Waiting for the hat to drop: Card. Mahony relieved of duties in Los Angeles.

The Archbishop of Los Angeles, Most Rev. José H. Gomez, has said “Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties.”  See the pdf of the letter HERE.

What this means is that His Eminence cannot be any sort of representative for the sitting Archbishop or for the Archdiocese.  Canon law itself gives Cardinal some faculties.  According to can. 357§2, “in those matters which pertain to their own person, cardinals living outside of Rome and outside their own diocese are exempt from the power of governance of the bishop of the diocese in which they are residing.”  So, there is little that Archbp. Gomez can do, except cancel every public event in which Card. Mahony was going to play a principle part, such as confirmations.

We shall see what the happens next.  It could be that this will roil and bubble for a couple weeks and then settle down.  People have been thinking about Card. Mahony for a long time. So, this is not staggering news. Also, L.A. is not Boston. Card. Mahony lobbied for immigrants and migrant workers, therefore he will get a partial pass from the press and from catholic liberals such those at the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap).

Will Mahony get a pass from Fishwrap?  There is an editorial over there but it reads as if it were written and released before the news about Archbp. Gomez’s letter.  Predictably, the editors of the National Schismatic Reporter take advantage of this dreadful news to bash the Holy See and Bp. Finn.  The dopiest line in their piece must be this: “The most egregious and glaring example of a lack of accountability among the hierarchy is Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo.”  Say what?  The “most egregious” example is Bp. Finn and not Card. Mahony?   Is this L.A. or LaLa Land?

The National Schismatic Reporter, ladies and gents!

Given what has happened, I cannot see an alternative to Pope Benedict XVI removing Card. Mahony from the College of Cardinals.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Clerical Sexual Abuse of Children, Liberals, The Drill, The future and our choices and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

140 Responses to Waiting for the hat to drop: Card. Mahony relieved of duties in Los Angeles.

  1. wmeyer says:

    Creative Minority Report called it astounding. No idea why. It seems pretty obvious, and if anything, overdue. Necessary to the healing process, for Church and for the victims.

  2. Supertradmum says:

    A long time ago, a good TLM priest told me that there was a connection between the abuses cases and severe abuses in the Liturgy. I have written on this.

    Christ words in the Dialogues of St. Catherine of Siena on good and bad priests:

    “You should love them therefore by reason of the virtue and dignity of the Sacrament, and by reason of that very virtue and dignity you should hate the defects of those who live miserably in sin, but not on that account appoint yourselves their judges, which I forbid, because they are My Christs, and you ought to love and reverence the authority which I have given them.
    “It not being My will that they should be in this state, you should pray for them, and not judge them, leaving their judgment to Me. And I, moved by your prayers, will do them mercy if they will only receive it, but if they do not correct their life, their dignity will be the cause of their ruin. For if they do not accept the breadth of My mercy, I, the Supreme Judge, shall terribly condemn them at their last extremity, and they will be sent to the eternal fire.”

  3. Supertradmum says:

    More from the great saint………..

    “The root of self-love is alive in them, wherefore they bear
    perverted and servile fear. Because they fear to lose their position or their temporal
    goods, or their prelacy, they do not correct, but act like blind ones, in that they see
    not the real way by which their position is to be kept. If they would only see that it is
    by holy justice they would be able to maintain it; but they do not, because they are
    deprived of light. But, thinking to preserve their position with injustice, they do not
    reprove the faults of those under them; and they are deluded by their own sensitive
    self-love, or by their desire for lordship and prelacy, and they correct not the faults
    they should correct in others, because the same or greater ones are their own. They
    feel themselves comprehended in the guilt, and they therefore lose all ardor and
    security, and, fettered by servile fear, they make believe not to see.” Catherine of Siena

  4. Scott W. says:

    I say we do what the Soviets did when a party member fell out of favor–get rid of things associated with him as much as we can. Let’s start by razing Cardinal Mahony’s hideous cathedral to the ground and build in its place something that doesn’t look like a Frank Lloyd-wannabe monstrosity.

  5. Pingback: Geben und Nehmen. | sycomorus

  6. Dr. K says:

    May his memory be forgotten.

  7. r.j.sciurus says:

    That’s because NSR does not care about kids as much as they care about themselves and their agenda. They use kids, immigrants, whomever to advance their own self-worth agenda.

  8. acardnal says:

    I support AB Gomez’s action. I would have liked to have seen something like this occur earlier.

    Fr. Z , you wrote, “Given what has happened, I cannot see an alternative to Pope Benedict XVI removing Card. Mahony from the College of Cardinals.”

    Wow! What a statement. Never heard of this. I concur with your sentiment but has that ever happened before? Would he still be a cardinal just not a member of the college? How does this work? Seems to me there are a couple other Cardinals who should be removed from the college, too.

  9. fib09002 says:

    It is ironic, really, how the Church’s teachings on homosexuality has been vindicated by the sex abuse crisis in the Church.

  10. It has been reported that Cardinal Mahony will continue to offer Mass at the parish where he resides. Is that not “public” within the meaning of the Archbishop’s directive?

  11. r.j.sciurus says: That’s because NSR does not care about kids as much as they care about themselves and their agenda. They use kids, immigrants, whomever to advance their own self-worth agenda.

    Liberals are always liberals first, and whatever else they may be or claim to be comes in a distant second.

  12. dans0622 says:

    I think c. 357 is quite limited since it concerns what pertains “to his own person.” Any diocesan bishop could make the same restrictions on Card. Mahony as Arch. Gomez has done, each for his own territory, of course. There was a list of privileges of Cardinals published by the Holy See back in 1999 but it leaves the authority of the diocesan bishop intact–he is still able to determine who can carry out public ministry in the Church. One exception is Confession. I don’t think a bishop can restrict a Cardinal in hearing confessions (c. 967.1).

  13. dans0622 says:

    I should have said “…carry out public ministry in his diocese.”

  14. Fr AJ says:

    Wow, I wonder when the last time a Cardinal was removed from the College? That will be something if it comes to be. Quite a difference from what happened to Cardinal Law.

  15. Stumbler but trying says:

    It makes me sick and very sad that according to the news reports coming out here in Los Angeles, Cardinal Mahoney knew all along what he was doing. I read some of the notes he wrote to then Fr. Curry where he implicates himself in going along with shuffling child abusing priests from one parish to another while refusing to report them instead.
    I read this information from various sources online and listened to more reports on the radio driving home from work. I am sure many of you may see more from the Catholic blogs and other newsworthy sites as well.
    A man who was given such a gift of leadership in Christ’s Church, a man who could have done so much more by saving those poor boys who got abused instead after so many years of silence by this very man.
    I suppose we will never truly know what he was thinking because the glaring documents with his own “documentation” clearly implicate his terrible deeds.
    Was it pride? Vanity? Love of self, before love of neighbor? In love with his own importance? His own reputation? And for what? After these truths have been finally allowed to come to light…well, guess what Cardinal Mahoney! There are consequences to be had.
    Your reputation (which you sought to protect) is forever destroyed and ruined as it should be…those poor children sacrificed on the altar of preserving secrets meant to protect your own…how sad and evil.
    Yes, God is merciful but I pray that he will call you into account and demand justice for your glaring neglect/crime. I do not wish you evil but I am angry for your gross misconduct and betrayal at the cost of so many young lives lost and destroyed because of it.
    May the Lord have mercy on you and those whom you enabled.

  16. Ralph says:

    I am admittedly a bit slow on the pick up, so I request clarification from those of you with a better grasp of this situation than me.

    Is the Archbishop relieving the Cardinal because of the cover up of abuse that the Cardinal was involved with? Or is there evidence that the Cardinal himself was involved with the abuse?

    Second question, I have been told that the hierarchy of the LA diocese under Mahony was openly pro homosexual (at minimum) and was itself populated with active homosexuals. Is this part of the problem here? Was the coverup of abuse necessary to keep the coverup of homosexual activity going?

