Los Angeles archdiocese adds 54 names to list of accused priests

In a departure from how other dioceses have handled such listings, Archbishop Jose Gomez instructed that the names of deceased priests with uncorroborated but plausible allegations be included

Archbishop José H. Gomez, pictured with Dr. Heather Banis, Victims Assistance Ministry Coordinator for the Archdiocese, addresses the media at the press conference Dec. 6. (Pablo Kay/Angelus)

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles released on Thursday an updated list of priests accused of sexual abuse of minors, with the report showing two cases of alleged abuse of current minors in the archdiocese since 2008.

The two cases were made public at the time the allegations were first received. Upon receiving the accusations, the archdiocese removed the two priests, Juan Cano and Jose Luis Cuevas, from ministry and reported them to law enforcement. Following separate investigations by police and by an Archdiocesan oversight board, the men were permanently removed from ministry.

“As disturbing as their behavior was, it shows that thanks to the swift action of alert teachers, parents and even children themselves, we can catch signs of abusive behavior early,” said Dr. Heather Banis, Victims Assistance Ministry Coordinator for the Archdiocese.

Overall, the update added the names of 54 priests—27 of them now dead—to the Archdiocese’s “Report to the People of God,” originally published in 2004 by Cardinal Roger Mahony, and updated in 2005 and in 2008. The archdiocese has posted the full list, along with a message from Archbishop José H. Gomez, on a new website.

The majority of the names belong to priests accused in the last ten years of misconduct alleged to have occurred before 2008.

In a departure from how other dioceses have handled such listings, Archbishop Gomez instructed that the Archdiocese include the names of deceased priests with allegations that could not be fully corroborated but were nonetheless considered “plausible” by the independent oversight board that reviews accusations for the archdiocese. This broader standard was also applied for priests who had “long ago left the Archdiocese before the allegation of misconduct was received,” the Archdiocese said in a statement.

The decision to broaden the standard for those allegations from “credible” to “plausible” for those priests was made “out of respect and deference to the victim-survivors who made the report,” the Archdiocese said.

Full story at Angelus News.

Full text of the archbishop’s statement upon releasing the list here.

Comments

  1. Plausible rather than credible? What’s the next step down the ‘ladder’ of proof?
    I personally am troubled with the inclusion of deceased priests, for they have no way to defend themselves.
    I’m not suggesting they are innocent. However, is the standard becoming ‘guilty until proven innocent’?
    I presume that the two recently accused men had a fair opportunity to present exculpatory evidence to both the civil and Church authorities. If so, then I totally agree to remove them from the priesthood NOW. Heaven forbid they get shipped off to ‘unaware’ Dioceses.

    • I have to agree with you. This is a troubling path we are headed down. Plausible is a good standard to suspend a priest from ministry until and investigation is done. But, for a dead priest, it seems quite unjust.

  2. Very unjust. Once you are on the other side of the lawn anyone can attack you with impunity. Cardinal Mahony already settled for 640 million for the homoheresy of the Los Angeles priests, yet he was a keynote speaker at the US Bishop´s Conference. This rot in the American Catholic Church starts with “Who Am I to judge” homoheresy and ends with anyone can judge your good name once you die. Gomez chickened out on this one.

    • I agree this is throwing good priests under the bus and defaming their good names simply because of a plausible accusation. What does that mean? That an altar boy was once alone in the sacristy with a priest, as happened in churches all over the country nearly every day prior to 2002, therefore it could have happened? One of the priests on the list was a beloved former pastor, now deceased. I cannot believe he was credibly accused. As a result of his name being on the list, a parish building named in his honor is being renamed to erase his memory. Is this the Catholic version of tearing down Confederate memorials and statues? Meanwhile nuns who stole $500k get off.

  3. Dead priests are not a threat. Heretical speakers at the Religious Education Congress are. Where are your priorities, Archbishop? Where is your courage? Symbol over substance. The appearance of caring, the appearance of responsible management. Dead priests besmirched while gays run the Anaheim Congress.

  4. Simon of Simony says:

    Fifty-four new names added—-hmmm—-added in just enough time probably AFTER the Los Angeles Archdiocese had time to transfer assets to limit financial damages.

  5. What criminal background reported does one find on undocumented, non-citizens, or foreigner? What is the process to arrest/prosecute someone such as a bishop or cardinal who has diplomatic immunity?

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