Friday, February 1, 2013



Archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez states of the former administration of his archdiocese under now retired Cardinal Roger Mahony the following: ""The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil."
Is this terribly sad looking and ugly as sin Cathedral built by the same cardinal-archbishop a powerful and thought provoking symbol of his administration of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles? I report, you decide.

I use the term bombshell often on my blog but always in a kind of funny way. The following from "Whispers in the Loggia" is not funny but truly can be classified as a bombshell. It is very sad indeed:

"Ten days after an initial release from 30,000 pages of clergy sex-abuse files in the archdiocese of Los Angeles sparked widespread scorn and calls for the prosecution of now-retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and his then-vicar for clergy, now Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, in a letter to the 5 million-member church released tonight, Archbishop José Gomez announced that the embattled auxiliary would be relieved of his pastoral oversight of two of the LA church's three counties, while the iconic Mahony – the longest-reigning American cardinal named after Vatican II, whose quarter-century tenure saw his hometown church become the largest diocese in the nation's history – will, according to his successor, "no longer have any administrative or public duties.

"The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil," Gomez said. "There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed.

MY COMMENTS: Ever sense this horrible scandal's root cause became more and more known, meaning the mismanagement of clergy by bishops, the two most egregious cases of mismanaging bishops have been in Boston and Los Angeles. Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston who was considered a "conservative" in theological matters was quickly maligned by the Boston Globe and in a pit-bull fashion. The liberal media went after him tooth and nail which eventually led to his resignation accepted by the Vatican.

But not so for Cardinal Roger Mahony who, at least from the point of view of perception was considered somewhat of a progressive or liberal, especially in the area of liturgy and thus endeared him to the more progressive elements of the press and Church (just look at the monstrosity of his new Cathedral, which will perhaps become a symbol of his twisted and so call naive management of abusive priests). Things are ugly and out of quilter in that Cathedral, in that archdiocese and in that man.

What continues to puzzle and amaze so many is that these sorts of actions against cardinals and bishops only come about through the public medias exposure of the facts which are only acquired by acts of the law enforcement and court system. There's something very wrong about that from those who are suppose to be our moral leaders and should act in a transparent way in and of themselves although I certainly recognize the need for due process which can take time.

On an entirely different front, we have the good news that finally, and again at a snail's pace, The National Catholic Reporter which ceased being Catholic decades ago, may well be asked to stop identifying itself as Catholic or affiliated in any way with the Catholic Church.

This is welcome news to say the least. On the one hand you have this newspaper which in fact was the first to break the news of the abuse scandal in the early 1980's with a long expose on the notorious priest-abuser in the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana and other notorious cases but on the other hand may well have been responsible for giving license to priests and religious to ignore their promises and vows of obedience and Chasity/celibacy and redefine them in a pejorative way, by promoting heterodox moral principles and heretical views in their reporting of stories and in their editorializing. They have led many Church leaders and others in the laity into practical schism with the Church

I first started reading the National Catholic Reporter around 1975 as it was available in one of the parishes I attended in Augusta. I was somewhat shocked by what they often proposed and what they held up as models of priestly conduct as this paper was truly a scandal sheet and would promote infidelity in the priesthood and religious life in order to goad the Church into changing her policies on priesthood and religious life as it regards both obedience and celibate chastity.

The majority of priests and religious of the 1970's and 80's would read the National Catholic Reporter as their theological adviser and Bible.

This is a petition to the USCCB to manage properly those who claim Catholic authority and the name Catholic:

Dear Bishops of the United States:

The National Catholic Reporter has stridently published notorious articles attacking immutible Catholic teachings for decades. In fact, in Bishop Helmsing's 1968 formal condemnation of National Catholic Reporter, he said:

"It is difficult to see how well instructed writers who deliberately deny and ridicule dogmas of our Catholic faith can possibly escape the guilt of the crime defined in Canon 1325 on heresy, and how they can escape the penalties of automatic excommunication entailed thereby."

Re-affirming Bishop Helmsing's official condemnation, Bishop Finn publicly stated:

"Bishop Charles Helmsing in October of 1968 issued a condemnation of the National Catholic Reporter and asked the publishers to remove the name “Catholic” from their title – to no avail. From my perspective, NCR’s positions against authentic Church teaching and leadership have not changed trajectory in the intervening decades."

