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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:04 AM

Cardinal in Los Angeles Is Removed From Duties

Source: NYT

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, who retired less than two years ago as the leader of the nationís largest Roman Catholic archdiocese, was removed from all public duties by his successor, Archbishop Josť H. Gomez, as the church complied with a court order to release thousands of pages of internal documents that show how the cardinal shielded priests who sexually abused children.

The documents, released as part of a record $660 million settlement in 2007 with the victims of abuse, are the strongest evidence so far that top officials for years purposely tried to conceal abuse from law enforcement officials. The files, which go from the 1940s to the present, are the latest in a series of revelations that suggest that the church continued to maneuver against law enforcement even after the extent of the abuse crisis emerged.

Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, who was the vicar for clergy and one of the cardinalís top deputies and his adviser on sexual abuse, also stepped down as the regional bishop for Santa Barbara, Calif.

The church had fought for years to keep the documents secret, and until this week it argued that the names of top church officials should be kept private. In letters written in the 1980s, then-Father Curry gave suggestions for how to stop the police from investigating priests who admitted that they had abused children, like stopping the priests from seeing therapists who would be required to alert law enforcement about the abuse.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/us/cardinal-in-los-angeles-is-removed-from-duties.html

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Cardinal in Los Angeles Is Removed From Duties (Original post)
alp227 Feb 2013 OP
Le Taz Hot Feb 2013 #1
Catch2.2 Feb 2013 #20
Kalidurga Feb 2013 #2
MADem Feb 2013 #4
Kalidurga Feb 2013 #6
reverend_tim Feb 2013 #11
Kalidurga Feb 2013 #12
reverend_tim Feb 2013 #13
Kalidurga Feb 2013 #14
goclark Feb 2013 #28
CranialRectaLoopback Feb 2013 #10
MADem Feb 2013 #25
CranialRectaLoopback Feb 2013 #26
Journeyman Feb 2013 #3
aquart Feb 2013 #5
Hekate Feb 2013 #7
SoapBox Feb 2013 #8
Kablooie Feb 2013 #9
idwiyo Feb 2013 #15
Fortinbras Armstrong Feb 2013 #16
Fix The Stupid Feb 2013 #19
Fortinbras Armstrong Feb 2013 #21
Hekate Feb 2013 #27
goclark Feb 2013 #29
zentrum Feb 2013 #17
Fortinbras Armstrong Feb 2013 #23
happyslug Feb 2013 #18
hughee99 Feb 2013 #22
Fortinbras Armstrong Feb 2013 #24

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:08 AM

1. 40+ years of abuse

and all they could think about was covering their sorry asses.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:19 PM

20. Exactly. You know what would have been better?

IF HE WAS CRIMINALLY PROSECUTED!!! Being relieved of your duties?! Come on! This guy was involved in one of the largest cover ups of one of the most, if not most, heinous crimes possible. Not only did he cover it up but he allowed priests to continue to abuse & molest kids! "Relieved of his duties"...give me a break! How about Life Without Parole?!

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:10 AM

2. Next stop jail...

I hope for his sake he ends up in solitary.

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:28 AM

4. Next stop...Vatican City??

If he starts getting into hot water and the authorities indicate they are coming after him, all he has to do is whip out his Vatican passport, hop on a plane and join his pal Cardinal "Above The" Law, who, for his part in covering up egregious abuse of little children over the course of many decades, was given one of the finest cathedrals in Rome to oversee.

When he turned eighty, he threw himself a lavish and expensive birthday party. Shortly after that, the Vatican pulled the cathedral archpriest gig out from under him and gave it to someone else. The rumor is that they were pissed at his excess, given the fact that he was disgraced in USA and was a poster boy for cassocked assholes.

But he still hasn't come back to Boston to face the music.

Now, instead of rotting in jail, where he belongs, he strolls the Via Veneto, dines at the finest osterias, and has lackeys to prepare his clothing, wash his silken skivvies, and polish his shoes.

He's not been held accountable. It's likely he never will. And that sucks.

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Response to MADem (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:37 AM

6. Yep that really sucks

I wouldn't have harbored his law breaking arse. I am glad I was never a Catholic. But, if I had been I would be a recovering Catholic.

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:03 AM

11. It's a life long recovery

40 some years and I am still recovering.

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Response to reverend_tim (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:47 AM

12. That is why I think they should be locked up and never see the outside of a prison again...

child abuse can just utterly break a child's spirit. I have seen it too many times. None of my siblings ever got over it, each one turned to substance abuse. I still have nightmares. And this is just from second hand abuse. I can only imagine how awful it must be to be the actual target of abuse. Just watching what my mom went through has scarred me for life. Well I guess it wasn't all second hand we got some pretty harsh spankings. So, anyway I hear you.

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:04 AM

13. Bless you and may you and your family find peace.

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Response to reverend_tim (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:07 AM

14. Thank you we are getting there.

After years of difficult relationships my family is just starting to understand the horrible dynamics we had been working with. Hopefully the next generations do better, so far so good.

