On Pope Benedict XVI's final day as head of the Catholic Church, attorney Gloria Allred, and her client, Rita Milla, who went public in 1984 and filed a lawsuit against the church, accusing seven priests of sexual abuse, will hold a news conference in Los Angeles on Thursday to discuss newly revealed documents about the case that point to a massive cover-up and obstruction of justice by the Archdiocese, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.
The famed civil rights attorney filed the groundbreaking lawsuit almost two decades before the priest sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church made international headlines. On the day that Allred filed the lawsuit on Milla's behalf in 1984, all seven priests mysteriously disappeared from their parishes. Milla filed the lawsuit after giving birth to a child fathered by one of the priests.
According to a Los Angeles Times report from June of 1991, then-Archbishop Roger Mahony held a news conference and said, "The responsibility for apologies rests on the priests who misused their vow of priestly celibacy, not on the archdiocese," which had supervised them and advised one of them to stay out of the United States after the story broke. On the same day, a former priest, Rev. Santiago (Henry) Tamayo, publicly apologized to Milla, and he admitted to having a sexual relationship with her.
"I had her full trust and confidence, yet I got sexually involved with Rita. Weakened by the sense of my own sin. I failed as a pastor to rescue her from getting involved with the other priests," Tamayo said at the time.
After vigorously pursuing the church and the priests for more than 23 years, the Los Angeles Archdiocese settled the case. Allred was able to provide proof that he was in fact the father of Milla’s baby.
Cardinal Roger Mahony gave a deposition on Saturday about his handling of the clergy sex abuse cases in Los Angeles, before flying to Rome to vote for the next Pope. A grass roots organization gathered 10,000 signatures, demanding that Mahony not participate in determining who the next leader of the church will be.
Mahony has remained defiant and has refused to recuse himself from the proceedings. In addition, he has been tweeting to his 1.5 million followers incessantly from Rome. "Around 55 here in Rome, pleasant. Formal meetings, congregations for the Cardinals will begin in the coming days--maybe Monday. Papal Vacancy starts Feb 28 at 8:00pm."
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, citing advanced years and infirmity as his reasons, 85-year-old Benedict revealed his plans to a small gathering of cardinals at the Vatican last week, telling them that after examining his conscience “before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise” of leading the world’s one billion Roman Catholics.
Sources tell RadarOnline.com that at Thursday’s news conference, Allred and Milla will explain why Cardinal Mahony should not vote for the new Pope, and what they would like to see the Catholic Church do in the future about priests accused of sexual abuse.