Docs: LA Church Leaders Shielded Molester Priests - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Docs: LA Church Leaders Shielded Molester Priests

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Los Angeles, CA -

Deflect, delay and deny, deny, deny.

That's what for decades the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has been accused of doing when it came to handling priests accused of child abuse. But now with the release of once confidential records as part of a new lawsuit, we're learning more on how the church operated behind closed doors.

And it seems the accusations were not far off.

The documents, which the archdiocese fought to keep secret, show how then Archbishop Roger Mahony, aided by other top church officials, worked to shield accused priests and often kept parishoners in the dark of what was happening in their own church.

And while notes written by Mahony appear to show he was disturbed by allegations of priest abuse, in many cases it appears he did nothing about it for years.

The archdiocese is also held to blame with several files mentioning the possibility of a priest having many other victims, there were no records any church officials investigated furthur.

And when they did move to defrock a priest, it was often decades and many more victims later.

In reply to the release of the documents, Cardinal Mahony issued a writen statement saying in part, that in past meetings with victims, he took full responsibilty for what happened:

"I apologized for all of us in the Church for the years when ignorance, bad decisions and moral failings resulted in the unintended consequences of more being done to protect the Church - and  even the clergy perpetrators - than was done to protect our children....I am sorry."

Mahony has faced many attornies before in formal depositions, and if the lawyer involved in this case has his way the cardinal will once again be ordered deposed.

A judge will consider the attorney's request to order Mahony to submit to more depositions based on the information just released.

A hearing on that request is set for February.

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