The Los Angeles Times has reported what many had suspected for years: Roger Mahony and his key aides actively concealed abuse to avoid detection by the police and the victims of pedophile priests. This dramatic new evidence comes in the form of hundreds of documents released this week, which includes documents composed by Cardinal Mahony and his aide, Bishop Thomas Curry. The documents lay bare their plans to actively conceal a known child molester to avoid "criminal and civil action". It completely contradicts Mahony's prior denials of a criminal conspiracy and is a clear criminal violation of California's child protection laws.
As attorneys, journalists, and victims sift through the documents, the questions most often raised are simple and direct: if these documents have been in the hands of law enforcement for 10 years, why has no one taken any action? Why has no one in law enforcement made any statement about it? Why was this critical information allowed to be kept completely secret during the pendency of almost 600 civil lawsuits against the Archdiocese? How is it that the leaders in the Los Angeles law enforcement community - including police chiefs, successive District Attorneys (excluding District Attorney Jackie Lacey), and the LA County Sheriffs - fail to lift a finger to prosecute this horror? Indeed, despite having access to these files former District Attorney Steve Cooley consistently attended the Cardinal's Red Mass for the legal community every year. This is so incredible and shocking it should shake and possibly tumble the foundations of the political power structure in Los Angeles. (But it probably won't).
Roger Mahony did not keep this quiet on his own; he had help within the law enforcement leadership - most of whom are now retired. The question is: who helped keep this quiet and why? These questions need to be answered, as they involve critical issues of public safety and public corruption. A County Grand Jury should be convened to directly investigate how the Cardinal and his associates were allowed to escape justice. It's important that this exercise be undertaken so that the politically powerful and those in government who would serve criminals instead of the people learn that, ultimately, they will pay the price and be exposed for their failure protect the innocent.