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L.A. archbishop relieves retired cardinal Roger Mahony of duties


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While the church left the names of church leaders intact, as specified, they removed names of victims, witnesses and priests who weren’t accused. In some instances, whole sections were removed.

The church said in a statement that the files’ release "concludes a sad and shameful chapter in the history of our local church."

At a glance

Victim group not satisfied with action on Mahony

A clergy abuse victim group is not satisfied with actions taken by the Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles against Cardinal Roger Mahony after the release of files showing his role in trying to protect the church from molestation scandals.

Archbishop Jose Gomez late Thursday announced that his predecessor, Mahony, will no longer have any administrative or public duties.

Standing Friday in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, a regional director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests called that “window dressing.”

Joelle Casteix says the move is only symbolic, and Mahony is still a powerful man in Rome and Los Angeles.

Mahony has repeatedly publicly apologized for mistakes he made in dealing with priests who molested children. He retired in 2011.

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The archdiocese, the nation’s largest with 4.3 million members, had planned to black out the names of members of the hierarchy who were responsible for the priests, and instead provide a cover sheet for each priest’s file, listing the names of top officials who handled that case. The church reversed course Wednesday after The Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times and plaintiff attorneys objected.

A record-breaking $660 million settlement in 2007 with more than 500 alleged victims paved the way for the ultimate disclosure, but the archdiocese and individual priests fought to keep them secret for more than five years.

Some church critics said Gomez’s actions, particularly against Mahony, amounted to a slap on the wrist as long as he remained a cardinal and a member of the powerful Vatican body that elects the Pope.

The reprimand is a "purely symbolic punishment that they hope will satisfy at least some people in the archdiocese," said Terry McKiernan, founder of BishopAccountability.org, which tracks the release of priest files nationally.

"I don’t think that many savvy observers of this will be deceived."

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Associated Press Writer Shaya Tayefe Mohajer contributed to this report.




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