By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Then there are cryptic entries such as one about a priest who "is back after visiting missionaries. He’ll try to use moral persuasion. We are informing anyone from Welfare, etc., to use civil arm of Stockton to deal with him if necessary." And this, related to another priest: "OK right now, not bad-bad." Sipe, the author of the book Celibacy in Crisis, says, "‘Bad’ means alcohol problems. ‘Bad-bad’ means fucking kids."
After scandal erupted in 2002 Mahony admitted to leaving eight accused molesters in ministry as cardinal in Los Angeles. That includes Michael Baker, who admitted to Mahony in 1986 that he had molested several youths, but who Mahony kept in ministry for 14 years. Baker was charged with 34 counts of molestation, which were dismissed as a result of the Supreme Court ruling. And it includes Michael Wempe, who faces new criminal charges after 42 counts of sex crimes were dismissed last year.
Yet Mahony states that even in the 1980s he knew he must remove priests from ministry when he received credible allegations of molestation. "I knew that we wanted priests serving in our parishes who were not going to be a danger to anybody," he testified. But he also said that O’Grady’s admitted sexual urges toward a 9-year-old would not lead to his removal. Last Thursday, Mahony told a reporter from CNN that the protocol of the 1980s was to leave accused priests in ministry because, "We misunderstood pedophilia to be a moral weakness or a sin, something that could be dealt with through spiritual counseling. We now know that is inadequate." Mahony has offered similar explanations to explain Baker, Wempe and others who remained in ministry well into the 1990s.
Thomas Brandlin, a deacon in Los Angeles, has a theory about Mahony. In 1986, Brandlin was accused of molesting a boy in Santa Barbara. Even after Brandlin obtained a declaration of factual innocence from the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office, Mahony denied his full faculties for 10 more years, until Brandlin hired a canon lawyer and brought his case to the Vatican. "He has no plan," Brandlin says of Mahony. "He does and says what he needs to get out of whatever situation he is confronted with."
Maybe Mahony should stick to memory loss after all.
To download the complete text of Cardinal Mahony’s deposition, click here.
To download part of Cardinal Mahony's testimony from a 1998 civil trial, click here.
To download a letter from Cardinal Mahony to the Modesto Police regarding Father Camacho, click here.
To download a 1984 memo from Cardinal Mahony regarding Father Camacho, click here.
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