What crime is worse: a) sexually abusing a child, or b) knowing about it, covering it up and allowing the abuse to continue?
Don’t worry – I’m not requiring an answer. But I will say this: both groups deserve to be punished, exposed and held publicly accountable for the pain and suffering they caused.
But now there is a huge risk that Group B—Los Angeles Archdiocese officials who knew kids were being raped and did nothing to stop it—will go unpunished and unexposed. Names of child sex abuse enablers and abetters could be redacted from secret personnel files, more than five-and-a-half years after those documents were promised to victims.
Why? Well according to the Los Angeles Times:
That agreement, however, is at risk of being undermined. A court-appointed referee has ruled that the names of church leaders who are not accused of abusing children should be redacted from the files before those documents are publicly released early next year. Why? The referee argues that including the names of such high-ranking clerics, including Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, would only cause further embarrassment to an institution that has already enacted reforms to prevent future abuses.
Because of the ruling of the referee judge, the LA Times and Associated Press have intervened and will argue against the redaction of names of church officials who covered up abuse.
Let’s talk about the “reforms” that the referee judge discusses above. Remember, most of them were a part of Ryan DiMaria’s 2001 sex abuse settlement. Since then, we have seen little change, including Cardinal Mahony’s attorney admitting that the Archdiocese does no reference checks on their priests (which allowed a convicted child rapist priest to start working in LA churches, kept other offenders in ministry).
An organization that is truly reformed will aim to publicly punish and expose those who committed crimes on the job. So what does that say about an organization that fights to redact the names of criminals (similar to Msgr. William Lynn) in their employ? Or the organization that does not willingly expose them on their own?
It says the organization still has much to hide. And it must be exposed.