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Author Topic: Los Angeles Catholic archdiocese releases priest abuse files  (Read 1349 times)
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MuffyBee
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« on: February 01, 2013, 12:39:50 AM »

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/01/us-usa-church-abuse-idUSBRE91005R20130201
Los Angeles Catholic archdiocese releases priest abuse files
January 31, 2013

(Reuters) - The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, after years of legal battles, released files on Thursday of priests accused of molesting children and removed a top clergyman who had been linked to efforts to conceal the abuse.

Archbishop Jose Gomez said he had stripped his predecessor, retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, of all public and administrative duties. Mahony's former top aide, Thomas Curry, stepped down as bishop of Santa Barbara.

"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 released by the nation's largest Catholic archdiocese.

"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," he said.

A spokesman for a victims' support group said that the removal of Mahony and Curry was long overdue and a small step after the church spent years fighting to protect them.

"Hand-slapping Mahony is a nearly meaningless gesture," said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

"When he had real power, and abused it horribly, he should have been demoted or disciplined by the church hierarchy, in Rome and in the U.S. But not a single Catholic cleric anywhere had the courage to even denounce him. Shame on them," he said.

The 12,000 pages of files were made public more than a week after church records relating to 14 priests were unsealed as part of a separate civil suit, showing that church officials plotted to conceal the molestation from law enforcement as late as 1987.

Those documents showed that Mahony, 76, and Curry, 70, his top adviser, both worked to send priests accused of abuse out of state to shield known molesters in the clergy from law enforcement scrutiny in the 1980s.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 12:42:08 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/us/cardinal-in-los-angeles-is-removed-from-duties.html
Cardinal in Los Angeles Is Removed From Duties
January 31, 2013


LOS ANGELES — Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, who retired less than two years ago as the leader of the nation’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese, was removed from all public duties by his successor, Archbishop José H. Gomez, as the church complied with a court order to release thousands of pages of internal documents that show how the cardinal shielded priests who sexually abused children.

The documents, released as part of a record $660 million settlement in 2007 with the victims of abuse, are the strongest evidence so far that top officials for years purposely tried to conceal abuse from law enforcement officials. The files, which go from the 1940s to the present, are the latest in a series of revelations that suggest that the church continued to maneuver against law enforcement even after the extent of the abuse crisis emerged.

Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, who was the vicar for clergy and one of the cardinal’s top deputies and his adviser on sexual abuse, also stepped down as the regional bishop for Santa Barbara, Calif.

The church had fought for years to keep the documents secret, and until this week it argued that the names of top church officials should be kept private. In letters written in the 1980s, then-Father Curry gave suggestions for how to stop the police from investigating priests who admitted that they had abused children, like stopping the priests from seeing therapists who would be required to alert law enforcement about the abuse.
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2013, 01:52:47 AM »

It's about time. It's long over due.    They didn't do enough in my opinion to Mahony and his minions. Mahony thought he was above the law and the priests and his dioceses were more important than the children that these priests  abused. I can't imagine how awful the children's lives have been.
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2013, 09:49:42 AM »

It's about time. It's long over due.    They didn't do enough in my opinion to Mahony and his minions. Mahony thought he was above the law and the priests and his dioceses were more important than the children that these priests  abused. I can't imagine how awful the children's lives have been.

ITA Green Eyes. 
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 10:36:19 AM »

I'm not impressed.  This was nothing but a hand slap(if that) imo.  See my bold blue.  If this is being considered an unprecedented gesture, that speaks volumes.  No charges were filed.    This is what happens when some believe they are above the law of the land, an abuse of power.   


http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0201-mahony-curry-20130201,0,3889565.story
Cardinal Mahony relieved of duties over handling of abuse
L.A. Archbishop Jose Gomez takes action against his predecessor for his role in the priest sex scandal; another top church official resigns from his post
February 1, 2013

 ::snipping2::
The public censure of Mahony, whose quarter-century at the helm of America's largest archdiocese made him one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church, was unparalleled, experts said.

"This is very unusual and shows really how seriously they're taking this. To tell a cardinal he can't do confirmations, can't do things in public, that's extraordinary," said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest and Georgetown University fellow.

An archdiocese spokesman, Tod Tamberg, said that beyond canceling his confirmation schedule, Mahony's day-to-day life as a retired priest would be largely unchanged. He resides at a North Hollywood parish, and Tamberg said he would remain a "priest in good standing." He can continue to celebrate Mass and will be eligible to vote for pope until he turns 80 two years from now, Tamberg said.

The move further stained the legacy of Mahony, a tireless advocate for Latinos and undocumented immigrants whose reputation has been marred over the last decade by revelations about his treatment of sex abuse allegations.

