The decades of lies and cover-ups that Cardinal Mahoney participated in are finally ending.
One important fact has been overlooked. Roger Mahoney was a licensed social worker and was legally bound to report sexual abuse.
To avoid having to do that, he surrendered his license in 1980. He knew he would be covering-up sexual abuse and tried to escape the legal consequences.
His sole punishment so far: he can’t do confirmations. And he is still an elector of the pope.
Leon, this is where Rome must assert itself. Rome must summon Mahony for canonical trial and strip him of his membership in the College of Cardinals. The “cardinal” supposedly connotes defending the faith till death. But “defending the faith” shouldn’t mean sacrificing the innocent on the altar of the theological-ecclesiastical complex.
Why does it always seem that the Catholic leadership responds not to ethics and morals but to unfavorable publicity and the potential for financial damages? Nevertheless, the new L.A. cardinal did the right thing by banning Mahony from public or administrative tasks. Perhaps that’s all he can do; that’s why Rome has to step up.
If Rome doesn’t, then we will know beyond a shadow of a doubt whether the Catholic leadership truly intends to repent or merely engage in damage control.
When the movie “Deliver Us From Evil” came out in 2006, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles responded that what was said against the Archdiocese were “lies”. From what has just been stated by Archbishop Gomez, it would seem that the movie’s portrayal of Cardinal Mahony must be (at least essentially) the truth.
As a survivor of priestly abuse and a former Servant of the Paraclete, I have seen both sides of this terrible, sad and profoundly evil scandal! The Cardinal should have been denouncing the abuse instead of covering it up. As a Paraclete Novice in 1965 at Jemez Springs’s Via Coeli Paraclete Motherhouse, I got to know several priests from Los Angeles sent by then Cardinal James McIntyre, a close friend of Cardinal Francis Spellman. Both men were from New York. The decades of priestly sexual abuse involving the rape and intimidation of children (even infants in some cases) is finally brought to light by the courageous decision of Cardinal Jose Gomez to relieve Cardinal Mahoney of his duties. In this Archdiocese of over 4 million Catholics, the thousands of victims will finally be acknowledged and heard! As for Cardinal Mahoney, may he beg forgiveness and wash the feet of the many victims he neglected to protect!
Mahoney must have had friends in the Vatican, but remember: This was California, that promoted outpatient treatment of sexual predators…
Teuth Lover, That movie was an eye opener for so many! I believe it was in that movie too that the pederast priest from S America with the notebook on who and how to seduce little boys while pictured dressed in his Divine Mercy vestments .
My heart ached for the destitute Grandmother who came forward and was ostracized by her village for doing so.
I have come to the conclusion that Catholicism is evil. Not just misguided. Not just apostate. Evil. Mahony is not an isolated example, as we all know. Nor is clerical sex abuse a modern problem, as St. Peter Damian wrote in 1049!
Let’s not forget that Mahony was appointed L.A’s archbishop by a man who was conned by Mariscal Maciel and who is on the fast track to sainthood. Let’s not forget that either Benedict or his Curia (or both) have substantively failed to address the problem, other than ordering lifetime “penance” for Maciel.
Most of all, let’s not forget that Catholics have been taught for centuries to have faith in the Church as the bearer of the Gospel over the Christ Who initiated that Gospel, died on the cross to redeem humanity and rose to destroy death, the ultimate consequence of sin.
Many Catholics are having the scales fall from their eyes. They’re realizing how duped they’ve been. Their profound and legitimate sense of betrayal will lead to a mass exodus from the Catholic cult worldwide. Not even massive immigration from Latin America, legal or illegal, will save American Catholicism.
Tony de New York
‘Catholicism is evil’
Tony, what would you call any organization that claims to act under (and with) God’s authority yet gives higher priority to the welfare of its leaders than to fidelity and obedience to God, let alone the welfare of the faithful? What would you call such an organization that fosters absolute obedience to institutional leaders over and above obedience to God?
Marxism came from a completely different philosophical basis yet behaved the same way. Islam claims to be a monotheistic “religion” yet tolerates barbarism in the name of “Allah.” Both Marxism and Islam are evil.
There’s an expression in sports: “You are what your record says you are.” IOW, regardless of a team’s potential or any prognostications, performance on the field or court is the true indicator of how good it is.
