“They Failed”: Thank You, Archbishop Gomez

Tonight, Archbishop Jose Gomez broke his silence on the recently released documents concerning efforts by his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony, to cover up instances of clergy abuse. Like me, Archbishop Gomez found the documents “brutal and painful reading.” He did not stop at repugnance, however, but in a letter to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, assigned accountability:

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. 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.”

In breaking news, Archbishop Gomez has backed up his words with action:

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez announced Thursday that Cardinal Roger Mahony would have a reduced role in the church and that Santa Barbara Bishop Thomas J. Curry has stepped down from that job amid recent revelations over their handling of the priest abuse scandal in the 1980s.

“Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry has also publicly apologized for his decisions while serving as Vicar for Clergy. I have accepted his request to be relieved of his responsibility as the Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara,” Gomez wrote in a letter.

Read the full L.A. Times story, which contains a transcript of Archbishop Gomez’s letter.

Gracias, Archbishop. You have acted in the spirit of St John Bosco, and of Christ’s Church.

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  • Dee

    Bravo and God bless Archbishop Gomez! Finally a man of honor and truth to take the place of the duplicitous Mahoney. As a Hispanic, I am personally very happy to see the Church in Southern California back in the hands of Hispanic fathers.
    [Comment edited to delete a remark that violates comment policy. JKM]

    • Bill M.

      Your concluding sentence undercuts your first two, Dee. In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free . . . neither Anglo nor Hispanic.

  • Matthew & Patricia Ribarich

    Most Reverend Archbishop Gomez,
    Your God, your Church and your spiritual flock thank you for makes bold, yet responsible steps to “purify” Christ’s church that we love.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers,
    God Bless you!

  • Fiergenholt

    I went over to Rocco’s “Whispers in the Loggia” blog and he uses the term “DEFCON 5″ to describe the situation here. For those of you who are too young to remember, this was a Department of Defense term used during the Cold War (1946-1990) to describe the ultimate level of nuclear weapon activity — there had been an all-out attack by nuclear weapons on our country and we replied with an all-out nuclear response.

    Considering Rocco’s closeness to the center of church affairs, that about sums it up.

    Now the problem — like in nuclear war — is the aftermath and clean-up.

    • Trish

      Not to be picky, but DEFCON 5 represents “all situations normal and peaceful.” It’s the lowest level of alert. If he is trying to say it is tense, then DEFCON 1 means nuclear war is imminent

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  • Oregon Catholic

    Thank you? Who was in charge of the lawyers that were fighting the release of the names of the hierarchy in these records right up until the last minute? Isn’t that the same Abp. Gomez you are giving praise to? I really can’t believe how blind so many are. These guys don’t give up anything until they are literally forced to. Then they have the gall to come out and tell us how saddened and sorry they are for what they were trying to hide just hours before. They are still hiding whatever they can get away with. Nothing has changed, including hearts and minds. Their sorrow is entirely reserved for themselves I believe, like the criminal who cries in court, not for their victim but for themselves facing punishment.

    And let’s please don’t pretend that the Vatican hasn’t been well aware of what was in these files for a very long time. But no action against Mahoney and Curry from that quarter either.

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