Files Show How Los Angeles Church Leaders Controlled Damage

January 22, 2013 Comments Off on Files Show How Los Angeles Church Leaders Controlled Damage

Files Show How Los Angeles Church Leaders Controlled Damage

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS January 21, 2013

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and other top Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles officials maneuvered behind the scenes to shield molester priests, provide damage control for the church and keep parishioners in the dark, according to church personnel files.

The confidential records filed in a lawsuit against the archdiocese disclose how the church handled abuse allegations for decades and also reveal dissent from a top Mahony aide who criticized his superiors for covering up allegations of abuse rather than protecting children.

Notes inked by Mahony demonstrate he was disturbed about abuse and sent problem priests for treatment, but there also were lengthy delays or oversights in some cases. Mahony received psychological reports on some priests that mentioned the possibility of many other victims, for example, but there is no indication that he or other church leaders investigated further.

“This is all intolerable and unacceptable to me,” Mahony wrote in 1991 on a file of the Rev. Lynn Caffoe, a priest suspected of locking boys in his room, videotaping their crotches and running up a $100 phone sex bill while with a boy. Caffoe was sent for therapy and removed from ministry, but Mahony didn’t move to defrock him until 2004, a decade after the archdiocese lost track of him.

“He is a fugitive from justice,” Mahony wrote to the Vatican’s Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI. “A check of the Social Security index discloses no report of his demise, so presumably he is alive somewhere.”….

Mahony was out of town but issued a statement Monday apologizing for his mistakes and saying he had been “naive” about the lasting impacts of abuse….

The apology stands in contrast to letters Mahony was writing to accused priests more than two decades ago.

In 1987, he wrote to the Rev. Michael Wempe — who would ultimately admit to abusing 13 boys — while the priest was undergoing in-patient therapy at a New Mexico treatment center.

“Each of you there at Jemez Springs is very much in my prayers and I call you to mind each day during my celebration of the Eucharist,” Mahony wrote to the priest, adding that he supported him in the experience….

When parents complained the Rev. Nicholas Aguilar Rivera molested in LA, church officials told the priest but waited two days to call police — allowing him to flee to Mexico, court papers allege. At least 26 children told police they were abused during his 10 months in Los Angeles. The now-defrocked priest is believed to be in Mexico and remains a fugitive….

The personnel files of 13 other clerics were attached to the motion to show a cover-up pattern, said attorney Anthony De Marco, who represents the 35-year-old plaintiff. In one instance, a memo to Mahony discusses sending a cleric to a therapist who also is an attorney so any incriminating evidence is protected from authorities by lawyer-client privilege. In another instance, archdiocese officials paid a secret salary to a priest exiled to the Philippines after he and six other clerics were accused of having sex with a teen and impregnating her….

The exhibits offer a glimpse at some 30,000 pages to be made public as part of a record-setting $660 million settlement. The archdiocese agreed to give the files to more than 500 victims of priest abuse in 2007, but a lawyer for about 30 of the priests fought to keep records sealed. A judge recently ordered the church to release them without blacking out the names of church higher-ups after The Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times intervened….

Mahony, who retired in 2011 after 26 years at the helm of the 4.3-million person archdiocese, has been particularly hounded by the case of the Rev. Michael Baker, who was sentenced to prison in 2007 for molestation — two decades after the priest confessed his abuse to Mahony….
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/01/21/us/ap-us-california-church-abuse.html

Accuser unleashes fury at Catholic Church, priest admitted to sleepover

May 1, 2012 Comments Off on Accuser unleashes fury at Catholic Church, priest admitted to sleepover

Pa. accuser unleashes fury at Catholic Church
By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press – 4/30/12

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 47-year-old man unleashed his fury Monday at the Roman Catholic Church, staring down a church official in a Philadelphia courtroom as he described being forced as a child to engage in sex acts with a priest.

The man glared Monday at Monsignor William Lynn at the defense table and complained that only one church representative, a priest friend, had ever apologized.

“It always felt wrong. A man should not touch a child,” said the man, the ninth of 10 children in his Levittown family.

Testifying in the sixth week of a clergy abuse trial focusing on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the man broke down when he recalled telling his mother in 1998 about being abused by defrocked priest David Sicoli in the late 1970s….

The 61-year-old Lynn is charged with endangering children by keeping accused priests in ministry after reviewing abuse complaints kept in secret archives when he served as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004. His lawyers argue that he took orders from the cardinal.

Lynn is on trial with the Rev. James Brennan, who is charged with the attempted rape of a 14-year-old in 1996, when Brennan was on voluntary leave and the boy slept over at his West Chester apartment.http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iXSVeSETzVINRai6wU34yvHjy9Ww?docId=97b8c0852a9944e3a5c89dba3a673266

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Pa-accuser-unleashes-fury-at-Catholic-Church-3521684.php

Testimony: In 2008, priest admitted to sleepover, letting teen look at porn
By Sarah Hoye, CNN  Mon April 30, 2012

Philadelphia (CNN) — One of the two Philadelphia priests on trial in a landmark child sexual abuse and conspiracy case admitted in 2008 that he allowed a 14-year-old to view pornography and sleep in the same bed with him during an overnight visit in 1996, according to testimony given to church investigators.

Monsignor Kevin Quirk, the presiding priest over the 2008 canonical trial of Rev. James Brennan, read Brennan’s testimony into the court record on Monday. Brennan is accused of attempted rape in the 1996 incident and is currently standing trial in criminal court.

“Did I allow it happen? Yes. I take full responsibility for it,” Brennan testified in 2008, adding that the behavior was “borderline” inappropriate. Brennan denied touching the 14-year-old or exposing himself, according to the 2008 testimony that Quirk recounted for the court on Monday….

Also on trial is Monsignor William Lynn, the first high-ranking church figure charged with child endangerment. He’s accused of knowingly transferring priests from parish to parish despite allegations of sexual abuse of minors, including Brennan.

Both have pleaded not guilty….

Two grand jury reports accused the archdiocese of failing to investigate claims of sexual abuse of children by priests.

The 2011 report led to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office criminally charging four Philadelphia priests and a parochial school teacher with raping and assaulting boys in their care, while Lynn was accused of allowing the abusive priests to have access to children.

Days before the trial began March 26, defrocked priest Edward Avery of the Philadelphia Archdiocese pleaded guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of child after admitting that he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy during the 1998-1999 school year.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/30/justice/pennsylvania-church-abuse-trial/index.html

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