To: Monsignor Craig Cox
From: Monsignor Richard Loomis
Wednesday, January 3, 2001
Re: Michael Baker
Mike has received the rescript of dispensation from celibacy and from the clerical state.
A copy of the signed receipt is in the files. Modesto wanted the originals.
When he received the rescript, Mike was inordinately concerned about how secret his
laicization would be kept. He balked at the portion about the Ordinary giving a .. prudent
explanation" if "wonderment" arises among the people. He also balked at the fact that
the laicization would be entered in the baptismal register and asked if someone could do
it secretly. Though I reassured him as to confidentiality, I told him that the whole thing is
not a We may indeed need to make a ''prudent explanation" to a parish staff or
pastor, etc. He was not able to draw any distinction between "secret" and "confidential."
Also, as we discussed the restrictions in the dispensation, Mike hinted that he might be
seeking a prison or detention ministry position as a lay chaplain. I told him that the local
bishop could dispense some of the restrictions. However, I also told him that the bishop
would have to have a complete rmderstanding of his situation and history before any kind
of dispensation could be granted. [Just a thought: George Horan is very close to Mike
and has worked behind the scenes to protect him (my verb) throughout this whole matter
(e.g., George got Mike to a lawyer before our appointment with him). He might be
willing to try to help Mike get into a lay ministry somewhere.] I would have grave
misgivings of Mike representing the Church in any official capacity- or even as a
volrmteer in a position of trust. He has repeatedly proven that he is not trustworthy and
that he will deceive and dissimulate to achieve his ends.
Next steps: As much as I wanted to have the next part of the situation covered, there just
was not time to do so. I wanted any backlash to fall on me and not on you as you begin
your term.
LAARCH 011942
Memorandum to Monsignor Craig Cox
PmSOHAL & COftFIDmtK ....
January 3, 2001
~ "
Other than the laicization itself, we have taken no steps to minister to past victims nor
done anything to protect potential victims. I have twice scheduled meetings with the
pastors of Mike's past parishes but something intervened each time. The idea was at least
to brief the pastors so that they could judiciously speak with long-time staff to see if there
were families that we should consider approaching. Also, we need to let them know that
they should keep an eye out to see if Mike is returning to families or projects involving
Kevin Nolan has told me by phone that Mike continues to be a volunteer "business
manager" for someone in the parish who runs an unofficial homeless shelter out of a
family home. The last time we spoke he said that Mike was around the parish (within the
boundaries not on the plant) weekly. We know that he did three baptisms -though that
will not happen again. Terry Richey knows a family that "grew up" with Mike around all
the time. The children are now grown and have children of their own. Mike self-
disclosed two victims twelve years ago. Two others recently threatened to sue. There are
also two identified potential victims in the file but Tim did not obtain any contact
information for either family at the time that he interviewed them and my efforts to locate
them recently were fruitless. Off the record and totally unusable, Mike's attorney
disclosed that Mike said there were at least ten other victims. Mike claims that they are
all from before he saw the Cardinal a decade ago and went to treatment.
Personal opinion: We've stepped back 20 years and are being driven by the need to
cover-up and to keep the presbyterate & public happily ignorant rather than the need to
protect children. I know that may sound simplistic- but it's how Ifeel_and what I think
I know it is a complex situation. But I believe something must be done to try to identify
and minister to victims and to protect minors who may come into contact with Mike.
Mike has not been forthcoming with any information to help us approach victims. To the
best of our knowledge, he has done nothing to make amends himself His excessive
concern for secrecy around his laicization does not encourage me that he is in recovery.
The only other option is to sit and wait until another victim comes forward. Then
someone else will end up owning the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The liability issues
involved aside, I think that course of complete (in) action would be immoral and
LAARCH 011943