Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

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.

Share your view by clicking the "Comment" button below.

Comments () | Archives (105)

The church (innocent parishioners and clergy) has already paid enough for its mistakes. Prosecute the molestors, leave everyone else alone and stop the witch hunt...

Roger Mahony lives in and, operates out of, fear! Fear that his own homosexuality will be revealed. His has been allowed to surrond himself with his gay clerical circle, promote them to positions of power and set up a Dynasty that J.Edgar Hoover would be proud of. If a real investigation is launched, without fear of public opinion, it will show one of the biggest scandals of Church history,

Well it is his church that promotes illegal immigration and the denial of civil rights for gay people.

The man (I cannot legitimately even refer to him as a priest) belongs in prison. Hope I live to see the day.

I was in Boston when it all came out. We have been outspoken for the last 7 yrs. trying to get someone anyone in Federal law enforcement to take on these bishops who along with the pope have done all they can to cover up the crimes committed against children. The priests who sexually assaulted children are sick but the bishops and cardinals who hide these crimes and make secret hush money deals and move these preditor priests from parish to parish are not sick they are EVIL!! These men deserve some long jail time for the crimes they have helped hide and have committed themselves.
Let's just hope the Feds don't buckle under Vatican pressure

How about all of the molesters they are hiding in Northern California? There is a retirement home near Los Gatos with plenty of molesters "retired" and still molesting locals. I feel sorry for any Catholics that want to live good lives. But the Catholic Church is EVIL!! If you go to a catholic church, you are enabling these evil MEN!

Mahony is a follower of Satan definitely not Jesus Christ. The goes for Levada who now is in the Vatican.

Mahanony is guilty of not being a Catholic at all. The Faith does not stand for his type of immorality. Mahony and other homosexualist in the Church have engaged in activeities, directly or through complicity, in immoral sexual behavior. During his reign as Bishop, all priest stopped preaching sexual morlality despite knowing that the Catholic Faith embraces such morality, and it was the Bishop's and Priests obligation to teach it. Sexual moraltiy stopped being preached in the Los Angeles Diocises in order to allow these acitiviets to occur.
The chickens were guard by the Wolf. Mahony must go. We need a real Catholic Bishop in the Los Angeles Dioseses.

thunddn: "... while school teachers across the country are molesting children with no prosecution for school board leaders at any level."

You have proof to offer regarding what otherwise could be considered a vile collective slur of an otherwise noble profession? No, I didn't think so.

Suffice to say, then, that "school teachers across the country" AREN'T child molesters. Rather, it should be noted that the vast majority of cases involving the sexual abuse of a minor involve either a relative of the victim, or close friend and / or personal acquaintance of the victim's family.

Now, to address the topic at hand in my own capacity as a lifelong Roman Catholic (Pasadena - LaSalle HS, Class of '78), it is my understanding that His Excellency the Cardinal John Mahoney is presently under investigation by the Office of the District Attorney, in part because it has been alleged that:

(A) His Excellency had prior personal knowledge concerning both the currently-alleged and since-proved commissions of multiple criminal acts, i.e. felony child sexual assault and abuse, by a select number of his employee / priests; and

(B) In his secular capacity as Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, His Excellency has repeatedly and deliberately failed to report such crimes to the proper secular authorities, as required by law, and through knowing and willful action on his part, sought instead to conceal from said secular authorities the aforementioned known and unlawful activities of said priests; and

(C) Through His Excellency's subsequent and repeated official directives regarding the multiple and / or repeated transfers of known offending priests to otherwise-unsuspecting parishes under His Excellency's official jurisdiction, His Excellency the Cardinal has himself engaged in very serious illegal conduct, i.e., the commission of multiple counts of felony obstruction of justice, criminal facilitation and reckless endangerment.

It is not my place to either pass judgment prematurely upon Cardinal Mahoney, or impugn the man's integrity through smear and innuendo. Rather, I will await patiently the official report of the District Attorney, before rendering my personal conclusion concerning the conduct of both His Excellency Cardinal Mahoney as prelate of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and of those secular authorities in charge of the current investigation. Said investigation should be conductly fairly, impartially, and without any undue presumptions of either Cardinal Mahoney's innocence or his guilt.

If circumstances and evidence somehow warrant his subsequent indictment by a grand jury, then we must strive to afford His Excellency, without hesitation or grudge, his constitutionally-protected right to defend himself before the courts of law and public opinion. It will then be incumbent upon the secular authorities to prove their case beyond any reasonable doubt to a duly-constituted trial jury of His Excellency's secular peers.

That said, it has been observed by persons far more knowledgeable than me in such matters that in the United States, supposedly, no person is to be considered above the law.

