Hundreds of pages of secret church files are shedding light on the troublesome careers of a dozen religious order priests, brothers and nuns accused of sexually abusing children in the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese.

The files were released Wednesday under the terms of a $660 million settlement agreement reached in 2007.

They are the first glimpse at what religious orders knew about the envoys they posted in Roman Catholic schools and parishes around the Los Angeles area.

The archdiocese itself released thousands of pages under court order earlier this year that covered its own priests who were accused of sexual abuse.

The files cover five different orders and 10 priests and brothers and two nuns.

They allegedly molested a total of 21 children.