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Response to reverend_tim (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:07 PM

28. God Bless all who are living with


horrible memories and may justice and jail be the beginning of a well deserved punishment for the evil doers!

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Response to MADem (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:23 AM

10. Religion, it's a beautiful thing

 

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Response to CranialRectaLoopback (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:08 PM

25. I'm betting that Cardinal Law agrees with that. nt

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Response to MADem (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:55 PM

26. Indeed

 

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:11 AM

3. When will he be removed from the company of decent citizens . . .

and incarcerated with the rest of his ilk?

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:36 AM

5. Which schools they gonna close to pay for this doozy?

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:57 AM

7. Well, well, well. At least he got his Cathedral built.

That old bastard.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:05 AM

8. ...he makes me sick.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:16 AM

9. I thought Cardinals were from Arizona.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:41 AM

15. Church of Institutionalised Pedophilia would be a very fitting name for them.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:26 AM

16. It appears that Bishop Curry, at least, is an accessory after the fact.

After all, he was attempting to conceal illegal acts from the authorities. Cardinal Mahony may well be guilty of the same thing, it would depend on the documents.

One bit from the New York Times story that interested me was:

Both Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Curry have publicly apologized in the past, but have said that they were naÔve at the time about the effectiveness of treatment for abusers and the impact on victims.


Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologica I-II, question 76, considers in four articles if ignorance is an excuse for sin. He concludes that, at best, it mitigates the severity of the sin, but it does not excuse it -- and in the case of willful ignorance, may exacerbate it. This is in Moral Theology 101, which Curry and Mahony must have passed in their seminary courses.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:37 AM

19. So...what do you think?



Was it just "ignorance" or "wilful ignorance" in this case?

If it is just "ignorance", do you think that "mitigates the severity of the sin"?

Because when it comes to innocent children being raped and the clergy covering it up, I personally do not believe any one could be that "ignorant" of basic human values and decency...

Thanks

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Response to Fix The Stupid (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:20 PM

21. My point was that they tried to claim ignorance

But according to their own theological tradition, their ignorance did was not an excuse.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:52 PM

27. You made a good point. By their own traditions and laws, they are culpable

If they were ignorant at all, which I doubt at this point, it was willful ignorance, deliberate blindness.
Ugh.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:12 PM

29. They were not naive, they knew exactly what they were

doing ~ "Both Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Curry have publicly apologized in the past, but have said that they were naÔve at the time about the effectiveness of treatment for abusers and the impact on victims."
Mahony and Curry were not without Sin --- they know they looked the other way because they were doing the same harm to young boys!

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:40 AM

17. Criminals themselves

Isn't it a crime to know about a crime and not report it? To abet a crime? To enable a criminal to keep doing his crime? Is there no way to charge these creeps legally?

If I knew a child was being abused and I covered up for the perp---wouldn't I be facing jail time too?

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Response to zentrum (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:43 PM

23. Some answers

Isn't it a crime to know about a crime and not report it?


Yes, it is, although you are not obliged to disclose knowledge of a felony where the disclosure would tend to incriminate you of that offence.

To abet a crime?


Yes.

To enable a criminal to keep doing his crime?


Yes.

Is there no way to charge these creeps legally?


Yes. Why do you think the archdiocese tried to suppress those documents?

If I knew a child was being abused and I covered up for the perp---wouldn't I be facing jail time too?


You should be.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:30 AM

18. How do we encourage people to seek help, if we punished when they do?

stopping the priests from seeing therapists who would be required to alert law enforcement about the abuse


This shows one of the problem with the present attitude to such perpetrators, how do we encourage them to seek help, if when they do they get punished? Thus they do NOT seek help, the problem continues and is never address until a lot more damage is done.

The Courts have had a problem with not only the pedophile cases, but how to handle people with other mental disorders. It is easy to say, "lock them up", but to do so you need evidence and often the evidence is lacking. In pedophile cases this is well known, if you have two people, one saying he was sexually abused, the other saying it never occurred, how do you prove BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that the abuse occurred? Please remember you are INNOCENT until proven guilty and thus the burden of proof is NOT on the perpetrator but the victim. In these cases the victim has to PROVE beyond a reasonable doubt not only that he (or she) was abused but by this particular perpetrator.

If someone goes to a mandated reporter for treatment, what he tells the mandated reporter has to be turned over to the Police AND WILL BE USED AGAINST THE PERPETRATOR. Thus the perpetrator has good reason NOT to go to such MANDATED REPORTER.

Now, you may respond "How do we protect the Children"? And that would be a good question, but is it protecting children by discouraging such perpetrators from seeking help? Or is it better to encourage perpetrators to seek help (This is the reason for the Lawyer-Client, Doctor-Patient and Priest-Penitent "privilege" i.e. Lawyers, Doctors and Priests can NOT tell others what people had told them in confidence).

