STEVE LOPEZ

Dark charges from Mahony's inner circle

A) No comment.

B) Talk to archdiocesan attorneys.

C) There was no such memo.

D) Msgr. Loomis cannot be trusted, but we assure you no laws were broken.

The archdiocese opted for D.

"I don't know much about Loomis' memory of events," archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg said in an e-mail, "but I do know that he was very angry when Cardinal Mahony promptly removed him from ministry when credible allegations of misconduct were made against him."

Indeed, Loomis, who went from vicar of clergy to become canonical investigator for all complaints of sexual misconduct, is currently on leave because of allegations of guess what.

Yes. Sexual misconduct.

Good lord, light a candle for them all.

Yes, it's possible that because of his own problems, Loomis has an ax to grind and has now fabricated claims that he memoed Mahony in 2000 to call the police about Baker.

But if that were the case, and there is no memo, wouldn't you expect Tamberg to come right out and say so?

Well, he didn't. Tamberg said that in the year 2000, the practice of the archdiocese was to report current allegations of abuse against minors. If the accusers were adults, the "archdiocese encouraged those people to contact the police directly." In 2002, the diocese switched to a policy of reporting "any and all allegations of abuse" to police. And in fact, in 2002, Mahony authorized an attorney to notify police about Baker.

Forgive me, father, for having to ask:

But what took so long?

I don't care what the policy is, or even the law. If you're a stand-in for the supreme being, is there a higher power than moral authority?

Stay tuned later this week, as Loomis continues giving that deposition. There may also be a deposition from a priest who allegedly saw Luis C. leaving Baker's residence and, according to Loomis, reported it to the archdiocese to no avail.

When I asked Luis C. if he thought Mahony would survive the first allegations from a former member of his inner circle, he didn't hesitate.

"He has a lot of power, and it's really not for me to say," Luis said. "I'm working on myself, and God is the one who's watching over all of us."

steve.lopez@latimes.com

BLOGS

Jump to a blog