Christine Niles  CM May 3, 2021

Lawsuit charges LA archdiocese with cover-up

UPDATE, 5/7/2021: In response to ChurchMilitant’s query, the spokeswoman for the archdiocese of Los Angeles sent an email stating, “It is our understanding that the recent civil suit is being withdrawn.”

Church Militant contacted Peter Schweitzer, spokesman for Saunders Law Firm, representing the accuser, to ask him to confirm whether the lawsuit is being withdrawn, but received no response as of press time.

Filed April 19 in Los Angeles Superior Court, the plaintiff, under the alias John Doe, is suing “The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles,” which includes Cdl. Roger Mahony and staff of the archdiocese.

The lawsuit alleges Mahony “repeatedly sexually assaulted, molested and abused” Doe in 1986, when he was 17. The plaintiff also accuses the archdiocese of knowing about the archbishop’s abuse and covering it up.

Doe describes himself as being raised in Mexico and moving to Los Angeles when he was still a minor in 1986. There his family attended St. Vibiana Catholic Cathedral, the former cathedral of the archdiocese before it was replaced by the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. 

It was at St. Vibiana where Doe first met Abp. Mahony, who took a special interest in the boy, becoming a “trustworthy mentor” and gaining the boy’s “trust and confidence as a spiritual guide” and “authority figure.”

“Archbishop Roger Mahony’s conduct constituted ‘grooming’ of Plaintiff and culminated in his sexual assault and abuse of Plaintiff,” the lawsuit states, going on to graphically detail the incident:

Archbishop Roger Mahony’s sexual abuse of Plaintiff included, but was not limited to, repeated groping and fondling of Plaintiff’s genital area, and culminated in oral copulation in the bathroom of St. Vibiana’s rectory approximately two weeks prior to Plaintiff’s 18th birthday while another member of the clergy stood guard at the door and eagerly watched.

The lawsuit also notes Mahony’s homosexual interest in Doe: The archbishop “sexually abused Plaintiff for sexual gratification which was, at least in part, based on Plaintiff’s gender, who was a minor boy at the time.”

Cdl. Roger Mahony given a copy of the sex abuse lawsuit on May 1, 2021 (this video is unaffiliated with the law firm bringing the suit)

Doe claims the abuse has resulted in “PTSD, severe anxiety, depression, lost interest in activities, an inability to concentrate, feeling of self-blame, feelings of estrangement from friends and/or family, hypervigilance, a lost sense of worth, a sense of being tainted, suicidal ideation and a loss of sexual desire.”

He’s seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages.

Other Victims and Archdiocesan Cover-Up

Doe believes Mahony has other victims, and that the archdiocese kept this from authorities.

“Archbishop Roger Mahony is believed to have previously sexually assaulted other young victims other than Plaintiff prior to the time he sexually assaulted the Plaintiff,” the complaint notes.

Mahony’s name appears on the L.A. archdiocese’s list of publicly accused priests, with the accompanying status of “Exonerated/Retired/Full Faculties to Minister.” He had been accused by two youths between 1970 and 1993 of abuse, but none of the allegations were substantiated.

Doe accuses the archdiocese of “actively shielding” Mahony from taking responsibility for his alleged crimes and “failing to report” him to civil authorities. 

“Although Defendants knew that Abp. Roger Mahony was a pedophile and had sexually assaulted other minors, Defendants accepted, ratified and even encouraged Abp. Roger Mahony’s lewd and predatory conduct, and continued to allow him access to children, including but not limited to Plaintiff.”

Track Record of Cover-Up

This accords with the track record of the L.A. archdiocese under Mahony’s leadership from 1985–2011, when Mahony and his team gained a notorious reputation for covering up sex abuse and protecting predators, including sending priests out of state to escape prosecution.

His actions led to the single largest sex abuse payout in U.S. history: $660 million in 2007. The archdiocese has since shelled out millions more.

Records show Mahony actively blocked investigations, including refusing to hand over to investigators a list of altar boys who had served with visiting Mexican priest Fr. Nicolas Aguilar Rivera in 1988.


Authorities eventually obtained the list through parish families, and Rivera was convicted of abusing 26 altar boys during his 10 months in Los Angeles.

Fr. Michael Baker

Mahony was sued last year by a victim for reinstating a known predator to priestly ministry. Archdiocesan records show Fr. Michael Baker privately confessed to Mahony in 1986 that he had molested two boys;

instead of reporting him to police, Mahony sent him out of state to a rehabilitation center before placing him back in active ministry, where he went on to abuse more children. Baker was eventually convicted in 2007 of child sex crimes and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He is believed to have as many as 23 victims.


Other instances of Mahony’s protection of predators are too numerous to recount.
In 2003, after California’s bishops followed Mahony’s lead and refused to take part in a survey of sex abuse in each diocese, Frank Keating, then-chairman of the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, compared the hierarchy to the mafia.

“To act like La Cosa Nostra and hide and suppress, I think, is very unhealthy,” said Keating. “To resist grand jury subpoenas, to suppress the names of offending clerics, to deny, to obfuscate, to explain away; that is the model of a criminal organization, not my Church.”

The comments drew a special rebuke from Mahony.

