“Accuser angered over Vatican exonerating monsignor” & related articles

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Associated Press   November 12, 2014

By GILLIAN FLACCUS

Monsignor Exonerated

Monsignor Exonerated

FILE – This March 5, 2011 file photo shows Roman Catholic monsignor Richard Loomis at his Carson, Calif. home. Loomis who was removed from duty a decade ago after he was accused of sex abuse has been exonerated following a church trial and review of the case by the Vatican. A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Monica Valencia, said Monday that Msgr. Richard Loomis has not been assigned to any parish.

GUS RUELAS,FILE — AP Photo

LOS ANGELES — A man who accused a high-ranking Roman Catholic monsignor in Los Angeles of molestation said Wednesday he is furious that an internal Vatican tribunal recently exonerated the priest.

The 58-year-old man told The Associated Press that Msgr. Richard Loomis molested him once between 1969 and 1971 when he was a freshman at Pater Noster High School, a Catholic school where Loomis taught. He said he was never contacted by the Vatican and was unaware it had been examining the case for a decade.

The man spoke to the AP only on condition of anonymity because he said he hasn’t told his adult children the allegations.

“They never contacted me for anything. It just infuriates me,” he said. “They’re laughing in my face.”

Loomis has been on leave and living privately outside the church since the man accused him in 2003 in a civil lawsuit that was settled by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles four years later.

Loomis, who always said he was innocent, said in an emailed statement to the AP on Wednesday that his exoneration was a “vindication not only for me, but for the priesthood” and thanked God and everyone who had prayed for him over the past decade.

“We are often urged to pray for victims of abuse. That is a good thing to do,” he wrote. “We should say a prayer, too, for priests falsely accused of abuse. They bear a terrible burden for a crime they did not commit.”

Loomis has never been criminally charged and the internal church tribunal was the only body to review the evidence because the civil lawsuit was settled, his canon law attorney, Charles Renati, said.

In 1974, another boy told his parents that he had been molested by Loomis and the family reported it to a parish priest, according to church documents. It’s not clear whether the Vatican considered those allegations, and they won’t say. Loomis was never charged in that case either.

Generally, in a church — or canon — trial, the church appoints the equivalent of a prosecutor to advocate for the alleged victim’s interests and the accused also has a canon lawyer.

The case can be decided by a local tribunal and can be appealed to Rome by either side or it can be heard by the Vatican tribunal from the beginning.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the case against Loomis unfolded.

Renati, the canon lawyer, declined to answer questions about the tribunal proceedings, citing “pontifical confidentiality.”

Between 7 and 10 percent of priests accused of clergy abuse are cleared through canon proceedings, according to Nicholas Cafardi, a canon law expert and law professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

__________________________________

 Los Angeles Monsignor Exonerated of Abuse Claim

ABC News

Richard Loomis

A high-ranking Roman Catholic official has been exonerated of clergy sex abuse allegations by a Vatican tribunal after a decade of investigation and is once more considered a priest in good standing with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, church officials said Monday.

The decision to reinstate Msgr. Richard Loomis is rare — particularly after so many years — and the move drew immediate condemnation from an attorney for the alleged victim and church critics who say the tribunal never reached out to the accusers of Loomis after they gave an initial account and didn’t inform them of the decision.

Loomis, 68, has been on inactive leave and living outside the church since allegations surfaced in 2003 that he molested a boy between 1968 and 1971 at a Catholic high school where he taught.

Another boy told his parents in 1974 that he had been molested by Loomis, and the family reported it to a parish priest, according to church documents.

Loomis has denied any wrongdoing and was never criminally charged. The archdiocese settled one civil claim against him in 2007 as part of a record-breaking, $660 million deal with hundreds of people who accused priests of abuse.

Loomis has not been given a parish assignment but is once more able to perform sacraments, such as baptisms and confirmations, and taking confessions, said Monica Valencia, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles archdiocese.

Loomis’ canon law attorney, Charles Renati, did not return a call for comment or respond to a request to speak with Loomis directly.

“After 10 years of exhaustive investigation and canonical trial, a Tribunal of the Holy See has definitively determined and ruled that no allegations of sexual misconduct of any kind alleged against Monsignor Richard Loomis have been proven,” the archdiocese statement said.

About 7 to 10 percent of priests accused of sex abuse are cleared by canon law proceedings, said Nicholas Cafardi, a canon law expert and law professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

In those proceedings, which are internal, the church assigns the equivalent of a prosecutor to advocate for an alleged victim’s interests, and the accused has a canon lawyer as well.

A case can be heard locally and then be appealed to the Vatican by either side, or it can be heard from the beginning by the Vatican tribunal.

It wasn’t clear from the archdiocese statement how Loomis’ case unfolded and the archdiocese did not respond to emailed questions.

The exoneration angered civil attorney Anthony De Marco, who represents the alleged victim and sued in 2003 over abuse he said happened between 1968 and 1971 at Pater Noster High School in Los Angeles, where Loomis was a teacher.

At the time, Loomis was a religious brother and had not taken his final priestly vows.

The plaintiff, who has remained anonymous, gave a statement to church investigators a decade ago when he first filed the lawsuit and never heard anything more, De Marco said.

He said his client was credible and would have assisted further but was never contacted.

“That’s such an interesting thing that one can determine that an individual is innocent of sexually molesting these children when at least one of them has provided a statement and then was never asked again,” he said. “Was there a trial? Was he asked to come in and testify? It’s an absolute whitewash.”