Catholics can talk about tradition, apostolic succession and intellectual and artistic refinement all they want. None of that matter to a holy, righteous God Who demands that those who hold authority in His name live up to His standards.
Read about the vision Pope Leo XIII had in the 1880s in the Vatican. Then you will know the future of the Catholic Church.
Father Michael Koenig
The US government has been deeply compromised by the cost of running for office. Big money and corporate approval are necessary for winning elections. Nonetheless, I would say the US is still a good country, though much of its government is corrupt and possibly evil. It’s good in (many of) its founding principals, its traditional beliefs and values and in its people.
The Catholic Church is much the same. Its governance is at best incompetent and in some, or even many cases, corrupt. But it’s good in its foundations, its essential beliefs and practices and in its people. Starngely, for a hierarchical organization, we’ve never really been too sure about our hierarchs, as Catholic humour and remarks by saints and apologists (intelligent ones like Belloc, not the “Pravdaesque” types who can’t smell the dung in the stable) through the centuries testify.
Leon, Tony, me and others on the ground are the Catholic Church. the Pope and Bishops are no more the RCC than Prseident Obama or Governor Bush are the US.
The American Church was successful because it was a people’s church…not in the sense of liberation theology but rather a church the common man could identify as his own, as opposed to what existed in other countries, where the Church was merely a tool of competing aristocratic factions. The powerful always have used every means they can in order to stop the Church from becoming what it could if it were freed of their control.
To compare the corruption of bishops and cardinals to that of corrupt politicians does not hold water. Bishops and cardinals attribute to themselves and their clerical underlings an ontological change that allows them to represent Our Lord, bringing Sanctifying Grace to the masses, controlling their eternal destinys. They are the face of Roman Catholicism. Only the clerics can bring salvation to the folks. As we are repeatedly told: this ain’t no democracy.
When evil, as in massive coverups for child molestations by priests, bishops, and cardinals, is introduced to the sacred, there is hell to pay. These men hear confessions, for goodness sake. The same men who facilitated child rape all over the globe. They write the rituals and perform them. And the angels really do weep.
Yes, there are wonderful catholic people. And wonderful all kinds of religious people. But the Roman Catholic Establishment is run by cowards with no regard for children who still think themselves somehow above the law, Gods and Mans.
The catholic in its roots is not evil however I see that there are two sets of Victims, the abused themselves and the faithful who refuse to acknowledge that the hierarchy concealed and deceived them. “The further society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it” George Orwell
Corruption in the Church and corruption in politics overlap in many case. For example, JP Morgan and other financier-elites exploited their connections in the Mexican Church and government to whip up the Cristero rebellion as a way to weaken Mexico for the benefit of foreign oil and financial interests.
Archbishop Gomez continues to bankroll the lawyers Mahony hired to help hide sex crime documents.
Father Michael, while I understand the comparison, it falls flat in these instances:
1. The United States never formally claimed a specific, salvific association with God. True, evangelical Protestants often assume such an association but that doesn’t mean they’re right.
2. People in the United States have a say in who they want to govern them, despite the presence of big money and corporate approval. The electorate has the Constitutional ability to discern between different agendas and vote accordingly (whether it chooses wisely is another question). Catholics have absolutely no say in who their bishops are; the appointment process is a closed system.
3. The Constitution has procedures to deal with malfeasance in office, such as checks and balances between the three branches and the possibility of presidential impeachment. The Church has Canon Law, but it’s routinely ignored for the “benefit” of the ruling elite.
I don’t doubt the historical and current existence of government corruption — or, for that matter, corruption in business, labor unions, the academy, the press, etc. Corruption, sadly, reveals much more about human nature than we care to admit. Nevertheless, the fact that Church leaders act as if they’re board members of Enron or Soviet apparachiks — without censure, btw — has to say something about the Church’s fundamental moral values.
Father Michael Koenig
Augusta and Joseph, thank you for the responses, your points are well taken.
Other than a mass conversion, I fear the only hope is for God to strip the Church of its earthly wealth, power and prestige. The cowards and careerist will either convert or jump ship. A humble and poor Church seems the best scenario for the future.
Thank you, Father Michael. A humble and poor church, the way it seems Our Lord intended. And a church for all of us, not just some of us. A church whose rituals are not written only by men, not perfomed only by men, a church that values women and children and men without dominating them and using Our Lord to do it.
A worthy dream.