Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Western Regional Director
How many more millions in payouts and hundreds of victims will it take before the Vatican realizes that Cardinal Mahony must be punished?
These four brave men fought long and hard to get justice for the abuse they suffered at the hands of former priest Michael Baker. The tragedy of this situation is that if Cardinal Mahony had called the police when he first learned of Baker’s crimes, these men and many others could have been spared the shame and lifelong pain of childhood sexual abuse.
Cardinal Mahony called Baker his greatest “mistake.” However, we have learned that the Baker case is only one of a long list of child sex abuse cover-ups in the Archdiocese. Mahony’s inaction in the Baker case is nothing less than criminal. He had many years to report Baker’s crimes, but instead, it is only because of brave victims that any sense of justice has been achieved.
Although Baker has served time for his crimes, we fear that there are many more victims in Los Angeles and elsewhere who are suffering. Baker remained in ministry for 14 years after he self-disclosed his actions to Mahony. How many children were placed in harm’s way because Cardinal Mahony was too busy or too lazy to call the police?
We can only hope that Cardinal Mahony does not vote for a pope who protects Mahony’s interests and the interests of men like Michael Baker. We also hope that Archbishop Gomez turns over the remainder of the promised sex abuse and cover-up files that outline the scope and scale of child sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.