LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A man who received nearly $1 million in a sex abuse settlement with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles wants Pope Francis to defrock Cardinal Roger Mahony over his role in the scandal’s cover-up.
“He needs to clean house. He needs to publicly admonish Mahony and every other hierarchy that was involved in the cover-up in the United States and worldwide, defrock him, even encourage the District Attorney to file an indictment and support that,” said Michael Duran.
Duran is one of four men who reached a nearly $10 million settlement Tuesday against the archdiocese, Mahony, and ex-priest Michael Baker.
He said Baker abused him for a 2-year period beginning when he was 11 years old.
“He raped me. He didn’t just touch me, he didn’t just put his hands down my pants. He raped me,” said Duran.
He continued, “It’s amazing that I’m still here today. There were suicide attempts because I didn’t want to live anymore, and I didn’t think I was worth anything. That’s how he left me.”
In 1986, Baker confessed to sexually abusing two boys to then-Archbishop Mahony, according to documents turned over by the archdiocese.
Mahony, however, sent Baker to a treatment center in New Mexico and later welcomed him back into the ministry, where Baker molested again.
In December 2007, Baker pleaded guilty to a dozen sex charges and was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison. The former priest was released in 2011.
Duran believes Mahony shouldn’t have had any part in the election of Pope Francis because of the way he mishandled the Baker situation, among other cases.
“He shouldn’t be there…where he should be is in jail,” he said. “It’s almost antagonizing victims and victimizing us again.”
In a statement, Michael Hennigan, the attorney representing the LA Archdiocese, said, “We feel compassion for (Duran) and what he went through. Hopefully he will get past his anger and come to terms with the fact that Cardinal Mahony recognized his mistakes with Michael Baker and built on that to make the LA Archdiocese the safest place for children in the country.”