Jan 24 2013
In the same week that Jewish ultra-Orthodox counselor Nechemya Weberman was sentenced to 103 years in prison for sexually abusing a teenage girl in 2007, documents were released this past Monday showing that Catholic religious leader Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Los Angeles Archdiocese knowingly conspired with other church officials to protect priests who were known to have sexually abused children in the 1980s.
The LA Archdiocese, which is the nation’s largest, had been fighting to keep the documents secret since 2007 when a $660 million dollar judgment was awarded to 500 victims of church sexual abuse. A recent LA superior court judge’s ruling however, ordered the release of 30,000 documents naming the pedophile priests despite the church’s pleas to protect their privacy.
Although all the documents have not yet been released, the ones which have, provide proof that Mahony and Monsignor Thomas J. Curry acted to protect Monsignor Peter Garcia who had bound and raped an 11 year old boy and sexually abused more than a dozen other boys.
Mahony requested that Garcia not be sent to a church run pedophile treatment center because the therapists there are legally bound to report pedophiles to the police. Garcia had specifically targeted boys who were from undocumented families and threatened at least one of them with deportation if the parents dared to speak of what had happened.
Although it appears that Mahony, who has a history of protecting sexual predators in the Church, will be further implicated as more documents are released, legal experts are saying that lawyers may have difficulty charging him due to a statute of limitations on obstruction of justice.
The now retired Archbishop Mahony has apologized for his actions and said, “I have a 3×5 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.”
GUEST: Joelle Casteix, western regional director of SNAP, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.
Visit www.snapnetwork.org for more information.