  17. Sword40 says:

    I’m not up with “what happened” this time. In fact I find it difficult to believe because of all the heretical dignitaries running about the political world that have never been chastised. Why now? Is this the tip of something bigger or just more traditionalist wishing?
    A cleansing of the stables? If it is, its LONG over-due.

  18. jameeka says:

    I pray the Pope Benedict continues to be a good shepherd.

  19. min-bee says:

    Cardinal Mahony may lose his red hat? It’s “a solution devoutly to be wished for”!

  20. TNCath says:

    While Archbishop Gomez’s restrictions on Cardinal Mahony are limited, I would think that even Cardinal Mahony wouldn’t push the envelope by trying to flaunt his rights as a cardinal to trump the archbishop. However, if he were to try to do so, it may indeed force the Holy Father to do something as drastic as removing Cardinal Mahony from the College of Cardinals. Let’s hope he just quietly fades into obscurity, says Mass privately, and seeks the mercy of God by continuing to pray for the victims of this horrendous scandal.

  21. Cecily says:

    ScottW.– Your idea reminded me of the Israelites sanctifying themselves, then crossing the Jordan on dry ground, following the Ark of the Covenant, to take Jericho. They burned the whole city and everything in it (Joshua 6:24). Getting rid of one ugly building seems mild in comparison ! (Love that “Frank Lloyd Wannabe”–I can’t stand his buildings) .

  22. Geoffrey says:

    What has occurred is indeed horrible, but I am also disturbed by the apparent lack of some of the Christian virtues such as charity, mercy, and forgiveness. Cardinal Mahony has apologized and has asked for forgiveness:

    http://cardinalrogermahonyblogsla.blogspot.com/2013/01/files-sexual-abuse-of-minors.html

    Oremus.

  23. racjax says:

    I applaud Archbp. Gomez. and plan to have Masses said for him for his courage. Living in Santa Barbara for the past decade, I have seen what a barren land for solid Catholicism the LA archdiocese has been for decades. There has been no catechization. The “liberals” were granted free run. And not just the secular priests. The religious-run parishes in SB are as bad. The seminary in Camarillo was (still is?) rife with homosexuals. At one time, the seminarians could not even pray the rosary. I read one of the reports last night of a priest from SB (now deceased). Absolutely foul and this was a case where there wasn’t even any actual rape of the poor boy. This pederast priest had also been well-documented going to homosexual bars in LA. And nothing was done. I cannot even imagine what the most vile cases must contain if I was so repulsed by this one.

    My personal opinion is that Cdl. Mahoney should be removed from the College of Cardinals. The continued presence of Cdl. Mahoney in the LA archdiocese certainly has hindered Archbp. Gomez so far. Remember that Mahoney spent 25 years creating a cadre of his type of Catholics and they have been entrenched into the structure. Can you imagine how Archbp. Gomez must feel to be surrounded by people he does not know he can trust? We are talking deeply entrenched to the foundation of this archdiocese! I find it amazing that Todd Tamberg remained in his position since he was (and appears to still be) Cdl. Mahoney’s water boy.

    As with anything, complete honesty and exposure is the only way to heal. The filth and aberrations must be completely exposed. In a way, by Archbp Gomez releasing everything unredacted and issuing this very clear letter is what a good confession should be. I see this action as a true public confession from the Archdiocese before God of the grave sins and failures which occurred. Nothing held back. Only now can the Holy Spirit fully reenter and reestablish the Truth and beauty of what our Church will always be.

  24. Cathy says:

    What I find really odd is that Cardinal Mahoney so readily demanded and invited the resignation of Cardinal Law. In hindsight, regarding his protests of Cardinal Law, I have to wonder if Cardinal Mahoney’s protests were simply a deflection of his own errant actions in regards to sexual abuse – or, if they were simply a way to get back at Cardinal Law for not “getting with the program” on the “Common Ground” proposed conclave in the US back in the 90′s.
    Prayers for Archbishop Gomez.

  25. Cecily says:

    About the Taj Mahoney’s deconstructivist architecture: “The finished visual appearance of buildings that exhibit deconstructivist “styles” is characterized by unpredictability and controlled chaos.” Controlled chaos. That says it all.

  26. PA mom says:

    More of this??? That is terrible.
    Are there any remaining metropolitan areas yet to be cleaned out?

  27. Ray says:

    Maybe it is just me, but I detect more than a little vindictiveness in some of the replies today. The Cardinal deserves some recrimination for his antipathy in dealing with the abuse cases in his charge. One thing I’ve noticed missing today is a call to prayer for the Cardinal and his minions involved in this travesty. Prayer for the victims is a given but some form of prayer for the perpetrators needs to be offered by all of us. This comes from someone who in a past life would have sought physical vengeance for the abominations that took place in L.A. Recently, personal grievances of this nature have occured in my immediate family. While I still loathe the sins and indignities of these men ordained to be “Alter Christo”, I have found some inner faith I never knew I had, and pray daily for my family member and the priest involved. As followers of Christ we aren’t able to pray solely for the victims.

  28. Geoffrey says: What has occurred is indeed horrible, but I am also disturbed by the apparent lack of some of the Christian virtues such as charity, mercy, and forgiveness. Cardinal Mahony has apologized and has asked for forgiveness:

    Charity, mercy and forgiveness don’t rule out the desire to see penalties imposed. Indeed, charity demands the imposition of penalties. Pope Benedict addressed this point in his book with Peter Seewald. It is disedifying and demoralizing to the faithful to see the guilty go unpunished. The systemic failure to punish the guilty is an offense against justice, and a sign that the gates of the sheepfold are swinging open, and we are on our own against the wolves.

  29. jhayes says:

    Diocesan spokesman on Cardinal Mahoney:

    “An archdiocese spokesman, Tod Tamberg, said that beyond canceling his confirmation schedule, Mahony’s day-to-day life as a retired priest would be largely unchanged. He resides at a North Hollywood parish, and Tamberg said he would remain a “priest in good standing.” He can continue to celebrate Mass and will be eligible to vote for pope until he turns 80 two years from now, Tamberg said.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0201-mahony-curry-20130201,0,3456166,full.story

  30. Glen M says:

    SuperTradMom, thank you for your recent blog posts. Well done. Blogs such as yours and of course Fr Z’s are powerful tools in the New Evangelization. Your quotes from St. Catherine are most appropriate and needed today.

    In my humble opinion, we need to hold Cardinal Mahony and all abusive clergy to account, yet in a spirit of charity with concern for their eternal soul. We are made in the image of God, so grave sins such as child abuse originate from another – our Enemy. Anytime a soul perishes into the fire, Satan wins.

    The connection between child abuse and liturgical abuse is disturbing and not to be discounted. Here in Canada, two of our most notorious ex-clergy pedophiles were prominent liturgists (Barry Glendinning & Raymond Lahey). I’m not suggesting causation, but where there is smoke there is usually fire.

    A priest who counselled wayward priests would ask them after hearing their own account, “When did you stop praying the Breviary?” All clergy and religious need our daily prayers and support. Not only is a pastor’s job incredibly challenging, they have to fend off Satan’s attacks too.

    Archbishop Gomez has a huge task in rebuilding the Church in Los Angeles. You don’t need to go far in comboxes and chat rooms to find descriptions of how bad things are there. If it were me (and thankfully it isn’t) as chief shepherd of the diocese, I would take drastic action: close any seminary that can’t conform to moral & doctrinal expectations, correct or cancel the LA Religious Ed Congress, require every parish to offer Confession several times during the week, devotions such as First Friday & Saturday, etc. In other words, get the diocese Catholic again.

  31. Stumbler but trying says:

    @jhayes:
    When I read that my head was spinning but then again that may be Tod Tamberg’s spin on Cdl. Mahoney despite the glaring facts of a possible cover -up conspiracy. Let’s see what unfolds in the days to come.
    Here are two links from which I read and was thinking about when I made my previous post:
    http://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2013/01/25/cardinal_mahonys_la_cosa_nostra.html
    and
    http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2013/01/there-is-no-excuse-in-la-defcon-5.html

  32. Cecily says:

    Miss Anita Moore: Well said. Yes, sexual abuse is horrible, and many victims have no doubt left the Church because of it. However, many more have left the Church due to the behavior of clergy like Cardinal Mahoney. We must get this cleaned up for the good of souls, traumatized either by abuse or by the abuse going unpunished. Granted, the former is worse to endure in this life. But any lost soul, for whatever reason, is still a lost soul.

