Newly released files show that 76-year-old Cardinal Mahony (pictured) helped shield the “sins of the fathers” in his archdiocese.
In 2007 Los Angeles paid $660 million to alleged victims of abuse, the largest sex abuse payout on record.
"I find these files to be brutal and painful reading," Archbishop Gomez said in a statement. "The behaviour described in these files is terribly sad and evil.
"There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed."
Also from the report:
The Catholic Church in the US has been embroiled in a series of child sex scandals over the past two decades.
A Church-commissioned report said more than 4,000 US priests had faced sexual abuse allegations since the early 1950s, in cases involving more than 10,000 children - mostly boys.