Will the LA Times and the AP force the Archdiocese of LA to keep its promises?

Posted by Joelle Casteix on December 28, 2012 in Child safety, Clergy Abuse Crisis | Subscribe

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.

Reforms?

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.

 

 

4 Comments

  • Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    Joelle, it seems like whether it’s the West Coast or the East Coast (here in Philadelphia), it’s business as usual ten years after the abuse scandal exploded in Boston in 2012. Holding Church leadership accountable appears to be an impossibility, yet we struggle on. They want their names redacted???

    This reminds me of our leader, Archbishop Chaput’s recent comments to a local Catholic conference where he mentioned the clergy abuse scandal and said that US Church leadership will face a “hard accounting” before God in the next life. Will their names be “redacted” in the next life? Redacted – a fine euphemism for “hidden”………the hallmark of child sexual abuse and the standard operating procedure for our US Catholic Church leadership.

    Next week, here in the City of Brotherly Love, we start another criminal trial with a defendant Oblate priest (employed by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia) as well as an elementary school teacher in the same parish grade school. Will things change? Seems to this writer that Archbishop Chaput is more concerned with the “red chapeau” and there are still unresolved cases involving priests removed from ministry quite some time ago. The ones who were reinstated to parish ministry……..no information regarding the investigation, details, circumstances, etc……….I guess the investigation was “redacted”.

  • Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh says:

    I wonder if the referee judge is a Catholic or has some ties to Catholicism? As a Catholic physician, I can understand that some people do not want to believe that a priest or bishop would sexually abuse anyone, nor allow someone to be sexually abused by a fellow member of the clergy, especially the abuse of a child.

    Before I was sexually assaulted by a Carmelite priest when I was a young doctor, I could not believe that a priest or bishop would sexually assault anyone. Sadly, many of these celibate men seem to have no conscience about sexually abusing others. The Pope and others who have been complicit are guilty as well. The Pope is claiming diplomatic immunity to escape from accountability. What kind of shepherd is the Pope being? He does not reflect what Jesus would do, in my view.

  • mike ference says:

    In this country we have a duty to report the criminal activity of all terrorists, especially those terrorists who have harmed innocent children. Justice, more commonly defined as opinions of the court, can be bought and sold like stolen merchandise at an outdoor flea market. Thankfully, their are remnants of the media that can see past the kangaroo courtroom and a judge who couldn’t recognize justice if it was stamped on is forehead.
    Mike Ference

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