CommunityPam's House Blend

Los Angeles archdiocese admits it didn't shield kids from pedophile priests

“Based on the documents that we’ve seen, based on the investigations that we’ve conducted, based on the police reports that have been made public, this is a scant glimpse into the truth,” he said. “They reveal decades of participation by the archdiocese in molesting children.”

— Raymond P. Boucher, lead attorney for the plaintiffs suing the archdiocese

At least eight predator priests serving in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles were allowed access to childen even after complaints of abuse were raised. That number is twice what the church has admitted to, and now documents from church files prove the failure (and ineptitude) of the archdiocese to deal with the problem, given the gravity of this immoral, criminal activity. (LATimes):

The documents, which became public Tuesday, indicate that numerous children might have avoided harm if church leaders in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s had reacted more vigorously to warnings about abusive priests. Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the archdiocese, said the documents would be posted at midnight Tuesday on the archdiocese website, http://www.la-archdiocese.org .

The documents offer the most unfiltered look yet at the way the archdiocese responded to child-molestation allegations involving its priests over the last half-century.

In one of the newly revealed cases, a parishioner in 1980 passed a rumor to archdiocese officials that a young boy was spending every weekend at Father Richard Henry’s home. In the decade that followed, the church received additional reports about Henry, including two in 1988, one from a nun at Our Lady of the Rosary in Paramount who said that the priest was partial to boys, and the other from a layperson who said he “grabs little boys and hugs them.”

Despite the reports, Henry was allowed to remain in his parish while undergoing therapy. Church leaders say they did not know that he continued to sexually abuse young boys. He wasn’t removed from ministry until the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department launched an investigation in 1991 that ended with Henry pleading no contest to four counts of lewd conduct with a child. Henry went to prison in 1993 and served three years, according to court documents. He was removed from the priesthood in 2003.

What can you say behind this diseased, sickness? Take a look at the spin offered by the church’s attorney. It makes your blood boil.

J. Michael Hennigan, the church’s lead attorney in more than 560 sexual-abuse lawsuits against the archdiocese, said the newly released documents show that “since the middle 1980s, there was never a time when a priest was transferred without counseling after a credible complaint.” The documents “show men of good will and intelligence struggling” with how to handle sexual abuse, he said.

Seven accused priests remain in active ministry today, according to the archdiocese, with at least one abuse allegation against each of them. Church officials said accusations against the seven have not been substantiated. In all, at least 245 clergy members from the L.A. Archdiocese have been accused of molestation, according to the documents. Church officials had previously put the figure at 219.

…Last year, the Diocese of Orange settled 90 cases for $100 million. Parties to the current suits have estimated that suits against the Los Angeles Archdiocese, which involve alleged abuse by more than 200 priests, could cost $1 billion

Thanks to Blender Holly for the pointer.

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