LA Cardinal Tells a Grim Tale of Sex Abuse Complicity

By Kathleen Gilbert

LOS ANGELES, June 22, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a videotaped deposition released last Tuesday, Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony admits he did not think it necessary to contact police after learning of the sex abuse perpetrated by a priest in his diocese against two boys. Instead, Mahony transferred the priest to other locations, where the abuse could potentially continue.

The archdiocese had tried but failed to keep private the deposition, which was taken as part of a lawsuit that resulted in a $2.2 million settlement.

The five-hour videotaped deposition, the first to be released to the public, shows Mahony explaining his conduct after former priest Michael Baker confessed to him in 1986 that he had molested two boys. Baker, who has been accused of abuse by at least 23 individuals, is now serving a 10-year jail sentence on charges of molestation.

When John Manly, an attorney representing one of Baker’s victims, asked if the cardinal agreed “that the first thing any priest should do … when you learn that a priest has molested a child is call the police,” Mahony answered, “not necessarily.” Later, he said he was unable to report the accusations to the police because the priest had not told him the names of the victims or their parents, and the suspected child abuse form requires one to fill out the name. He admitted, however, that he did not direct his staff to try to find the victims.

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