Rather than seeking contrition and reconciliation, NCR chose defiance. In response to this direct condemnation, National Catholic Reporter stated that it is "is proud to call itself a Catholic publication," would continue to represent itself as a Catholic organization, and justified it's position as an authentic Catholic voice by belonging to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ sanctioned Catholic Press Association.

Your Excellencies, for the protection of our souls and in solidarity with the faithful Catholic laity and religious, we the undersigned ask you to strongly and prayerfully consider:

1. Removing the credentials of the National Catholic Reporter from the Catholic Press Association,

2. Ban National Catholic Reporter from all privileges at the USCCB or at USCCB-sponsored events,

3. Publicly forbid NCR from misrepresenting itself as a media source faithful to the Church.

It is unfortunate when examples must be made, but the souls of the faithful require a shepherd. As laity, we faithfully pray daily for the bishops to have guidance and strength during these difficult times. Yet for over 40 years, National Catholic Reporter has chiseled away at the New Evangelization.

Until such a time when NCR embraces fidelity as fiercely as they embrace dissent, we the Catholic faithful in America ask the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to assist the Catholic faithful in identifying authentic voices of Catholicity -- voices which are so few in today's media.

Support Bishop Finn. Shepherd the flock. Remind those of us that hope in Christ that fidelity is the light that guides fidelity, and fidelity is the light that must guide the New Evangelization.

MY LAST COMMENT: Progressive Catholicism has been a miserable failure for the Church and for the style in which our bishops have managed their priests and dioceses and how some priests even manage their parishes. Isn't it time to wake up and smell the coffee and bring about by God's grace the "reform of the reform" a reform of the 1960's that has been a catastrophe for the Church from the point of view of theology, ecclesiology, liturgy and pastoral common sense?


Anonymous said...

Cardinal Law was every bit as tolerant of liturgical abuse and modernism as Cardinal Mahony. The difference was that Cardinal Law was a good media target, whereas Cardinal Mahony was groomed as a media darling. Law gave the appearance of being aged, grumpy and intolerant, a perfect caricature of what the left hates in bishops. Mahony was more openly, in fact, defiantly modernist, given his garbage piece attempting to re-define the Mass, "We Gather Faithfully Together", but he also was a smooth talker and knew how to handle people, especially politicians and the press. He was a master of "working the room." BUT...I know a number of people who have dealt with Mahony and he is anything but the kindly, gentle figure he worked so hard to cultivate as an image for the media. No, he is cunning, devious and a man very much feared by his priests. The hideous cathedral that he forced upon his archdiocese is a perfect reflection of his distorted vision of the Church. Make no mistake, that Cathedral is all about money, especially the crypts that sell for top dollar. If anything, it is a monument to the pro-abortion "Catholic" politicians who run Los Angeles, the state of California and who supported this most embarrassing prince of the Church.

Unknown said...

In short; what goes around, comes around.

I think that I would like to question a couple of things, from a certain perspective. Let me begin with the following, I completely understand modifiers in the English language, I really do. If my comments are EVER read here, it is easily seen, but I am utterly baffled by this:

"But not so for Cardinal Roger Mahony who, at least from the point of view of perception was considered somewhat of a progressive or liberal..."

Somewhat? Somewhat? Uhhhhhh, did you just crawl out from under a hermits robes in the desert? Mahony prided (pun intended) himself on being the voice of American Catholicism's (intentionally worded that way) most liberal voice. This was solidified when he "beat down" Mother Angelica in the 1990s. That literally started the ball rolling on Mother losing her grip on EWTN, to a lay board.

Seriously. Ugh.

On another note, directly related to this though, Mahony's cathedral is a perfect example of the hijacking of "noble simplicity" (as presented in another post) by the iconoclasts....

The Modernist liberalism of Mahony is much more than just liturgical, it is cultural and theological. In the end it has undermined everything. But then again, heresy does not prevail.

I wish I could say that I didn't wish this on Mahony, but in my estimation, it is better that he is silenced. I live in a diocese where the bishop-emeritus has been silenced and I can tell you, it is a blessing.

I will sing a Salve Regina for justice being served tonight.

Hammer of Fascists said...

This is a good gesture, but if the article reporting it is accurate, still only a gesture, perhaps motivated by the selfish desires of Mahoney's replacement to distance himself from controversy rather than any desire to defend the Faith and purify the Church. Too little, too late. That abortion of a cathedral alone will outlast the gesture by centuries, preaching its modernist gospel to all who enter it or even see it from a distance.

