Skip to comments.Abuse victims in Los Angeles sue church for conspiring to hide molestation
Posted on 04/29/2002 8:50:43 PM PDT by history_matters
Four men who say they were molested by a priest in the largest US Catholic community sued Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony for allegedly covering up sexual abuse by clergymen for years.
The lawsuits claim the cardinal and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles effectively conspired to protect priests through racketeering, negligence and fraud.
The alleged victims filed two lawsuits with the Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming they were misled about the fate of priest who allegedly molested them in the 1960s while he was allowed to continue ministering.
"We would not be here today if I was not lied to in 1991 by Cardinal Mahony," said Andy Cicchillo, one of the four.
The 46-year-old, who is suing along with his brother Joseph and two unidentified men, said he outlined the alleged abuse, which he says began when he was just seven, in a 1991 letter to Mahony.
But instead of removing the priest from the church as he promised to do, the cardinal instead transferred him to another ministry and took no action until earlier this year, the lawsuit claims.
The priest was forced into retirement and reported to police earlier this year following a complaint against him.
Mahony "engaged in a pattern of concealment, deception, obstruction of judicial process and the protection of pedophile priests," the plaintiffs' attorney Jeffrey Anderson said. "And he has done that for years."
The latest court action comes as the Roman Catholic church battles to control a snowballing priestly sex abuse scandal which prompted Pope John Paul II to summon 12 of his US cardinals to the Vatican last week.
The emergency meeting resulted in a much-criticized "zero tolerance" policy to handle future, but not past, sex-abuse complaints against priests.
The two new lawsuits each seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages against the cardinal and the church as well as costs.
The plaintiffs, together with a group of abuse survivors, had planned to try to personally serve the lawsuits on Mahony.
But the 66-year-old cardinal was hospitalized late Sunday suffering from a blood clot in his lung following his return from Rome, the archdiocese said in a statement. He is expected to be kept there for several days, the statement said.
Mahony was at the centre of a controversy earlier this year after he sacked or retired seven priests accused of child abuse -- including the man accused in Monday's lawsuits -- but refused to divulge their identities.
His silent and low-key approach to the growing global scandal sparked public anger and concerns that some abuse cases were covered up.
In March, Mahony apologized for the "sinful and deplorable" actions of priests who molested children, saying that the Church and the priesthood were being "purified."
But as a person of faith, it just sickens me.
If you are a praying person, please say a prayer for Roger Mahony, and if you are Catholic please say The Chaplet of Divine Mercy on his behalf. If you are not familiar with the Chaplet, the link will take you to some information about the devotion as well as how to pray the Chaplet.
...MAHONEY sued for RICO =
...MAHONEY goes on Hospital Retreat...
was shocked at his evading her direct question as to whether homosexuals should be ordained into the
priesthood. A disgusting, politically correct walk-around answer to her question four times before she finally nailed him to
respond. His answer? "We are looking for chaste men, hetersexual or homosexual doesn't really matter, who are
called into a life of service to God." Made me gag, and I'm not even a Catholic.
I am, however, a Bible-believing Christian saved by grace, who was victimized from the age of 9 to 17 by a Protestant
pastor (associate to my own father, the senior Pastor), who molested and raped me repeated under
the guise of a loving, trusting relationship. This happened day after day, year after year right in front of
people...adults who told me years later they knew something wasn't right about my relationship with him and his wife.
Catholic priests don't have a corner on sin and evil when it comes to hurting children. Plenty of Protestant "God-
fearing" ministers who know exactly who the needy ones are, who are patient and take their time in gaining trust,
who know which parents aren't paying attention, and who will wait until heads are turned, to pounce down on their prey.
Prayers for Roger Mahoney?? Nope. Don't think so. He's as sick as the rest from this girl's perspective. If he's
willing to call perversion equal with God-ordained male/female desires, he'd also easily turn his back on evil
behavior even knowing that the weak are being violated by the powerful. He's probably got a lot of practice.
Thankfully, I've had gracious, compassionate influences along the way who helped me find MY way through the despair
that years of childhood sexual abuse brings. God bless those who see, and hear, and acknowledge, and
reach out, and rescue the dying and the hopeless.
