Records Show Catholic Officials Shielded Pedophile Priests
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that two Catholic Church officials in California covered up child sex abuse by priests until as late as 1987. This report is based on recently released internal documents from a Catholic diocese. Unsurprisingly, this particular diocese fought for years to keep these documents secret in an effort to avoid civil liability and public embarrassment.
According to the report, the Archbishop and his top advisor worked with other church officials to send pedophile priests out of the state so that the pedophiles could avoid criminal prosecution. This approach likely led to these pedophiles being able to abuse many more innocent children at dioceses in other states.
As a Chicago personal injury attorney with extensive experience handling sexual abuse cases, I know that Catholic Church officials throughout the country took actions similar to those taken by these officials. This approach put thousands of children at risk by allowing pedophile priests to join new parishes whose members had no knowledge of their past abuse. Furthermore, this approach clearly demonstrates that Catholic Church officials chose to put the reputation of the church above the safety of children.
With the release of these documents, I am hopeful that the Catholic Church in California will no longer be able to deprive the victims of sexual abuse of the compensation that they unquestionably deserve.