    (And yes, Cardinal Mahoney also has an eternal soul and needs prayer like the rest of us).

  33. ckdexterhaven says:

    Cardinal Mahony had a dust up with Mother Angelica. He spent a lot of time and energy at the College of Cardinals in Rome to force her to apologize. If only he had used that zeal, time and energy to protect young children from predatory priests.

  34. Jacob says:

    Toss that guy out of the College. He has done more damage to the Church than any other cardinal I can think of. Mother Mary Angelica, PCPA has the last laugh today.

  35. DetJohn says:

    I do not believe that Archbishop Gomez would do this without informing the Vatican and the Nuncio a head of time.

    Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry is just as bad, he is the one that came up with many of the ways to avoid detection of abusing priests.

    I am interested in what Joe of St. Therese has to say about all of this.

  36. Athelstan says:

    “The most egregious and glaring example of a lack of accountability among the hierarchy is Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo.” ,

    They’re hanging their hats on Bishop Finn’s misdemeanor conviction, of course.

    Which *is* a black eye for the Church – the first of its kind for a bishop (though likely not the last). I say that (with sadness) as a long-time admirer of Bishop Finn, who has done so much for Tradition in Kansas City. Of course, we all know that they had *no love* for him to begin with, given how many of their friends were sacked when Finn arrived and purged the chancery.

    More instructive is the relative silence on Finn’s predecessors, Boland and Sullivan. Who both, given what we know now, did much worse in terms of knowingly keeping abuser priests on duty, exposed to children, than Finn has done. But Boland and (especially) Sullivan were liberal bishops, by any reasonable standard (see Michael Davies’ recap of what Sullivan inflicted on Christ the King parish in south KC), and they kept quiet about the NcR’s mounting dissents. So you hear nothing from them about those bishops.

    As for Mahony, as more comes out, my sense from reading the comboxes there is that they’ll throw him to the wolves, gradually, though it will be more in sadness-than-in-anger, as they have done with Weakland. At least until truly horrific facts come to light, in which case they may develop a bad case of amnesia.

  37. Ellen says:

    I’d like to send Cardinal Mahony to a Carthusian monastery for a long stint of prayer and penance.

  38. Supertradmum: “A long time ago, a good TLM priest told me that there was a connection between the abuses cases and severe abuses in the Liturgy. ”

    This seems rather obvious, doesn’t it? For instance, that people with lax attitudes about morality might well have lax attitudes about liturgy. Though not necessarily conversely–certainly, most people who are tolerant of liturgical “deviance” are not tolerant of sexual deviance. But it does appear by informal observation of public cases, that a disproportionate number of prominent liturgical leaders have been involved in these cases (though I know of no systematic statistics to substantiate this perception).

    In any event, I wonder how to compare the cumulative spiritual damage inflicted on the tens of millions who have been subjected to decades of serial liturgical abuse with the damage done by these serial sexual abusers to their thousands of victims. Under Mahony, evil in both these forms was rampant, and it seems difficult to avoid attributing correlating both with the homosexual-friendly administration he encouraged.

  39. Nathan says:

    Henry, you do make a good point. I would be a bit careful in making a linear relationship between the abuse of children and abuse of the liturgy. I would think the relationship between the two is fairly complex and convoluted.

    In Christ,

  40. Long-Skirts says:

    ckdexterhaven says:

    “Cardinal Mahony had a dust up with Mother Angelica. He spent a lot of time and energy at the College of Cardinals in Rome to force her to apologize. If only he had used that zeal, time and energy to protect young children from predatory priests.”

    …and this is why as a Roman Catholic mother of 10 and with an informed conscience and after many years in the Novus Ordo where our sons have been propositioned in the Confessional I can NEVER take a chance with our childrens’ souls going to the Sacrament of “Reconciliation” in most Catholic Churches. Thank God for Ecclesia Supplet!!

  41. acardnal says:

    Ellen wrote, “I’d like to send Cardinal Mahony to a Carthusian monastery for a long stint of prayer and penance.”

    I started smiling when I read your comment because I thought the exact same thing when Fr. Z first posted this! I was too timid to post it though. Perhaps Cdl. Law, too.

    I am sure St. Bruno wouldn’t mind and, besides, the Grande Chartreuse has plenty of empty cells.
    I wouldn’t mind going there myself but I’m too old . . . they won’t take me. So I just keep watching “Into Great Silence” dvd and act like I am there.

  42. NBW says:

    You are right ckdexterhaven, it would have been better for Cardinal Mahoney to spend his time and energy cleaning the Church in LA. Prayers for Pope Benedict the XVI who has to deal with this mess, and for all the abuse victims. And for Cardinal Mahoney, who one day will have to face God’s judgement.

  43. frjim4321 says:

    Seems like a double standard is at work.

  44. Long-Skirts says:

    acardnal says:

    “Ellen wrote, “I’d like to send Cardinal Mahony to a Carthusian monastery for a long stint of prayer and penance.””

    May God have mercy on Cardinal Mahony and all those trying to destroy Holy Mother Church and may they truly make good Confessions and repent.

    THE
    CARTHUSIANS

    To be “Hanged in their habits”
    What a glorious thing
    For their silence screamed,
    “Christ is the King!”

    And like the Innocents
    So Holy that died
    With sword-cut bodies
    Their mothers cried

    And wept like mothers
    Do today
    Who send their sons
    Into the fray

    Like Innocent Carthusians
    With staff and rod
    Who continue the defence…
    The Priest-sons of God!

    SACERDOS!

  45. Ralph said: “Is the Archbishop relieving the Cardinal because of the cover up of abuse that the Cardinal was involved with? Or is there evidence that the Cardinal himself was involved with the abuse?”
    At a minimum, it looks to me like Archbp is curtailing the Cardinal’s influence where he can because of the now irrefutable evidence made public of the Cardinal’s scandals. And thus Archbp Gomez is responding appropriately to the Cardinal Mahony’s scandalous behavior by cutting off Cardinal Mahony’s interaction with people. Maybe 50 years too late, but better than never. If the Church had responded like this in all cases, immediately restricting the interaction of homosexual clergy with the laity, what a different Church we would have today. Apparently, Archbp Gomez’s restriction is rather limited in scope but he is doing what he can.

    This brings to mind the details in Raymond Arroyo’s biography of Mother Angelica describing the Cardinal’s persecution of her and her work. The current revelations and developments give even more context to the type of individuals who unjustly persecute those doing good in the Church, while covering up wrongs and protecting fellow ‘club members’.

    Its hard not to be cynical – while Archbp Gomez is due praise for his courage – because there are so many other long-standing cases needing discipline. Why this turn of events, why now, why this Cardinal? Is this like ‘firing’ the employee to limit damage?

    In agreement with previous comments, let’s not judge the heart or intentions, let’s pray for everybody. At the same time, just punishment limits scandal to the Faithful and expiates the sin. Punishment is a mercy.

  46. Fr Z., is there precedent for removing a Cardinal from the College?
    Honestly, given his record, I am not sure he belongs in a position where he might be called upon to help pick the next Pope. God protect us from that happening before Cardinal Mahoney reaches 80 though.

  47. I was stunned. I will defer to our genial host regarding history and precedent, but it seems to have little precedent.

    The perpetually dyspeptic commenters at you-know-where were quick to find fault with Archbishop Gomez: surely he knew what was in those files, so why didn’t he do this years ago? Sigh And if he had? Then the complaint would have been…on what basis? He’s so unfair!

    Finally, I’m curious how other priests feel about this. While I don’t want to say I feel “good,” I feel this is an important measure of justice…to priests. We all know, now, that priests can be removed and permanently removed from the exercise of their priesthood, even on an accusation; yet we know that so much of this problem derives from the decisions of bishops, not priests. So what penalty hangs over bishops’ heads?

