US church to release list of sex offenders

2013-01-08 14:27

Los Angeles - The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles must release the names of church leaders and paedophile priests identified in thousands of pages of internal documents recounting sexual abuse allegations dating back decades, a judge ruled on Monday.

The decision by California Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias overturned much of a 2011 order by another judge that would have allowed the archdiocese to black out the names of church higher-ups. Victims, as well as AP and Los Angeles Times, argued for the names to be public.

Elias said she weighed the privacy rights of priests and others - including those who are mentioned in the documents but were not accused of any wrongdoing - against the public's interest in learning details of the child abuse that prompted the archdiocese to agree to a record $660m settlement with victims in 2007.

"Don't they have the right to know what happened in their local church?" Elias said before ruling from the bench.

The documents include letters and memos between top church officials and their attorneys, medical and psychological records, complaints from parents and, in some cases, correspondence with the Vatican about abusive priests. There are approximately 30 000 pages and it wasn't immediately clear how soon they would be released.

Elias stipulated that some redactions of people who played no major role would be allowed, and attorneys for the plaintiffs and church were discussing how to do so.

The sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church has played out in many dioceses around America, with victims receiving huge settlements.

Files released in other places, such as Boston, have shown the church shuffled predator priests among parishes without calling police.

Releasing documents

Both plaintiffs' and church attorneys said on Monday they want the documents released as soon as possible.

"Our client's objective is to get this over with," church attorney Michael Hennigan said.

Attorneys for the archdiocese previously said they planned to make the confidential files public by the middle of this month with the names of the church hierarchy blacked out. A set of documents with the redactions already was prepared and Hennigan said it's not clear how long it will take to produce a new set with far fewer redactions.

"We have to see how big this mountain is," he said outside of court.

Plaintiffs' lawyer Ray Boucher believes it should take less than a month. He said the names revealed in the documents could range from priests at local churches to those in the Vatican.

Hennigan said recently retired Cardinal Roger Mahony doesn't object to having his name appear when the files are released.

"This is a very important and significant step," Boucher said. "Clearly my preference would be that the files not be redacted and the full files be released. But I understand there's a need to get out these files as soon as possible."

The 2007 settlement stipulated that personnel files would be made public, but more than 20 accused priests went to court to block the release, arguing that making their files public would violate their privacy rights.

In 2011, Judge Dickran Tevrizian ruled the documents could be heavily redacted. He said the release of the files should not be used to "embarrass or to ridicule the church".

He said the public could figure out which church leaders were responsible for how molesting priests were handled by matching the documents' date and location with a roster of the archdiocese staff at the time.

  • izaan.bryant - 2013-01-08 14:58

    when is SA going to catch on and do the same thing? I want to know if there's a pedophile next door or if i'm dating one. NAME AND SHAME! If you touch a child you don't get to keep your reputation!

      leigh.ridgway - 2013-01-08 15:27

      Lucyfire - Inbox me on FB. I'll give you a couple of names but it's amazing that the church won't hear of it. They have completely ignored me. Thier silence speaks a thousand words!

  • tasneem.cader.7 - 2013-01-08 15:04

    Besides the Atheist...its funny how u don't see ppl blaming Christianity for these if a muslim does sumthing then Its Islam that gets blamed,judged an strangled.Ignorant ppl that wna blame Islam all the tym.we don't even do that to ur religion!

      raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-08 15:22

      Yea funny is't it? Or maybe it's because Islam mandates murder/killing of Jews,Christians and other non-believers. I hold firm to the notion that people are people, and will do despicable things no matter what their religion. It is unfair to call all Catholics paedophiles, or all Muslims terrorists or Christians murderers

      raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-08 15:34

      Continuing... The Bible does not teach, not mandate the behavior of these people. The problem many people have with Islam (not with the Muslim person) is that it in fact does mandate killing. If muslims in general would just read their Quaran then they would have no choice but to acknowledge this. But alas, before you reply with the stereotypical Muslim comeback such as 'Christians are doing this and Christians are doing that, or, You don't know what the Quaran teaches, etc. etc.) Stop and think for ourself for just 1 second. If you want, I can provide proof from Islamic sources. Just name the source, and I will prove my point. ( I'm just pre-empting the counter argument that my translation is wrong, or that I use information from anti-islamic sources).. So please, show me I'm wrong .. Any Muslim!