Years ago--probably more than a decade--one of the many reasons Mahoney gave for not opening his files to sex-abuse investigators was that it would violate the seal of the confessional. Does this mean he or someone else was writing down what he heard in the confessional and putting it in a file somewhere for somebody to read some day? Either that or he's a liar. The latter is bad and the former is heinous. Yet here we are, ten years later, and he gets a slap on the wrist. I'm afraid that I can't see this as a momentous event or anything close to it. At the very best, it's a sop to the public to show them how much better things are getting (they're not).

Forcing the NCR to abandon any pretense of being Catholic would be a bit bigger and more substantive news. But we're a long way from that. Even if the petition succeeds (and who's the author, by the way?), it may still take legal action to get the NCR to stop calling itself "Catholic," and I can think of several defenses it could use in court to keep the word in. And even if it drops the name from the title, it will probably keep using it all through the contents.

ytc said...

I think he will be stripped of the scarlet.

Henry Edwards said...

"I think he will be stripped of the scarlet."

I wonder what would make you think this. Thusfar, it appears that bishops have been exempt from punitive action in these cases.

For instance, although I think the cases of Law and Mahony may be very different--my sense being that Mahony micromanaged the LA coverup and so was personally culpable, whereas Law seemed to be pretty much oblivious to administrative details, leaving Boston affairs to subordinates--whether or not this is the case, essentially the same things happened on their separate watches, and Law has a plush niche in Rome, and is seen among the Cardinals in every telecast from St. Peter's Basilica.

rcg said...

If Law was right of Mahoney, he was only 'to the right'. He was hardly known as conservative. Check his lax view on annulments.

I must admit to certain sympathy for the Cardinals. I can only imagine the temptations and outright assaults they must endure from the Evil One. I could not promise to do better. It is a blessing that this is happening, though, to encourage people to do the right thing.

Wendell said...

One more bishop's skull to pave the road to hell.

"But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea." Mt. 18:6

Is there a lifejacket big enough to float Mahoney?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I would concur that it appears that Cardinal Law delegated much and may have been happy to be oblivious to the problems, although that is no excuse as the buck, so to speak, stopped with him.

Православный физик said...

I think the good author of the blog was trying to be charitable in his description of Mahony...As a resident of the archdiocese for the majority of my life, I have a few takes...

1) I will not hold back, he was progressive, heterodox, and a very cold person.

2) I think because the Cardinal is effectively not listening, this may force the Pope's hand. I do anticipate at the next consistitory that Abp Gomez will be made a Cardinal and some rule will be put in place so that Cardinal Mahony will NOT get to vote in the conclave.

3) The fact that all of this is coming to the surface will allow Archbishop Gomez to clean the diocese easier than he would have otherwise. Mahony's people are deeply entrenched in the diocese in positions of power. The amount of clergy that he could count as friends I can count with my fingers and toes..The rest are vultures.

the last 2 entries at my blog have dealt with this situation. :)

Pater Ignotus said...

Joe - In what did you find Cardinal Mahony to be "heterodox?"

Van Jenss said...

logform 11I know this sounds mean-spirited, but it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. There are a number of us who were more than happy when Archbishop Weakland was forced to retire in disgrace. Many of us shed no tears at the death of Cardinal Bernardin, except that he did not live long enough to be arrested. Cardinal Mahony might be the most blatant offender of all and, as with Weakland and Bernardin, I pray God treats them mercifully. However, I also want Cardinal Mahony to live long enough to be stripped of the honorable titles that he abused for his own agenda. I want him to live long enough to see Mother Angelica vindicated. And I want him to live long enough to see that his "vision" of a "New Church" has been utterly discredited and cast into the rubbish heap of ecclesiastical mistakes. And may Matthew Clark and Tod Brown live equally long lives, Bless their hearts.

Православный физик said...

PI, do you have 25 years of living in his archdiocese to listen?...I could write a litany so long it'd make for a best selling novel...but his views on the Eucharist and Mass as expressed in his pastoral letter are only the tip of the iceberg...I am from the AD of LA...

Pater Ignotus said...

Joe - And can you give a few examples of Cardinal Mahony's heterodoxy? Are the some of his views of the Eucharist nad mass that you can cite as being heterodox?