Yesterday, in every church in the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese, parishioners were read a letter from L.A. Archbishop Jose Gomez. The Archbishop described newly released files on clerical sex abuse as “terribly sad and evil” and acknowledged that local church authorities have to confront “terrible failing” when it came to how abuse cases were handled.
The Archbishop’s apology comes two weeks after the release of some internal church files showed how in the 1980s the former leader of the L.A. Archdiocese, Cardinal Roger Mahony, actively worked to shield pedophile priests from investigation and prosecution. After those documents were released, Mahony apologized for his actions, but in an unprecedented move, Archbishop Gomez stripped the Cardinal of all of his public duties. Critics say, though, if Archbishop Gomez was really that concerned both about the abuse issue and Mahony’s role, he could have moved much earlier against the Cardinal.
KCRW attended Sunday services at Pasadena’s St. Andrews Church to talk to Catholic parishioners about the scandals that have enveloped the Archdiocese and their opinions of local Catholic leadership. You can listen to a couple of those conversations here: