Retired Cardinal Roger M. Mahony was relieved from all of his public duties hours after the release of confidential Catholic Church documents on child sexual abuse scandals from the 1980′s.

Thousands of files containing information regarding the cover up of years of sexual abuse scandals by priests within the church, many of which occurred during Cardinal Mahony’s career, were released by court-order on Thursday. The contents of those documents led Archbishop Jose H. Gomez to the decision to relieve Mahony of his duties.

“I cannot undo the failings of the past that we find in these pages. Reading these files, reflecting on the wounds that were caused has been the saddest experience I’ve had since becoming your Archbishop in 2011,” Gomez wrote, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Mahony, formerly the Catholic Church’s highest ranking official in Southern California, has faced allegations from the media and victims that he covered up priests’ misconduct. The archdiocese paid $660 million in 2007 to settle civil lawsuits with 508 people who claimed they had been abused by priests or church employees.

Media Resources: New York Times 01/31/2013; Los Angeles Times 02/01/2013; Feminist Newswire 02/02/2009

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