Thousands of credible accusations have been leveled against the Catholic Church over the last few years alone, and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is no exception. Having just secured the largest individual settlement for a sex abuse case ever offered by Archdiocese, we know firsthand how important it is that survivors come forward.
That is why all of us at Taylor & Ring are thrilled that the California attorney general’s office is launching an investigation into how the archdiocese has been handling sexual assault and abuse cases. The Los Angeles Times reports:
“’The California Department of Justice is conducting a review of your archdiocese’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations involving children, including whether your archdiocese has adequately reported allegations of sexual misconduct, as required under California’s Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act,’ the letter [from Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra] stated.”
Accusations against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles span decades. It has paid out $740 million – almost three-quarters of a billion dollars – in settlements to sexual abuse victims.
Atty. Gen. Becerra is seeking information from the church not only about its clergy, but also about volunteers and other lay personnel, as far back at 1996. He seeks records and/or documents related to:
- All allegations of sexual abuse involving minors, form 1996 to the present
- Names of any and all individuals who were accused
- Any reports filed or actions taken by the archdiocese
- All documented policies, procedures, memoranda, communications, etc. about how allegations of sexual misconduct have been treated, and how they should be treated
- Files on accused individuals, including “secret archives”
Accusations against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
In 2018, the archdiocese released a report outlining allegations of misconduct against minors. The list names of 45 priests (some of whom have died since the accusations were made) who were affiliated in some way with the archdiocese – or about whom reports or accusations were made – and how their cases were being handled. Some of the accusations go back to the 1960s, but with one exception, all reports were made from 2005 to the present. This report was a supplement to the 2004 “Report to the People of God,” which outlined how many reports the archdiocese had received between 1930 and 2004.
BishopAccountability.org, however, tells a very different story. Per their data, there are 327 priests accused of sexual assault, abuse and misconduct – a far cry from the 54 names of the living and dead.
This “discrepancy” is why the A.G.’s investigation into the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is so critical. We deserve to know just how many members of the Church were allowed to slip through the cracks, and how many accusations of sexual abuse were ignored or swept under the rug.
At Taylor & Ring, we fight for justice for survivors of sexual abuse. If you or your loved one were sexually assaulted or molested by a member of the clergy, or by a person associated with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in any capacity, please call 310-776-6390 or complete our contact form, and schedule your free, confidential consultation with a member of our team.