Church Leaders Address Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal at Sunday Services
Eric Nielsen, 52, a parishioner at the church since 1981, said after Sunday services that “this will probably be my last time coming here” because he was unsettled by the child abuse scandal.
“I take my hat off to the archbishop,” Nielsen said. “He got on the ball and did what needed to be done.”
“It’s a shame,” he added.
In a move unprecedented in the U.S. Catholic Church, Gomez announced Thursday that he had relieved Mahony, his predecessor as archbishop, of all public duties over his handling of clergy sex abuse of children decades ago.
Gomez also said that Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Curry, who worked with Mahony to conceal abusers from police in the 1980s, had resigned his post as a regional bishop in Santa Barbara.
The announcement came as the church posted on its website tens of thousands of pages of the previously secret personnel files of 122 priests accused of molesting children.
“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil,” Gomez wrote in his letter, addressed to “My brothers and sisters in Christ.”
The release of the records and the rebuke of the two central figures in L.A.’s molestation scandal signaled a clear desire by Gomez to define the sexual abuse crisis as a problem of a different era — and a different archbishop.