    I wonder how other priests feel?

  48. Random Friar says:

    *sigh* This may be “worse than nothing” in the eyes of the secular world. The parish in which the Cardinal resides (and has resided for a while) is one of the nicer ones in the archdiocese. It may simply be seen as a move like Cardinal Law’s: giving him a cushy retirement.

    Pray for that archdiocese.

  49. NescioDomine says:

    Cardinal Mahony’s decisions have reeked havoc on our diocese (City of Angels) for too many decades. The LA Times loved him when he was lobbying for the undocumented workers of this city, but they’ve abandoned their support of him long ago. We witnessed this with the recent scandal. Just last week the press burned him at the stake again for his “covering up” of details regarding the victims when the judge ordered the release of the documents. For him to be removed from the College of Cardinals would be a public sanction difficult to bear. We get the priests, bishops, cardinals and even popes that we pray for. He is still a member of the mystical body of Christ. As we all are. Oremus invicem.

  50. Southern Catholic says:

    Of course fishwrap will use this to go after Bp. Finn once again, and then they will use it to push their liberal agenda of advocating for gay marriage, women’s ordination, contraceptives and abortion rights. Their tricks are always the same.

  51. Joseph-Mary says:

    Something is finally sticking to the ‘teflon cardinal’! He acted with impunity for decades and not only in this area. God only knows how many files went to Rome.

    But it is a sad thing, nonetheless.

    No way is this similar to Bishop Finn. No child was physically harmed in that case.

  52. wmeyer says:

    Perhaps Dr. Peters will weigh in on the question of removal.

  53. NescioDomine says:

    It is my humble opinion that Archbishop Gomez made this decision on the heels of the decision of the judge…. to release and make public names of the priests. If the names were still protected and they weren’t ordered to release them, Cardinal Mahony would not have been relieved of anything. This is a way that Abp Gomez maintains a good reputation.

  54. Tim Ferguson says:

    for those looking for precedent, I would encourage looking into the history and biography of Louis Billot, a Jesuit Cardinal created by St. Pius X in 1911. He “resigned” the Cardinalate in 1927, after a major dustup with Pius XI over the issue of Catholic Action. Never having been made a bishop, he died as a simple priest in 1931.

    Though his situation was a resignation, strictly speaking, it was commonly understood that Pius XI, ahem, the resignation.

  55. acardnal says:

    I note a couple commentators believe we are not showing due mercy to Cdl. Mahoney. They mention that he did apologize and express his sorrow after all. Good. I forgive him and will pray for him. BUT I also know that when I go to confession and express my sorrow for what I have done, I receive absolution and I am forgiven. But that’s not the end of it. I am also required to do penance and reparation for my sins. Either in this life or the next. I think this is what most of us are suggesting regarding the Cdl.

    And didn’t Jesus say something about the more one is given, the more responsibility and authority one has then the more is expected of him and the more he will be held accountable. The victims were weak and innocent children. He is a Prince of the Church.
    Luke 12:48
    “But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.”

  56. Cecily says:

    Henry Edwards, you said, “I wonder how to compare the cumulative spiritual damage inflicted on the tens of millions who have been subjected to decades of serial liturgical abuse with the damage done by these serial sexual abusers to their thousands of victims.”
    Yes!!! I was also thinking of liturgical abuse when I talked about people leaving the Church because of the behavior of certain clergy–but I wasn’t sure that would be considered “on topic.” Liturgical abuse also discourages conversions. For example, a friend of mine was ready to convert to Catholicism, but then a new priest inflicted a rock band on the people at Mass and my friend ran screaming back to Protestantism. (There is only one parish in her isolated mountain town).

  57. pmullane says:

    What a sad situation, Prayers and trust in the goodness of The Lord.

    The NSR should be ashamed of itself using this situation as a weapon in its ongoing demonic rage at Bishop Finn. They should also be careful what they wish for, another bishop may decide to really bring the hammer down on that particular institution.

  58. Clinton R. says:

    As some have noted, Mahony has been largely responsible for the mess the Los Angeles Archdiocese is in. From the monstrosity known as the Cathedral to liturgical abuses to the yearly dissident fest (Rel. Education Congress) to his role in the abuse scandal, his promotion of ‘gay masses’, he has been a bane to traditional Catholicism. His disdain for the TLM is widely known. It is beyond me how he was ever given a red hat. Hopefully he will never be in position to elect the next pope or have any function within the Church. And he might not be if he is criminally held responsible for what he did or failed to do to stop the abuse. He has also has displayed a heretical view of the Mass and the Holy Eucharist. May Our Lord have mercy upon us and restore the Church here in Los Angeles to traditional Catholic doctrine and praxis. +JMJ+

    http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=205

  59. Nathan says: Henry, you do make a good point. I would be a bit careful in making a linear relationship between the abuse of children and abuse of the liturgy. I would think the relationship between the two is fairly complex and convoluted.

    Probably no more complex and convoluted than the fact that sin in one area leads to sin in other areas. And liturgical abuse is a much more serious sin than we have been led to think. There, Christ Himself is abused.

  60. norancor says:

    Being removed from the Cardinalate is the least of his concerns:

    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. (Matthew 18:6)

  61. Athelstan says:

    I’d like to send Cardinal Mahony to a Carthusian monastery for a long stint of prayer and penance.

    With a hairshirt.

    And our prayers for his soul.

    If prosecutors can’t convict these prelates, the Church has to visibly deliver its own requirement of real penance. It has to.

    And not just Cdl. Mahony, but other prelates we can all think of, including Cdl. Law.

  62. Paul M. says:

    Regarding precedent for the removal of persons from the cardinalate, Salvador Mirandas gives several instances in his historical examination of the sacred college. For example, Adriano di Castello, deposed by Leo X on July 5, 1518.

  63. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:
    Seems like a double standard is at work.

    Not really. Bp Finn was convicted of not reporting suspicions. Cardinal Mahony covered up actions.

  64. Hilaritas says:

    “If prosecutors can’t convict these prelates, the Church has to visibly deliver its own requirement of real penance. It has to.”

    Yes. Thank you for extracting thoughts out of my mind and placing them into words.

  65. Darren says:

    I’ll say nothing regarding Cardinal Mahony himself, other than that we should all pray for him and that he reconciles himself as needed with Our Lord before his departure from this life.

    However! When Supertradmum posted: “A long time ago, a good TLM priest told me that there was a connection between the abuses cases and severe abuses in the Liturgy.” I IMMEDIATELY thought about that horrid construct they call a cathedral and I commonly refer to as “Our Lady of the Warehouse.” I feel bad for priests who have had to be ordained there, and those who will.

    So, then I had to laugh a bit when I read from Scott W. “Let’s start by razing Cardinal Mahony’s hideous cathedral to the ground and build in its place something that doesn’t look like a Frank Lloyd-wannabe monstrosity.” I concur! I was thinking just that prior to reading it.

  66. Cecily says:

    “… liturgical abuse is a much more serious sin than we have been led to think. There, Christ Himself is abused.”

    Miss Anita: Excellent point and so well said!

  67. Peter Rother says:

    Prepare to throw up. He just wrote Archbishop Gomez claiming that he is the victim here:

    http://cardinalrogermahonyblogsla.blogspot.se/2013/02/historical-evolution-of-dealing-with.html?m=1

    By the way, his “apology” here is anything but (notice he says “I am sorry” as a hanging last sentence after claiming ignorance and promoting his 3×5 card penance):

    http://cardinalrogermahonyblogsla.blogspot.se/2013/01/files-sexual-abuse-of-minors.html?m=1

  68. EXCHIEF says:

    Were it not for the politics of Los Angeles, which I know very well, the Cardinal and the Aux Bishop might be facing a grand jury indictment for criminal behavior. We’ll have to see what happens in that regard

  69. frjim4321 says:

    No way is this similar to Bishop Finn. No child was physically harmed in that case.

