USA: Church leaders who let pedophiles remain in ministry.

Archdiocese of Los Angeles: make public the confidential personnel records of all priests accused of molesting children - Comment on 2012 December 8

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2012 December 8

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Victims said the release of the files would provide accountability for church leaders who let pedophiles remain in ministry, and law enforcement officials suggested that the documents could lead to criminal cases against those in charge. Read more:

Here some extracts from a report I read today:

 

Priest abuse files may be released without church officials' names

At a judge's direction, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles redacted names of members of the church hierarchy. But another judge has the final say.

In its landmark $660-million settlement with victims of sexual abuse five years ago, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to make public the confidential personnel records of all priests accused of molesting children.

In ordering church officials' names redacted from abuse files, Judge Dickran Tevrizian said he wanted to prevent the files from being used to "embarrass or to ridicule the Church."

Victims said the release of the files would provide accountability for church leaders who let pedophiles remain in ministry, and law enforcement officials suggested that the documents could lead to criminal cases against those in charge.

After years of delays and legal wrangling, the files are set to become public in coming weeks.

But the documents have been scrubbed of what many regard as the most important information: the identities of the members of the church hierarchy who reshuffled abusers.

The names of the former cardinal, Roger M. Mahony, and the bishops and vicars who handled molestation complaints for him have been redacted by church lawyers at the direction of a retired federal judge managing the files' release.

At least one church official appears to have an ongoing concern about prosecution. At a deposition this year, Msgr. Richard Loomis, vicar for priests during Mahony's tenure, refused to answer questions about how he handled allegations against one priest who has since been criminally convicted, invoking his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. His attorney declined to comment.

 

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