“This is the last straw,” the cardinal told the Los Angeles Times in 2003. “To make statements such as these — I don’t know how he can continue to have the support of the bishops.” Keating eventually left his role as head of the National Review Board, accusing Mahony of listening “too much to his lawyer and not enough to his heart.”

Steve Cooley, then-L.A. district attorney, agreed with Keating that Mahony was less than cooperative during the D.A.’s investigation: “We share his frustration.” In spite of Mahony’s promises of transparency, he refused for months to open up personnel files on abusive priests, stymying the criminal investigation.

Leon Panetta, also a member of the National Review Board, later going on to head the CIA, said of Mahony that he “has done tremendous damage to his reputation and the archdiocese,” recalling a meeting where the cardinal showed up with “more lawyers in the room than I’ve ever seen.”
Mahony has not yet publicly responded to the lawsuit.


Mahony’s name has been doing the rounds for decades in connection with abuse and the cover-up of abuse.

As the article says Los Angeles has already paid out staggering figures in compensation.

All of these bishop abusers were covered up for by all the other bishops.

In return, abusing bishops covered up for abusing priests.

It was a well understood and accepted ring of paedophiles and paedophile cover-up.

All kinds of cover-ups continue to this day.

The episcopal club and the clerical club must be protected at all costs.

The Roman Catholic Church is being dismantled from within.


He encouraged the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law in Boston — an astounding stance given his own precarious position — he rejected calls for his own resignation for covering up child abuse. The man is a snake.


In reference to yesterday’s blog I believe Fr Dick Given is looking for a new live in housekeeper. 😜


Filthy scum nonces.
Used to think it was only here the filth were protected.
Money talks and the system looks the other way. Suffer little children.
This dirty cult must be smashed up from within as Pat says but it seems people don’t have any outrage.

Liked by 1 person

My brothers and sisters in Christ,
There is outrage to criminality. State, society, church and law enforcement all have to take shared and proportional responsibility.
And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful.
Peace be with you!
Is mise le meas,


As Peter reached the house Cornelius went out to meet him, knelt at his feet and prostrated himself. But Peter helped him up. ‘Stand up,’ he said ‘I am only a man after all!’

Then Peter addressed them: ‘The truth I have now come to realise’ he said ‘is that God does not have favourites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him.’

Acts of the Apostles :10:25-26. 34-35.

Liked by 1 person

I think Mahony is already on short rations in the LA archdiocese and restricted in what he can do and where he can be. I guess the only thing that they can do is send him in to more prayer and penance. He won’t find himself criminally accused in all likelihood because the statute of limitations in the US which will prevent any of these cases being prosecuted. Just like with McCarrick.


Cloughleigh update.
Every picture and video with Father Ger Fitzgerald has been taken down from the Cloughleigh Facebook pages and you would think he had never been there.
mass today was said by the Polish curate from the Cathedral.
Still nothing from Bishop Monahan.
No times given out for Mass and Thursday is the Feast of the Ascension
Maybe clergy changes are on the horizon.


3:02, I suspect the videos have been removed due to the homily content. Ger’s preaching about trust and loyalty while engaging in a relationship would make him a hypocrite and the videos would prove that. It’s all very sad


Father Ger’s videos and messages on the Cloughleigh face book were very shocking and insulting to all.
It reminded many about the hypocrite Keith Patrick O’Brien who was a Cardinal a Prince of the Church and Father Ger Fitzgerald is not much better than KOB.
And it Ger’s case it was worse and his fan club bullied and intimidated the victim and continued to do this knowingly he was a hypocrite and a liar.
Ger should man up and realise it is a new career he needs and apologise to the victim and the people of Cloughleigh as many will remember Ger the Hypocrite even at Chrism Mass as well.
He could apply for a transfer to another diocese but what Bishop would accept him.


Isn’t L.A. the richest diocese in the world or is that Manila?
In any event Mahoney will have a war chest of a surfeit of dollars for his defence – rather like Pell.
What is it about prelates like him that they find children and teenagers so sexually irresistible – I guess it’s the compulsion to abuse power is where they get their kicks cuz it sure ain’t got nothing to do with sex.


I’ll never forget the day Mahony came to Maynooth to unveil the chocolate Mary, a tacky statue of our lady near the main door of the Gunn Chapel. It was, I think, 1991. The fawning tributes, coupled with the spectacle of his equally wealthy entourage looking at the seminarians like caged beasts in a zoo, still makes my flesh crawl. Incidentally, I also remember the quip when some four years later, they unveiled the Garden of Eden. Someone said, ‘are they going to have an Adam and Eve for the unveiling ceremony?’, to which someone, quick as a flash said, ‘they were, but there were too many Eve’s around here, and not enough Adam’s’.


Mmmm, didn’t look great to me. A smallish clapboard bungalow house. I wonder where + Vinny will go when he ups sticks ? Chiswick ? He’ll be living in greater style than Mahony there. Still, better weather in LA, I think.


What fucking hypocritical nonsense. And I bet the rector of the Munich seminary is out and about the gay bars and saunas himself. If not that, then he will be walking himself off in front of porn, full of self loathing. What a crew ! This guy Henry is better off out of that place. I wish him well and much happiness. Leave the self-loathing homophobes to themselves. They are in for a very unhappy life.


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