Catholic Bishops Sued for Sex Abuse in California
Another lawsuit has been filed against Catholic bishops for sex abuse, but this one is of epic proportions.
Thomas Emens, who says a priest molested him for years, wants every bishop in California to answer the complaint. The plaintiff says they have covered up sex abuse in the church for too long.
The problem has plagued Catholics for decades. Even the Pope says something has to change, or another Exodus is coming.
Emens, a Camarillo man, says Monsenior Mohany sexually abused him in the 1970s when Emens was 10 to 12 years old. Mahony is dead now.
But the plaintiff's attorneys say there are more abusers, and they want the bishops to release the names and histories of all clerical offenders in each diocese.
At a press conference, the lawyers released a report listing 309 cleric offenders in the archdiocese of Los Angeles. They allege the church allowed 37 perpetrators to secretly flee to other states and countries.
"The playbook includes a practice of concealing and hiding the top officials, present and past, that have been complicit in the cover-up of these crimes," said attorney Jeff Anderson.
Before the civil suit was filed, Pope Francis knew something was coming. Last week, he acknowledged that sex abuse scandals are rocking the church and driving away its members.
He was responding to a report by the German Bishops Conference about decades of abuse and cover-up involving some 3,677 victims. More than half the victims were under age 13, and 969 were altar boys.
CBS News said the Catholic sex abuse scandal first became public in Ireland in the 1990s, then spread to Australia and the United States.