With all eyes on the Vatican’s new beginning – the past continues to dominate for the US archdiocese of Los Angeles and its former leader Cardinal Roger Mahony.
LA has agreed to pay out 10 million dollars (7.7 million euros) to settle four cases of sexual abuse by Father Michael Baker.
Recently-released church files show Cardinal Roger Mahony knew that Baker, and others, had abused minors – but he allowed them to stay in the ministry.
A Lawyer for the archdiocese, Michael Hennigan, denied a church cover-up, although he said Mahony admitted he made “serious mistakes” with Baker.
Baker was convicted in 2007 and sent to prison on 12 criminal counts of felony oral copulation with a minor.
Mahony was a popular archbishop for LA – the largest archdiocese in the United States. He held the position for 26 years until he retired in 2011.
He is now in Rome, participating in the Conclave to elect the new head of the Roman Catholic Church – a successor for Pope Benedict XVI.
But many believe Mahony should not have gone;nearly 10,000 Catholics signed a petition urging him to stay at home.