Testimony archdiocese sought to repress shows cardinal protected admitted pedophile priest from policeClaiming that church policy at the time was to withold church knowledge of pedophile priests from the law, and that the victims, being "illegal aliens," (direct quote from the deposition) had already left the country anyway, the head of the archdiocese of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony, commented on testimony he gave concerning the molestation of children under his care.
Speaking of the church hierarchy, of which he is a high ranking member, Mahony said,
"I believed ... in our ability to treat and monitor (the pedophile priest) effectively."
The archdiocese attempted unsuccessfully to have a judge seal the document from public view.
KTLA, Los Angeles, reports today that according to church documents, the priest, Michael Baker, told Mahony in 1986 at a priests' retreat that he had molested two young boys from 1978 to 1985. Mahony did not notify police and sent Baker to a residential facility that treated priests for sexual abuse problems.
In the years that followed, Baker was assigned to nine parishes but was barred from having one-on-one contact with minors. He violated those restrictions three times, according to church personnel file summaries previously released by the archdiocese.
Baker was not removed from the priesthood until 2000, after two men filed a lawsuit alleging he sexually molested them between 1984 and 1999. He is currently serving 10 years in prison for abusing children.
Responding for SNAP to Mahony's excuse for not reporting Baker to police because the children had already left the country, Barbara Blaine, President of SNAP, said:
"This is among the most absurd excuses we've ever heard a bishop make - that he refused to call police because an admitted predator claimed the victims had left the country. The legal status of children who are molested is irrevelant and it's shameful that Mahony would claim otherwise.
If, in fact, Fr. Baker's victims had left the US, Mahony's duty to call police was even greater, since the chances that the kids themselves would contact law enforcement was virtually nil."
Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times ...
Read the story on the KTLA website ...
Read SNAP President Barbara Blaine's response ...