Southern California breaking news and trends

Church attorney: 'Children are very very safe in the church of the Los Angeles archdiocese today.'

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Archbishop Jose Gomez speaks during a news conference at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on April 6, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Gomez relieved retired Cardinal Mahoney of his public and administrative duties Friday, Feb. 1, 2013.

Thursday the Los Angeles Archdiocese released the personnel files of Catholic priests accused of child moletation. LA Archbishop Jose Gomez described the files "brutal and painful" reading and called the behavior described in the files "terribly sad and evil."  Gomez announced that he was relieving Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony of his public and administrative duties and said he'd accepted the resignation of Monsignor Thomas Curry.

Father Thomas Doyle, a lawyer who investigated charges of sexual abuse in the '80s told "Take Two" co-host Alex Cohen on Friday that "these priests have marauded victims for ages, they have been protected at an incredible cost to the faithful by the archdiocese. The only thing I think that could come close to any semblence of redemption is if the Archbishop doesn't worry about how he will appear in the media but goes to meet the victims privately in their homes on their turf and listen to what they have to say." 


Deputies arrest alleged arsonist accused of starting devastating Hacienda Heights church fire


Gregory Yusuke Shiga

The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department announced the arrest this week of a man suspected of setting fire to a Catholic church in Hacienda Heights last year, completely destroying the beloved structure.

Gregory Yusuke Shiga, a 34-year-old parolee, was arrested Monday on charges of causing the fire one year ago at St. John Vianney Catholic Church. The early morning blaze on April 16, 2011 burned for two and a half hours and gutted the church, causing $6.5 million in damages.

Authorities immediately announced they believed it was caused by arson, but a suspect had not been identified until now.

Shiga is accused of breaking into the church's sanctuary just after midnight and deliberately setting the blaze. He faces charges including arson, burglary and possession of flammable material and could get 10 years to life in prison if convicted, according to the Sheriff’s Department. He is being held on $1 million bail pending arraignment on May 30.