    We don’t know that. There is at least one allegation stemming from the period between the discovery of child porn and removal from ministry. There could be others.

    Has +Mahony been found guilty of a crime?

  70. Anchorite says:

    Maybe it’s the Obama politburo payback to their old card-carrying pal for joing the rest of US Bishops and being one of the first to speak out against HHS Mandate. Such backstabbing they never expected from Card. Mahoney! Now is the time to experience the consequences. I’d guess if he never put his signature down with many of them bishops, he’d be left alone. It’s about knowing who your Master is. ….

  71. Pingback: Roger Cardinal Mahony The Hermit Who Lived With Snakes | Big Pulpit

  72. Long-Skirts says:

    Darren said:

    ” I IMMEDIATELY thought about that horrid construct they call a cathedral and I commonly refer to as “Our Lady of the Warehouse.”
    So, then I had to laugh a bit when I read from Scott W. “Let’s start by razing Cardinal Mahony’s hideous cathedral to the ground and build in its place something that doesn’t look like a Frank Lloyd-wannabe monstrosity.””

    and Anchorite says:

    “Maybe it’s the Obama politburo payback to their old card-carrying pal for joing the rest of US Bishops and being one of the first to speak out against HHS Mandate. Such backstabbing they never expected from Card. Mahoney!”

    In the Revolution they eat their own.

    BONEY-MARONI

    There was a Cardinal named Baloney
    Or was it Cardinal Macaroni?

    He built a church out west brand new
    A church for me, a church for you.

    Where people drive their pristine cars
    Emission pure no ozone mars.

    A church for many kinds of sexes
    Even witches casting hexes.

    There was a Cardinal named Marconi
    Or was it Cardinal Boney-Maroni?

    He built a church ten million three
    For gender-benders by the sea.

    For all to sit not kneel awhile
    And share your peace with ped-o-phile.

    An all new church on L.A. sod
    For me and you…thank God, not God!

  73. Hilaritas says:

    frjim4321,
    Do you believe there is ordered justice for each of the individuals you suggest are being subjected to a double standard? If so, do you care to share?

  74. Cecily says:

    Perhaps they could exile Cdnl. Mahony to Lincoln, NE.

  75. acardnal says:

    frjim wrote, “Has +Mahony been found guilty of a crime?”

    Perhaps some church officials have escaped criminal prosecution in California because the crimes came to light too late. . . the statute of limitations expired. This did not apply to Bp. Finn’s case.

    There have been civil suits and settlements.

  76. Nathan says:

    Miss Anita Moore, OP, says: “Probably no more complex and convoluted than the fact that sin in one area leads to sin in other areas. And liturgical abuse is a much more serious sin than we have been led to think. There, Christ Himself is abused.”

    Huzzah! Well said! It is all linked, I agree, and I heartily endorse your statement about the seriousness of liturgical abuse. Perhaps what makes the relationship so complex and convoluted is that both types of abuse involve other serious sins such a pride, vanity, and envy. Unfortunately, with our fallen human nature, those sins are problems even in places where liturgical abuse does not occur, and may contribute to abuse of children and the sin of sodom in liturgically obedient places as well.

    In Christ,

  77. Gregg the Obscure says:

    If one wants to get more angry about this than he already is, he can read Cdl. Mahony’s open letter to Abp. Gomez: here.

    Shortly after the first wave of publicity about molestations hit in 2002, a short summary of some past writings about that problem was circulated. One of the best excerpts (which could well be applied not only to the perpetrators, but to their enablers) follows: “Saint Basil of Caesarea, the fourth century Church Father who wrote the principal rule of the monks of the East, establishes this: ‘The cleric or monk who molests youths or boys or is caught kissing or committing some turpitude, let him be whipped in public, deprived of his crown [tonsure] and, after having his head shaved, let his face be covered with spittle; and [let him be] bound in iron chains, condemned to six months in prison, reduced to eating rye bread once a day in the evening three times per week. After these six months living in a separate cell under the custody of a wise elder with great spiritual experience, let him be subjected to prayers, vigils and manual work, always under the guard of two spiritual brothers, without being allowed to have any relationship . . . with young people.’”

    The whole thing is available at the late lamented blog of the Old Oligarch.

  78. Miss Anita Moore, OP, I think in this regard, it means any Confirmations, public Masses, within the Archdiocese he is prevented from doing. He stays at the parish in North Hollywood, but will not be offering public Masses, Confirmations, or anything representing the Archdiocese of LA.

    JonDet curious for my thoughts, they are at my blog here: http://japotillor.blogspot.com/2013/01/thoughts-on-big-news-from-archdiocese.html

    I am elated at this news, growing up in the archdiocese, I have known things were bad for a while. One of the priests that was accused was transferred to the parish where I was confirmed at. I didn’t know this at the time being a humble teenager during that time.

    This is something that had to be done, if we look at the logical progression of things that have happened, last year with Zavala, and this year with Mahony and Curry, the filth that has been in the leadership in the Archdiocese of LA is slowly being purified. I am glad Archbishop Gomez has done this….Some may ask why hasn’t this been done earlier? The deck has really been stacked against the good archbishop….the Liturgical disasters that are many parishes are being cleaned up, the seminary is still a work in progress, words fail to put into place how bad things are…I am not surprised that this came this year instead of last year. The Faithful have had a ton to deal with, as far as scandals go…

    NescioDomine, having spoken with the Archbishop on several occasions, and knowing a bit about his personality, he probably would have done this, but not publicly announced this. He’s really not much into reputation or being liked by everyone.

    While I would like to see him (Mahony) evicted from the College of Cardinals, I’m sure this will not happen. I pray for my former archdiocese which is going through a very long walk through the desert and is only just now being lead out of it.

  79. maryh says:

    @scottw
    I say we do what the Soviets did when a party member fell out of favor–get rid of things associated with him as much as we can. Let’s start by razing Cardinal Mahony’s hideous cathedral to the ground and build in its place something that doesn’t look like a Frank Lloyd-wannabe monstrosity.
    That comment chilled my bones. In the Soviet Union, when a party member fell out of favor, photos were retouched to remove people who “no longer existed”, the names of cities changed, and people died. I know that’s not what you’re talking about, but you should know what your comparison really means.

  80. VexillaRegis says:

    Long-Skirts,

    your sons got propositioned in the confessional?!? The millstone quarries of the World will have run out of stone when God is finished with his revenge.

  81. VexillaRegis says:

    …with his revenge for this World-encompassing scandal.

  82. Hilaritas says:

    The open letter from Cardinal Mahony is deplorable! It saddens me, it pains me, that this man has a red hat. If he was honorable, if he was saintly, he would lay down everything he has.

    Gee officer, I didn’t realize that was against the law. I didn’t realize that I shouldn’t hide priests from legal repercussions. I didn’t realize that priests who sodomized young boys might be highly likely to re-offend even after treatment. I’m sorry.

    Thank you for apologizing on multiple occasions. Now please do the penance. Please. For the sake of the souls that could be saved.

  83. frjim4321 says:

    Miss Anita Moore, OP, says: “Probably no more complex and convoluted than the fact that sin in one area leads to sin in other areas. And liturgical abuse is a much more serious sin than we have been led to think. There, Christ Himself is abused.”

    This pushes all sorts of buttons for me. I certainly hope Anita Moore is not equating child rape occasional excursions from the GIRM or the recently imposed Vox Clara Product.

    That being said, I have often stated that when the cost of sexual abuse became too great for the hierarchical/institutional church the power holders replaced it with ritual abuse, case in point the imposition of the VCP.

    Though I must admit Anita has helped me see the error in that statement; it can very much be taken as a trivialization of child rape. So I appreciate the opportunity to revisit my thinking on this.

    On the other hand, from the very start when the term “abuse” was first coined, not very long ago, as a descriptor for textual and rubrical excursions I thought it was a fairly cynical ploy to trivialize the sexual abuse crisis.

    It is very sad that when a child is abused Anita believes that Christ himself is unscathed.

  84. frjim4321 says:

    . . . is not equating child rape with occasional excursions . . .

