in a letter to the parishioners Wednesday.

The congregation “imposed certain precautionary measures” on Salazar, who remained a bishop.

Full story at Patheos.


  1. Anonymous in L.A. says

    And Cdl. Manony STILL gets to keep his red hat!

  2. I’m guessing it’s the same reason no clerics said anything about Theodore McCarrick even though they all knew.

  3. St. Christopher says

    This record is completely disgusting and violative of the mantle of sacrifice that Christ places on each bishop. But, of course, this is not all. Hundreds, thousands of examples of homosexual predation exists. The Church (yes, the institution) will answer for this, but Satan wins anyway. People no longer trust their priests much, and bishops are despised, as a class. Overreaction? Hardly, when you see the arrogance of Pope Francis, the Vatican and the USCCB in maintaining the same people in positions of trust and authority. Virtually all of the bishops and cardinals need to go, not just a few here and there. Of course they knew, and they know, and they laugh in their cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at expensive retreats.

  4. Central Valley says

    And just to let everyone know Cardinal Roger Mahony will be speaking at the Los Angeles religious education conference… Absolutely unbelievable… The good Cardinal will be speaking about the care and protection of children. I wonder if he will be carrying his three-by-five cards with the names of all of the victims.
    13 years of knowledge. This is disgusting and inexcusable. Archbishops Mahoney and Gomez should be removed permanently from all public ministries. This has to come to an end.

    • Some years ago, I saw the film, “Deliver Us From Evil”– a horror beyond words! I also happened to talk to several people who grew up in the same church where the evil Irish former priest, “Fr.” Oliver O’Grady, served—– and these people had no idea in the world, of the horrific evils he was doing! Now, grown-up and married, raising families of their own– these people say they are extremely careful with priests! Men like O’Grady and so-called “Cardinal” Mahoney must have almost more sins, than the Devil himself!

    • Richard Gomez says

      If every person withheld their annual diocesan contribution, I predict you would get the bishops’ attention REAL QUICK.

  5. This is where the expression “hanged, drawn and quartered” comes to mind.. Everyone starting with Cdr. Mahony and all of his cronies knew…..all of his classmates from the seminary knew and they all covered up for one another. Cannot think of a word that describes what has been going on in the Los Angeles Diocese. I can only picture our good Lord on the Cross dying for these disgusting priests. The gates of hell will be open and waiting for them on judgement day.

  6. Everyone needs to calm down.

    The very likely reason this accusation was not talked about until now is that it is very likely bogus.
    But in today’s “guilty until proven innocent” atmosphere for priests, the Church is left with little choice but to throw the guy under the bus.

    The real untold story in all of this is the rampancy of false accusations.
    Follow. The. Money.

  7. It has been widely published lately, that in Illinois, about 185 clergy have been publicly identified as sex predators– yet, there are actually more than 500 other clerics,, who have also committed horrific sex crimes, too! Horrific! Thousands of young lives have been destroyed! And what will the Vatican do about this, in Feb.?? What can Catholics count on?

    • Too many Catholic clerics in Illinois, thus far, are now on the recent list of clergy sex predators! And how about California?? And worldwide, how many?? And what will the Pope do about this, in February? Thousands of young lives destroyed– and many victims have also committed suicide! Our church is a horrific disaster! No moral conscience??? None?? When will God send His Divine Justice– and what will it be, then??

  8. Anonymous in L.A says

    We can rest assured that the L.A. Archdiocese had knowledge and learned from the mistake of failure to protect its assets.

    This probably came out now because the Archdiocese has had time to re-title assets and transfer them to irrevocable charitable trusts, so that they will be shielded from civil judgments.

  9. Something isn’t right here. The police investigated and the DA decided NOT to file charges. The Vatican does a better job of investigating than the local police and DA, 26 years later? In 2002, “at the height of the priest abuse scandal”, the man was not charged, when everyone out there was gunning for the Church. Sounds like there is no proof other than someone’s words, and the Vatican has decided that its priests are guilty until proven innocent, and that accusers must be taken at their word for the sake of its reputation. “The Congregation imposed ‘certain precautionary measures’” does not sound like they had much evidence to go on either. I think Bishop Salazar is the victim here.

    • Why would he resign if he was innocent?

    • Central Valley says

      He was one of Mahony’s hand-picked men. without many years of ordination he was made a monsignor at the recommendation of cardinal Mahony. Mahony recommended him to be an auxiliary Bishop. Red Roger look the other way for so many of his friends why wouldn’t he do the same for Salazar. I just don’t understand if this was known for 13 years a priest would have been dismissed so why does archbishop Gomez and archbishop Mahony remain in the public ministry?

      • Yeah, premature elevation to monsignor is always a giveaway sign. Then on top of it an aux bishop at a young age? Dead giveaway. The full resignation was deferred so he could continue accruing credits in the diocesan pension plan. Instead of being investigated fully and possibly laicized in 2005, things were delayed and deferred, and now he retires with a cushy pension income for life, as bishop in good standing, all provided for on the backs of God’s people. We should all have life so good.

  10. It is nice to see that Central Valley and St. Christopher are still around.

  11. Robertis Cardinal Mahony brings shame to US Catholics. Not only he had this.Gay Auxiliary Bishop, but another Auxiliary Bishop by name Thomas Curry arranged thing so that Gay priests could only be “treated” by psychologists that were also lawyers, so that the client-lawyer privilege would keep it all under wraps. This all happened, mind you, before Pope Francis dedicated his Papacy to,”Who am I to Judge?” When discussing the case of perverted Nuncio in Uruguay Msgr. Ricca, the current director of the Domus Sanctae Marthae where the Pope has decided would live.

  12. It’s not a dumb question whether the church’s prelates believe. They sure don’t act like it.

  13. Bishops are corrupt. It’s all a game to them. They get no respect from me and no money from me. And obedience? Hah! Forget it.

    • Larry Northon says

      No respect? I’m with you there. No money? None from me, either. No obedience? Well now, that depends on what the bishop orders. If even a shoddy bishop acts within his legitimate authority, Christ does not give us excuse to disobey. We can only disobey sinful or canonically unlawful orders, not proper ones. Don’t throw out Christ’s commands along with these evil clerics.

  14. They knew. They hid it. They covered it up. They delayed. They laughed at the stupid little people.

  15. They act like there’s no God or like God doesn’t exact justice. They act like they’re immune and above the law and above God’s justice and above the Church. We’ll see what God does. What God has in mind.

  16. Of all the places Cardinal Mahony chose to live in retirement, he chose North Hollywood. Connect the dots.

    • Nothing sinister there. St. Charles Borromeo, in North Hollywood, was his family’s parish since his boyhood. Maybe you can fault the Cardinal on other things; but on this, he deserves a pass.

  17. I believe that any priest or bishop convicted of a crime, should be immediately laicized! All Catholics and their children should be 100% safe, in our churches!

  18. I believe that any priest or bishop convicted of a crime, should be immediately laicized– and excommunicated! All Catholics and their children should be 100% safe, in our churches!

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