During his priestly career, Loomis served as vicar for clergy for Cardinal Roger Mahony and in that job oversaw personnel decisions for the hundreds of priests within the nation’s largest archdiocese.

He dealt extensively with now-defrocked priest Michael Baker, who was placed back into ministry after acknowledging to Mahony that he had molested children. Once back in ministry, Baker molested more children and was subsequently convicted and sentenced to state prison on sex abuse charges.

In 2001, when Loomis retired as vicar for clergy, he noted his dismay at how the Baker case had been handled.

In a memo to his successor, Loomis said Baker’s attorney disclosed the priest had at least 10 other victims and said the archdiocese was “being driven by the need to cover-up … rather than the need to protect children.”

_________________________

Richard Loomis, Los Angeles Monsignor, Reinstated A Decade After Abuse Claim

Huffington Post

Posted: Updated:

RICHARD LOOMIS

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A high-ranking Roman Catholic official has been exonerated of clergy sex abuse allegations by a Vatican tribunal after a decade of investigation and is once more considered a priest in good standing with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, church officials said Monday.

The decision to reinstate Msgr. Richard Loomis is rare — particularly after so many years — and the move drew immediate condemnation from an attorney for the alleged victim and church critics who say the tribunal never reached out to the accusers of Loomis after they gave an initial account and didn’t inform them of the decision.

Loomis, 68, has been on inactive leave and living outside the church since allegations surfaced in 2003 that he molested a boy between 1968 and 1971 at a Catholic high school where he taught.

Another boy told his parents in 1974 that he had been molested by Loomis, and the family reported it to a parish priest, according to church documents.

Loomis has denied any wrongdoing and was never criminally charged. The archdiocese settled one civil claim against him in 2007 as part of a record-breaking, $660 million deal with hundreds of people who accused priests of abuse.

Loomis has not been given a parish assignment but is once more able to perform sacraments, such as baptisms and confirmations, and taking confessions, said Monica Valencia, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles archdiocese.

Loomis’ canon law attorney, Charles Renati, did not return a call for comment or respond to a request to speak with Loomis directly.

“After 10 years of exhaustive investigation and canonical trial, a Tribunal of the Holy See has definitively determined and ruled that no allegations of sexual misconduct of any kind alleged against Monsignor Richard Loomis have been proven,” the archdiocese statement said.

About 7 to 10 percent of priests accused of sex abuse are cleared by canon law proceedings, said Nicholas Cafardi, a canon law expert and law professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

In those proceedings, which are internal, the church assigns the equivalent of a prosecutor to advocate for an alleged victim’s interests, and the accused has a canon lawyer as well.

A case can be heard locally and then be appealed to the Vatican by either side, or it can be heard from the beginning by the Vatican tribunal.

It wasn’t clear from the archdiocese statement how Loomis’ case unfolded and the archdiocese did not respond to emailed questions.

The exoneration angered civil attorney Anthony De Marco, who represents the alleged victim and sued in 2003 over abuse he said happened between 1968 and 1971 at Pater Noster High School in Los Angeles, where Loomis was a teacher.

At the time, Loomis was a religious brother and had not taken his final priestly vows.

The plaintiff, who has remained anonymous, gave a statement to church investigators a decade ago when he first filed the lawsuit and never heard anything more, De Marco said.

He said his client was credible and would have assisted further but was never contacted.

“That’s such an interesting thing that one can determine that an individual is innocent of sexually molesting these children when at least one of them has provided a statement and then was never asked again,” he said. “Was there a trial? Was he asked to come in and testify? It’s an absolute whitewash.”

During his priestly career, Loomis served as vicar for clergy for Cardinal Roger Mahony and in that job oversaw personnel decisions for the hundreds of priests within the nation’s largest archdiocese.

He dealt extensively with now-defrocked priest Michael Baker, who was placed back into ministry after acknowledging to Mahony that he had molested children. Once back in ministry, Baker molested more children and was subsequently convicted and sentenced to state prison on sex abuse charges.

In 2001, when Loomis retired as vicar for clergy, he noted his dismay at how the Baker case had been handled.

In a memo to his successor, Loomis said Baker’s attorney disclosed the priest had at least 10 other victims and said the archdiocese was “being driven by the need to cover-up … rather than the need to protect children.”

1 Response to “Accuser angered over Vatican exonerating monsignor” & related articles

  1. Sylvia says:

    I have been wanting to get this posted for several days now.

    Two quotes from the above articles:

    (1) “‘After 10 years of exhaustive investigation and canonical trial, a Tribunal of the Holy See has definitively determined and ruled that no allegations of sexual misconduct of any kind alleged against Monsignor Richard Loomis have been proven,’ the archdiocese statement said.”

    (2) “The 58-year-old man told The Associated Press that Msgr. Richard Loomis molested him once between 1969 and 1971 when he was a freshman at Pater Noster High School, a Catholic school where Loomis taught. He said he was never contacted by the Vatican and was unaware it had been examining the case for a decade.

    “The man spoke to the AP only on condition of anonymity because he said he hasn’t told his adult children the allegations.

    “’They never contacted me for anything. It just infuriates me,’ he said. “They’re laughing in my face.”
    …….

    I don’t understand. First, how could any investigation take ten years?

    Ten years?!!! What were they doing? What the heck were they doing for ten long years?

    Second and final, why was that complainant not interviewed? If this ten year “investigation” was indeed “exhaustive,” why was that man not contacted and interviewed?

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