LOS ANGELES. - The Archdiocese of Los Angeles on Thursday published a series of documents of at least 100 priests who sexually abused minors in their local church during the 1980s, a decision that has been accompanied by the deposition of Cardinal Roger Mahony, who was involved in the matter and is now the former archbishop of this ancient institution.
The information collected, to which Efe had access today, is a selected amount from among 12,000 pages of internal communications, psychiatric reports and correspondence with the Vatican about the 122 priests accused of sexual abuse.
"Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public responsibilities," said in a letter to the archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez, who also said that the Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Curry, who worked alongside Mahony in hiding the information regarding the abuses to the police, has also resigned from his position at the church in Santa Barbara, California.
"This material documents the abuses that occurred decades ago. But that does not make it any less serious. These files represent a brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these documents is terribly sad and evil," Gomez said in the letter published by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
"There is no excuse and no explanation for what happened to these children. The priests involved had a duty to be their spiritual fathers and failed. I cannot undo the mistakes from the past that we find in these pages. To read these documents and reflect on the wounds that they have caused is the saddest experience I've had since I became archbishop, "said Gomez.
The spokesman of a support group for the victims said that the decision by Gomez has been necessary for a long time now, but that is only a small step because for years this institution protected all of those who were involved.
"Giving a slap on the wrist of Mahony is now almost insignificant," said the director of the organization SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests), David Clohessy, to the Los Angeles Times.
"When he really had power and abused it in a horrible way, he should have been punished by the church in Rome and the United States. Yet no Catholic clergy had the courage to denounce him," said Clohessy.
Among the documents released is the personal archive of Father Jose Ugarte, which contained a letter dated in 1993 that was sent to the archdiocese by a man whose name was suppressed, and states that Ugarte began molesting him in 1983 when the victim was 17.
According to the documents, Ugarte and Mahony reached an agreement for the Spanish priest's departure and permanently reside in Spain, his home country.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles along with 500 victims of sexual abuse, in 2007 came to a $660 million dollar settlement with the Church.
Mahoney described the abuses as "a crime and a terrible sin."
The archdiocese in October 2005 revised their policy on the supervision of adults, and all of those who interact with children in activities by the institution.