Cardinal Roger Mahony publicly apologized yesterday to the 508 plaintiffs in a sexual-abuse lawsuit the archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to settle for a record $660 million. Mahony, who met privately with many of the victims abused by clergy, said he wished their lives were like a videotape—"we could put the tape in and delete these years of difficulty and misery."
The settlement, after four years of wrangling, will cost the archdiocese $250 million, insurers $227 million, and religious orders $60 million. Victims advocates noted that it will also prevent Mahony from having to take the stand in the first trial, which was scheduled to start today. "He avoided the No. 1 thing he fears, which is disclosing under oath how much he knew and how little he did about predatory priests," said one.