Why you should skip the Los Angeles RECongress … forever

Because if you can’t take a five-time credibly accused priest predator off of your website, how do we know you can follow child safety guidelines?


Msgr. Leland Boyer (in Roman collar): RECongress founding organizer and five-time accused perp. From the RECongress website RECongress.org


This weekend in Anaheim, more than 40,000 people are descending on the Convention Center for the Los Angeles Archdiocese RECongress, billed as “the largest annual gathering of its kind in the world.” The three-day conference, which started in the 1920s as a one-day gathering, has exploded into a three-day Catholic tent revival with entertainment, speakers, masses, events and teen dances. You can read the history for yourself here.

The problem? A founding organizer—who is prominently honored all over the website—is a predator. Leland Boyer is not just any priest perpetrator, he’s one of the priests whose file was a part of the LA Archdiocese “Document Dump” earlier this month.


Leland Boyer, from the RECongress website RECongress.org


And what a file it is.

Documents recount who how three victims came forward to church officials between 1990 and 2002 to say that Boyer molested them. Although Boyer denied the allegations, Cardinal Mahony and church officials deemed the kids “credible” and put the cleric on restricted ministry in 1995, explicitly keeping him away from the “phone boys” in the rectory. They went so far as to make sure that Boyer visited therapists who “were Catholic and not prone to litigation.” Parishioners were not notified of any of the allegations until 2002. After Boyer died, two more victims came forward.

You can read the whole file here.

But you certainly wouldn’t know that if you read the RECongress website. Boyer is honored as visionary leader who helped grow the conference annually. Maybe he worked so hard because he had run out of “phone boys” at the rectory. It’s disgusting.

By the way – Cardinal Mahony was also scheduled to speak at the conference, but he has another legal commitment and had to back out.  Besides, considering that we now know that he had no problem dumping child-molesting priests into poor, immigrant parishes, his speech on immigration entitled, “For I Was a Stranger, and You Welcomed Me!” is utterly laughable.


4 thoughts on “Why you should skip the Los Angeles RECongress … forever

    1. … if the RE Congress chooses to continue to “honor” Leland Boyer – despite clear and continuing evidence that he was credibly accused, and there are more accusers in line coming forward about him – then what does that say to Catholic youth about their church?

      Christian Religious education isn’t about singing kumbaya and handing out spiritual cookies, it is about being honest, acknowledging evil – even within our own ranks – and ensuring our actions are consistent with our Christian principals and the truth. That is as, if not more, important if the purpose of the congress is developing a solid faith foundation. Otherwise, it is no more than a overblown circus ignoring the rotting elephant in the tent.

      Leland Boyer was a flawed man who acknowledged that he wished he could have been able marry – and he was a man who ultimately had to begin to live with the consequences of acting out on that unfulfilled desire as he aged and was infirm. Boyer made alot of money off his religious education publications – some of that money was made at the RE congress. And that money helped purchase a beach house in Orange county, and at that beach house, he entertained young boys and seminarians. And he harmed some of those people. There is nothing honorable about that.

  1. Unbelievable! Cardinal Mahony keeps writing about “humility” and being “ashamed” of the heinous and disgraceful crimes that have destroyed the lives of children and families for decades…. how can you possibly honor anyone (especially Boyer or anyone else), when his file was just released publicly, after years of being stashed in the dirty secret archive files of the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese. This makes one physically ill!

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