Once again, that observation may be put to the acid test. The resultant outcome might well determine for many of us whether said observation is a legal axiom applicable to all persons regardless of wealth or social stature, or merely a pleasant-sounding platitude proferred on occasion by our public officals to placate their respective constituencies.


Until a prison door closes behind a Catholic bishop, I do not think that there will be an end to child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. So far, the abuse crisis has been embarrassing and costly for the Church, but until bishops have to take responsibility and suffer the consequences of their participation in this nightmare, I believe that it will continue.

FINALLY! There will be some justice! This crook needs to rot in prison! I don't know why it has taken law enforcement so long to go after this evil man. If the earthly authorities didn't get him then God in heaven would have punished him to eternity in Hades!

I feel so very sad for the victims of this man. When he dies God alone will hold him responsible for not taking moral leadership on this horibble sin.

He had a moral and civil duty to report these absuve men and let the law deal with them once and for all.

As a young traditional Japanese/American Catholic who had read of the deeds and misdeeds of Cardinal Mahoney, I say it is time for the man to resign.
Cardinal Mahoney during his tenure has supported and been a benevolent patron to the most dissenting, radical, divisive and disobedient segments of the Catholic Church, from femminist nuns pushing for women priests, to pedophile priests hiding from justice.
Cardinal Mahoney represents the liberal/dissident wing of the Roman Catholic Church, and epitomizes the corruption and ineptitude of the autorities in Rome from 1962 until 2005, as well as the corruption and radical views of the liberal wings of the USA Catholic Church. Such views, and such agenda has brough both the Los Angeles Archdiocese, and the Catholic Church in general to the point of collapse.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles needs two things desperatly.
1). A new, young, solidly orthodox and traditional Archbishop totally loyal to the Roman Catholic Faith , it's traditions and devotions, and to the Pope.
2). The Roman Catholic Church, and specifically the Archdiocese of Los Angeles needs for a corrupt despot llike Cardinal Mahoney to either resign gracefully, or be fired by the Pope....just as any CEO would be fired by a Board of Directors who found him guilty of serios mismangement and crimes.

Writing from Boston. What you have is a carbon copy case of what happened here. One would think that the Bishops would have learned from the Boston Archdiocese's inactions. The Catholic Church in Boston has been destroyed, and still many problems still exist. Latest scandel involves the Priest's Pension fund. For 18 years no deposits into the fund. "Just give $ but don't ask where it goes".
One word of advice - Pull Mahoney's Passport.

On the documentary, 'Deliver Us From Evil', Roger Mahoney appears to lie through his teeth about what he knew - or did not know - about Irish predator "priest" Oliver O'Grady, who abused many children.

Mahoney, in that program, pays careful attention to his legal advice and not to the cries of abused children. Obviously, he has other questions to answer - about his "knowledge" as well as about O'Grady, of crimes committed against God's children by clerical abusers.

Let him stand trial. Let the evidence be presented. Let him be prosecuted and defended. And if he is found guilty - in God's Name, put him in jail where all those who recklessly endanger young people belong.

When cardinals and bishops spend time behind bars, maybe then our Church will realise how serious, before God, is the violation of God's children.

Oh, baloney! Mahoney is a pathetic, weak excuse of a man... but so is the overly ambitious U.S. Attorney who is going to waste MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars, in the middle of a depression, just to further his political ambitions. Tommy "Showboat" O'Brien is a notorious media hound and that is what this is all about, grabbing headlines.

I worked in the U.S. Attorney's Office in college. And I have to tell you, all lawyers are scumbags but there is nothing like a federal prosecutor for all-out venality. These guys don't care about justice... ethics... the law.... NOTHING except furthering their own political careers. They don't care if they ruin innocent people's lives. They sometimes go after the guilty, like Mahoney, but trust me: Job #1 for them is grabbing the headlines.

Otherwise, why is O'Brien cooking up this lame theory -- which even Laurie Levenson called "creative lawyering" -- involving the ONLY thing the Feds seem able to charge people with, "fraud" -- except to make a name for himself? Do you really want U.S. Attorneys to be able to cook up any lame use of the law just so they can nail people? Don't they have to abide, just a little, by the law? Look what a fiasco these bastards made of the Corona prosecution? They tried to use "fraud" and "deprivation of services" against Corona, too, and FAILED miserably. But they got their headlines, didn't they?

No, O'Brien is almost as pathetic as Mahoney. They deserve each other.

www.bishop-accountability.org for daiyl verified & vetted coverage on why it is a MORTAL SIN to be donating to the USCCB (Unremoved Sexual Criminal Cabal Bishops) & Roman "La Cosa Nostra" Curia. THE SOLUTION? "STOP DONATING LAITY!" as St. Peter Damien correctly asserted. Ciao e Pace, Albino Luciani, MURDERED POPE, NOT Smiling, From Heaven

This is nothing more than a California witch hunt! Let us get on with our lives. Let the lawyers find other ways of making money.

