Los Angeles priest removed for affair 40 years ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Catholic priest who admitted having a sexual relationship with a high school girl more than 40 years ago was removed his position, and a high-ranking official who oversaw the background checks of priests resigned.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced Friday that the Rev. Martin P. O’Loghlen, who worked at Holy Name of Mary Church in San Dimas, was removed from any priestly activities.

The archdiocese said it was reacting to inquiries from a New York Times reporter researching an article about O’Loghlen.

The 74-year-old priest is accused of having a long-term sexual relationship with the teenage girl beginning in 1960, and seeking her forgiveness later, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony separately accepted the resignation of the Archdiocesan Vicar for Clergy, Msgr. Michael Meyers. Archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg told the Times that Meyers had been in charge of procedures intended to ensure that no sexual predators remained in ministry positions. He had held that position since 2009.

The archdiocese said it had not received any complaints about O’Loghlen during the two years he had been assigned to the San Dimas church.

In Friday’s announcement, church officials said they did not fully consult records that revealed O’Loghlen’s past admission of sexual misconduct.

In 2007, the LA archdiocese agreed to pay $660 million to 508 people who accused priests of sexual abuse. The payout was the largest settlement in a scandal that involved an estimated 5,000 priests nationwide and cost the Roman Catholic Church more than $2 billion to resolve cases in the US.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com

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