Sexual abuse victims urge renewed probe of Los Angeles Catholic leaders

January 23, 2013

(Ken Smolka, who was abused by a priest as a child, speaks during a news conference with other victims and supporters of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, California, January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Bret Hartman)

Victims of pedophile priests have called  for renewing a criminal investigation into the role of Catholic Church leaders in Los Angeles, including Cardinal Roger Mahony, in covering up child sexual abuse as revealed in newly released Church records.

Documents made public on Monday showed that Mahony, then archbishop of the nation’s largest Catholic archdiocese, worked with a top adviser to shield known molesters in the clergy from law enforcement scrutiny in the 1980s.

According to the internal Church personnel records, Mahony and a monsignor who oversaw sex abuse cases in the archdiocese, Thomas Curry, arranged with other Church officials to send pedophile priests out of state to avoid prosecution.

Mahony and Curry also tried to keep priests sent away to a Church-run pedophile treatment center from later revealing their misconduct to private therapists who would be obligated to report the crimes to police, the documents showed.

Prosecutors in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office “will review and evaluate all documents as they become available to us,” a spokeswoman said.

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