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L.A. priest exonerated by Vatican court after 10 years of facing abuse claims

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LOS ANGELES — A Vatican court has “definitively determined and ruled” that no allegations of sexual misconduct of any kind alleged against Msgr. Richard Loomis, a Los Angeles priest, have been proved.

The ruling was announced in a Nov. 8 statement issued by Office of the Vicar for Clergy of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The ruling came “after 10 years of exhaustive investigation and canonical trial,” it said, adding that Msgr. Loomis “has always professed his innocence.”

The priest, who is 68, has been on administrative leave and unable to exercise his priestly ministry in public since 2003, when accusations were first brought against him. The alleged abuse reportedly took place between 1969 and 1971 while he was a seminarian. He was ordained for the archdiocese in 1976. He has served as a pastor and is a former archdiocesan director of administrative services.

When allegations of abuse were first made against him, an investigation as required by canon law was initiated, the Office of the Vicar for Clergy said in its statement. “Msgr. Loomis was placed on temporary inactive ministry pending the resolution of the accusations.”

“Now that the allegations against him have been conclusively resolved, canon law provides that the temporary restrictions on Msgr. Loomis’ public exercise of his priesthood have ceased. He remains a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in good standing,” it said.