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Priest is relieved of duties; church official resigns

February 11, 2011 | 10:46 pm

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has removed from church duties a priest who admitted a sexual relationship with a female high school student in the 1960s and has accepted the resignation of a high-ranking church official who oversaw the background checks of priests.

In an announcement released Friday night, the archdiocese said it was reacting to inquiries from a New York Times reporter researching an article about Father Martin P. O’Loghlen, who was assigned two years ago to Holy Name of Mary Church in San Dimas.

In placing him there, church officials did not fully consult records that indicated O’Loghlen’s past admission of sexual misconduct, the announcement said. O’Loghlen was removed Thursday from any priestly activities.

Also on Friday, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony accepted the resignation of the Archdiocesan Vicar for Clergy, Msgr. Michael Meyers. According to archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg, Meyers held that position since July 2009 and was in charge of procedures intended to ensure that no sexual predators remained in ministry positions.

The Archdiocese said it has received no complaints concerning O’Loghlen during his assignment at Holy Name of Mary Church. He is accused of having a long-term sexual relationship with the teenage girl and seeking her forgiveness later.

In 2007, the Los Angeles archdiocese agreed to pay $660 million to 508 people who accused priests of sexual abuse. The payout was the largest settlement in a scandal that involved an estimated 5,000 priests nationwide and cost the Roman Catholic Church more than $2 billion to resolve cases in this country.

-- Larry Gordon

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