If we look at the Newtown mass killing, the perpetrator there was NOT tied in with any religious organization, but did need psychological help. If he sought such help and he turned to a mandated reporter, he would have lost his right to live in a house with firearms. In effect he would have had to leave his mother's house, his sole source if income, housing and support. Thus that shooter had great incentive NOT to seek help (and did not, and we see the results).

Remember the same law affects everyone, the Catholic Church and the Newtown killer. How do encourage people to seek treatment? This is why the Attorney-Client Privilege (and the later Doctor-Patient privilege) first came about (Priest-Penitent is older, but ignored from the Protestant Reformation till the immigration into the US of Irish Catholics when it was "rediscovered: by the courts).

Just a comment to place the concern of the Los Angeles Diocese in perspective, including the concept that such people could be "Cured" of their problems (Popular concept till the 1980s, then it started to die). It is easy to demand people be punished, but how do we encourage people to seek help, if when they do they are punished? The mere THREAT of punishment is enough to discourage people to seek help, thus the mere TALK of such punishment is discouraging people from seeking treatment.

Now, that these reports are in writing implies these were NOT made in the confessional (and thus NOT subject to the Priest-Penitent privilege) but also states the concern that the Priests who were the subject of the writings may turn to someone who was a mandated reporter and thus subject the Priest to a Police investigation. Should not superiors warn people lower in the hierarchy of any potential danger they may be facing? I know the same can be said about the victims, the Bishop had the same duty to them to make sure the Priest alleged to have done these acts do NOT have the opportunity to do it again (And this is the big failure of the Catholic Church since the 1960s, they refusal to crack down on their friends who tend to be fellow priests, through most of them did rely on Psychological reports that indicated that pedophilia could be "cured").

My point is simple, what is the best way to encourage people to seek help?? Promising them punishment is clearly NOT a way to encourage people to seek help. To criticize them, without addressing the issue of HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO SEEK HELP, is meaningless. If your spouse or best friend was the person someone told you had sex with a kid, would you turn that person in, even if they is NO FIRST HAND EVIDENCE of any crime (i.e, just people telling you that the incident occurred and that is not even first hand). Would you turn them in, after your spouse or best friend categorically said it never happened? And that is your only first hand account?

The Boy-scouts are having the same problem, they are facing some lawsuits for acts of pedophilia by Scouts leaders that they decided to handle internally as oppose to turning them over to law enforcement. Think about it before you said you would turn in your spouse or your best friend, we are talking about one incident, that the spouse or best friend category denis happened and people saying it happened to a third person who does NOT want to talk about it to strangers (Which by definition is Hearsay, and the problem with the day care cases of the 1980s, the "Victims" were so coached that their testimony could not reflect what happened and it was impossible to prove if anything happened, the testimony was so tainted that it was impossible to determined what happened).

The above shows the problem of pedophilia is more complex then we like to admit. Years ago, the above would have been blamed on homosexuality and forgotten, but attacking homosexuality is no longer fashionable, but Catholic Church bashing is thus whenever something likes this comes up it is the fault of the Catholic Church NOT an inherent problem within our society. The problem is NOT Homosexuality or the Catholic Church, but how do we handle these accusations? How do we encourage people who have these urges (including the urge to kill as in the Newtown killings) to get treatment? Bashing the Catholic Church for its errors in the past is NOT addressing that problem (nor is bashing Homosexuals nor bashing assault rifles). How to encourage treatment (and providing such treatment, including paying for such treatment) is important, for how else do you prevent such incidents?

I can say this about the LA Diocese, they at least TRIED to keep tab on the problem, most agencies who deal with children just ignore it (and dismiss all accusations as unfounded if they keep any paperwork on the accusation), thus no paper trail to provide evidence against them (This seems to have been the Boy Scouts policy, but some records were kept and lawyers are fighting for those records at the present time).

Thus the real issue is not that these incidents occurred, but how to prevent them from occurring in the future? The lawsuits have forced the Catholic Church to adopt a more aggressive policy to such accusations, hopefully other groups that deal with children have adopted similar policies, and that is one good thing to come out of this mess. On the other hand we still are so busy wanting to punished people, we forget about how to prevent the harm we want to punish people for doing.

The key is prevention and that include permitting a lot of people to seek help AND NOT BE PUNISHED FOR SEEKING SUCH HELP. That should be the debate, but it is ignored for the simple reason it interferes with people's desire to punish people for what the person did. We need to encourage people to seek Psychological help when they need it and to pay for such help, but such help is expensive and thus we prefer to send them to jail, and when we can not do that, be on the streets doing more crimes till we have enough evidence to convict them of something. In many ways that is a sad commentary on out society.


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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:28 PM

22. The question is, was he really replace because he tried to cover it up, or because

he wasn't successful enough in doing so?

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Response to hughee99 (Reply #22)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:44 PM

24. He was replaced because he hit the mandatory retirement age

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