Clergy Files Produced by Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Personnel Files of clergy who were subject of the 2007 global settlement have been publicly released and are listed below. We ask that you read the introduction page before exploring content below.

General Questions about Handling the Cases:

Question:     Did the Archdiocese send priests outside California for treatment to avoid reporting them to the police?
Answer:         No.  There were no instances in which prosecution was delayed or prevented by the offending priest being sent out of state for treatment.  Priests were sent outside California for evaluation and treatment because there are no residential treatment centers for priests in California.  These centers are located in Jemez Springs, NM; St. Louis, MO; Philadelphia, PA; Silver Springs, MD; Aurora, Ontario, Canada.


Question:     In the 1980s and 1990s, why didn’t the Archdiocese report to the police priests who were guilty of the sexual abuse of minors?
Answer:       The Archdiocese generally received reports of abuse in confidence.  Most parents frequently did not wish their children or family to be the center of a public scandal.  The Archdiocese advised parents of victims that they were free to report the abuse to the police, but that was their decision.  They were also told that the Archdiocese did not make such reports independently.

In the 1990s and moving forward, our policy changed as more groups were added to California law as mandated reporters.  We advised parents of their right to report to the police, and from 1994 forward, the Archdiocese began reporting to the police as well.  Beginning in 1997, clergy became mandated reporters requiring clergy members themselves to report any suspected child abuse.  Since that time the Archdiocese has reported suspected abuse and vigorously supported and encouraged prosecution.


Question:      It has been stated by some that the Archdiocese dissuaded priests from returning to California because they would be subject to possible arrest and prosecution.  Is that true?

Answer:          No.  If a criminal complaint had been made, the location of the priest would not have deterred criminal prosecution.  There were however a small number of cases in which the Archdiocese encouraged a priest to not return to the Archdiocese to avoid public scandal.  In those instances, the priest was reminded that returning could engender both criminal prosecution and civil litigation.


Question:     Did the Archdiocese carry on protracted legal strategies to stymie the release of clergy files?

Answer:        No.  When the Archdiocese and the Plaintiffs reached a global settlement in 2007, they agreed upon a legal process which would eventually lead to the release of clergy files.  A retired Judge was retained to go through all of the files and to exclude information which he believed to be privileged according to State law or which he did not consider relevant to matters of childhood sexual abuse.  This process took an extraordinary amount of time.

In addition, many of the priests whose files were to be released retained their own attorneys to protect their rights under State law.  This process took a long time since the Judge had to review each contested file, and render a decision.  Many of those files were appealed by the priests to the Appellate Courts, and eventually, to the California State Supreme Court.  The Archdiocese never appealed or delayed the process.

The Archdiocese complied fully with the Judge’s orders throughout this process and accelerated the release once a final order was signed.



Frequently Asked Questions/Clergy Personnel Files:

1. Which files are being disclosed?
The files concern those priests named in the litigation that settled in 2007. Pursuant to the settlement agreement between victims and the Archdiocese, retired Federal Judge Dickran Tevrizian ordered files released subject to certain rules designed to protect the privacy of certain individuals, including the redaction of the names of victims, third parties and church hierarchy.

Judge Emilie Elias then adopted the Judge Tevrizian order with certain modifications. Specifically, she ordered that the names of the church hierarchy generally be disclosed in the files. The Archdiocese accepted her ruling, and has restored the names of church hierarchy in the documents being released.


2. How many files are being released with names?
122 files are being released with names. Of this number, 83 files have information on allegations of childhood sexual abuse and 39 files have no information on allegations of childhood sexual abuse but, in those instances, the "proffers" are being provided.

"Proffers" are summaries of personnel files, prepared for litigation that describe some of the documents in that file. These summaries were previously published by the Archdiocese after they were determined by the Court to be complete and accurate regarding the lack of notice to the Archdiocese of any claims of childhood sex abuse for that priest.

3. How many pages are being released?
There are approximately 12,000 pages in the files being released, in accordance with the Court orders. Media reports that there were 30,000 or more pages were inaccurate.


4. There are 6 additional files where the priests are identified by Roman Numerals instead of names. Why?
There are certain priests against whom charges were never substantiated. In those instances, the Court ordered that their identities be protected.


5. There were 192 priests and bishops named in the litigation, what about the remaining 64 individuals?
In those cases the Archdiocese had no file at all or the party was exonerated and the files were not to be produced.