Before Gomez's announcement, Mahony had weathered three grand jury investigations and numerous calls for his resignation. He stayed in office until the Vatican's mandatory retirement age of 75. No criminal charges have been filed against Mahony or anyone in the church hierarchy.

Terrence McKiernan, president of bishopaccountability.org, said that in a religious institution that values saving face and protecting its own, Gomez's decision to publicly criticize an elder statesman of the church and his top aide was striking.

"Even when Cardinal [Bernard] Law was removed in Boston, which was arguably for the same offenses, this kind of gesture was not made," he said.

 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2013, 12:45:56 PM »

I'm not impressed.  This was nothing but a hand slap(if that) imo.  See my bold blue.  If this is being considered an unprecedented gesture, that speaks volumes.  No charges were filed.    This is what happens when some believe they are above the law of the land, an abuse of power.   


http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0201-mahony-curry-20130201,0,3889565.story
Cardinal Mahony relieved of duties over handling of abuse
L.A. Archbishop Jose Gomez takes action against his predecessor for his role in the priest sex scandal; another top church official resigns from his post
February 1, 2013

 ::snipping2::
The public censure of Mahony, whose quarter-century at the helm of America's largest archdiocese made him one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church, was unparalleled, experts said.

"This is very unusual and shows really how seriously they're taking this. To tell a cardinal he can't do confirmations, can't do things in public, that's extraordinary," said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest and Georgetown University fellow.

An archdiocese spokesman, Tod Tamberg, said that beyond canceling his confirmation schedule, Mahony's day-to-day life as a retired priest would be largely unchanged. He resides at a North Hollywood parish, and Tamberg said he would remain a "priest in good standing." He can continue to celebrate Mass and will be eligible to vote for pope until he turns 80 two years from now, Tamberg said.

The move further stained the legacy of Mahony, a tireless advocate for Latinos and undocumented immigrants whose reputation has been marred over the last decade by revelations about his treatment of sex abuse allegations.

Before Gomez's announcement, Mahony had weathered three grand jury investigations and numerous calls for his resignation. He stayed in office until the Vatican's mandatory retirement age of 75. No criminal charges have been filed against Mahony or anyone in the church hierarchy.

Terrence McKiernan, president of bishopaccountability.org, said that in a religious institution that values saving face and protecting its own, Gomez's decision to publicly criticize an elder statesman of the church and his top aide was striking.

"Even when Cardinal [Bernard] Law was removed in Boston, which was arguably for the same offenses, this kind of gesture was not made," he said.

 ::snipping2::

Exactly right Muffy. They have put the priests and Mahony above the children.  In my opinion Mahony should have been removed and given nothing. They all should be in jail. I am from Southern Calif. and he is pompous jerk.
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2013, 10:30:42 PM »

There are some who should be behind bars!! 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/02/us/church-documents-released-after-years-of-resistance.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Diocese Papers in Los Angeles Detail Decades of Abuse
February 1, 2013

 ::snipping2::
Over four decades, particularly under Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, parishioners in the nation’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese repeatedly tried to alert church authorities about abusive priests in their midst, trusting that the church would respond appropriately.

But the internal personnel files on 124 priests released by the archdiocese under court order on Thursday reveal a very different response: how church officials initially disbelieved them and grew increasingly alarmed over the years, only as multiple victims of the same priest came forward and reported similar experiences.

Even then, in some cases, priests were shuttled out of state or out of the country to avoid criminal investigations.
 ::snipping2::
In one case, the Rev. José I. Ugarte was accused by a doctor of having drugged and raped a young boy in a hotel in Ensenada and of taking boys every weekend to a cabin in Big Bear. But rather than turn Father Ugarte over to the authorities, Cardinal Mahony decided to send him back to Spain, made him sign a document promising not to return to the United States without permission for seven years, not to celebrate Mass in public and to seek employment in “a secular occupation in order to become self-supporting.

The current archbishop, José H. Gomez, who succeeded Cardinal Mahony when he retired two years ago, took the unusual if not unprecedented step on Thursday night of censuring his predecessor, calling the documents he released late Thursday “brutal and painful reading” and announcing that he was removing him from administrative and public duties. He also accepted the resignation of one of his auxiliary bishops, Thomas Curry.

But in an extraordinary public confrontation between bishops, Cardinal Mahony adamantly defended himself on Friday, posting on his blog a letter he had sent to Archbishop Gomez. The cardinal insisted that his approach to sexual abuse evolved as he learned more over the years, and that his archdiocese had been in the forefront of reforms to prevent abuse and respond to victims.

