We're not sure what a stunning rebuke is, but we're going to guess that this is one.
Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez stated tonight that retired Cardinal and Archbishop Emeritus Roger Mahony would "no longer have any administrative or public duties" for the 4-million-parishioner L.A. Archdiocese.
The announcement came as Gomez unveiled its files related to clergy sexual abuse:
Gomez also said he accepted the the request of Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry "to be relieved of his responsibility as the Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara."
In a statement Gomez described the leaders' lack of action as a "failure:"
I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed.
We need to acknowledge that terrible failure today.
Records released by the church revealed that Curry, an advisor to Mahony, formulated ways to prevent police from finding out about priests' sexual abuse of children, including transferring the suspects out of state.
Mahony, the L.A. archbishop from 1985 to 2011, "has expressed his sorrow for his failure to fully protect young people entrusted to his care," Gomez said.
Mahony has been a champion of immigrants' rights and was embraced by the church's largely Latino population.
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The release of the files was the result of a 2007 civil suit "global settlement" regarding sexual abuse allegations against local clergy.
Archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg told the Los Angeles Times that Gomez's move would not affect Mahony's daily life at a North Hollywood parish, where he resides:
He remains a "priest in good standing," he said.