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Cardinal Mahony under federal fraud probe over abusive priests, sources say [UPDATED]

Mahony The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles has launched a federal grand jury investigation into Cardinal Roger M. Mahony in connection with his response to the alleged molestation of children by priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the case.

The probe, in which U.S. Atty. Thomas P. O’Brien is personally involved, is aimed at determining whether Mahony, and possibly other church leaders, committed “honest services fraud” by failing to adequately deal with priests accused of sexually abusing children, said the sources, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

One federal law enforcement source said such a prosecution could be brought under a federal statute that makes it illegal to “scheme ... to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.” In this case, the victims would be parishioners who relied on Mahony and other church leaders to keep their children safe from predatory priests, the source said.

-- Scott Glover and Jack Leonard

Read the full story on the federal probe at latimes.com.

Updated at 10:10 a.m.: Listen to a KNX radio interview with Mahony here.

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Comments () | Archives (105)

Yay !

We read today that one religious school can ban a persom who 'seems' to be lesbian and the court says the organization is exempt from prosecution for discrimination, now we read the gvt is in the middle of this situation with preists, so which is it?
Is gvt out when the isuue is about sexual preference of the individaul at a private religious school, but in, in this example when the institution is in question?
because if the gvt can pick and choose, then this is a selective prosecution and not, equal protection under the law is it?

It's about time!!!

Mahoney makes me sick. He just shuffled off the problem instead of mandating therapy for the offenders and protecting the children. Mahoney will burn in hell!

It's about time Mahony goes down for his three decade long involvement in the priest sex abuse cases and his involvement in the cover up of these illegal activities. The Catholic community in Southern California has had enough of this money-hungry criminal.

This is a start, but true justice would come when the entire hierarchy -- right up to and including the pope -- is behind bars.

Fr. Thomas H. Smolich, now arguably the top Jesuit leader in the USA, acknowledged that the Jesuit Order failed to notify authorities of accusations against Fr. Jerold W. Lindner, S.J. who taught at Loyola High School in Los Angeles in the 1980s and 1990s.

Fr. Jerold W. Lindner, S.J. was named in a 2003 lawsuit by a girl who said he molested her at Corpus Christi in Piedmont while he was serving at St. Ignatius Prep School in San Francisco. The lawsuit contends that from the 1950s to the 1980s, Lindner "abused and molested his 5-year-old nephew in Arizona and Berkeley," "sodomized and molested two brothers, ages 4 and 7," "orally copulated and sodomized his 11-year-old nephew" and "molested three nieces."

Lindner has been accused by 10 men and women in Southern California, Phoenix and the Bay Area, the Los Angeles Times reported. Lindner has denied the allegations, but he was part of a secret $625,000 settlement in 1997, according to the Los Angeles Times.

I would hope this leads to prison time for Cardinal Roger Mahony; however, I doubt we will see him behind bars. And why is it only here in Los Angeles that he is being investigated? Why are they not going after him in the Stockton Diocese when he was Bishop there? He was a mandated reporter at that time and should have been disciplined by someone. I just hope the government pulls Mahony's passport so that he doesn't skip out for Rome.

As a clergy abuse survivor who has been helped by the Cardinal and his staff, I oppose this move. I would want to be a witness that I was not denied services.

At Last! The only way to clear him or prosecute him.

It has taken the US Attorney's office a long time to realize that thier was a huge cover up that goes all the way to the top of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Whenever a suspect priest is removed or moved to another church and the Cardinal knew about the abuse allegations...the parish should have been informed. Sex Offenders have to register...so should pedifile priests. Fr. Mahoney should be held responsible for his staff and should be sent to prison for all the damage he did to the victims. Who is accountable...the one who molested the child...or the man who knew about it and did nothing to stop it.

The church was suppose to protect the children not abuse them. How hard should it be to convict Mahony, he played a shell game with the priests and the children lost. After all that came out about this mess how could anyone not find him guilty. He aided and abetted child molesters in black robes.

I am a clergy abuse survivor (nun and priest) and I returned to the Catholic faith at the "worst of times" when, contrary to public knowledge, I received help and support from the Cardinal and his staff for healing and reconciliation. I would want to be a witness for SERVICES RECEIVED!!
What has happened to you... that you know now, what happened to me?
Lets rebuild rather than tear down.

