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.