Posts Tagged Cardinal Roger Mahony
Los Angeles’s Costly Lesson for the Vatican ($740 million spent on clergy sexual abuse litigation) / The New York Times
Pope Francis has been meeting this week with eight cardinals he selected to shape proposals for reforming the Roman Catholic Church. It is too early to tell what will result from an agenda that will range from Vatican finances to the recruitment of new believers. But the deliberations surely cannot afford to overlook the shocking price tag announced as a final figure that the Los Angeles Archdiocese paid to victims of child sexual abuse by priests.” (boldface added) Editorial in the New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.
Also of note — “The $740 million the Los Angeles archdiocese has now paid to settle sex-abuse lawsuits is equal to about 2.5 times the total annual spending of the Holy See,” said Phil Lawler of CatholicCulture.org, when speaking about his recollection of a reflection by Jean-Marie Guenois of Le Figaro. “If you add legal costs and earlier undisclosed settlements, you might be able to run the entire operation of the Vatican for three years on the sum spent by the Los Angeles archdiocese to pay for the corruption of the clergy.”
“From the start of his tenure as the leader of L.A.’s Catholics, Roger Mahony had ambitious plans for the archdiocese. But clergy molestation claims were vying for his attention.”
A year after arriving in Los Angeles, the youngest archbishop in the U.S. Catholic Church had a schedule and an agenda befitting a presidential candidate … Among the thousands of papers that crossed his desk in September 1986 was a handwritten letter. ‘During priests’ retreat … you provided us with an invitation to talk to you about a shadow that some of us might have,’ Father Michael Baker wrote. ‘I would like to take you up on that invitation.’ The note would come to define (Cardinal Roger) Mahony’s legacy more than any public stance he took or powerful friend he made.” By Harriet Ryan, Ashley Powers and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times — Read all of this major Los Angeles Times piece by clicking here.
Voice of the Faithful® has called repeatedly over many years for accountability for bishops who have covered up clergy sexual abuse. Why? Read Nicholas Cafardi’s article Accountability Gap, which appears in the June 11, 2013, issue of Commonweal magazine. Cafardi is a civil and canon lawyer, dean emeritus and professor of law at Duquesne University School of Law and one of the original members of the USCCB’s National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Youth.
When the spotlight of the national press was on them, it appeared that the bishops had acted responsibly. But, as an inaugural member of the bishops’ National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Youth, I had a different perspective. When the board went looking for national data about the phenomenon of sexual abuse by clergy, the California bishops, led by Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles (now retired), strongly resisted the audits. By Nicholas Cafardi, Commonweal
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.
In late February, Maltese Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna told Italian journalists, ‘From now on, no one’ — and when he said ‘no one’ he meant the 117 cardinals coming to Rome for the conclave that would elect Pope Francis — ‘will be able to say they know nothing about what goes on regarding clerical sex abuse.’ … Zero tolerance for clergy child abusers is now the universal law of the church. Francis’ task is to lay down laws that will hold bishops liable for their actions and inactions, too. Bishops’ accountability to the people they serve must also become the universal law of the church.” Editorial in National Catholic Reporter
Read the entire NCR editorial by clicking here. Bold-face emphasis above added by Voice of the Faithful®.
Archives Reveal LA Cardinal’s Attempts to Head Off John Jay Investigation / National Catholic Reporter
In 2003, with the country newly focused on the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church, a senior U.S. church leader attempted behind the scenes to head off the investigation of the crisis by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, disparaging the institution and its researchers as inadequate.” By Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter
To read the entire article in National Catholic Reporter, click here.
As archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony was famous for his petulance, dispatching angry letters to priests and others whom he considered insufficiently deferential. But now that he finds himself in a subordinate position as a retired and rebuked bishop he displays none of the deference he once demanded.” By George Neumayr
A senior Vatican official called Cardinal Roger Mahony‘s participation in the selection of the next pope “troubling,” but said there was no formal procedure to stop the retired Los Angeles archbishop from attending the conclave next month.” By Tom Kington, Los Angeles Times
There is worldwide outrage that former Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony will be part of next month’s papal conclave in Rome. A poll by an influential Italian Catholic magazine found that an overwhelming majority of its readers don’t want Mahony to be part of the papal conclave to select the next pope after Pope Benedict XVI finalizes his retirement.” By CBS-TV Los Angeles
In the wake of the court-ordered release of 12,000 pages of confidential archdiocese records, Cardinal Roger Mahony (Archbishop of Los Angeles) has been criticized for hiding abuse allegations from police and failing to protect parishioners from accused molesters. But the documents suggest that Mahony at times had to press an unresponsive Vatican to get molesting priests out of the church.” By Victoria Kim and Ashley Powers, Los Angeles Times
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.