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Files show how LA church leaders controlled damage

LOS ANGELES — Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and other top Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles officials maneuvered behind the scenes to shield molester priests, provide damage control for the church and keep parishioners in the dark, according to church personnel files.

The confidential records filed in a lawsuit against the archdiocese disclose how the church handled abuse allegations for decades and also reveal dissent from a top Mahony aide who criticized his superiors for covering up allegations of abuse rather than protecting children.

Notes inked by Mahony demonstrate he was disturbed about abuse and sent problem priests for treatment, but there also were lengthy delays or oversights in some cases. Mahony received psychological reports on some priests that mentioned the possibility of many other victims, for example, but there is no indication that he or other church leaders investigated further.

“This is all intolerable and unacceptable to me,” Mahony wrote in 1991 on a file of the Rev. Lynn Caffoe, a priest suspected of locking boys in his room, videotaping their crotches and running up a $100 phone sex bill while with a boy. Caffoe was sent for therapy and removed from ministry, but Mahony didn’t move to defrock him until 2004, a decade after the archdiocese lost track of him.

As Israel votes, few talk about peace

JERUSALEM — Benjamin Netanyahu seems poised for re-election as Israel’s prime minister in Tuesday’s voting, the result of the failure of his opponents to unite behind a viable candidate against him — and the fact that most Israelis no longer seem to believe it’s possible to reach a peace settlement with the Palestinians.

The widely held assumption of a victory by Netanyahu comes despite his grim record: there is no peace process, there is growing diplomatic isolation and a slowing economy, and his main ally has been forced to step down as foreign minister because of corruption allegations.

Even so, Netanyahu has managed to convince many Israelis that he offers a respectable choice by projecting experience, toughness and great powers of communication in both native Hebrew and flawless American English.

He was also handed a gift by the opposition. Persistent squabbling by main figures divided among main parties in the moderate camp has made this the first election in decades without two clear opposing candidates for prime minister. Even Netanyahu’s opponents have suggested his victory is inevitable.

NM boy accused of killing family had suicidal thoughts

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico teenager accused of fatally shooting his parents and three younger siblings told authorities he was annoyed with his mother and had been having homicidal and suicidal thoughts, according to a probable cause statement.

Nehemiah Griego, 15, remained in custody Monday on charges of murder and child abuse resulting in death. He was arrested following the shootings Saturday at a home in a rural area southwest of Albuquerque where he lived with his family.

A Bernalillo County sheriff’s detective questioned the teen Saturday night and the details of their conversation were spelled out in the statement.

The teen allegedly told the detective that he took a .22 caliber rifle from his parents’ closet around midnight Saturday and shot his mother in the head while his younger brother slept next to her.

Griego told the detective that his brother did not believe him that their mother was dead so he showed his mother’s bloody face to his brother and then shot him, according to the statement.

By wire sources