Guest / Limited Access /

Retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony has been stripped of his official duties in an unusual public rebuke by his successor that followed the release of thousands of pages of internal church documents showing how the Roman Catholic leader and aides for years conspired to cover up the sexual abuse of children by clergy.

The current archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez, also announced late Thursday that Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Curry, a longtime aide to Mahony who was deeply involved in the cover-up, had resigned his position overseeing the Santa Barbara region.

"I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil," Gomez said in a statement.

Gomez issued his statement after the archdiocese lost a long legal battle and posted on its website personnel files for 122 priests who were accused of molesting children.

"There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children," Gomez said. "The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed."

In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI named Gomez to replace the embattled Mahony atop the nation's largest Catholic diocese.

Gomez noted that Mahony had apologized for his role in concealing the abuse and allowing it to continue, but he indicated that was not sufficient – and that he ordered Mahony's removal from public ministry.

"Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties," Gomez said. He added that Curry had requested to resign.

"This is unusual and extraordinary," said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest and political scientist at ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current Issue5 Books to Read During an Internet Sabbatical
Subscriber Access Only 5 Books to Read During an Internet Sabbatical
Considering a break from the web? Let Esther Emery pick the right readings to keep you company.
RecommendedWhy are Protestant and Catholic Bibles different?
Why are Protestant and Catholic Bibles different?
To find the answer, we must look to the Councils of Jamnia...
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickThe Bible Never Says ‘All Men Are Created Equal’
The Bible Never Says ‘All Men Are Created Equal’
How the New Testament offers a better, higher calling than the Declaration of Independence.
Christianity Today
Retired Los Angeles Cardinal Stripped of Duties as Abuse Coverup ...
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

February 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.