I cannot tell you how tickled I am to learn that Her Almightyness Balony is being investigated. Tee hee hee, tee hee hee...hahahahahahahahah...

I pray that the demon enabler will be held accountable for crimes against children and vulnerable adults.

Next, the Haredi Rabbi rapists!

Polygraphy all priest and Mahoney to 92% accurate
You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free

ET Snell Clown Community activist
Founder of B.A.P. Bikers against pedopiles

Anyone else ever notice that every statue of Father Serra shows him with his hand on the shoulder of his favorite little boy? Coincidence? I think not.

Amen brother! I've been voicing that exact thought for years. We need orthodoxy in this Archdiocese...starting from the top. This experiment in liberalized "catholic" protestantism (aka Mahoney-ism) has greatly contributed to the abuse scandal in LA and is the direct cause for the crumbling of this once great Archdiocese. Long over due for him to go....so long as his replacement is truly a man of God and of strong faith and character...loyal to the Holy See.

Not sure where you're coming from brudda?...I'm just saying....there is a double standard here. ALL abusers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If you don't recognize the super-vigor with which this has been prosecuted against the Church...for more insidious purposes than "only" applying penalties under the law and recovering "damages"...then I guess a review of the past several years might be in order. Aloha.

Though Cardinal Mahoney needs to be punished, he needs to be charged under specific criminal offenses rather than the very vague "failing to render honest services"

When is the last time this charge has been used? What exactly does it mean? It appears to mean anything that a proscecutor wants it to mean. Using this agaisnt the unpopular Mahoney appears to be in high demand. What happens when the same charge is used agaisnt real or imagined political / social opponents?

If this is the best charge that they can come up with against somebody with Mahoney's history, then the LA proscecutors office is also guilty of failing to provide honest services.

My comments are in response to Anonoymus [sic] who posted on 1/29/09 @ 9:38 a.m. So tell me, Mr. Todd Tamberg, do you really believe your boss has not been involved in moving and sheltering abusive priests around since the 1970's? I think you need to rent the movie "Deliver Us From Evil". It will open your eyes and you will clearly see how Roger "Phony" Mahony was directly involved with the moving and sheltering of Fr. Oliver O'Grady. Oliver O'Grady has acknowledged molesting children since approximately 1973. He also acknowledges that his superiors (including Roger "Phony" Mahony - who at the time was responsible for investigating sexual abuse claims in the Stockton area) had full knowledge of this abuse. Instead of removing O'Grady from service, Mahony bounced him from parish to parish where he continued to molest children. Mr. Tamberg, your boss has been directly involved with the moving or sheltering of abusing priests since the mid 1970's. My Catholic education tells me that the 1970's were three decades ago. Stop making excuses for this pathetic excuse of a man. He's not worthy of mowing my lawn or washing my car. He needs to be locked up and punished for his wrongdoings. His own personal assets should all be seized and used to repay the loans the Archdiocese had to take out to pay off the victims. Maybe if more of these criminal priests were held personally accountable good schools - like Daniel Murphy High School - wouldn't have to be closed to pay for Mahony's evil and criminal actions. Closing schools only victimizes the children who attend them. Shame on you Roger Mahony and shame on all who continue to support this disgrace to the Catholic Community.

By the way, Todd. Cardinal Mahony was not assaulted outside the Cathedral while "mailing a letter". Last time I checked, there are no mailboxes outside the Cathedral. In my opinion, he probably fell in the shower and was too embarrassed to admit it. Why would he have to put anything in a mailbox anyway? Do you expect anyone to believe there isn't someone in the Cathedral's offices whose only job title is mail clerk? And lastly, this "Vitrus Traning" [sic] you mentioned was created only a couple of years ago and was a collaborative effort and is not solely attributed to Roger the Dodger.

Let's all just hope and pray that Roger "Phony" Mahony doesn't flee out of the country like Oliver O'Grady did. I hope he's put on trial and gets what he deserves. He is a disgrace.

At least 10 years ago there was a priest who admitted to molesting children to Cardinal Mahoney and instead of reportiing the man to the police he transferred him to another church without telling anyone of the man's problems. When Cardinal Mahoney was told to turn over records of his priests he never did anything and for some reason the District Attorney or who ever was in charge of such caases never did a thing. When my son told me that there is going to be a Grand Jury hearing I cheered. It is time that Cardinal Mahoney pay for the crime of allowing priests to molest ichildren. I am so glad that all of the messagess I read onfirm my views about Cardinal Mahoney.

« | 1 2 3 4 5 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: