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Los Angeles cardinal hid abuse, files show


sub-CHURCH-articleInline(NYT) The retired archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, and other high-ranking clergymen in the archdiocese worked quietly to keep evidence of child molesting away from law enforcement officials and shield abusive priests from criminal prosecution more than a decade before the scandal became public, according to confidential church records.

The documents, filed in court as part of lawsuit against the archdiocese and posted online by The Los Angeles Times on Monday, offer the clearest glimpse yet of how the archdiocese dealt with abusive priests in the decades before the scandal broke, including Cardinal Mahony’s personal involvement in covering up their crimes.

Rather than defrocking priests and contacting the police, the archdiocese sent priests who had molested children to out-of-state treatment facilities, in large part because therapists in California were legally obligated to report any evidence of child abuse to the police, the files make clear.

In 1986, Cardinal Mahony wrote to a New Mexico treatment center where one abusive priest, Msgr. Peter Garcia, had been sent.

“I believe that if Monsignor Garcia were to reappear here within the archdiocese we might very well have some type of legal action filed in both the criminal and civil sectors,” Cardinal Mahony wrote.

Monsignor Garcia admitted to abusing more than a dozen young boys, most of them from families of illegal immigrants, since he was ordained in 1966, and in at least one case he threatened to have a boy he had molested deported if he talked about it, according to documents filed in court.

He was never criminally prosecuted, and has since died. [More]


The New York Times



  1. [...] Cardenal de Los Angeles escondió abusos, mostrar archivos [...]

  2. Thank you I am not trying to blame others. I do not deny that certain Bishops did wrong.
    I am saying do not make Catholicism false by saying the church has not had anything positibe since Constantine. We have had, do have and will have Saints and Sinners. I am not in denial but I will not have 2000 years of history say the Church is Evil because some not all of its members are wrong. Please do not cast stones as Jesus said unless you are without sin. I can not, will not take total condemnation of the One, Holy Catholic, and Apostolic Church established by Christ. I admit of the sins of its members. The Catholic Church is Holy because Jesus Christ is Holy. You do not scare me by your tactics of intimidation. God Bless You All.

  3. joseph Francis says:

    Fr. John is in total Denial! It is too painful for him to see and accept the magnitude of what the Bishops colectivly did to protect their brother priests. To address this cancer in the priesthood that was spreading of sick men who were priest abusing children.

  4. Tomas says:

    This “abuse” of Cardinal Roger M. Mahony has been known for years but the Conference of Bishops had ignored it…. Just appalling!

    And where is the Bishops’ Conference in deaaling with the several USA dioceses that still refuse to deal with this horror?

    And where is the Vatican in dealing with the priests in the Italian dioceses… and those priests who work in the Vatican?

    Pitiful… just pitiful…

  5. Dear Recovering Catholic,
    Can you tell me which branch of society has been perfect since Adam and Eve? There have only been three minutes of perfect peace in the world and that was at the time of the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross. Be cautious for when you point a finger at someone three of your fingers point back at you. The church is comproised of saints and sinners of which not one of us is not a sinner. If we were not sinners Christ would have no need to have been born and crucified and risen from the dead.

    • Recovering Catholic says:

      Rev. John — Let’s not put “spin” on what you said in your post by your now trying to obfuscate and divert attention away from the point — the “blurring” of the vision of Jesus Christ. You said that it is tragic that the “hierarchy” looked the other way. My point is that the “hierarchy” has a long history of always looking the other way – a long history of covering up and blurring the vision of Jesus Christ. Individuals didn’t do this; those who have been in control of an institution that is advertised to be holy have blurred the vision of Jesus Christ, so let’s stick to the facts and not try to blame others, shall we?

  6. This is tragic that the Vision of Christ became so blurred. Tragic that the hierarchy looked the other way. Tragic that the poor victims carry this abuse in their minds. Mary Mother of Priests bring our priests to your Divine Son, that they fall in love with the Christ whom they call from heaven at Mass.

    • Recovering Catholic says:

      Yes, Rev. John, this was tragic, but this kind of heinous behavior wouldn’t shock anyone who knew the history of the Catholic Church. The vision of Jesus became blurred very early on in the Catholic Church from Constantine onward and escalated to the horrendous Medieval hate crimes during the reign of the fiendish Cardinal Carafa (Pope Paul IV), for instance!

  7. Tony says:

    While it is horrible to read these reports,the victims of the priests and bishops, are still suffering from the priests actions and the bishops inaction.


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