  85. acardnal says:

    Frank H, your link to Cdl. Mahony’s letter to AB Gomez today was very enlightening. I noted, there are a number of subjects, however, he did NOT mention. For example, in his below statement he did NOT say he consulted with any lawyers or law enforcement officials. Why not? These were crimes or alleged crimes and should have been reported and investigated accordingly.

    Unfortunately, this was common behavior among too many bishops who, I suppose, thought they were protecting the Church from scandal – or so they say. But instead of bringing the truth to light, they protected their priests (covered up criminal behavior) from law enforcement, and settled out of court with the victims who agreed to keep silent as a condition of the settlement. Now the Church lives with and suffers from the tragic consequences.

    An excerpt from Cdl. Mahony’s letter to AB Gomez today, “During these intervening years a small number of cases did arise. I sought advice from several other Bishops, across the country, including Cardinal John O’Connor of New York, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, and then Bishop Adam Maida of Green Bay. I consulted with our Episcopal Conference frequently. All the advice was to remove priests from active ministry if there was reasonable suspicion that abuse had occurred, and then refer them to one of the several residential treatment centers across the country for evaluation and recommendation. ”

    Cockroaches and Satan hate the light. When it appears, they scatter.

  86. Phil_NL says:

    As for the possible eviction of the cardinal from the college, I think Mahoney just made that a lot more likely with his letter. Anything he said, except the must humble and profound set of apologies, in an open letter to the diocese, rather than Gomez personally, is bound to be seen (and likely rightly so) as trying to defend his sorry backside and obstructing the laudable efforts of his successor to clean the stables. And this letter was far, far removed from such a response.

    No doubt this will not go down well in Rome – and as remarked above, it’s unthinkable the Holy Father wouldn’t have had advance notice of this. His initial failings were more than bad enough, but derailing the recovery process is adding the worst sort of contumacy to it. Mahoney may have friends in the curia who would rather make this go away as fast and quietly as possible, but he has just opted not to take it quietly. It’s basically forcing the Holy Father to act, one way or the other. And while not certain, the more public the contumacy, the more public the rebuke is likely to be…

  87. Hilaritas says:

    frjim4321,
    For the sake of honest discourse please retract your statement:

    “It is very sad that when a child is abused Anita believes that Christ himself is unscathed.”

    It is dishonest and unacceptable for you to distort and project.

  88. frjim4321 says:

    Anita, you said, “And liturgical abuse is a much more serious sin than we have been led to think. There, Christ Himself is abused.” So, if you did not mean that Christ Himself is abused in “liturgical abuse” (sic) as opposed to sexual abuse of minors how else is one to interpret what you did, in fact, write?

    Following the logic of your statement is seemed that you were saying one was abuse of Christ in contrast to the other, which was evidently not.

    You are really good at pushing my buttons. In my book “shame on you” is quite a bit worse than “f— y–,” Shaming language is abusive language and emotional abuse. Do you really think you have the power to shame me? You would have only the power that I give you, and I assure you I give you none.

  89. Pingback: Card. Mahony’s next move? Deflect responsibility to Archbp. Gomez. | Fr. Z's Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say?

  90. maryh says:

    @frjim4321
    The child is not Christ. In child-rape, Christ is abused through the mistreatment of the child. In liturgical abuses, we directly abuse the person of Christ himself. Especially since we believe that the host actually becomes the physical body of Christ.
    Miss Anita did not say that liturgical abuse was more serious than child-rape; she said it was more serious than we had been led to believe, and to be honest, for the past decades, we have been encouraged to believe that liturgical abuse was not serious in the least.

  91. Tim Ferguson says:

    minor, but telling point – in Cardinal Mahony’s blog post he addresses his letter to “Dear Archbishop Gomez” and signs it off, “His Eminence…”

    If you’re not going to use the honorifics your addressee is entitled to, don’t use them in your signature, unless you’re trying to flaunt something.

    Standard usage would seem to address a letter to “Your Excellency” and sign off, “+Roger Cardinal Mahony. SRE, Archbishop Emeritus.” The Pope doesn’t sign letters over “His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI”

  92. Supertradmum says:

    VexillaRegis, I personally know three adults, who as children, were abused in Confession, year after year……

  93. Pingback: Cardinal Mahony Has Been Relieved of Duties in Los Angeles « Catholibertarian

  94. Vexilla:

    Taking nothing away from the awfulness of the crimes you referred to…nevertheless, I wouldn’t say God “takes revenge.”

    God forgives. He died on the cross to do so. And merely the slightest scratch on his hand would have been sufficient to atone for any and all sins of all people, ever. I firmly believe our Lord had those sinners you referred to, in mind, while suffering on the cross–along with every other sinner, without exception.

    I think the point of our Lord’s comments about millstones was to convey how terrible such sins were, yes, but to induce avoidance and repentance. There’s no indication that God is particularly eager to inflict such punishments, in preference to forgiving them.

  95. Cecily says:

    Frjim4321, Miss Anita did not say [I deleted the rest. I am this close [] see that? to throwing people out. ]

  96. trespinos says:

    If the Cardinal had kept silent, I think it might have been possible for the Holy Father to let the Archbishop’s actions stand alone. But with his really insolent letter today, I think the Cardinal has cooked his goose. I’m guessing the Holy Father will impose some interim penance on him and then, coincident with next year’s consistory in which Abp. Gomez will be created a cardinal, he will indeed depose Roger dodger.

    I hope the Archbishop will move faster to clean up the Religious Education Conference. I hope he will remove and um, melt down, the androgenous virgin statue over the Cathedral entrance. However, I do not join those who have bashed the cathedral here. It’s exterior is not inspiring, but the interior is certainly not ugly and could be improved to be even better. The exterior of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is hideously ugly, but the Holy Father was pleased to consecrate it a couple of years back and the TV coverage revealed the interior to be stunningly beautiful.

  97. acardnal says:

    Supertradmum wrote, “VexillaRegis, I personally know three adults, who as children, were abused in Confession, year after year……”

    There is a trend I have observed in quite a few dioceses and parishes to install small and/or slender windows in the doors of a confessional. This is a good idea I believe. It allows 1) penitents waiting in line to see if there is anyone in the confessional (sometimes the “occupied/free” lights don’t work properly); and 2) it allows one to see if there is any “hanky panky” going on between priest and penitent. It can protect both penitent and priest from false accusations.

  98. acardnal says:

    P.S. The windows are installed in such a way that lips cannot be read nor voices heard outside the confessional.

  99. Cecily says:

    Super and acardnal: In the churches where I go for the sacrament, the confessionals have a whole wall between the priest and the penitent, with a little window in the wall. I’m having trouble understanding what you are talking about. Are these children being abused in one of those wall-free rooms some parishes have for confession? (I’ve only seen one of those). I’ve heard of that being a problem in one of the non-Catholic ancient churches, with even adult women being abused in them.

  100. acardnal says:

    Not all confessionals have a solid wall – wall to wall and floor to ceiling – between priest and penitent. Some are “reconciliation rooms” that provide for face to face confession.

  101. robtbrown says:

    I don’t think it serves any purpose to link liturgical abuse with sexual abuse. I know of two priests, one I knew personally, who said the TLM and were guilt of abusing young boys,

  102. Supertradmum says:

    robtbrown, me too, but how did they say it–mumbling, leaving out words and so on? Even the TLM can be abused.

  103. frjim4321 says:

    I think sexual abuse in the confessional is one of the most grievous of delicts.

    Is there a connection between this and the LA cases? I read a lot of the documents that were posted and most of it was camping trips, swimming trips, vacations, etc., I did not remember reading any confessional things.

  104. This is starting to look like one of those Star Trek conspiracy episodes. One thing I can see is that this has lots more to it than anyone probably knows or understands right now. I doubt that Archbishop Gomez took this action entirely on his own initiative, even if he may have wanted to do it earlier. One thing I think we can all lament is that this is no time for internal struggle in the Church; ideally, we would all be united against the forces that seek to destroy us rather than fighting amongst ourselves. But we are a Church of sinners… hopefully God will raise up some men and women outstanding in holiness to lead us in the battles to come.