6. There were additional priests who were previously identified in the Report to the People of God, why are they not included?
The Report to the People of God, published in 2004, included the names of every priest or brother who had been publicly accused. In many instances, those individuals were not affiliated with the Archdiocese, had nothing relevant in their files, were exonerated, or were never named in litigation.


7. There appear to be a number of duplicate documents or blank pages in some of the files. Why?
The files being released reflect an assembly from several Archdiocesan files containing tens of thousands of pages. If a document appears in more than one file, it appears in the released files as a duplicate. In some instances, there are many duplicates.


8. Most of the documented abuse seems to have happened a long time ago. Do you have statistics that deal with this?
Yes. The chart below displays the timing of each claim of abuse:


9. What has the Archdiocese done to insure that these experiences are not repeated?

The Archdiocese has been a leader in initiating reforms designed to protect its children . Every adult who supervises children is investigated, fingerprinted and trained in the detection of child abuse. Every child enrolled in an Archdiocesan school or program receives age-appropriate training every year on how to detect inappropriate behavior and how to talk about it. We employ retired FBI agents who investigate every claim of abuse. Any person, whether priest, teacher, coach or volunteer who is credibly accused is reported to police and immediately removed from his or her position.

10. Question: The 128 files are confusing. Can you organize them in more descriptive categories?
Organization can be challenging. Some priests fit into more than one category, but we have compiled the following table and reference lists which should be useful:

Summary of 128 Files
A. Religious Order and Extern Priests.
31% 40
B. Archdiocesan priests with information concerning child sexual abuse in their files in 1986 or later. 26% 33
C. Archdiocesan priests with no information in their files to indicate childhood sexual abuse. 19% 25
D. Archdiocesan priests with information concerning child sexual abuse in their files prior to 1986. 19% 24
E. Priests identified by Roman Numerals
5% 6
TOTAL 100% 128
A. Religious Order and Extern Priests 31%:
B. Archdiocesan priests with information concerning child sexual abuse in their files in 1986 or later, 26%:
C. Archdiocesan priests with no information in their files to indicate childhood sexual abuse, 19%:
D. Archdiocesan priests with information concerning child sexual abuse in their files prior to 1986, 19%:
E. Priests identified by Roman Numerals, 5%:

 


The same personnel files are also available in alphabetical order provided below:


Clergy Personnel Files

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Child Protection Efforts

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has implemented rigorous policies and procedures to provide a safe environment in our parishes and parish schools for all children and young people. These include:

• "Zero Tolerance"'
• Guidelines for Adults Working or Volunteering with Minors
• Boundary Guidelines for Junior High and High School Youth Working or Volunteering with Children or Youth
Megan's Law Compliance Procedures

To view these and other policies: www.la-archdiocese.org/org/protecting

Mandated Reporters

Priest, deacons, school faculty and administrators and other staff members in our parishes and schools have been designated as mandated reporters under California law. When one of these persons receives information leading to a "reasonable suspicion" that a child is being abused or neglected, he or she must make a report to the appropriate child protection or law enforcement agency. The Archdiocesan Victims Assistance Ministry also provides assistance in responding to an allegation of suspected child abuse.

Victims Assistance

The Office of Victims Assistance Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was established in 2002 to deal with allegations of past or current sexual abuse by clergy, religious or any lay person working or volunteering for the Archdiocese. The office is charged with creating a safe and compassionate environment for victims to come forward while ensuring that civil authorities are notified and victims provided with counseling and other assistance in the healing process.

Read More:
Victims Assistance Ministry.

Background Checks & Training

The Archdiocese requires that all clergy, paid parish/school personnel and volunteers who work regularly in a supervisory role with children or youth be fingerprinted. Fingerprinting is performed in multiple location in all five regions of the Archdiocese. 

Read more:
Archdiocesan fingerprinting
policies

Abuse Prevention Programs

VIRTUS® "Protecting God's Children" is a three-hour training for adults which teaches the five basic steps of child sexual abuse prevention. This program is mandated for all adults who work with or around children or youth on a regular basis. More than 150,000 clergy, staff, volunteers and parents have attended the program. For information call: (213) 637-7227. http://virtusonline.org/virtus
.

Contact

If you wish to contact the Archdiocese regarding the contents of this website, please email us:
ClergyFiles@la-archdiocese.org

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