L.A. Priest Child Abuse Scandal Cover-Up in 1980s Revealed
Jan 22, 2013 02:07 AM EST
Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and other top Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles officials concealed child molestation incidents by priests from law enforcement as late as 1987, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.
Citing newly released internal Church records, the report says that Archbishop Roger Mahony, who is now retired, and his top adviser on child sex abuse cases, Monsignor Thomas Curry, worked with other Church officials in 1987 to send priests accused of abuse out of state to avoid prosecution.
Mahony's personal notes show that he was disturbed about abuse and sent problem priests for treatment, but there also were lengthy delays or oversights in some cases.
Priests suspected of abuse were sent away for treatment, but often only after long delays, and many cases slipped under the radar. In a statement Monday, Mahony said he was "naïve" in how he handled the scandals and apologized for his mistakes, saying he keeps the names of 90 abuse victims on index cards and prays for them every day.
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.