Leon J. Podles :: DIALOGUE

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What Mahony Should Hear

February 2nd, 2013 · 15 Comments

On rare occasions the clerical vetting system fails and a Christian becomes a bishop or even a pope.

A Catholic Christian knows the gravity of sin and the necessity of repentance, which includes doing penance to expiate sin.

If Archbishop Gomez were a Christian, he would first privately and then publicly address Cardinal Mahony in terms such as these:

My dear brother, I fear for your salvation and I do not want to see you burn forever in the fires of hell, alienated from God, condemned by the voices of the abused children whose bodies and souls you allowed to be ruined.

You must immediately and publicly repent.

Send your cardinal’s hat back to the pope. Resign your priesthood. It is better to enter into life a layman than to be cast with a cardinal’s robes into Gehenna.

Become a lay bother at a poor monastery. Take the humblest jobs, cleaning the toilets and shoveling the stables. Spend every other moment on your knees until they are bloody, begging God to forgive you and not cast you into hell.

Tell the state that you will tell them everything and accept any punishment that they give you. Accept imprisonment and what you know probably awaits you in prison.

Perhaps the Lord will relent and will spare you. My dear brother, I pray that you repent before  death, which comes to every man, and no one knows the day or hour.

So Gomez would speak if he were a Christian and not an ecclesiastical bureaucrat – something the Vatican does its best to prevent.

Tags: clergy sex abuse scandal · repentance

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tony de New York // Feb 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm


  • 2 Joseph D'Hippolito // Feb 2, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Leon, if your assumption is correct, then it reinforces everything I’ve said about the Catholic Church.

  • 3 Oso Pious // Feb 2, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Archbishop Jose Gomez is a hero and deserves our praise for removing Cardinal Mahoney! However, I have to say a few things about Archbishop Gomez. In the new movie “For Greater Glory” (now onDVD), Archbishop Gomez gives a cameo appearance and lauds the “Cristeros” as modern day saints and patriots. The Catholic Church totally manipulated these poor peasants who never got justice nor their land. In fact, the Catholic Church helped the Mexican government supress and slaughter the Cristeros. Nevertheless, Gomez is a breath of fresh air in a very toxic, evil and hypocritical environment. May God give him the strength and the courage to lead the new reformation of Catholicism!

  • 4 Nancy Reyes // Feb 2, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Sounds about right. I know a nice hospital in Africa that could use him to help with the cooking and cleaning.

    Or he could work with the street kids here in the Philippines. Lots of them have been sexually abused, both boys and girls, by locals and by “sex tourists”, so he could have a first hand view of how this destroys their lives.

  • 5 Mary // Feb 3, 2013 at 5:55 am

    As with the punishments for Law and Lavada.It always appears to be about IMAGE and money.
    But how do you punish a Pope and retain credibility?

    ” But in 1985, four years after the priest and his bishop first asked that he be defrocked, the future Pope Benedict XVI, then a top Vatican official, signed a letter saying that the case needed more time and that “the good of the Universal Church” had to be considered in the final decision, according to church documents released through lawsuits.
    That decision did not come for two more years, the sort of delay that is fueling a renewed sexual abuse scandal in the church that has focused on whether the future pope moved quickly enough to remove known pedophiles from the priesthood, despite pleas from American bishops.”

  • 6 Augusta Wynn // Feb 3, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Why did Archbishop Gomez wait until the docs were released to express his outrage over evil? Mahony and his minions were spending millions of dollars fighting the release of these documents, documents that Archbishop Gomez had at his fingertips.

    He acts the hero, but his silence through the years does not speak of holiness to this mother and grandmother. Grown men with roman collars who knew the culture of heinous evil that was bubbling up all around them and did nothing to stop it have no right to call themselves priests. And that includes Gomez.

    A slap on the wrist to Roger Mahony and now Gomez is being praised?

    These men do not belong on altars, not even one of them who have remained silent.


  • 7 Joseph D'Hippolito // Feb 3, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    You know, Leon, it’s possible that Gomez did approach Mahony privately in the way you suggest. It’s also quite possible that if Gomez did, Mahony rejected it out of hand. Mahony loves media attention and power. Given that, Gomez perhaps saw no choice but to take those things away, at least in the L.A. Archdiocese.

    If you go to Mahony’s blog and read his response to the censure, you’ll see a man who is none too happy (to put it mildly) about his punishment.

    The irony is too delicious for me: Mahony, a man used to intimidating his own clerical subordinates by asserting his episcopal power, now “rebels” under the discipline of his own archbishop!

  • 8 SmF // Feb 4, 2013 at 8:10 am

    We dont need Mahoney to wear sack cloth and ashes or clean toilets. That is not what Christianity is about. We need him to repent and it doesn’t seem like that has occurred.

    He has apologized “because he naively did not recognize the pain victims suffered” He has not apologized for the fact that what he did was wrong, and was clearly enabling those who violated serious law.

  • 9 Augusta Wynn // Feb 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    He has apologized “because he naively did not recognize the pain victims suffered.” Huh?

    A grown man with enough brains to at least receive a Masters degree in Social Work cannot imagine the pain a child experiences being raped by a catholic priest?

    I wonder more and more: Is the reason Mahony and Company ( read most bishops) were so numb to the plight of the victims because they themselves have been subjected to sexual abuse? The Theology of Domination seems to rule these men who studied in seminaries.

    No wonder Jesus and Mary did not send Jesus off to the synagogues to study with the Pharisees. They kept Him around family, as far as we know, until he was thirty. I guess no one ever mentioned this to the men of the cloth who recruited 13 year olds, and sometimes younger.


  • 10 Augusta Wynn // Feb 5, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Oops. I meant to say Joseph and Mary.


  • 11 Joseph D'Hippolito // Feb 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    AW, you make an interesting point about the “Theology of Domination.” Most of the Catholics I’ve run into on the Internet have an arrogant, superior attitude about their faith, especially in relation to Protestants. Obviously, the bishops have such an attitude about their offices and positions in relation to the faithful. If you believe your ordination makes you “ontologically different,” then you have a license (in your own mind) to behave however you wish. I think that’s one of the main problems with Catholicism.

  • 12 Augusta Wynn // Feb 6, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Yes, dear Joseph. They ( the hierarchy) created the perfectly corrupt institution. When they learned that some of their confreres were raping children, it did not matter. Everyone makes mistakes, after all. For the “ontologically changed” clerics , though child rapists, were still doing the work of the Lord, bringing Sanctifying Grace to the ignorant ( all of us who were kept in the dark about their sanctioned depravities).

    What they believe about themselves, still, is that they are chosen by God the Father to be only a little “less than the angels” and certainly above mortal folks like the rest of us.

    And the only qualification to be ontologically changed? A penis and a desire for “holy obedience,” not to the teachings of Our Lord, but to their ontologically changed superiors, living in palaces and practicing misogyny all over the globe.


  • 13 Joseph D'Hippolito // Feb 7, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    If Donald Trump were Pope, he would state what Mahony needs to hear:

    “YOU’RE FIRED!!!!”

  • 14 mary ann // Feb 11, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    SmF - he needs to repent AND make reparation. No forgiveness without penance/repair work.

  • 15 Oso Pious // Feb 12, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    My “Paraclete insider” sources tell me that Cardinal Marc Oulette has the blessing of Pope Benedict XVI and will most likely be our next Pope. He has favored no abortion even in cases of rape and he is against gay marriage. A strict conservative, but he is also “compassionate” and has experience shepherding and playing hockey! Plus, he is a Canadian and so far has not really “offended” anyone except some women and gays .

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