Yesterday, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles released over 12,000 pages detailing the apparent reports and subsequent cover-up of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. I had posted a diary a few weeks ago when the files of about 14 priests were released which highlighted the involvement of both Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Thomas J. Curry. As a result of this latest release, Bishop Curry resigned and Cardinal Mahony was relieved of his duties.
I anticipate reading and digesting each and every file. For this diary, however, I am just opening them randomly and sharing a bit of what they contain. I have listed the names of each of the offending priests below the jump and provided a link as well.
The cry of the abused(excerpts):
July 18, 2003
Dear Pope [John Paul II]:
In July of 1993, I wrote a letter to you telling you that I was molested as a child by one of your priests, the Reverend Leonard Abercrombie. Ten years ago he was a priest in Los Angeles, California, so I sent a copy to Cardinal Mahony. The letter informed you the first time it happened I was 7 years old, a camper at Camp St. Malo, near Estes Park, Colorado, and Abercrombie was the chaplain.
In the ten years that have passed I never heard a word of apology from any of you...You ignored me, Cardinal Mahony ignored me, Cardinal Stafford ignored me, and Abercrombie kept silent.
I spoke out because I knew what was happening and wanted it stopped. I spoke out hoping you would apologize and it would help all of us.
Would you grant a request? If you won't apologize at least sever the bind you have on me, and allow me the honor of excommunication.
Psychologycal Evaluation of Reverende MIchael Baker(excerpts)
[Reverend Michael Baker's] sexual invovlement was with two boys, both initially pre-teenagers...One started with a boy that he knew who was approximately 11 years old. The relationship continued over a period of two and a half years and according to Michael, there were only three sexual experiences. He reports that he conjoled the boy into participating in the sexual experience, however, "it didn't take too much conjoling".
He contrasts this relationship with another boy [who] was the only child of some very close friends of his. Starting when the boy was apprxoiamtely 11, they began sleeping ni the same bed approximately every other month...he would fondle the boys genitals and masturbate himself. When the boy had obtained the age of 16, tehy had a talk about what was going on and at that point, the boy told Michael that he did not want to continue the relationship as a sexual one.
Michael's attitude in discussing these two sexual relationships was quite distrurbing to listen to. At no point did he indicate any awareness at all that his sexual involvement with these two boys may have consequences for them nor did he seem the least bit concerned about any consequences for him except that he may now have to go through a treatment program which he feels would be extraneous.
I have attached his letter in full as a jpg because recreating it wouldn't do it justice.
It begins "Dear Mike: I am writing to assure you of my continuing prayers and interest in you and your progress."
And later - "You are remembered in my prayer each day..."
But nothing for the little kids who were raped by this monster.
Luckily, Reverend Baker had (then) Monsignor Curry in his corner, who wrote parish after parish seeking a place for the "good" Reverend, giving him the highest recommendations - "He is very talented, especially in relating to people"
but no warnings about his past child sexual abuse history...Reverend Baker was back in full swing by August of that same year.
And, of course, the abuse didn't stop. And now, it appears, the Catholic Church is paying for his pedophilia proclivities.
Upon his return [from treatment], Baker was forced by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to attend counseling with psychologists twice a month for his pedophilia. Obviously, it didn't stop his behavior, as he admitted that it continued with [redacted] and others. In particular, he ahs admitted traveling to [redacted] to visit and molest them...Father Baker sent the family money...also helped the family move to [redacted] including arranging for a loan for a purchase of a home using money from the Archdioces and documenting the loan on St. Camillus letterhead from the Archdiocese. This ensured that he could more easily visit and molest the boys.Sickening.
And this is just the first two I've opened. There are 122 of them - just from the Archdioces of Los Angeles! There are 195 archdioces in the US alone. If we extrapolate that - (and fine, for those who say LA is a big archdiocese - let's take 1/3 of that number as the mean) - that's 7,995 potential pedophiles. Most pedophilies don't abuse just one child - Baker, for example, "admits" to at least 4 - so let's use 4, even though research shows that number to be extremely low - but now we have at a minimum, 31,980 potential children who were raped. And again, this is on the LOW SIDE ESTIMATE
So as I'm reading through this file, I keep seeing this name "Reverend Monsignor Richard A. Loomis" who writes to Reverend Baker in the strongest verbiage possible, "I must make it clear, that in your situation, there is no possibility of a return to an active ministry. It would be best if you look to another way of life. This matter is very serious." Reverend Monsignor Richard A. Loomis, Vicar for Clergy And, right before he retires, in transitioning his position, he writes: "In a memo to his successor, Loomis said Baker's attorney disclosed the priest had at least 10 other victims" - so if we take our earlier estimate of 4 and mark that up to minimum 10, our 31,900 victims is now 44,692 - again on the low estimate. Now, back to Loomis...
Reverend Monsignor Richard A Loomis, Vicar for Clergy
1969-1971 Sexually molested [redacted] when [redacted] was a student at Pater Noster High School, Los Angeles, CA.
1974 - Groped a 4th grader three or four times when the child was swimming in his pool
1974 - Groped a 5th grader
Summer, 1974, Sexual molestation of [redacted] a minor
In all - 5 counts of child sexual abuse against Monsignor Richard A. Loomis.
So many innocent children. We must do better. We must do better for our children. Children cannot protect themselves. We must do better.
Link to all released files below. This is going to be a hard weekend...
Link to Clergy Personnel Files
•Van Liefde, Christopher
•Villa Gomez, Nemoria