Before airing our story on sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, Fusion reached out to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to determine what reforms they have implemented to address abuse allegations. Esther Miller, Manny Vega and Rita Milla were all plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles that was settled in 2007 and ended all pending abuse litigation.
In response to our inquiry, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles released the following statement to Fusion:
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has worked for more than 10 years to bring justice and healing to victims and to make sure that children and youth are safe and cared for in our parishes, schools and in every ministry of the Archdiocese.
The Archdiocese has a dedicated Office of Victims Assistance Ministry which provides compassionate care and counseling to victims and a safe environment for victims to come forward while ensuring that the civil authorities are notified. We investigate every allegation of abuse. Credible claims are immediately reported to law enforcement and those accused immediately removed from ministry.
Every one of our 287 parishes has put in place practices that are among the most effective in the nation at preventing abuse and dealing with allegations of abuse. We have provided abuse-prevention training to more than 1 million children and youth and over 200,000 priests, deacons, teachers, parish employees and volunteers. In addition, the Archdiocese has implemented a program of full background checks that has included fingerprinting over 125,000 employees and volunteers who have contact with children and youth. The Archdiocese also provides weekly child safety tips in English and Spanish for use in parish bulletins.
You can find more information on our abuse prevention and child protection programs and policies at: http://archla.org/safekids. We also provide a brochure each year at every parish and school which can be found at this link.
The Archdiocese takes our obligations to the protection of our children, the prevention of abuse and the outreach and healing for victims seriously. We are committed to continuing these efforts so that our parishes and schools remain safe places for our children and young people.