The former archbishop of Los Angeles has been removed from all public duties due to the central role he played in the coverup of child abuse. Tens of thousands of pages revealing the extent of the abuse crisis, now posted on the church's website, are "brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil," said current archbishop Jose Gomez. The public action against Cardinal Roger Mahony—which comes within hours of the documents' court-ordered release—is "unprecedented" within the American Catholic Church, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"To tell a cardinal he can't do confirmations, can't do things in public, that's extraordinary," says a Jesuit priest. While his confirmation schedule has been wiped, Mahony's daily life won't look much different, says an archdiocese spokesman, noting that the retired priest will stay "a priest in good standing" and can still celebrate Mass. The leading victim's group isn't happy with the outcome, USA Today notes. "Hand-slapping Cardinal Roger Mahony is a nearly meaningless gesture," says a rep. A bishop who aided in the coverup has also resigned, Gomez said. (Read more Cardinal Roger M. Mahony stories.)