ROME (CBSLA.com) — Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony told an Italian newspaper that it's a positive thing the public knows the truth about "pedophilia in the church."
In an interview with Corriere della Sera, the 77-year-old acknowledged his shortcomings in how he handled the church's child sexual abuse cases in the 1990s.
Mahony, who led the Los Angeles Archdiocese for 25 years until 2011, specifically discussed the creation of a committee to investigate the abuse.
"My painful mistake was not to apply the functions of this committee to solve previous cases. I was concentrating on new cases. But it was a mistake which I corrected completely by 2002," he said.
The cardinal continued, "I did not realize the real nature of the problem and that those who commit abuses continue to perpetrate their crimes…it's a good thing that the public is aware of the truth about pedophilia in the church."
Tod Tamberg, the media spokesperson for the LA Archdiocese, said the interview was conducted last week to talk about improvements Mahony made to safeguard children.
While Mahony hasn't talked publicly on-camera about the scandal or the recently released confidential files revealing pedophile priests, he continues to use social media.
After the second day of prayer and discussions with the College of Cardinals at the Vatican, Mahony tweeted about forgiveness.
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