  105. frjim4321 says:

    Yes, Andrew, it is reasonable to assume that strings were pulled from higher up.

  106. robtbrown: “I know of two priests, one I knew personally, who said the TLM and were guilt of abusing young boys”

    Pointing out an exception to a general rule neither proves nor disproves the rule.

    In any event, it is clear that in the 1970s much clerical sexual abuse was perpetrated by priests who had been trained in the TLM era, and a wise old priest who had been a vicar general dealing with such cases, indicated that it apparently was precisely the laxer moral environment which was associated with the liturgical abuse of the 1970s in which these offending priests loosened their liturgical standards, and consequently loosened also their moral standards, with the resulting sexual abuse.

  107. Sword40 says:

    Anybody want to bet that Nothing will be done that has not already been done. This will be left to sit and cool down. If the Cardinal is as smart as I think he is, it’ll just disappear. If he opens his mouth to argue, perhaps more will happen.

  108. frjim4321 says:

    … it apparently was precisely the laxer moral environment which was associated with the liturgical abuse of the 1970s in which these offending priests loosened their liturgical standards, and consequently loosened also their moral standards, with the resulting sexual abuse…

    Entirely bogus, Henry.

    Absent empirical evidence to the contrary your assertion is absurd.

    The fact is we don’t really have any data correlating trad v. prog styles with sexual abuse.

    And even if such data existed we would have to avoid the error of confusing correlation with causation.

    Of approximately a dozen ordained in my class in the mid-’80′s only one has been unable to minister due to this issue; and he was by a very long measure the most traditional if not ultra-traditional of the class. And the most notorious and imprisoned one in the diocese was also of the ultra-trad variety.

    Which of course accounts for nothing, because these are anecdotal and therefore the least generalizable of data.

    I’m not asserting any correlation; but I’m saying your correlation is entirely bogus and without any substantiation whatsoever.

  109. frjim4321 says:

    To make a constructive contribution to the discussion it just occurred to me that it may not be the valence of the liturgical eccentricity (whether trad or prog) but rather the distance from the norm in any direction that correlates with various delicts. A few of our offenders were of the “tie dyed” variety. But as I recall an equal number of the brocade, doily and lace crowd.

  110. Michelle F says:

    I remember when Mother Angelica called Mahony a heretic on live TV/radio, and then delivered her studiously back-handed apology the following week.

    I would love to see Mahony fry, and Mother Angelica be vindicated.

  111. Gaetano says:

    I can speak from personal experience that clergy abusers will hide their abuse under one of two approaches:

    1) Preach anything goes and take advantage of the libertine environment; or
    2) Assume the veneer of strict orthodoxy so people won’t notice your liberties with young children.

    Paul Shanley of Boston and countless others used the first method. Marcial Maciel and Shawn Ratigan used the second. Don’t be fooled. Clergy predators can and will exploit your preconception that orthodox priests don’t molest to gain access to your children.

  112. robtbrown says:

    Fr Martin Fox says:

    Vexilla:

    Taking nothing away from the awfulness of the crimes you referred to…nevertheless, I wouldn’t say God “takes revenge.”

    God forgives. He died on the cross to do so. And merely the slightest scratch on his hand would have been sufficient to atone for any and all sins of all people, ever. I firmly believe our Lord had those sinners you referred to, in mind, while suffering on the cross–along with every other sinner, without exception.

    I think the point of our Lord’s comments about millstones was to convey how terrible such sins were, yes, but to induce avoidance and repentance. There’s no indication that God is particularly eager to inflict such punishments, in preference to forgiving them.

    What’s the maxim?

    God always forgives
    Man sometimes forgives
    Nature never forgives

    NB: Providence is concerned with the order of things. When this order is disturbed, as in serious violation of natural law, there are natural consequences (cf Temporal punishment). In so far as God is the author of Providence, as First Cause, He can be said to be the author of the consequences. But He is not the immediate Efficient Cause.

  113. robtbrown says:


    Henry Edwards says:

    robtbrown: “I know of two priests, one I knew personally, who said the TLM and were guilt of abusing young boys”

    Pointing out an exception to a general rule neither proves nor disproves the rule.

    My point is that it is not a rule.

  114. frjim4321 says:

    OMG Robert and I agree.

  115. robtbrown says:

    Tim Ferguson says:

    for those looking for precedent, I would encourage looking into the history and biography of Louis Billot, a Jesuit Cardinal created by St. Pius X in 1911. He “resigned” the Cardinalate in 1927, after a major dustup with Pius XI over the issue of Catholic Action.

    I think you mean Action Française, one of whose principal leaders was Charles Maurras. At first, it was very attractive to French Catholics because it opposed the French left, but finally it was little else than an agnostic version of French nationalism.

  116. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    OMG Robert and I agree.

    A bit.

    These problems happened because men were ordained who had not been trained to be celibate. Do I consider proper liturgical training a component? Yes

  117. introibo says:

    Don’t count on the red hat being taken from C. Mahoney. Look at C. Law. Under John Paul he was taken to the sanctuary of the Vatican and named pastor of one of the four patriarchal basilicas. And his position did not change under Benedict.

  118. frjim4321 says:

    I don’t think they will take the hat away either.

    To do so would be an embarrassment not only to the individual but to the organization that elevated him. It would be an admission of error, which the institutional hierarchy never does.

    In other words, it would break a “cardinal” rule, and that is, the church is never wrong.

    So, he is safe with his hat.

  119. Singing Mum says:

    This strikes me as grievous indeed. We have lived in the shadow of LA as San Diegans, and felt the liturgical… fallout from all the empty promises of innovation.
    I wonder how high Ab Mahoney had become in his own mind, and consider it very easy for him to be so misled, as he was surrounded by so much political junk and so many who were eager to use his position for their own ends.
    I do remember his post about the contraceptive mandate last year, and I certainly cheered him for that.
    The penalities and humiliations he will have to face will happen regardless of our opinion here. For my part, and I say this as a sexual abuse survivor myself, Ab Mahoney, you are still one of my spritual fathers despite your imperfections and mistakes. As your spiritual daughter full of my own imperfections and mistakes, I accept the apology you offered and offer prayers for you. What did Our Lord say to the humbled Peter? Something about getting up again and strengthening his bretheren. Your ministry has not ended, and so I pray that this will be the next chapter for you, too.

  120. bwfackler says:

    THE RITE OF DEGRADATION

    If the degradandus be an archbishop, the degrading prelate removes his pallium, saying:

    We deprive thee of the rights and privileges of the episcopal dignity, symbolized in this pallium, since thou hast abused them.

    Then, even if the degradandus be a mere bishop, the degrading prelate removes his mitre, saying:

    We strip thy head of this miter, emblem of the episcopal dignity, since thou hast befouled it by thy ill government.

    Then one of the ministers brings the Book of the Gospel to the degradandus, which the degrading prelate takes from his hands, saying;

    Give us back the Gospel! Since thou hast spurned the grace of God and made thyself unworthy of the office of preaching, we rightly deprive you of this office.

    Then the degrading prelate removes the ring from the finger of the degradandus, saying:

    Rightly do we pull off thy ring, the sign of fidelity, since thou hast made bold to rape God’s own bride, the Church.

    At this time one of the ministers brings the degradandus a crosier, which the degrading prelate takes from his hands, saying;

    Thy shepherd’s staff we take from thee, that thou shalt be powerless henceforward to exercise that office of correction, which thou hast brought to disarray.

    Then the ministers take off the gloves of the degradandus, and the degrading prelate lightly scrapes thumbs and hands with a knife blade or a shard of glass, saying:

    We hereby deprive thee, to the extent of our powers, of the grace of spiritual blessing and of sacramental anointing, that thou shouldst forfeit the office of sanctifying and of blessing, and their effects.

    With the same knife blade or shard the degrading prelate lightly scrapes the head of the degradandus, saying:

    We utterly erase and eradicate the consecration, blessing and anointing bestowed upon thee, and we put thee out of the episcopal order, whence thou returnest unclothed.

