Posts Tagged Archbishop Jose Gomez
The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops elected a Texas cardinal Tuesday as their new president, choosing him to guide their relationship with the new Trump administration and represent them to the Vatican.
“Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, had served three years as vice president and succeeds Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, who is completing his three-year term.
“Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez was elected vice president, the first Latino to serve in the post, according to the Rev. Thomas Reese, an analyst with the National Catholic Reporter newspaper. The vice president customarily is elevated to president, putting Gomez in line to become the first Latino leader of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. About 4 in 10 U.S. Catholics are Latino and they already comprise a majority in several dioceses, including Gomez’ own archdiocese, which is about 70 percent Latino.”
By Rachel Zoll, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Voice of the Faithful Urges Pope Francis to “Act Decisively” Regarding Bishops, Clergy Sexual Abuse & His Message to Vatican Congregation
Pope Francis has recommended that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Catholic Church’s child sexual abuse prosecutorial arm, “act decisively with regard to cases of sexual abuse.” Currently, three cases in the U.S. provide an opportunity to see whether decisive action also will include holding accountable bishops who fail to act when sex abuse is revealed:
- Newark Archbishop John Myers has allowed a priest who had admitted groping a boy to continue working with children in violation of an agreement that barred the priest from ministering to children or holding any position involving children.
- Retired Los Angeles archbishop Cardinal Roger Mahony, implicated in covering up clergy sexual abuse based on formerly secret archdiocesan documents, ignored a directive from present Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez and has continued to preside at Confirmation and other public ceremonies.
- Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn remains in office despite his conviction for failing to report suspected child abuse.
Each of these bishops apparently has violated the Essential Norms of USCCB’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which have the force of canon law. In the most recent of these, although several lower-level diocesan employees have “resigned,” Bishop Myers, who several months ago had erroneously described the abusing priest in the case as having been acquitted, has not resigned.
If Pope Francis wishes to demonstrate that the Church will, at last, “act decisively” in matters of child sexual abuse, these are clear instances where he can hold accountable the bishops who fail to act in such cases. Voice of the Faithful® urges Pope Francis to call for investigations under canon law or to censure these bishops directly. He is the only person in the Church who can do so.
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of concerned Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in governance and guidance of the Church. More information about Voice of the Faithful is available on its website by clicking here.
Retired archbishop of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony has been presiding at Confirmations, apparently flouting present Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez’s censure in January. On Feb. 1, Voice of the Faithful® issued a National Statement saying VOTF saw “some slight, long overdue justice” in Gomez restricting Mahony’s public appearances for “abetting clergy sexual abuse.” Amid the flurry of media reports surrounding Mahony’s actions, dotCommonweal has posted the following from Grant Gallicho, which is a good overview of the situation with many links to other reports:
Remember how in January, after nearly a decade of legal filibustering, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles finally made public the priest-personnel files it agreed to release as part of a 2007 settlement with abuse victims, except the files were heavily redacted, and remember how those files contained damning memos detailing the lengths to which archdiocesan officials — including Cardinal Roger Mahony — went to shield abuser-priests from civil authorities, and how soon after those memos made news, Archbishop Jose Gomez garnered praise for announcing that Mahony would “no longer have any administrative or public duties,” and how several media outlets reported that Mahony had been “barred from public ministry,”except he really hadn’t, and then he took to his blog to dress down Gomez for “not once over these past years…[raising] any questions about our policies, practices, or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors,” yet, as Mahony’s then-spokesman explained, he had “cleared his calendar of confirmation appointments this year”? Well, he’s doing them again.
Read the rest of Gallicho’s account by clicking this title, “Mahony Unbound,” which appeared on dotCommonweal this past Friday, May 10.
Voice of the Faithful® has long called for greater accountability and transparency throughout the Church and has pointed out that, because of constant pressure, attitudes have been shifting slowly. The Los Angeles judge’s order for the archdiocese to release unredacted secret documents has certainly added to that pressure. Reflecting on Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez’s actions regarding Cardinal Roger Mahony, which resulted from the contents of those documents, experienced Vatican watcher John L. Allen gives us this in commentary today in National Catholic Reporter:
… most basically, the culture of the church is evolving in the direction of greater accountability. Yes, it’s happening under external pressure, and yes, it’s taking an awfully long time. Nonetheless, the wheels are slowly grinding in the direction of the idea that when someone drops the ball, there need to be consequences?”
Click this link — Gomez, Mahony and the ‘Sodano Rule’ — and you may read Allen’s entire column.
He says he turned over an archdiocese ‘second to none’ in protecting children — Responding to a public rebuke by his successor, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony insisted that he tried his best to deal with the priest molestation scandal but fell short because not enough was known about the problem early in his career.” By Mitchell Landsberg and Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
The church files are filled with outrage, pain and confusion. There are handwritten notes from distraught mothers, accounts of furious phone calls from brothers and perplexed inquiries from the police following up on allegations of priests sexually abusing children.” By Jennifer Medina and Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times
To those familiar with the protocols of the Catholic hierarchy, the news was stunning. The archbishop of Los Angeles publicly rebuked his predecessor, a cardinal, for his failures in dealing with the priest sex abuse scandal. The action by Archbishop Jose Gomez, relieving Cardinal Roger Mahony of “any administrative or public duties,” was remarkable on two levels.” Editorial in National Catholic Reporter
Only now is the full scope of the roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ culpability in the sex abuse scandal being confirmed. — Not only did the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles fail to protect children from pedophile priests, but its leaders, including Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, subsequently sought to protect its reputation by covering up cases of sexual abuse and shielding priests from the arrest and prosecution they deserved. The archdiocese then spent more than a decade fighting to keep that coverup from being revealed in court.” Editorial in the Los Angeles Times
Voice of the Faithful® sees some slight, long overdue justice in the recent removal of retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony from public ministry for abetting clergy sexual abuse, a first in the decades-long scandal. Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez announced Mahony’s censure in a letter Jan. 31 in which he stated that, effective immediately, Mahony “would no longer have any administrative or public duties.”
Gomez also stated in his letter that he had accepted the resignation of Santa Barbara Bishop Thomas J. Curry, who as a monsignor under Mahony had discussed with him how to hide molestation of children by priests from parishioners, police and the public.
VOTF has long stressed that Church discipline of hierarchy involved in the clergy sexual scandal is absolutely necessary to show that the Church will not tolerate child sex abuse. Holding bishops accountable also is a crucial step towards renewal and healing. Although Gomez’s action appears little more than a slap on the wrist for Mahony, the move, which is likely unprecedented in Church history, does signal a move in the right direction.
But more is needed. “All secret files must be released,” said Mark Mullaney, VOTF president, “and made public before we gain closure on this deplorable piece of our Catholic fabric, which not only was stained repeatedly by abusive priests, but also—and worse—was covered up by a complicit hierarchy.”
Bishop Gomez’s action follows the release of thousands of pages of confidential Church documents on clergy sexual abuse in the Los Angeles Archdiocese containing the names of Church leaders who had covered up clergy sexual abuse of children. These names formerly had been blacked out of the documents, but the un-redacted documents were released after a judge’s order to do so.
In a letter to parishioners, Gomez calls the behavior described in the documents “terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children.” VOTF agrees.
The formerly secret documents now are being assessed for possible actions by state authorities, but many of the crimes that have come to light so far are likely to fall outside California’s statute of limitation on child sex abuse. This underscores the necessity of reforming such statutes, which VOTF and other organizations have stated repeatedly is necessary to protect children adequately from predators and bring some measure of justice to survivors.
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of concerned mainstream Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at http://www.votf.org.