Los Angeles Archdiocese Settles Priest Abuse Cases for $660 Million

On the eve of a public trial in which Roger Cardinal Mahony would have been forced to testify about his knowlege and actions concerning sexually abusive priests, the Archdiocese of Los Angelese settled lawsuits with 508 plaintiffs. The trial would have forced Mahony into an untenable position for a prince of the Catholic Church. Either he would have had to reveal years of cover ups and transfers of sexually abusive priests or perjured himself to protect an institution battered by years of sexual scandal and criminal behavior. While the settlement is a victory for the courageous survivors of priest sex abuse, the Archdiocese avoided a publicly humiliating trial. I’m happy to see that as part of the settlement agreement, the Archdiocese will have to release to the public the priest personnel files. Hopefully, this will include files from the church’s secret archive or sub secreto files. In 2005, the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon was ordered to release these same files but released their version of the files after a great deal of redaction and sanitizing. These “summaries of information” were basically so purged that one could no longer glean a glimmer of truth from them.