    The ministers remove the shoes from the degradandus Thus ends the ceremony.

  121. VexillaRegis says:

    Fr Martin Fox and robtbrown,

    of course God wants all sinners to repent, the thing is in this global scandal, that many perpetrators do not want to do that. And what happens to them then?

    “And he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals do not come. But woe to him through whom they come! It were *better* for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, reprove him: and *if* he do penance, forgive him.”

    So, if someone scandalizes one of these little ones, and doesn’t repent, he goes to Hell. It’s *better* for him to be drowned than committing that sin and suffer the eternal consequenses. I admit, my earlier reasoning was not completely logical, but it was late after a hard day at work, and I got a little carried away.

    And, after all, sodomy is a sin that cries to Heaven for *vengeance*!!!!

    Long-skirts and all who have very personal experiences of this scandal, you have my deepest sympathy. Shame on those who say it wasn’t that bad!!! I just hope the priest(s) in your sons case didn’t dare to do anything physical. You, and all persons and families in this situation, are in my prayers.

  122. Pingback: Sjokkerende nyheter fra Los Angeles » EN KATOLSK WEBLOG

  123. Imrahil says:

    Has that ever happened before?

    I do not know of a case, even though I do know of a case when the Pope, as secular ruler, imprisoned one of his cardinals.

    Dear @cathy, interesting point.

    On the whole, was Archbishop Gomez’ action perhaps mainly of a symbolic nature? A retired archbishop has nothing to do for his former archdiocese save the title of an emeritus (which Archbishop Gomez, as I see, did not strip the Cardinal of, nor I guess could have). And a Cardinal may not be forbidden to hold Holy Masses. Or, I had thought, even confirm. Indeed, in the Extraordinary Form he could still show up and demand the throne. (I had thought.)

    May the Lord bless the Cardinal and tell him what to do, and make him do so.

  124. Imrahil says:

    By “Nothing to do” I meant: which the ruling archbishop does not assign him to do in particular.

  125. Tim Ferguson says:

    robtbrown – yes indeed, Action Francaise – thanks for pointing out my error. I’d hate to cast any aspersion on Catholic Action! mea culpa.

  126. robtbrown: “My point is that it is not a rule.”

    It’s surprising that any logical person would deny the general rule that an atmosphere of moral laxity encourages sinners to act out their proclivities. Your citation, of TLM sinners acting theirs out in our era of moral laxity, supports rather than denies this general rule.

  127. Imrahil, within the diocese, local ordinary calls the shots, so Cardinal Mahony will not be doing any Confirmations, it seems also like public Masses he will be forbidden from celebrating. Basically it’s a muzzle clause, but I don’t see Cardinal Mahony being obedient, and I see a situation where he will be kicked out of the diocese with support from Rome.

  128. schmenz says:

    “Perhaps Dr. Peters will weigh in on the question of removal.”

    Let’s hope not.

  129. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    To do so would be an embarrassment not only to the individual but to the organization that elevated him. It would be an admission of error, which the institutional hierarchy never does.

    No greater example is to be found than an encounter of Abp LeFebvre with Paul VI. The Abp pointed out certain flaws in the documents, and the pope’s reply was: Are you with us or against us?

  130. robtbrown says:

    VexillaRegis says:
    Fr Martin Fox and robtbrown,

    of course God wants all sinners to repent, the thing is in this global scandal, that many perpetrators do not want to do that. And what happens to them then?

    I never said that forgiveness goes to those who do not repent. God always forgives those who repent. God is infinitely merciful but also infinitely just.

  131. robtbrown says:


    Fr Martin Fox and robtbrown,

    of course God wants all sinners to repent, the thing is in this global scandal, that many perpetrators do not want to do that. And what happens to them then?

    I never said that forgiveness goes to those who do not repent. God always forgives those who repent. God is infinitely merciful but also infinitely just.

    The point is that even when God forgives, nature does not. When a murderer repents and is forgiven by God, the one murdered does not regain life. When a thief repents and is forgiven by God, it does not restore the property.

  132. acardnal says:

    robtbrown wrote, “When a thief repents and is forgiven by God, it does not restore the property.”

    This is correct. And this is why we must do penance and reparation for our forgiven sins. This is Catholic teaching. The “temporal punishment due to forgiven sin” must be paid for by the penitent either in this life or the next (in purgatory).

    CCC 2487, “Every offense committed against justice and truth entails the duty of reparation even if its author has been forgiven.”

    This is one reason Fr. Z often writes about indulgences because they can remit “the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven . . . . ” The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or for the dead. Important stuff!
    CCC 1471 – ff

  133. VexillaRegis says:

    robtbrown,

    oh, sorry, the paragraph you quote me on was more directed to Fr Fox, who didn’t mention repentance, just forgiveness in his post. You quoted both me and him in the same post, so I replied the two of you in the same way. Internet confusion…. :-)

    In fact I totally agree with you in this matter. The particular sin we are talking about is fundamentally unnatural in every aspect. God surely forgives a repentant abuser, but the perpetrator places an enormous burden on the victim to forgive him and the victim will, or may, be affected, in different ways, of this crime for the rest of his life.

    You put it very well:

    “God always forgives
    Man sometimes forgives
    Nature never forgives.”

    Thank you and God bless!

    PS, Fr. Fox, I don’t think you deny the need for repentance to be forgiven by God :-).

  134. chantgirl says:

    I agree with robtbrown. Attraction to children is a separate issue from liturgical style and obedience to rubrics. While there is still much to be learned about pedophilia, most men with this problem experience these feelings far in advance of when they would go into the seminary, and before their liturgical formation. I have personally known priests on both ends of the liturgical spectrum who have dealt with attraction to children, in both cases boys. I also knew a priest who was not faithful to rubrics and would be considered pretty liberal who turned over evidence about molestation to police when the Bishop would not. A morally or liturgically lax environment might contribute to someone acting out, but only in the areas in which they would already be tempted. While I would love to be able to automatically trust a traditional priest with my children, experience has shown me that sexual deviance does not discriminate ( although I’d like to believe that a good moral and liturgical environment might sustain a tempted man by grace and help him resist his temptation).

  135. robtbrown says:

    Henry Edwards says,

    robtbrown: “My point is that it is not a rule.”

    It’s surprising that any logical person would deny the general rule that an atmosphere of moral laxity encourages sinners to act out their proclivities. Your citation, of TLM sinners acting theirs out in our era of moral laxity, supports rather than denies this general rule.

    You pulled the ole switcheroo, changing from liturgical abuse to moral laxity.

    You must understand that the way most priests say mass is a consequence of a) trying to follow what the bishops want, and/ or b) what they were taught in seminary.

    Although I doubt that those involved in sexual scandals were outside the norm liturgical abusers, there is no doubt that those not able to be celibate were influenced by the regular practice of vernacular, versus populum celebration. The celibate has to have a certain emotional independence, which is undermined by the vern, vers pop MO (cf the priests who have written to Fr Z noting how different was the experience of saying the TLM).

    When I was in Rome, our spiritual director, a very well known European moralist, once said that Roman study is very important for a priest because has to learn to say mass alone. Some, however, circumvent the situation be only celebrating mass when they can concelebrate.

  136. acricketchirps says:

    There are surely several reasons why a priest says the TLM. One might say it because it is true and right and holy and beautiful. Another might say it because it is beautiful (and the the vestments are pretty especially that one altarboy’s frilly surplice).

    I’m just glad I’m not a Donatist.

  137. robtbrown says:

    Vexillaregis and acardenal,

    I’m afraid I’ve done a poor job of making my point. For St Thomas, evil (malum) is first of all ontological. For example, a man walking through the forest is killed by a falling branch. The evil is the same whether the branch was broken by the wind or by a someone sawing it to kill the guy (in which case it would be a peccatum).

    So when I referred to Providence relevant to nature not forgiving, I was referring to the disturbance of the Order of the Creation, definitely ontological but not necessarily moral.