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Cardinal Mahony hit hard by document release

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 23rd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It's a scathing indictment, but today the Los Angeles Times reviewed documents which reveal that Los Angeles Archbishop, Cardinal Roger Mahony, actively and knowing participated in hiding child sex abuse from the authorities in the 1980s.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In front page news, Cardinal Roger Mahony was skewered as the Los Angeles Times published a review of documents that reveal that then-Archbishop Roger Mahony knew about child sex abuse in his archdiocese and actively worked to cover it up.

The revelations are part of a document dump ordered by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. Documents were released on Monday.

According to the Times, the documents contain the best evidence to date to show that Cardinal Mahony and others actively worked to cover up the scandal. In addition to Mahony, memos he exchanged with Msgr. Thomas Curry were disclosed. The memos discuss things such as keeping an accused priest out of the state for fear of arrest and prosecution, both criminal and civil, as well as discussions related to priests who were known pedophiles.

Several pedophile priests were sent to rehabilitation programs in the 1980s. Authorities were never contacted.

Some priests even deliberately targeted the children of illegal immigrants and threatened to report those families if they talked. When informed of these heinous crimes, Cardinal Mahony's response appears to have been to cover up the incidents.

It is well-understood that sexual abuse is a crime against children, and the appropriate response includes criminal sanctions. Unfortunately, because Mahony did not take this step, an unknown number of children were further abused.

The documents are part of an ongoing civil case against the Archdiocese.

While it appears based on the documents that Mahony may have participated in covering up crimes against children, he has actually gone one step further. He has actively participated in a crime against the entire Church.

The child sex scandal has rocked the Catholic Church for over a decade and has hurt the church in innumerable ways.

For his part, Archibishop Mahony has said, "I'm sorry." Unfortunately, the apology may not be enough to repair the lives of all the children who were harmed as a result of his actions - and inactions.

Mahoney released a statement where he said, "I have a 3 x 5 card for every victim I met with on the altar of my small chapel. I pray for them every single day. As I thumb through those cards I often pause as I am reminded of each personal story and the anguish that accompanies that life story."
"It remains my daily and fervent prayer that God's grace will flood the heart and soul of each victim, and that their life-journey continues forward with ever greater healing. I am sorry."

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