      tasneem.cader.7 - 2013-01-08 15:36

      @Raymond.Islam does not mandate it...some muslims/muslim countries even,bliev things differently to wot is said in Quran.they r not doin wot is right in ppl view ther actions an think they representing Islam.also,the war against Muslim countries(Gaza) seem to b overlooked.ther r american an jewish ppl killing ther frm 4eva alredy,y r those soldiers not called terrorist? Only wen a muslim fights back then it is.sad this world!

      raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-08 15:51

      Wrong again...Unless you and I read from different Quarans. I pose the challenge again, YOU give me an Islamic source that you feel presents Islam as it should be. I will then prove my point from the souce YOU provide... Is it not fair?

      tasneem.cader.7 - 2013-01-08 15:55

      The interpretations of the Quran has been taken outv context. Simply says 'fight' for ur religion,now if fight shud only b used literally then we'v been gettin it wrong for yrs. The word Jihad in the Quran also means 'strive' an 'struggle'...does in no way need to b violent! Sum muslims (u get dif kinds) prefer to use violent measures an 'think' they doin wot Allah asks an also teaches it as ISlam to others,bt they misinterpret the Quran.this being only 1 aspect.

      tasneem.cader.7 - 2013-01-08 16:00

      @Atheitis. Its called social media slang.and I'm not a child.

      raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-08 16:02

      What are you talking about. I have not given any text ( in- or out of context ) nor have even tried to argue the 'Jihad' angle, nor have I interpreted or misinterpreted anything yet.. It seem to me that you have no idea what you are talking about. The plan is, YOU give me a source, or sources which you feel is the most accurate representaion of the Quaran, an I will show you verses ( in context, as interpreted by your sources ) that I am right. Is that too difficult to understand?

      tasneem.cader.7 - 2013-01-08 16:19

      U the one declaring it is mandated by Islam.but without showing were u got that idea from. I've just pointed out all the sources u cudv misread. What source do u wnt frm me,a quote from the Quran? Wers ur quote that's says we should kill?

      raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-08 16:28

      Oh well... Seems you are just another ignorant Muslim having no idea what your own Quaran says. Allah must be so proud.

      raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-08 17:11

      By sources I mean, which web site having the Quaran translated into Emglish, would yoy prefer I use. Because, whenever I have argumentation with Muslims on what the Quaran says, I always get the reaponse that I use verses which are incorrectly translated and that I am interpreting them wrong. So, to avoid that, please direct me to a source which we all can work from so that we compare apples with apples. For exame:

      zaks2217 - 2013-01-08 17:53

      Islam most definitely mandates self defence yes, killing for no reason. Absolutely not! if your family, property or freedom is under threat.. And the rules of jihad too are very specific, very detailed but just to give you an idea for eg if the enemy declares peace, even if the conditions of the treaty are against you u must sign it for peace sake even if you are the dominant force. Wud you do that if you had the upper hand or wud u finish off ur enemy? Remember before Islam, arms were taken up for any reason tribal warfare etc.. I'm sure u knw the atrocities committed by the church as well. So Islam provides a divine guideline even in that situation what one shud do. If u wud like some more info I knw there is a nice site I came across called u can contact them if u have any ?... Remember context of a situation is important. Once u take out of context u won't be able to see the bigger picture. But honestly speaking I don't think any1's assistance will help you unless u change ur attitude. Analyzing ur comments u seem to have a dislike for Islam, so u need to first change that mindset and then look at it. Although yes, there have been cases where ppl have accepted Islam while on a path to destroy it. Its interesting that u spend so much time(just guessing) researching this mysterious religion u were probably told was satanic. So I won't say all hope is lost. I need to rectify myself first in any case.

      zaks2217 - 2013-01-08 18:06

      Apologies its but its better to contact the SA council of muslim theologins u knw, u cant ask laymen in depth questions of jihad and stuff bro unless all u want is for them to say I dnt knw then u like haaaa u see I knw more than u. That's dom bro. Ask the right ppl.

      raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-08 21:54

      Well zaks2217, itlooks like you where the only Muslim apologetic to stand up: good on you! About your post: You where a bit vague when you said : // ... Islam most definitely mandates self defense yes, killing for no reason. Absolutely not! // Is killing unbelievers because they refuse to convert a good enough reason? Or if someone blasphemes against Allah reason enough? With context in mind, please dispute the following verses: Quran (2:216) - "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not." Quran (4:89) - "They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks." Quran (4:95) - "Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward.

  • mbossenger - 2013-01-08 15:11

    When are members of the RCC going to be prosecuted for knowingly harbouring paedophiles and obstructing justice?

  • paul.samuel1 - 2013-01-08 17:09

    Lock the culprits up. Make them accountable for their crimes.

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