Cardinal Mahony implied that his successor’s censure of him was unexpected and unwarranted: “Not once over these past years did you ever raise any questions about our policies, practices or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors.”

Church experts agreed that it was the first time that a bishop had publicly condemned another bishop’s failures in the abuse scandal, which has occupied the American bishops for nearly three decades. They also said that Archbishop Gomez had gone as far as he could under the church’s canon laws to discipline Cardinal Mahony. He could not, they said, take away his authority to celebrate Mass, but he did order him not to preside at confirmations, a ceremonial role that often keeps retired archbishops in the public eye.

The Los Angeles church files are not unlike other documents unearthed in the church’s long-running abuse scandal in the United States, but it appears to be the largest cache.
 ::snipping2::
Cardinal Mahony, who served from 1985 until 2011, when he reached mandatory retirement, has faced calls for his defrocking over his handling of the abuse cases for years. But the cardinal, a vocal champion of immigrant rights, remained hugely popular with Latinos here, who make up 40 percent of the four million parishioners in the archdiocese.

The church had fought for years to keep the documents secret, and until this week it argued that the names of top church officials should be kept private. But on Thursday, Judge Emilie Elias rejected the church’s requests to redact the names of officials before releasing the files. The diocese released the files, with the names of victims and many other church officials removed, less than an hour later.

The trove of documents suggests that church officials routinely sent priests accused of abuse out of state and in some cases out of the country to avoid the potential investigations from law enforcement.
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2013, 10:36:57 PM »

 


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323926104578278553127311958.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
L.A. Archdiocese Paid for Priest's Treatment for Years
February 1, 2013

In 1992, Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony ordered immediate administrative leave for a priest who was accused of molesting a boy in 1976, but officials supported the priest for years and apparently didn't report the case to authorities, despite being told that the priest had confessed to sexual relations with boys, according to documents released Thursday night by the archdiocese.

The priest had been interviewed by church officials and initially denied the allegations, but officials wrote to Cardinal Mahony that they believed the accuser's story.

Administrative leave at once is indicated in this case—complainant's allegations are too serious," Cardinal Mahony wrote in December 1992. The priest, John Dawson, was sent to a series of treatment centers and later admitted to sexual relations with boys, according to treatment providers. Cardinal Mahony later said he would never be allowed back into ministry.

Mr. Dawson, who has been removed from the priesthood, lives in Albuquerque, but couldn't be reached at two numbers listed as his in church documents, or at two other numbers.

For years, the church supported Mr. Dawson's treatment and kept close tabs on him, with top officials meeting with him and treatment providers several times during treatment in Albuquerque, according to the documents. The archdiocese's file on Mr. Dawson didn't appear to indicate that it had notified legal authorities.

In June 1993, Mr. Dawson wrote to Mr. Mahony to ask for church support, "I have come to realize the seriousness of my addiction and the harm I have done to my victims, the Church and myself. I feel shame, guilt and remorse."

In September 1993, a church official wrote to Cardinal Mahony that it seemed likely there could be lawsuits in Mr. Dawson's future and that Mr. Dawson had admitted to contact with 11 minors.

"I am checking with [REDACTED] as to our responsibility in this regard," church official Msgr. Timothy Dyer wrote.
 ::snipping2::
Mr. Dawson ended up being employed initially as a desk clerk and night auditor for Motel 6, according to the documents.

Cardinal Mahony agreed that the church should continue to pay for his expenses for a period, according to the documents.

In a letter in August 1995, an L.A. church official wrote to Mr. Dawson, "For my part, you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope we can stay in contact beyond my time in this office."

The church paid during this time for counseling for several alleged victims and also suggested that Mr. Dawson decide to exit from the priesthood, but Mr. Dawson resisted, according to several letters the file. In 1997, the church agreed to send Mr. Dawson financial support for vocational training, but said it would be the last such payment, and that in the future it would ask for reimbursement for the counseling support it was providing his alleged victims.

In 2005, Mr. Dawson was removed from the priesthood.
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2013, 10:40:52 PM »

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/files-show-church-missteps-evasions-priests-18382403
Files Show Church Missteps, Evasions With Priests
February 2, 2013

(2 pg article)
 ::snipping2::
A WARNING NOT HEEDED

It's well documented in the records that the Rev. Richard Henry had a problem. As far back as March 1988, then-Archbishop Roger Mahony was warned in a confidential memo that the priest's behavior around young boys — long embraces, rubbing noses, leading them to the privacy of his room — was unsettling to those who witnessed it. Nuns and priests confirmed a pattern: "None of the people we talked to accused him of anything illegal, but all of them feared that other adults seeing this would do so," the memo concluded. In October that year, Henry was ordered in a letter from a superior, then-Monsignor Thomas Curry, to "not be alone with minors." The documents taper off in mid-1989. In August 1991, Mahony is notified that Henry is under investigation for child molestation. A detective asks for a list of altar boys at the church but Father Timothy Dyer tells Mahony in a memo, "I have declined to have anyone give him such a list." Henry served prison time for abusing several boys.

———

STAY AWAY

The church records show the archdiocese maneuvered behind the scenes to avoid a possible lawsuit against a priest over abuse allegations in Los Angeles. In 2007, five former altar boys from Tucson, Ariz., were awarded $1.5 million each as part of the archdiocese's $660 million clergy-abuse settlement. The five said they were abused by the Rev. Kevin Barmasse, who was sent to Arizona during the 1980s after he'd been accused of child molestation in Los Angeles. The records show Monsignor Thomas Curry told Mahony in a Nov. 10, 1989, confidential memo that "the young boy involved is now about eighteen, so Kevin should certainly not return for another two years by which time the period for filing law suits will have passed." Later that month, Mahony advised Barmasse to stay away from Los Angeles. "Your presence in this area ... would greatly increase the possibility of a suit against you," Mahony wrote. Barmasse was never criminally prosecuted.

———

WELCOME BACK?

Father Michael Nocita voluntarily left active ministry in 1991 after several complaints surfaced about affairs with teenage girls at local Catholic high schools. In a 1991 memo to Mahony, Vicar for Clergy Timothy Dyer reported that he met with Nocita, who was then working as a counselor at a youth center in suburban Los Angeles, and asked Nocita to return to active ministry, stating his departure "was a significant loss to the archdiocese." Nocita said he did not want to return to active ministry because he wanted to marry. Dyer said he told Nocita that "given his file," church officials were concerned that he was working with children. Nocita clarified that "youth" meant children under 8. Mahony wrote "very sad" on the memo.

———
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2013, 09:11:24 AM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0203-lopez-mahony-20130203,0,612758.column?page=2
Cardinal Mahony's deal with the devil
February 2, 2013

(2 pgs)
 ::snipping2::
Early in 1987, Mahony was sent a report from a "treatment center" about Father Michael Baker, who had earlier admitted his history of molestation to Mahony. The report describes in detail Baker's confessions about his years-long sexual abuse of teenage boys and says he was also involved with the mother of one boy.

"As I see it," says the author of the report, "he is looking at several second degree felony charges and civil liability that could go into the millions of dollars in terms of what he did with both of these kids."

And that might have been the case, if Mahony had called the police. Instead, the following month, Mahony wrote to Baker.

"Dear Mike: I am writing to assure you of my continuing prayers and interest in you and your progress, as I was pleased to receive the recent report from those involved in your care."

Mahony later allowed Baker to return to ministry. The priest was ordered to stay away from children, but was not monitored. He was soon abusing new victims and in 2007 pleaded guilty to molesting two boys and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

After evidence of Baker's continued abuse came to light, some officials in the archdiocese began planning for a notice to be read from the pulpit in churches where Baker had worked, in case there were other victims. Mahony wanted to avoid that. "There is no alternative to public announcements at all the masses in 15 parishes???" he asked in a memo to a colleague. "Wow, that really scares the daylights out of me!!"

The more you know about what went on, the more you must demand to know how Mahony could have gotten away with it for so long.
Of course, Mahony is a powerful man with powerful allies in a very insular community. He was able to hire connected, influential lawyers who resisted every media attempt to expose the truth. A retired judge served on Mahony's toothless sexual abuse advisory board, which had no real purpose other than to make it look like Mahony was doing something.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 06:08:46 PM »

http://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Archdiocese-adds-LA-clergy-docs-after-complaints-4254604.php
Archdiocese adds LA clergy docs after complaints
February 6, 2013

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles says it will release more documents from clergy abuse files amid complaints that the 12,000 pages released last week are missing critical pages and contained excessive redactions.

The archdiocese acknowledged it had erred in keeping some documents sealed after The Associated Press inquired about them on Wednesday.

The documents from the file of former priest Michael Baker span a 14 year-period — from 1986 to 2000 — and provide insight into how Cardinal Roger Mahony and other church leaders dealt with him.

The AP obtained a complete copy of the Baker file last month that contains the documents that are left out of the archdiocese release.

