.- In an act of good faith, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles posted on its Web site Wednesday a document that includes summaries of the confidential files of 126 priests accused of sexual abuse.
An appeals court ruling last month made it possible for the archdiocese to post the files, but they were only expected to go public in several weeks, reported The Associated Press.
The 155-report on priestly misconduct is an addendum to the archdiocese’s Report to the People of God: Clergy Sexual Abuse Archdiocese of Los Angeles 1930-2003, published Feb. 17, 2004.
The addendum has three main sections. The first provides information on the programs the archdiocese has implemented to protect children and how it is dealing with reports of abuse.
The second section consists of a list of 26 priests with allegations of sexual abuse against them that have come to the archdiocese’s attention since the Appendix to the Report was last updated.
The last section discusses the civil lawsuits against the archdiocese and discloses information from the clergy files.
The 2004 report was released “as an essential part of the archdiocese’s ongoing effort to promote healing and reconciliation for victims, their families, and the entire Church community,” reads the introduction to the addendum. It also deals with how the archdiocese’s handling of the problem evolved throughout the decades “without attempt to excuse mistakes that were made.”
"I think what we have here is a church that is embarrassed, that is contrite, that is ashamed of what happened in the past and is committed to reforming it to the extent that it is humanly possible to do so," archdiocesan attorney Michael Hennigan told the AP.
A total of 245 priests have been accused of abuse in Los Angeles. Of these, about 30 remain in ministry because the allegations were not credible, Hennigan said.
Hennigan told the AP that the archdiocese expects nine cases to go to trial in the next year before the archdiocese's 12 insurers agree to a global settlement. Some attorneys have speculated the settlement could be more than $500 million.
The full document can be downloaded at: www.la-archdiocese.org/english/