SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Dark
days fall upon the Catholic Church as files upon files of alleged child sex
abuse finally come to light.
Archdiocese of Los Angeles - Santa Barbara Region Bishop Thomas J. Curry and
Cardinal Roger Mahony show they knew about alleged child sex abuse but choose to
cover it up.
"You can imagine what the church
has to lose," says Child Sex Abuse Therapist Nancy Gutfreund. "You're supposed
to be an organization that completely protects its people and when there's
damage done nobody wants to admit it."
But Bishop Curry was forced to,
releasing this statement saying:
"I wish to apologize for those
instances when I made decisions regarding the treatment and disposition of
clergy accused of sexual abuse that in retrospect appear inadequate or
A mistake the Santa Barbara
District Attorney's Office is now investigating.
"We have some very serious
allegations of obstruction of justice at the very least by individuals, I think
the community has trusted throughout for a number of decades," says Santa
Barbara City Chief Deputy District Attorney Hilary Dozer. "And that's a
And prosecutors face another
challenge. Most of the files happened in the 1980's far beyond the statute of
"If an individual has actively
hidden information from law enforcement, there are some ways and situations
where that statute of limitations is tolled," says Dozer. "Meaning it does not
preclude us from going forward."
Senior Deputy District Attorney
Ron Zonnen to lead the investigation against the church.
Last year, prosecutors in
Philadelphia were able to convict a monsignor and in Missouri, a judge found a
bishop guilty for failing to report child sex abuse.
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