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Belief Beat

While the Los Angeles headlines have been dominated by the Kobe Bryant and the Lakers’ “desperate” quest for an NBA title win against the Celtics, the region’s religion news is considerably more grim: newly released court documents confirm that L.A. Cardinal Mahony admitted in a sworn deposition to sheltering an abusive priest during the 1980s. (This news comes just a few days after Pope Benedict wrapped up the  “Year for Priests” with another apology for the global clergy abuse scandal.)

The abuser, Father Michael Baker, is currently serving a 10-year prison term. Investigators have decided that there isn’t enough evidence to file charges against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which agreed to pay a record-setting $660 million in 2007 to more than 500 alleged victims. Mahony is slated to retire next year, and will be succeeded by Archbishop Jose Gome.

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