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This week even stronger evidence emerged of a concerted effort to hide pedophilia by the archdiocese in Los Angeles according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.  The documents were kept secret for years but were released on Monday in a redacted form as evidence in a court case.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles
The documents revolve around a priest named Peter Garcia who was ordained in 1966.  Between then and his leaving the church in 1989 he molested an untold number of boys.  Garcia worked primarily with immigrants—some illegal—and used threats of deportation to keep his victims silent after raping them.   He died in 2009, having never been charged with a crime.

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In 1984, aware of his appetite for sex with young boys, Garcia’s superiors sent him to Foundation House in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, for a psychological evaluation.  The previously confidential evaluations reveal that Garcia was out of control and unable to stop his predatory urges on his own:

Peter is at a crisis point in his life in that he is being confronted with the reality of his behavior. This has been a burden for him throughout the years, but he has been unable to really talk to anyone about it and has been unable to find any adequate ways of dealing with it himself other than trying to assert willpower. Other areas of his life which cause same problem for him and are undoubtedly unrelated to this are a tendency to be extremely private and have difficulty forming intense or intimate relationships with others.

In 1987 Garcia was evaluated again, this time in Maryland.  Documents reveal that Garcia failed to recognize the impact of rape on his victims:
Monsignor Garcia at this point seems to have a rather thin understanding of the harm he may have caused…He has difficulty putting into words any clear understanding of why sexual behavior between adults and minors is generally considered harmful.

Not only did the archdiocese fail to prevent Garcia’s crimes, they actively sought to cover them up.  In 1986, when faced with a decision of where to place the pedophile, Archbishop Roger Mahony appeared concerned primarily with avoiding legal trouble:

"I believe that if Monsignor Garcia were to reappear here within the archdiocese we might very well have some type of legal action filed in both the criminal and civil sectors."

In a letter to Mahony in 1987, chief advisor Thomas Curry spoke of the need to prevent victims from notifying authorities of sex crimes by keeping Garcia out of sight.
"[T]here are numerous — maybe twenty — adolescents or young adults that Peter was involved with in a first degree felony manner. The possibility of one of these seeing him is simply too great."

The entire trove of documents can be found in a single PDF file here

Mahony’s desire to minimize fallout for his institution instead of having compassion for underage rape victims shows an appalling lack of integrity.  But just as Garcia went to his grave without ever being held accountable for his crimes, Mahony is not likely to be charged with anything at all.  Legal experts said this week that the 3 year statute of limitations in such cases means there is virtually no chance of criminal charges against any member of the archdiocese.

It's horrifying enough when an adult like Jerry Sandusky abuses an exalted position of authority in order to satisfy his urges for child rape without considering the ruined lives he's leaving in his wake.  What makes this case even worse is that the rapist was supposed to be an intermediary between God and the victims.  It is a disgusting travesty that Mahony is not being held responsible for his decisions.

Retired L.A. Archbishop Roger Mahony
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