May 25, 2005

Reports Show Failure of Therapy for Priests

Los Angeles Times

By Jean Guccione and William Lobdell, Times Staff Writers

Documents released Tuesday reveal the failure of the Diocese of Orange's decades-old strategy of trying to cure pedophile priests with therapy, detailing how the clerics continued to abuse young boys while in treatment but were cleared by psychologists to return to the ministry.

The files also show that Roman Catholic officials ignored a recommendation to limit one cleric to an adults-only ministry and allowed him to set and enforce his own rules against being alone with children.

The hundreds of pages of psychotherapist reports, billings and other internal memos were the latest documents released as part of a court-approved $100-million settlement reached in December between the Orange diocese and 90 alleged victims.

Last week, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Peter D. Lichtman ordered the production of more than 10,000 pages from the confidential personnel files of 15 accused priests and teachers.

Those papers document the transfer of predator priests from parish to parish and diocese to diocese, as well as efforts to protect them from prosecution while failing to warn parishioners of the danger.

Posted by kshaw at May 25, 2005 07:17 AM