Cardinal Roger M. Mahony will “no longer have any administrative or public duties” as retired archbishop of Los Angeles because of past diocesan failures to protect children from clergy sex abuse, Archbishop José H. Gomez announced on Jan. 31. The archbishop’s statement came the same day the archdiocese published the files of clergy who were the subject of a 2007 global abuse settlement. Archbishop Gomez also accepted Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Curry’s request to be relieved as the regional bishop of Santa Barbara. Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Curry, however, remain bishops in good standing, with full rights to celebrate the sacraments and minister to the faithful without restriction.
Cardinal Mahony, now 76, headed the archdiocese from 1985 until his retirement in March 2011. Bishop Curry, 70, was the archdiocese’s vicar for clergy and chief adviser on sexual abuse cases in the mid-1980s. “I find these files to be brutal and painful reading,” Archbishop Gomez said on Jan. 31. “The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil,” he said. “There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed. We need to acknowledge that terrible failure today.”