Church attorney Michael Hennigan didn't say why the pages weren't in its initial release.
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2013, 07:02:03 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/21/nyregion/cardinal-dolan-deposition-in-milwaukee-archdiocese-scandal.html
New York Cardinal Is Deposed in Milwaukee Archdiocese Abuse Lawsuits
February 20, 2013

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, will be deposed on Wednesday afternoon by lawyers representing hundreds of people who say they were sexually abused by priests in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which Cardinal Dolan led before his appointment to New York in 2009.
Cardinal Dolan is one of two American cardinals who are being deposed in sexual abuse lawsuits this week, and who plan to travel to Rome next week in advance of the proceedings to elect the successor to Pope Benedict XVI, who stunned the world last week with the announcement that he was resigning effective Feb. 28.

The other American is Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, the retired archbishop of Los Angeles. He is expected to be deposed on Saturday in Los Angeles, and he has been under fire since the court-ordered release last month of 12,000 pages of internal church files revealing his role in shielding accused priests from the law.

Cardinal Dolan has been much discussed as a possible candidate for pope. The cardinal, who is the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is a charismatic figure at ease in parishes as well as in morning talk show studios, and he left a strong impression in the Vatican last year with speeches promoting what the church calls the “new evangelization.”

But since coming to New York, he has been dogged from time to time by the legal cases in Milwaukee. His successor, Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, opted to have the archdiocese declare bankruptcy in 2011, saying that it would be the best way to compensate all the victims, and for the church to move forward. Milwaukee was the eighth Catholic diocese in the United States to seek bankruptcy protection because of abuse lawsuits.
 ::snipping2::
The bankruptcy negotiations fell apart last year when the archdiocese argued that many of the 575 cases were beyond Wisconsin’s statute of limitations. Lawyers for the victims argue that previous archbishops, including Cardinal Dolan, intentionally stalled and kept allegations quiet so that the cases would fall beyond the statute.
Mr. Anderson, who is taking the deposition of Cardinal Dolan on Wednesday, said he had already deposed a former Milwaukee archbishop, Rembert G. Weakland, and Auxiliary Bishop Richard J. Sklba.

“The deposition of Cardinal Dolan is necessary to show that there’s been a longstanding pattern and practice to keep secrets and keep the survivors from knowing that there had been a fraud committed,” Mr. Anderson said.

The Milwaukee Archdiocese said in a recent court filing that it had spent $9 million so far in legal fees and was almost broke. Bankruptcy creditors, who include those who say they were victims, accuse the archdiocese, under Cardinal Dolan, of shielding $55 million in assets in a cemetery trust. The archdiocese argued that those assets were set aside for Catholic burials and should be protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2013, 01:43:58 PM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0225-mahony-20130225,0,3567462.story?track=lat-pick
Mahony answers questions under oath about clergy sex abuse cases
The former leader of the Los Angeles Archdiocese was reported to be 'calm and seemingly collected' throughout the 3 1/2 hour session stemming from a lawsuit involving a fugitive priest.
February 25, 2013

A "relatively unflappable" Cardinal Roger Mahony answered questions under oath for more than 3 1/2 hours Saturday about his handling of clergy sex abuse cases, according to the lawyer who questioned the former archbishop.

"He remained calm and seemingly collected at all times," said attorney Anthony De Marco, who represents a man suing the Los Angeles Archdiocese over abuse he alleges he suffered at the hands of a priest who visited his parish in 1987.

Mahony has been deposed many times in the past, but Saturday's session was the first time he had been asked about recently released internal church records that show he shielded abusers from law enforcement.

 ::snipping2::
The case, set for trial in April, concerns a Mexican priest, Nicholas Aguilar Rivera. Authorities believe he molested at least 26 children during a nine-month stay in Los Angeles.

Recently released church files show Aguilar Rivera fled to Mexico after a top Mahony aide, Thomas Curry, warned him that parents were likely to go the police and that he was in "a good deal of danger." Aguilar Rivera remains a fugitive in Mexico.


The archdiocese had agreed that Mahony could be questioned for four hours about the Aguilar Rivera case and 25 other priests accused in the same period. De Marco said he did not get to ask everything he wanted and would seek additional time after the cardinal returned from the Vatican.

Past depositions of Mahony have eventually become public, and De Marco said he would follow court procedures to seek the release of a transcript of Saturday's deposition.

Meanwhile, a Catholic organization Saturday delivered a petition with thousands of signatures asking that Mahony recuse himself from the conclave in Rome.

The group, Catholics United, collected nearly 10,000 signatures making "a simple request" that the former archbishop of Los Angeles not participate in the process because of the priest abuse scandals that happened under his watch, said Chris Pumpelly, communications director for Catholics United.
 ::snipping2::
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