Mahony needs to be hung out to dry. What is so unfortunate is that the millions of dollars used to defend this criminal was fleeced from some of the poorest of the poor.

It is about time for the Catholic Church to be prosecuted for its wrong doing. Mahoney and all the higher church hierarchy finds itself totally immune and cause so much pain and suffering to so many people. The church's atitude towards allowing priests to get married, gays to get married and allowing gays to become priests should be reviwed and changed. Look at how much pain and suffering have the Jews suffered over 2000 years. The Inquisition and all fights againts herectics and the latest, Propositio 8 in California. Long live Junstice!!!!

and I suppose the new administration would love
to hit the Catholic church to try to cover a bit of this latest economic stimulous debt.
They wouldn't attempt to sue the Islamic faiths
for 911 or other terrorist threats and actions
that were perpetrated by individuals within their religous communities and risk insulting or infuriating them further. Next will they try
to charge the Pope with criminal negligence to
try to replinish State and/or Federal coffers?
Or might they be looking next to trying same against Evangelistic and Hebrew groups?
I liked the "new hope and positive outlook" the election brought our country, but now I'm wondering how it may play out, especially after reading this sort of thing! I understand the concept of division of Church and State, but I don't condone this insult to Cardinal Mohoney or his Church , nor should any others
of our other Churches, Temples, or Synagogues.

It's about time. To many lives have been ruined by this man over this issue already. That includes one of the best and holiest people I have ever met. No one,even a Cardinal , who is supposed to a holy and just man, is above the law. Not to mention, thinking his personel view on things should be taken verbatum,without question. He was wrong.

It is about time: cardinal law was ran out of the country to advoid the Law.

Manhoney was basically a good man who heald authority of his church over the power of his people even when he knew the church was doing wrong.
He should be held accountable for the actions he failed to take after he left Central California. When he became an influence in the church at the state level and seemingly did nothing to reverse his eairlier actions. Knowing what he knew and doing noting hopeing the it would just go away, that is a hallmark of lack of character.

The only thing that comes close to that lack in judgement
was the person who poured gas on tha homeless man and set him on fire to die.

And they're worried about same-sex marriage. These cults sicken me to no end. He placed little kids in harm's way and thinks that marriage is an abomination! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? That he would even attempt to cover up these sickening acts is a crime in of itself. Now we'll see if there really is a separation of "church" and state. Prosecute him and send his holy *ss to jail. This is LONG overdue.

Cardinal Mahoney is being investigated for covering up clergy sexual abuse? I communicated personally with him in the early 1990's, and I experienced firsthand his nasty response to victims and their abuse.

Mahoney is guilty as charged - and guilty as sin.


It is about time is right. He is guilty of a most henious crims and that is covering up what he knew to be illigal but a mortal sin.

The US Attorney is demonstrating tremendous leadership in taking on the Archdiocese; the organization that functions as one of the most powerful corporations in the world, and should be held accountable for their strategic choices. This is not a matter of faith; this is a matter of morals, justice and truth. That this is a novel legal theory speaks more to the fact that no one could have anticipated the scope and destruction and deceit that these inicidents provoked. The lack of precedent is understandable--why would a legislature, federal or state, ever have thought to establish a law prohibiting the exploitation of children by members of the clergy, much less legislate penalties for circumstances such as this.

Bravo, Tom OBrien, whatever the outcome. Novel theory today; valuable precedent for the future.

THese priests have been committed ungodly acts for decades. It is clear that seminaries are filled with men screened in favor of this perversion, and any good soul is screened out. It is disgusting. The Catholic congregations need to clean house of these evil men...starting from the top!

With the documented history of this problem within the church going back more than 1600 years and with these current examples in the US and Ireland showing that despite massive financial fines and repeated public humiliation of bishops they are still unable to produce a modicum of justice in either a humanitarian way or as a genuine Christian response such as that preached of by the catholic church should be enough to see such deeply affected people as the cardinal removed from any social position where the safety of children is involved. If they are not removed then the catholic church should be legislated out of its right to operate as a Christian religion.

These crimes were protected the secrets of top church officials. They had no regard for the victims. As in organized crime, the top official (Cardinal Roger Mahoney) devised ways to protect the predators(criminals) and the church's image. It is about time he has to take responsibility for his deviant actions. There are many of us ex-Catholics and non - Catholics who want to see him behind bars. What has taken law enforcement so long to investigate the heinous behavior of the the top church executive?

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