"If you successfully conceal your wrongdoing, you can keep your job," Clohessy said.
Mahony hasn't had administrative duties since his retirement in March 2011, archdiocese spokesman Tod M. Tamberg said.
Mahony, who will turn 77 later this month, can continue to celebrate the sacraments with no restrictions and can vote in conclave in a papal election until age 80, Tamberg said.
"He is reducing his public profile, which included numerous invitations in California and around the country to give guest lectures on immigration reform, on the church in the 21st century, etc.," Tamberg said in an e-mail to CNN. "He remains a priest in good standing, and a cardinal of the church."
At the same time, Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Curry, who's the regional bishop of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties in California, has resigned and "has also publicly apologized for his decisions while serving as Vicar for Clergy" in relation to the sex abuse cases, Gomez said.
"I have accepted his request to be relieved of his responsibility," Gomez said.
Clohessy called the resignation "less noteworthy."
"Eight to 12 bishops around the world have resigned because of these cases," Clohessy said.
On Friday, SNAP leaders and supporters who said they were victimized as children by priests called upon federal and local prosecutors to investigate the sexual abuse allegations in the church files.
The activists also called upon silent victims to come forward and disclose additional sexual offenses. At a press conference outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles, the activists called Thursday's release of church files "incomplete."
Manuel Vega of Oxnard, California, said a priest abused him from age 10 to 15. On Friday, he called for a congressional hearing. He accused the church of withholding documents, especially with the priest who abused him and priests who abused his friends.
"We've had congressional hearings for doping," Vega told reporters. "But where's our congressional hearing? This has not only impacted L.A. but it's impacted the entire United States and throughout the world."
Jim Robertson of Los Angeles said he found no files relating to the priest who abused him. He described the church hierarchy as "corporate officers of a corporation."
"So far this is nonsense. These people have spent millions and millions of the faithful's dollars to protect themselves," Robertson told reporters. "These people behaved horrifically, absolutely horrifically."
The released files include letters by underage male victims accusing priests of sexually abusing them.
In one letter, a clergyman is described as "a very charismatic and much loved priest in the Hispanic community and people would never suspect of any wrongdoing," a victim wrote.
But when the victim was 17 years old in 1983, the priest took the youngster to a mountain retreat near Big Bear Lake in California, and when they took a break by a stream, the priest "gave me a hug and kissed me as if I were a woman," the victim wrote.
Later, at the cabin, "as I stood looking at the pictures on the walls, he reached out and fondled me," the victim wrote in a letter to a church official.
The priest also "forced me to have sex" in a church rectory, a hotel and in a mobile home near Tijuana, Mexico, that someone loaned the priest, the victim wrote.
"While I felt forgiven by God, I still feel dirty," the victim wrote.