STATEMENT OF ARCHDIOCESE REGARDING RELEASE OF CLERGY FILES RELATED TO 2007 GLOBAL SETTLEMENT
Clergy files and supporting information can now be found at the following website:
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has published the files of clergy who were subject of the 2007 global settlement. For the sake of clarity, the Archdiocese chose to include the names of hierarchy in the final documents, rather than simply include a cover sheet with that information in each file. The files, and supporting information, including an FAQ guide to the files, may be found at: http://clergyfiles.la-archdiocese.org.
The 2013 public release of the files of clergy who were subject of the 2007 global settlement, concludes a sad and shameful chapter in the history of our Local Church. In the 2004 Report to the People of God and elsewhere, the Archdiocese acknowledged and apologized for failing to treat victims of abuse with compassion, as well as for employing what we now know to be inadequate standards for treatment and supervision of priests who were found to have abused children and young people.
The 2004 Report to the People of God provided a framework for understanding how the Archdiocese dealt with allegations of clergy sexual abuse over several decades. It also included the names of priests publicly accused of abuse, as well as those who were found to have committed abuse. Though the additional information provided with the release of the files fits within the overall framework of the 2004 Report, and are themselves decades-old, many will find the specific details contained within them to be troubling and upsetting.
While the files being produced have the names of persons who experienced abuse and third parties redacted and obscured, some may recognize their stories in the letters and memos in these files. We understand that this experience may be a difficult one. Through years of outreach to persons who experienced abuse, we have learned that feelings and reactions to these stories vary according to the individual. Please be assured that the Office of Victims Assistance Ministry is available to help.
Sad and shameful as the past history of sexual abuse is, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles can point to more than a decade of modern child protection efforts that are among the most effective in the nation at preventing abuse and dealing with allegations of abuse:
• Each of our 287 parishes and schools has a Safeguard the Children Committee, and all adults who supervise children are required to undergo VIRTUS abuse prevention training, and must submit to background checks and screening.
• Catholic school students and children in religious education programs annually receive age-appropriate abuse prevention instruction.
• Priests, deacons, school faculty and administrators, and other staff members in our parishes and schools are mandated reporters, and receive training in how to report suspicions of child abuse or endangerment to civil authorities.
Additionally, the Archdiocese continues to reach out to victims of abuse and their families through our Office of Victims Assistance Ministry.
The Archdiocese again apologizes to all who were harmed or impacted by clergy sexual abuse or its consequences. We continue to pray earnestly that you and your families find emotional and spiritual healing. We also reiterate our firm commitment to remaining vigilant against any and all threats to our children and young people.