Another day, another Catholic cardinal aiding and abetting pedophilia. This time, it’s retired Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles. Is anyone surprised?
There used to be a time when society mostly fell for whatever latest spin the Catholic church came up with when rumors of a new child-sex scandal emerged.
Following the 2002 scandal that rocked the Boston archdiocese, the one that sent the villainous Father John Geoghan to prison (Geoghan was accused of sexually abusing more than 130 children) and Cardinal Law into a comfy retirement in Rome, believers in the word of the church have understandably dwindled.
Los Angeles has had its own child-rape scandal, and now more of the truth is emerging. It’s all rather sad and pathetic that the church itself was not on the forefront of delivering honest answers without having to be asked — demanded — but that’s the modern (and ancient) Catholic church. It’s all about providing cover, this time for child rapists, rather than protecting the weak or the young.
Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and other top Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles officials maneuvered behind the scenes to shield molester priests, provide damage control for the church and keep parishioners in the dark, according to church personnel files.
The confidential records filed in a lawsuit against the archdiocese disclose how the church handled abuse allegations for decades and also reveal dissent from a top Mahony aide who criticized his superiors for covering up allegations of abuse rather than protecting children.
Notes inked by Mahony demonstrate he was disturbed about abuse and sent problem priests for treatment, but there also were lengthy delays or oversights in some cases. Mahony received psychological reports on some priests that mentioned the possibility of many other victims, for example, but there is no indication that he or other church leaders investigated further.
On a related note, yet another troubling story – a similar story, unfortunately – is making news along the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.
It seems as though the Catholic church may have to come up with answers to yet another scandal that involves a priest and young boys. Somehow the priest is living a protected, comfortable retirement despite what appears to be another long history of abuse.
Five former students at a Johnstown, Pa. Catholic school said in phone interviews on Thursday that Franciscan friar Stephen P. Baker molested them while they were athletes being treated for injuries during their time at the school during the mid-to-late 1990s.
The former students from Bishop McCort High School, who will not be identified because they are alleged victims of sexual abuse, played sports at the school from 1993 through 1999 and said Baker would touch their genitals and often digitally penetrated them while under the guise of treating sports injuries.
The accounts mirrored two of the 11 former students from Warren John F. Kennedy High School in Warren who received high-five figure settlements with the Youngstown Diocese, the T.O.R. Franciscan Order in Pennsylvania and JFK for being allegedly abused by Baker during what was supposed to be treatment for minor sports injuries.