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LOS ANGELES (ChurchMilitant.com) - John Doe 1001 revealed his identity at a media briefing on Thursday to hold Cdl. Roger Mahony accountable for covering up a homosexual pedophile priest and to encourage other victims to come forward.
Represented by Jeff Anderson & Associates, Alberto Sanchez (John Doe 1001) came forward to hold the archdiocese of Los Angeles accountable ― and Mahony in particular ― for its cover-up of serial abuser Fr. Michael Stephen Baker, to encourage other victims to come forward and to protect other children, especially since Baker is no longer in prison.
"Cardinal Roger Mahony was complicit because he knew Fr. Michael was a sexual predator long before I was assaulted by Fr. Michael," said Sanchez.
"My hope is that others seeing this will find the courage to come forward and speak up in an attempt to reclaim the lost trust and [their] dignity," he added.
Mike Reck, a trial attorney for Jeff Anderson & Associates, spoke at the briefing.
"This lawsuit is one of vital, public necessity, and public need which seeks to remedy a dangerous condition that has been, and is present, in the archdiocese of Los Angeles," he said.
"This lawsuit will uncover and expose the extent of this conspiracy and cover-up in this archdiocese that reaches to the highest levels of the archdiocese ― even directly to Cdl. Roger Mahony," added Reck.
Around 1986, he told Mahony that he had sexually abused children. Mahony sent Baker for some therapy and then returned him to ministry soon thereafter.
In 2007, Baker was sentenced to 10 years and four months in prison. Released in 2011, he was arrested within weeks on parole violation; he was arrested on a parole violation a second time in 2012.
In 2013, CBS published a piece on Mahony's concealment of Baker's crimes.
The interviewer asked Mahony why he did not report Baker to authorities: "Wouldn't that be the right thing to do?"
"Well, today it would. But back then, that isn't the way these matters were approached," answered Mahony.
Mahony's successor in Los Angeles, Abp. José Gomez, removed Mahony from all administrative and public duties in January 2013 after releasing confidential Church files that show Mahony deliberately concealed the abuse of children from law enforcement.
Gomez revealed Mahony's removal in a statement that also references Auxiliary Bp. Thomas Curry, who served under Mahony.
My predecessor, retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, has expressed his sorrow for his failure to fully protect young people entrusted to his care. Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry has also publicly apologized for his decisions while serving as Vicar for Clergy. I have accepted his request to be relieved of his responsibility as the Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara.
Then, in February 2013, Gomez released a statement that Mahony and Curry were in good standing and free to minister to the faithful without restriction:
Questions from the faithful and some members of the news media indicate that it would be helpful for me to clarify the status of Cardinal Roger Mahony and Bishop Thomas Curry.
Cardinal Mahony, as Archbishop Emeritus, and Bishop Curry, as Auxiliary Bishop, remain bishops in good standing in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, with full rights to celebrate the Holy Sacraments of the Church and to minister to the faithful without restriction.
Mahony spoke at the U.S. bishops' General Assembly in Baltimore in November 2018. Pending any further statements from Church hierarchy, he remains in "good standing."
It is estimated that Baker sexually molested 23 children. His whereabouts and whether he has access to children are unknown at this time.
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