For decades, if not centuries they have cajoled parents and law enforcement to "let the church handle it". All they did was shuffle the criminals around.......that and "forgive" their sins, one after another.
My best friend was assaulted by a priest at the age of 11.......he died last year of alcoholism. I don't know if the incidents were related or not, but I do know the rage Hank would exibit at any mention of the church or god.
How many thousands carry this secret burden? How many could have been spared this horror if the church had banned homo's and adopted the "one strike" approach a century ago?
Damn them. Damn them all.....all who had any part in the abuse, it's cover-up or the policys that allowed the cover-up.....all in the name of God.
I pray for Cardinal Mahony in part because the Bible tells me to do so, but also because I have felt called to pray for him to have a redemptive encounter with Jesus like Paul did on the road to Damascus. Since Jesus could turn Paul's life upside down and around, so I pray the Lord will do the same with Cardinal Mahony -- not out of retribution -- but for the honor and glory of God, the truth of his Word, his Son Jesus Christ.
My prayers go out to him as well. What a huge burden he carried. How many more are suffering? What's the head count now? How many have come forward? How many remain silent?
It's as if the priests are the victims, and the kids are just side stories. The press should give more time to the victims. Lord knows they've earned it. Maybe by telling all, their burden will be lifted and justice can be served.
Hanks parents, the DA and the Msngr (sp?) cut a deal whereby the priest would be transfered to a teaching seminary (can you believe THAT?) never to be around children again.
My father pulled us all out of the school and we quit going to mass from that day forward.
How many think that was the first and only criminal sexual act by that priest?
Looks like we're about to see some major league action with stratospheric awards/settlements.
Or the last.
A friend of ours was a priests victim. He's been banned from FR, 1 of 3 that I've heard of so far. He said something and someone pushed the abuse button on him.
I too understand the need to pray for ones like Roger Mahoney, but frankly, I have little patience for this kind
of person who contributes to the violation of children, and who knows better than to walk in weakness of
character. That's what it is, I believe.
God bless you....
Sounds like a line from the movie Braveheart:
English Judge:"Confess, and you shall recieve a quick death--do not, and you must be purified by pain."
William Wallace:"Never in my whole life did I swear allegance to him."
English Judge:"Then on the morrow you shall recieve your purification."
Conspiracy to commit and cover-up criminal child sexual abuse. Conspiracy to operate a criminal enterprise......arguably at a profit.
Once this is all said and done, most will be shocked to discover this problem was INSTITUTIONAL.
400 cases in Boston over the last 30 years alone. How many family men today were victims and just don't want their names and pictures on TV?
Jesus Christ Himself had something to say about religious authorities who not only themselves would not enter in, but would not permit others to. And about what would happen to one who causes one who believes in Him to stumble. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
REMEMBER GROUP PRAYER ON THIS DAY!
It can be prosecuted as a criminal matter, a civil matter or both.
You are right; this is not limited to Catholic clergy, but is something that appears in any situation where people have power and authority over others - and hide behind this power for their own purposes, abusing the trust and respect given to them.
There used to be a prayer in the Office of Compline with which people ended the day, one line of which was: "The Devil like a roaring line goes about seeking whom he may devour." The Devil is always lying in wait, and certainly found good pickings among the clergy.
This is particularly true because for the last 30 years or so, many churches have adopted the anything goes mentality of the world, and the clergy has not been subject to much control or discipline (in the Catholic Church, at least). The really grevious thing in the case of the Catholic clergy is that the institution, which should now be in sackcloth and ashes for its neglect of its duties, has done everything possible to hide and protect the evil ones that it should have driven out with lashes from its midst.
If it's simply training and professionalism, then how come medical practices won't allow doctors, to examine women alone?
No one is forced to become a Catholic priest. They are fully aware of the vow of celibacy they will be making and do so voluntarily.
Okay, they're not "forced", they're ordered to practiced celibacy. Calling it "voluntarily" is misleading, though "technically accurate" as Clinton says.
Fair enough. If it's a consistent policy or a discipline, perhaps "ordered" is over the top. How about "required"?