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Santa Barbara’s bishop steps down amid sex abuse scandal

A major shakeup in the Los Angeles Archdiocese of the Catholic Church includes the regional bishop of Santa Barbara.

The church released roughly 12,000 pages of personnel files of priests accused of sex abuse crimes against children, including personnel files of more than 100 clergy members accused of protecting those priests.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias made clear that the names of the hierarchy members cannot be blacked out. The judge gave the church a February 22nd deadline, however, the church released the files Thursday.

Within hours, Archbishop Jose Gomez stripped retired Cardinal Roger Mahony of all public and administrative duties. Mahony’s former top aide, Thomas Curry, stepped down as Bishop of Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara attorney Tim Hale, who represents more than 20 victims in the Tri-Counties, says the move is long overdue. However, Hale wants to see the church strip these men of their titles and prestige.

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